Posts Tagged: "japan"

Amicus Curiae Practice is Set to Make Its Statutory Debut in Japan

In the United States and other countries, there is a growing awareness and increasing appreciation of the purpose and value of amicus curiae practice as an aid in adjudicative decision-making. The role of an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in support of a party, or in support of no party, is to supply, voluntarily, the presiding court or other tribunal in cases of controversy with pertinent information, insights, or arguments in a formal, publicly accessible manner. Toward that end, a well-written amicus brief is one that is useful to the decision-maker(s) in calling attention to relevant or material factual or legal aspects of the issue(s) in contention – aspects that the decision-maker(s) or the party-litigants may not have been aware of or able to develop fully.

Case Study: Recently Granted Epitope-Based Antibody Patents in the United States, Europe and Japan

Patents involving antibody medicines (antibody patents) are largely grouped into patents specified by antibody amino acid sequences (antibody sequence-based patents) and those not (non-sequence-based patents). Non-sequence-based patents have a broad scope and are thus very useful for protecting antibody medicines. Here, I investigate a recent trend in antibody patents characterized by an antibody-binding site in an antigen.

Trademark Applications Surge as Overseas Brands Enter U.S. Market

The number of trademark applications being filed by foreign companies with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been growing steadily – and in China’s case rapidly – since 2013. In 2013, a total of 328,180 trademark applications were filed in the USPTO, of which 57,977 (17%) were filed by foreign applicants. In 2017, 451,009 trademark applications were filed with the USPTO and the total number filed by foreign-based applicants rose to 119,883 (26%)… It is important for U.S. companies to recognize that the increases in trademark filings in general and by foreign companies, in particular, signify future stiff competition in the marketplace and potentially serious threats to existing trademarks.

Protection Strategies for Growth-Phase Companies

When it comes to the IP rights of your competitors, what you don’t know can hurt you. As your company brings new products to the marketplace, you should consider taking steps to ensure that doing so does not infringe on the patent rights of your competitors or other companies. Understanding what is in the patent portfolios of your competitors and the IP landscape in general is key to avoiding surprises and reducing risk when commercializing products. Competitor landscape reviews may also provide valuable insight into your own patenting strategy. To this end, many companies perform so-called “freedom to operate” (FTO) studies with the goal of identifying any potential IP barriers to market entry and the associated risks of future litigation.

Didi Chuxing acquires 150 patents in automotive, self-driving space

International patent brokerage and Intellectual Property advisory firm Tangible IP is poised to announce that it has successfully brokered the sale of a patent portfolio of close to 150 patent assets previously owned by French Sovereign Patent fund (SPF) France Brevets. Financial details of the agreement will not be disclosed. A quick search on the U.S. patent database indicates that the buyer of these patent assets is Didi Chuxing, one of Uber’s major competitors in Chinese market.

Three Outstanding IP Deals of 2017

These IP deals were not necessarily selected for their size, but for their indicative nature of a set of circumstances that exist in current markets that made these deals not only possible, but essential… The three trends highlighted by these patent deals: acquisitions by foreign buyers, Unicorns and other well-funded startups looking for assets, and various strategies to avoid the burden imposed by the PTAB, are likely to continue well into 2018. None of these deals would have been entered into if the parties involved did not deem U.S. patents valuable and critical for their relative business, and that is one positive message that all of us involved in the IP marketplace can take with us into the new year.

U.S. Leads World in Quantum Computing Patent Filings with IBM Leading the Charge

Patenting activities in the quantum computing sector have rapidly increased in recent years, with the U.S. by far the preferred jurisdiction for applicants… One interesting finding from the Patinformatics report is that, although Northrop Grumman doesn’t have the largest portfolio in the field, it is well-situated to compete with the biggest players. “One of our main assertions is that, if there’s an organization interested in being competitive with IBM, they may want to contemplate a partnership or acquisition of Northrop Grumman,” Trippe said. Both Northrop and IBM have made significant investments into super-conducting loop qubit technologies and Northrop actually edges IBM in logic gate hardware.

Mattel fais in Japanese trademark opposition to block ‘Salon BARBIES’

In a recent trademark opposition, the Opposition Board of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) dismissed an opposition by Mattel, Inc. – maker of the world-famous Barbie doll – who claimed “Salon BARBIES” is likely to cause confusion or association with famous Barbie doll when used on restaurant and fan club services.

