WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a meeting of the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices in Cupertino, California. Known as the IP5, members include the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).
During the meeting, the heads renewed their commitment to develop the “Global Dossier,” a system to simplify the viewing and management of applications filed in the IP5 Offices. The heads also agreed to adopt the Global Classification Initiative, a new effort to harmonize patent classification. The heads confirmed the adoption of an IP5 Patent Information (PI) policy, pursuant to which each of the offices will work towards providing barrier free access to patent data. The heads reaffirmed work-sharing in the framework of IP5 cooperation, and endorsed the development of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot project between all IP5 Offices. Additionally, the heads stressed the need to advance harmonization of substantive and procedural patent law. To this end, the heads reviewed the progress in the work of the IP5 Patent Harmonization Experts Panel, and considered next steps.
Over 850 delegates from more than 100 countries are attending the three-day meeting from 24 to 26 April that is being chaired by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and hosted by Turkish Customs with the support of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.
United around a common goal to stop the trade in counterfeit and pirated products, the organizers and participants aim to share experiences and devise strategies to counteract this global phenomenon and the harm these goods can have on consumer health and safety, as well as intellectual property rights (IPR).
Design patent applications have experienced continuous growth for the past decade. Patent offices worldwide reported 344,700 new applications in 2004 and 775,700 in 2011. In the most recent years, the growth of design applications has accelerated, with a rate of 13.9% growth in 2010 and 16% in 2011. Of the top 20 origin countries, which are defined as the countries of residence of design patent applicants, nearly all saw growth in 2011. This trend reflects the overall growth of patents and trademarks, which reported a record year across the board. Despite economic uncertainty in recent years, IP growth has persisted.
Meeting in extraordinary session, the WIPO General Assembly took a landmark decision today to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013 to complete negotiations on a pact to improve access to copyrighted works for the many visually impaired and people with print disabilities around the world. The General Assembly also expressed gratitude to Morocco for its offer to host the diplomatic conference.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the constructive spirit of engagement among member states and the decision to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013 to agree on the provisions of an international treaty. “Member states took an important decision today in our collective efforts to facilitate access to copyrighted works by the visually impaired and persons with print disabilities” Mr. Gurry said. He added “The future treaty will improve access to published works for millions around the world.” The Director General thanked Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Omar Hilale, for his country’s generous offer to host the diplomatic conference.
Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Bruno Ferrari and Director General Francis Gurry (Photo: WIPO/Berrod)
Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Bruno Ferrari deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry on November 19, 2012, bringing the total number of members of the international trademark system to 89. The treaty will enter into force with respect to Mexico on February 19, 2013. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid system) offers trademark owners a cost effective, user friendly and streamlined means of protecting and managing their trademark portfolio internationally.
Mr. Gurry welcomed Mexico’s accession, noting that “Mexico is the third country in the Latin American region to join the Madrid trademark filing system. Its accession to the Madrid Protocol will assist enterprises in Mexico that are seeking to expand their markets overseas. It will also assist WIPO in achieving its objective of transforming the Madrid System into a system with truly global reach.” He also congratulated Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and its Director General, Dr. Rodrigo Roque, for putting in place state-of-the-art practices that are supported by a modern information technology infrastructure and by competent human resources. Mr. Gurry said that “Mexico’s legal and institutional framework will guarantee the successful implementation of the Madrid Protocol in Mexico,” noting that IMPI is among the top fifteen IP offices receiving the highest number of trademark applications worldwide.
One year after its launch, WIPO Re:Search has doubled its membership and resulted in ten research collaborations or agreements. WIPO Re:Search is a consortium where public and private sector organizations share valuable intellectual property (IP) and expertise with the global health research community to promote development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to treat neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis It is administered by WIPO, in partnership with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a non-governmental organization based in San Francisco, California.
Members of WIPO Re:Search are meeting in Geneva today to take stock of the year’s progress and explore strategies to expand on the initiative’s success. On the evening of October 29. 2012, representatives of WIPO Re:Search member institutions – Dr. Ellis Owusu-Dabo, Scientific Director of the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University (Ghana) and Dr. Dennis Liotta, Professor of Chemistry at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) – spoke about the value of WIPO Re:Search to scientists in developing and developed countries. Dr. Liotta pioneered the invention and development of important anti-retroviral therapies for HIV/AIDS.
The 50th session of Assemblies of WIPO member statesreached a breakthrough decision on how to complete negotiations on a pact to improve access to copyrighted works for the many visually impaired or print disabled people around the world.
In another significant decision, WIPO’s 185 member states agreed to expedite work towards a design law treaty to develop simplified standards for industrial design registration procedures.
The WIPO Assemblies, which met from October 1-9, 2012, took stock of the Organization’s substantive work over the last year, and provided direction for the future work program. At the closing of the Assemblies, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the “extremely constructive engagement of member states” in the work of the Organization as demonstrated in the decisions taken by the Assemblies. He underlined the progress made by member states in setting timetables for concluding negotiations on international instruments on access to copyrighted work by the visually impaired, design law and intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore.
