MIP held its IP in Asia Forum at Le Meriden Piccadilly, London, on 23 June 2016.
The first talk gave an overview of trade mark protection in China. Dr Guan Tang, a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, looked at the academic view. She noted that there are three key dimensions to Chinese trade mark law; (1) the public interest in promoting a socialist market economy, (2) consumer rights, and (3) the rights of the proprietors of trade marks, and that there appears to be a conflict between the requirement of promoting a socialist market economy and protecting right holders. Next on the agenda was a review of the recent revisions to Chinese trade mark law. In this regard, the key points were the speeding up of the examination procedure, extending the scope of protection (sound marks are now registrable), tackling IP squatting and allowing for higher damages and penalties. Whilst it is Dr Tang’s opinion that the current enforcement of trade mark rights in China remains unpredictable and has not significantly improved, the law is now better written such that there is hope for the future provided it is managed correctly. (more…)
On 23 June 2016 the UK public voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU (commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’). If and when the UK formally starts the exit procedure, there will be at least a two-year negotiation period before the exit itself occurs. So, any changes won’t be implemented for some time yet.
Any UK national IP rights will be unaffected by Brexit. Some EU IP rights that have effect in the UK will be affected to different extents. Crucially, no IP rights will be lost as a result of Brexit, although some transitional measures are inevitable.
IPcopy takes a look at the key impact Brexit will have on IP, and what you should be considering now. (more…)
IPcopy has been provided with a copy of an update from the UKIPO into the work they have been doing recently to combat misleading invoices. Previous IPcopy articles on this subject can be found here.
Following the recent successful trademark infringement and passing off cases against the Intellectual Property Agency and the Patent and Trade Mark Office/Organisation (see The Comptroller–General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks and BIS v: Intellectual Property Agency Ltd and Harri Jonasson  EWHC 3256 (IPEC) and also Misleading invoices – the UKIPO fights back), the UKIPO has also been tackling the problem of scam invoices in a number of other ways: (more…)
This Thursday, 23 June 2016, is of course Referendum Day here in the UK, the outcome of which could have a significant impact on the unitary patent system. This Thursday also marks the day on which two bills relating to Germany’s ratification procedure for the UPCA will come before the German parliament. This hearing is apparently the first of three hearings. With the German Parliament due to take a summer break throughout most of July and August it may be the autumn before the necessary steps have been taken to ratify the UPCA in Germany. [German Parliament calendar; Draft Bill 1; Draft Bill 2] (more…)
The matter concerns Vision Care At Home Limited (‘VCH’) and Visioncall Limited (‘VL’), both concerned with eye care passports or reports primarily aimed at care homes for the elderly to assist staff in identifying the correct glasses to be worn by those being cared for.
VCH applied to register the mark under Application No. 3032938, as well filing a declaration of invalidity against VL’s UK Registration No. 2652006 for EYE D on the basis of Sections 47(2) and 5(4)(a) and Sections 47(1) and 3(6) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (‘the Act’). VL later opposed VCH’s application on the basis of Sections 5(2)(b), 5(3) and 5(4)(a) and Section 3(6) of the Act. (more…)
As IPcopy discussed back in 2013, Trade Mark Squatting has long been a concern of European businesses considering entering the Chinese market. Too often, European brands which have not registered their trade marks in China at the earliest possible stage, find that their trade marks are already registered to third parties without a legitimate interest in the mark by the time China features as a potential market in their business plans.
This can cause significant disruption to businesses as these earlier ‘bad faith’ applications act as bars to their own applications. Further, whilst trade mark registration is not a legal requirement to trade in China, many businesses find that their Chinese partners will actually request it as a condition to operate. The consequences of having one’s trade mark application refused in China because of an earlier bad faith application are, therefore, compounded, as walking away and trading without a registered mark may not be a viable option. (more…)
The UK design sector is extremely important to the UK with the Design Council’s Design Report of 2015 suggesting that the UK’s design economy generated over £70 billion in gross value added (GVA). The ability to protect intellectual property is vital and for the design sector the registered design right is a crucial available means of protection.
The recent Trunki decision at the UK Supreme Court made headlines recently with some designers fearing that the decision would cause uncertainty within the design industry (see, for example, “this decision will create chaos and confusion”; the “blow to Britain’s design community”; and, “this plunges design law into an abyss”). (more…)
China joined WIPO in 1980 and only established its patent system in 1985. However, in the early 2000s China began to become a significant presence on the World IP stage and in the years following 2011 more patent applications were apparently filed in China than any other patent office around the world. More recently the UKIPO has been involved in events to reinforce the “mutual understanding of the importance of intellectual property while also strengthening economic and cultural relations between the UK and China”.
The challenges of gaining IP protection and enforcing it in China along with developments in China’s Patent Law and changes to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) are to be the subject of MIP’s IP in Asia Forum which runs on 21 June in Paris and 23 June (Brexit D-Day) in London.
Sessions during the Forum include an overview of trade mark protection in China, enforcement of IP rights in China, effective IP protection in Japan, a look at South Korea’s legal IP framework, IP commercialisation and monetisation under sharing economy in China and how to deal with IP infringement in China.
Keltie is delighted to be one of the sponsors for this event and Keltie partners Sean Cummings and Joanne Hopley will be moderators at the IP commercialisation session in London and Paris respectively.
The agendas for the Forum can be found here.
Update (7 June 2016)
According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Bulgaria has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 3 June 2016) to become the tenth country to complete its ratification formalities. Bulgaria joins Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the ten countries who have completed their ratification processes.
The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify including the UK, France and Germany meaning that just the UK, Germany and one other country are required to ratify to bring the unitary patent system into effect. The target date for the unitary patent system is currently May 2017.
The “Early Certainty from Search” scheme (ECfS) was launched by the EPO in 2014 to “provide applicants with legal certainty in Europe on pending patent applications early in the process and also to contribute to overall timeliness”.
It is IPcopy’s understanding from EPO sources that the EPO is happy with how ECfS has developed and that there are now plans to extend this into examination and opposition. (more…)