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Posts Tagged: "EU"

The CHAMPANILLO Case Suggests We Need a New Way to Assess the Unique Distinctiveness of Collective PDO/PGI Marks

Under European Union (EU) law—specifically, Article 103(2) of Regulation 1308/2013—signs that qualify as protected designations of origin (PDOs) or protected geographical indications (PGIs) are shielded against any direct or indirect commercial use, as well as against any “evocation” of it that is likely to mislead a consumer as to the true origin of the product. This language raises the question of the conditions under which a sign may be said to be “evocative” of a PDO or PGI.

Hasbro Loses Fight Over MONOPOLY Mark in Europe

Toy maker Hasbro has been rebuked by the EU General Court, after it was found to have applied to register an EU trademark (EUTM) for MONOPOLY in bad faith. The company has owned the MONOPOLY brand since acquiring Parker Bros in 1991. It filed the EUTM application, for various goods and services in classes 9, 16, 28 and 41, in April 2010 and the mark was registered in 2011. Hasbro owned three earlier EU word marks for MONOPOLY, which were registered in 1998, 2009 and 2010 and are still live. These covered some of the same goods and services as those specified in the 2010 application. After the latest application was registered, it was attacked by a Croatian company called Kreativni Doga?aji, which argued that the application was a “repeat filing” of the earlier marks and “was aimed at circumventing the obligation to prove genuine use of those marks.”

The GDPR In Full Effect: What Will Happen to WHOIS?

It has been a long time coming, but the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is almost here. This new privacy regulation requires substantial changes to the collection and storage of data and will affect multiple disciplines, including the brand protection industry. One of the ‘victims’ of the new law is the WHOIS database. How will these changes affect its records?

Embrace IP That Works: Importance of Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) in the European Union

The European Union suffers from an investment deficit relative to other industrialized nations. A recent report by the European Commission emphasizes this impact, “the EU needs to put in place better incentives and conditions for businesses to innovate” in important areas such as market regulations, intellectual property rights protection, barriers to entrepreneurship, and ease of doing business. Given this, encouraging investment is essential to future growth. Weakening the IP incentives embedded in SPCs would be a step in the wrong direction.

Looking Forward: Predictions and Thoughts about 2018

First, I predict that the United States Supreme Court will find post grant procedures under the America Invents Act to be unconstitutional. It is my belief they took Oil States not as a patent case, but rather as an Administrative State case, and if that is correct this could be the first in a series of decisions over a number of years that will pull authority back from the growing Administrative State and toward the Judiciary. Second, in the event the Supreme Court does not declare post grant challenges unconstitutional, I predict the new USPTO Director will substantially modify PTAB rules and procedures, making them more fair and balanced. Third, again assuming my first prediction is incorrect, I predict the PTAB will continue to ignore Eleventh Amendment immunity and will likewise rule Indian Tribes do not deserve to claim sovereign immunity when in front of the PTAB. This will set up a showdown at the Federal Circuit that will ultimately be settled by the Supreme Court, likely in 2019. Finally, I predict there will be continued discussion about patent reform, with the conversation becoming increasingly pro-patent as Members of Congress continue to see undeniable proof that the U.S. patent system is regressing while the patent systems of the EU and China are on the rise. More specifically, I predict that the U.S. will fall out of the top 10 for patent protection in the annual Chamber IP Index, which will send a shockwave through the Capitol.

The U.S. Needs to Make IP Policy a Priority, Now

In the absence of a discernable IP policy, America achieved leadership through laws and courts that supported inventors, and commerce, and that encouraged risk-taking. But the world is now flatter than we could have imagined. If America hopes to remain at the innovation forefront, it needs to rely not only on the ingenuity of its inventors and creators, but on the leadership and vision of government and businesses… Despite the incredible success of several Internet companies — and, some believe, because of it — U.S. IP dominance is in quantifiable decline. Compounding the problem is China, which is now able and willing to fill the void. It has been widely reported that China is a better place than the U.S. and most other nations to obtain patent injunctions and receive a fair hearing in court. Despite this, many U.S. businesses and consumers, impatient with IP rights and cavalier about the impact of IP theft, have come to act with much same attitude the Chinese did before they learned better.