The news first came to light during the Spring of 2012 when FOX News recently broke a news story relating to a certain rogue branch of the UN undertaking some kind of clandestine scheme to ship computers and other technologies to the government of North Korea in violation of several UN Resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874. When I heard the story initially my thought was — so what else is new? The United Nations seems to coddle dictators, tyrants and oppressive (and genocidal) regimes of various types. It was, however, a shock to learn that WIPO was at the center of the controversy. For more see WIPO Embroiled in North Korea Computer Deal.
The first wave of the “WIPO computer scandal” gave way to another revelation. WIPO not only sent computers to North Korea, but they also sent computer to Iran. The Iran computer fiasco was front in center in a recent hearing where Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) was grilling Deputy USPTO Director Teresa Rea. Lofgren called this latest WIPO transgression relative to sending computer to Iran “an outrage.” Lofgren went on: “Really, it’s an outrage that WIPO would be transferring material, violating the sanctions that we have to North Korea and Iran…” While I don’t often agree with Lofgren on many issues, she is absolutely dead on accurate. How could WIPO be involved? For more see Congress Unhappy with WIPO over Iran.
Congresswoman Lofgren (D-CA) questioning Deputy Director Rea.
Earlier this year the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) came under fire for sending computers to North Korea in violation of United Nationssanctions. See WIPO Embroiled in North Korean Computer Deal. Now, the international agency charged with monitoring and implementing international treaties relative to intellectual property, including the extraordinarily popular Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), is under fire again. It seems that WIPO not only shipped computers to North Korea, but also shipped computers to Iran as well.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) called this latest WIPO transgression “an outrage.” At a hearing where Deputy USPTO Director Teresa Rea was a witness, Lofgren went on: “Really, it’s an outrage that WIPO would be transferring material, violating the sanctions that we have to North Korea and Iran… I mean it’s basically, it’s funded by U.S. inventors.”
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in conjunction with INSEAD, released the 2012 Global Innovation Index (GII) on July 3, 2012. The GII model included study of 141 economies, which represent 94.9% of the world’s population and 99.4% of the world’s GDP (measured in US dollars). Once again, for the second year in a row, Switzerland, Sweden and Sinagpore top the list, which measures overall innovation performance. The report ranks countries on the basis of their innovation capabilities and results. The United States ranked 10th.
The study shows that the dynamics of innovation continue to be affected by the emergence of new successful innovators, as seen by the range of countries across continents in the top twenty, as well as the strong performances of emerging countries such as Latvia (30th), Malaysia (32nd), China (34th), Montenegro (45th), Serbia (46th), Republic of Moldova (50th), Jordan (56th), Ukraine (63rd), India (64th), Mongolia (68th) and Armenia (69th), all of which were in the top half of those 141 countries studied.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry (Credit: Yuan Wenming)
The diplomatic conference to finalize a new treaty for audiovisual performers was successfully concluded on June 26, 2012 as negotiators from WIPO’s member states signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances– so-named in recognition of the city that hosted the final round of negotiations. The new treaty brings audiovisual performers into the fold of the international copyright framework in a comprehensive way, for the first time.
Welcoming the excellent atmosphere that characterized the talks, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry thanked the Government of China and the Municipality of Beijing for the outstanding organization of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances which met from June 20 to 26, 2012. He expressed gratitude particularly to the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and the Municipality of Beijing for taking the lead in staging the Diplomatic Conference and for their generosity.
Last month I wrote an article titled Trademark Skullduggery: Lawsuit Challenges Publication Service. This article discusses the recent lawsuit by Leason Ellis against USA Trademark Enterprises, Inc., which is one of the many companies that sends unsolicited mailings to trademark applicants and owners seeking to sell what in my estimation are worthless publication services. It is gratifying to see that recently the United States Patent and Trademark Office has posted a warning to its website warning individuals and businesses, saying: “Beware of companies with misleading solicitations to ‘help’ you with your trademark.”
Right after I wrote Trademark Skullduggery I was contacted by Matthew Bryan, who is the Director of the PCT Legal Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He suggested: “a patent-side profile may be very useful and help complete the picture on these notifications…” It was an excellent suggestion, which lead me to write Patent Skullduggery: Patent Offices Warn of Patent Subterfuge. On the patent-side of the intellectual property world it seems that the schemes are even more scandalous because some companies seem send what truly appear to be official invoices.
As this was going on I contacted Bryan and asked him if he would be willing to answer a few questions on the record. He graciously obliged, and this brief interview was conducted via e-mail. As you will see, these schemes are lucrative. In one case that Bryan tells us about, in which he was an expert witness, a court in Florida “found that in the 2 years of operating, FIPTR had received over 2.5 million dollars in payments from PCT users just in the State of Florida.” With that kind of money potential it is easy to see why the scams persist.
How to Write a Patent Application is a must own for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. A crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more. The treatise is continuously updated to address relevant Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decision impacting patent drafting.
Typically blog roll links are not helpful to a website's rank. To give some additional "link love" to those we think you might be interested in reading we have moved our blog roll and links to a dedicated page. Go to IPWatchdog Blog Roll & Links.