Apple failed to block Swatch’s attempt to acquire the trademark for Steve Jobs’ catchphrase ‘one more thing’

The Swiss watchmaker Swatch’s effort to acquire the trademark for “SWATCH ONE MORE THING” has run in to opposition from Apple, which argues the phrase ‘one more thing’ is closely associated with the software giant’s founder Steve Jobs. During Apple press events, Jobs was known to precede new product announcements and introductions with the phrase “there is one more thing” in his keynote addresses. The “one more thing” prelude became a fixture at Apple events… Immediately after the JPO granted protection to the trademark, Apple filed an opposition in May 19, 2015 on the grounds that the trademark violates the main paragraph of Article 3(1) as well as 4(1)(vii), 4(1)(x), 4(1)(xv), and 4(1)(xix) of Japanese Trademark Law.

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2016: Design Patent Highlights

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its annual World Intellectual Property Indicators. The 2016 report dissects the macro trends associated with filing activity and registrations for 2015 in the following intellectual property areas: patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and plant varieties… The twenty-year era of growth in industrial design patent applications came to an abrupt end in 2014, with a substantial drop in applications filed by 10.2%. In 2015, these figures are back on the rise, with a 2.3% increase. The number of designs in applications also rose in 2015, with non-resident applicant designs being the primary catalyst for growth. China was the main contributor to the number of designs per application, providing half the global total.

JPO Decides WHITNEY HOUSTON Trademark is Descriptive When Used on Music Recordings

At an initial examination proceeding, JPO examiner refused the trademark with respect to all goods in class 9 on the grounds that consumers can easily perceive or conceive the late Whitney Houston, an American famous singer from the applied mark “WHITNEY HOUSTON” written in a common font design. Besides, in a business to deal with music recordings, the title of a song or an album as well as name of performer or player are routinely indicated on goods or packages to show contents of it. Therefore, relevant consumers and traders at a sight of the applied mark used on designated goods in class 9 are just likely to conceive the goods contains music or performance by the late Whitney Houston. If so, IR no. 1204044 is subject to refusal based on Article 3(1)(iii) of the Trademark Law. Furthermore, when the applied mark is used on music recordings unrelated to Whitney Houston, consumers will surely be in trouble since they expect the goods contains song or performance of the late Whitney Houston. If so, it should be refused for registration based on Article 4(1)(xvi) due to misconception of quality of goods.

Past as Prologue: Is there Hope for America’s Patent System?

We need to remember that we’ve seen America’s patent system in near complete collapse before. In the 1960s and 1970s the Supreme Court never saw a patent that was valid, which lead to the creation of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In the 1970s and early 1980s there was great concern that Japan would win the technology future and America would become an also-ran in the burgeoning technological revolution, but that never happened… In the 1980s, a strong patent system was the primary driver for the economic achievements that unleashed American enterprise and allowed the United States to compete on the world stage. It worked in the 1980s to address what was a similarly difficult time, and it will work today.

Famous hotel brand RITZ successful in invalidating RITZ MARCHE in Japan

In the assessment of similarity, the Board considered a term “MARCHE” to be less distinctive or inherently descriptive in connection with “retail services or wholesale services for foods and beverages” of class 35 since the term itself means “market” in French. Besides it can be seen often as a sign to indicate a place where merchants provide foods or beverages directly to consumers in Japan. Meanwhile, average consumers with an ordinary care are unlikely to perceive any descriptive meaning from the term of “RITZ”. Therefore, in the configuration of disputed mark “RITZMARCHE”, it should be allowed to extract the term “RITZ” as a prominent part of the mark.

Hubbs, Enatsky & Auito Expands IP Law Firm in Northern Virginia and Japan

The firm has more than doubled in size with the addition of Darrin Auito, Hirotsuna Yamashita, Jessica Harrison, and James Judge. These new members bring many years of experience as counsel at top 25 law firms and examiners and senior level staff (SME and Central Reexamination Unit Supervisor) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japan Patent Office (Chief Appeal Examiner and Director).

A Changing Patent Landscape: U.S. no longer the most patent friendly jurisdiction in the world

At this moment in history almost everything we thought we knew about global patent protection is being challenged. The U.S. is not the most patent friendly jurisdiction in the world, instead being tied for 10th with Hungary, which really puts into perspective the fall from grace patent rights are having in America… There is no doubt that the U.S. continues to take steps backwards due to variety of self- inflicted wounds. The omnipresent threats of more patent reform, a Supreme Court that has created unprecedented uncertainty surrounding what is patent eligible (see e.g., here, here and here), and a Patent Trial and Appeal Board that has been openly hostile to property owners (see e.g., here and here), allows harassment of certain patent owners over and over again, all the while failing in its mission to provide relief from patent trolls. Meanwhile, a number of countries around the world have taken positive steps forward on the patent front, including countries you might not ordinarily consider as patent friendly jurisdictions.