Many countries have adopted geographical indication (GI) laws to protect indigenous products, including handicrafts and agricultural, natural, horticultural and industrial products originating from a specific region. On 27 March 2020, after revisions and much deliberation, Parliament finally passed the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act 2020 in order to establish a system for the recognition, registration and protection of GI rights in Pakistan. This article sets out the act's salient features.
Absent a few limited exceptions, the use of someone else's music without their permission is an infringement on their copyright. This article sets out some fundamentals to assist in determining the type of licence that an average company would need and some potential alternatives. The bottom line when planning and budgeting for music in a project is to get the proper rights and permissions in place before pressing 'play'.
Hungarian case law frequently discusses the protectability of foreign word combinations. In a recent case, the authorities found that the international mark DRIVE PILOT did not meet the protection requirements. The decisions reflected established case law on the right to refuse protection for an international word mark in Hungary where the words are understood by the average Hungarian consumer and are descriptive.
From every angle, intellectual property is one of the great engines of the contemporary world, which not only fosters (and must continue to foster in the post-COVID-19 economy) progressive developments in relation to technology and quality of life, but also carries the 'antibodies' needed to protect the environment. This article examines the role that intellectual property plays in both economic development and sustainable growth.
Although customs recordals are one of the most efficient ways to combat counterfeiting activities in Turkey, if goods are smuggled and suspended by customs officers or the police ex officio under the Anti-smuggling Law, IP rights holders cannot act against any suspected counterfeiting activities. However, sales of counterfeit goods may be prevented if IP rights holders are aware of the suspended goods before the directorate general of liquidation and report any suspected infringements expeditiously.
The Supreme People's Court recently released for public comment two judicial interpretations that address online IP infringement. Some of the drafts' articles reflect government commitments made during the first phase of the China-US Economic and Trade Agreement, including exempting brand owners from liability for submitting erroneous takedown notices provided that they are submitted in good faith and imposing liability for takedown notices and counter notifications that are submitted in bad faith.
Unlike a trademark, a domain name is a contractual right which is primarily used to identify a website. In most jurisdictions, it cannot serve as a basis to oppose the commercial use of a sign or the registration as a trademark of a sign that is contained in the domain name. In short, the exclusive character of the domain name holder relates and is limited to the domain name as such.
A bipartisan group of representatives in the US House of Representatives recently introduced the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-Commerce Act to help stem the growing concern over counterfeit products being offered for sale on online third-party marketplace e-commerce platforms. Although e-commerce is a relatively new retail platform, it has been capturing larger percentages of sales in the US retail industry.
The Hague District Court recently had to answer the question of whether information acquired during a customs seizure under the EU Anti-piracy Regulation may be used for an unauthorised parallel import claim. The regulation provides an effective means and procedure for IP rights holders to request Customs to intercept consignments suspected of containing counterfeit or pirated goods and to have said goods destroyed.
Since 1 April 2020 it has been possible to file an opposition to invalidate a French patent directly with the National Industrial Property Institute. Previously, such invalidations had to go through a procedure before the Court of Paris, which created a number of disadvantages – for example, the request was examined by judges without scientific knowledge and required representation by an attorney at law. The length of these legal proceedings, although short, was also a hurdle.
According to Article 30-1(13) of the Trademark Act, trademarks containing another person's portrait or well-known name, stage name, pseudonym or alternative name should be refused registration unless said person consents to the application. However, the definition of 'stage names' in Article 30-1(13) remains unclear under current practice. The IP Court recently expressed its view on this issue in an administrative litigation regarding trademark opposition.
In March 2020 the China National Intellectual Property Administration released an exposure draft on the Guide for Determining Geographical Indications as Generic Names. The guide is considered a response to the first phase of the China-US Economic and Trade Agreement, since it completely absorbs the standards for determining generic names stipulated in the agreement.
The Supreme Court recently handed down a decision in a case concerning screens for iPhones imported into Norway by a mobile repair shop operator. The screens, which were not manufactured by Apple, had originally been branded with the Apple logo, but the logos were covered with marker. The question was whether the screens infringed Apple's trademark rights.
A recent Intellectual Property Enterprise Court decision is a useful reminder that a finding of trademark infringement is more likely where the mark has been used extensively and has an enhanced level of distinctiveness in the United Kingdom. Further, evidence of actual confusion can support and augment a court's assessment of the likelihood of confusion and need not be first hand or submitted in high quantities to be valuable.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently issued the new Administrative Measures for the Use of Special Marks Reserved for Geographical Indications (GIs) (Trial). The special mark reserved for GIs is an official mark for consumers to verify GI-protected products in China and can be used by authorised producers, members affiliated with rights holders of GI collective trademarks, licensees of a GI certification trademark and other parties subject to CNIPA recordal and publication.
Economic success following the COVID-19 crisis will arguably depend on four considerations: globalisation, human rights and freedoms, flexible working and quality of life. In light of this, effective IP rights management will be more important than ever after the current crisis. Companies should prepare a strategy that integrates a future-oriented IP rights management plan to deal with the potential challenges and demands outlined in this article.
The latest chapter in a long-running saga saw the High Court issue a final judgment in Sky v Skykick following the European Court of Justice's decision in January 2020. The High Court's judgment demonstrates that a finding of partial invalidity for overly broad trademarks due to bad faith may not necessarily taint the entire registration and deal a deathblow to the infringement claim.
The development, production and provision of therapeutic medications, vaccines, medical devices and infection control products are necessary to diagnose, prevent, contain and treat COVID-19. Patent owners and other IP rights holders must therefore cooperate with each other and support new ideas to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without hindering development in the IP sector. To this end, an IP-related solution was recently announced in Japan – namely, the Open COVID-19 Declaration.
The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board recently announced that the amended Patented Medicines Regulations will now come into force on 1 January 2021. Further, a revised set of draft guidelines will be published during the week of 15 June 2020, followed by a 30-day consultation period.
In response to the Sino-American trade agreement signed in January 2020, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) recently issued a notice soliciting public opinions on two documents concerning the enforcement of IP judgments. The promulgation of the SPC's documents may allow the judiciary to review the entire enforcement regime to further clarify and simplify not only enforcement procedures, but also bankruptcy procedures.