The New Era of Antitrust Law and Policy in Standards: Embracing Evidence Based Policy-making

On November 10, 2017, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) new top antitrust enforcer, Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Makan Delrahim, delivered a powerful speech on antitrust law and policy enforcement towards intellectual property rights (IPRs). Former USPTO Director David Kappos described it as “the most important DOJ antitrust speech on IP during my decades practicing law”. … The speech clarifies that the new AAG views “any policy proposals with one-sided focus on hold-up with great skepticism because they pose a serious threat on the innovating process,” and submits that antitrust law should not be misused to police the private commitments such as FRAND that IP holders make to SSOs. In this, the speech agrees with the view shared by several scholars that FRAND commitments are contracts and a potential breach of those commitments may not be best suited under the purview of antitrust law and that “there are perfectly adequate and more appropriate common law and statutory remedies available to the SSO or its members”.

EIPIN Innovation Society opens research center to promote innovation, IP in Europe

Near the end of 2016, a new multidisciplinary research center was forming in Europe under the title European IP Institutes Network (EIPIN) Innovation Society. The organization seeks to improve innovation in Europe by connecting innovative research projects with political leaders and stakeholders by providing recommendations on the research in the form of doctoral IP research. The establishment of this new research center in Europe underscores major differences in worldwide IP regimes, especially between the disarming of intellectual property rights in the United States in contrast to growing IP protections in Europe and China.

Brexit Implications: A decision that will have significant effect on the IP and IT markets

This decision will continue to have a significant effect on the IP/IT market which has been governed by so many EU Regulations and Directives in the past (albeit not exclusively) that intricately bound the UK to the EU. The UK will in due course enter a negotiation period during which laws will be amended and enacted and international agreements will be negotiated. Due to the required notice period, the actual exit date will not be before 2018. The exact fate of the UK is also still up for debate with many options including retaining membership of the EEA only, or joining EFTA, or having a customs-only arrangement with the EU. The implications of this Brexit are currently very uncertain and will, to a large extent, be determined by the model that would be adopted and the terms of any international agreements negotiated.

Brexit and IP Rights: No significant changes in the short term

As is being widely reported in the general press, the UK has voted to exit the European Union. There are many questions about what this decision means to the global economy, but for the intellectual property systems at least, we see no significant changes in the short term.

Brexit: Will it stop the European Unitary Patent before it starts?

As the UK indeed voted for Brexit, the Unitary Patent system will now have to be re-negotiated altogether. The Unitary Patent Regulation states that the Unitary Patent cannot start before the UPC Agreement has been ratified by 13 participating Member States, including the three Member States in which the highest number of European Patents had effect in 2011, i.e. France, Germany and the UK. That alone means that the Unitary Patent must be put on hold now the Brexit referendum has been approved. Indeed, as a non-member of the EU, the UK will not be able to further participate in the Unitary Patent. Without the UK, with its market size and its reputation for patent litigation, the Unitary Patent will lose substantial value.

Getty Images targets Google’s image search in EU by filing competition complaint

Google, the Internet software and services arm of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAG:GOOGL), offers a tremendously valuable portal to the wider Internet through its flagship search engine service. One of the more popular aspects of Google’s search engine is the image search features; as of July 2010, Google’s image search was delivering one billion pageviews per day to the company and 10…

Stabilization and Association Agreement and its Impact on the Protection of IP Rights in Kosovo

After several years of negotiations between the Kosovo government and the European Commission, the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) entered into force on April 1, 2016. The entry into force of the SAA is an important development for Kosovo since this constitutes the first contractual relationship between Kosovo and the European Union. The SAA includes several chapters on various political and economic issues as well as provisions aiming to promote EU standards in many areas, including intellectual property. I will first highlight the main provisions of the SAA concerning IP rights and compare them with the respective provisions in a few other SAAs that the EU signed with other countries in the region. I will then analyze what the entry into force of the SAA means for the Kosovo government in terms of IP protection and how this development will positively affect trademark holders and IP practitioners.

Keeping an eye on patent trolls

Regulators face a twofold challenge: First, they need to balance the legitimate interests of patent holders and licensees in order to determine which activities and contracts the law will enforce, or otherwise recognize as creating legal rights. Second, they need to establish rules that minimize both the costs of assessing a given case, and the costs of taking wrong decisions. One traditional approach has been to use antitrust law.

Re-Classification According to New EU Trade Mark Regulation

The new European Community Trade Mark Regulation, as approved by Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 of the European Parliament, entered into force on March 23, 2016. Among other amendments, the provisions of Article 28(8) of the new Regulation substantially change the approach to interpretation of ICGS class headings included in the list of goods/services covered by EU trademarks applied for before June 2012. Previously, before June 22, 2012, a trade mark was deemed to be protected in respect of the entire range of ICGS goods and services included in the alphabetical list for that class provided that such trade mark was registered with reference to the heading of the respective ICGS class.