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In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, the general manager of IP Australia’s innovation and technology group, Rob Bollard, expands on how the office’s digital transformation will help users and reveals that the organisation is exploring the establishment of a Centre of Excellence to encourage intangible asset lending in Australia.
An exclusive guest analysis on the implications of last month’s announcement that China’s patent and trademark offices will merge. Two experts from Chang Tsi & Partners claim the move should be seen by trademark practitioners as a positive, with increased remedies and enhancements to IP enforcement and the prospect of more reliable rights in China.
In shock move, China reveals patent and trademark offices are to consolidate: what it means for brand owners
As part of a huge government-wide shuffle announced this week, China’s patent and trademark offices in addition to a number of other agencies are to be combined and housed under one roof. While a significant change in terms of oversight of the country’s IP landscape, according to one market expert it is unlikely that this will affect either office's functions going forward.
Former OAPI head accused of wrongdoing while in office; court reverses suspensions related to anti-Madrid collective
The former director general of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI), Paulin Edou Edou, has been accused of signing his own accreditation to be an OAPI trademark agent while still in office, World Trademark Review understands. The allegation surfaced in the same week that OAPI’s High Commission of Appeal annulled a 2016 decision by Edou Edou which suspended two IP attorneys due to their suspected involvement with a group protesting OAPI’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.
We recently cited the rise of blockchain as one of the trademark trends to watch over the next 18 months. While we await the big bang moment in terms of IP practice adoption, the founder of a new blockchain database predicts that IP professionals will fully trust the technology within a year and it could lead to a proliferation of trademark services built on it. Looking ahead, national office activity may hold the key.
USPTO goes after the fakers; experts praise initiative to combat improper specimens, call for further action
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a pilot programme to help combat improper specimens on trademark applications. The move comes in the wake of a World Trademark Review investigation which discovered numerous fake specimens by Chinese applicants, with the USPTO confirming there had been a “dramatic increase” in illegitimate filings. This initiative has been welcomed, although one expert calls for the office to go even further.
Democratising trademark data: ambitious call to create non-profit to develop global e-filing standards
In an exclusive guest post for World Trademark Review, the chief executive of IP docketing technology company Alt Legal urges IP offices to work towards, and adopt, universal standards in trademark data and electronics filings. To achieve this, he is calling for the creation of a non-profit organisation tasked with promoting and developing industry best standards in relation to e-filings and trademark databases.
LegalForce calls on USPTO to tackle Chinese firms “practicing illegally” allegations and threats revealed
Raj Abhyanker, founder and shareholder in LegalForce RAPC Worldwide the firm behind online filing engine Trademarkia has sent a grievance complaint to the US Patent and Trademark Office centred on Chinese IP law firms “practicing illegally” in the United States. Speaking exclusively to World Trademark Review, he expands on his allegations and the threats he received from one China-based filer.
IP technology company LawPanel has called on national trademark offices to develop software tools that open up data to third-party developers. In comments to World Trademark Review, the company’s chief financial officer claims that through the introduction of application programming interface-driven architecture, such innovation could “fundamentally change the working life of trademark attorneys”. However, he acknowledges that the challenge will be to convince all stakeholders to embrace such change and foresees an opportunity for the International Trademark Association to facilitate the process.
EU/US disagreements highlighted as USPTO rejects inclusion of intellectual property in Hague Convention
The US Patent and Trademark Office has used the recent quarterly meeting of its Trademark Public Advisory Committee to announce its opposition to the inclusion of IP law in the proposed Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments. The newly-announced position brings the office into conflict with the European Union on an issue which is proving to be divisive in the IP community.
“Campinos brings tremendous value to the EPO” national IP offices and associations react to leadership move
It was announced yesterday that António Campinos, executive director of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), will soon be moving from Alicante to Munich to take up the presidency of the European Patent Office (EPO). We reached out to national IP offices with the European Union, as well as some key trademark associations, for their reaction. To date, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There is also consensus on the need for his successor to provide consistency and continuity at the EUIPO.
António Campinos, executive director of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), has been elected as the next president of the European Patent Office (EPO). He will serve a five-year term from July 1 2018. Speculation is already mounting about his possible replacement in the EUIPO top spot, with a source telling World Trademark Review that his move to the EPO has been regarded as a fait accompli for some time.
Commentators divided over independent USPTO proposal; doubts over whether it will gain political traction
The House Budget Committee has published a proposal aimed at curbing excessive government spending, with an independent US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) included among its recommendations. One trademark expert told World Trademark Review that such a move would end the existing “archaic” relationship between the USPTO and the US Department of Commerce (DOC). However, the feeling on the ground in DC is that both Congress and the DOC will resist efforts to reduce their oversight of the agency.
“Not bloody easy” Czech IPO president urges EU Commission and IP5 to take stronger action against trademark invoice scams
Czech Republic Industrial Property Office President Josef Kratochvil has issued a strong warning about the “very dangerous” activities of entities sending fraudulent solicitations to trademark applicants. Speaking to World Trademark Review, the respected IP expert urged the EU Commission to include the issue on its list of crimes, and for more joint action from leading IP offices.
Exclusive data compiled by World Trademark Review has revealed the top corporate and representative filers at the EU Intellectual Property Office for the year to June 2017. L’Oréal sits in top spot, with a number of Asian technology brands close behind. While international brand powerhouses continue to utilise European-wide protection, the office experienced volatility in filing levels last year, which it attributed in part to the Brexit vote.
USPTO pledges additional support following Hurricane Harvey; questions raised over speed of response
The US Patent and Trademark Office has vowed to offer extra guidance and support for users affected by the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated areas of Texas and Louisiana over the past 10 days. The move follows criticism by some in the trademark community, with one practitioner suggesting the response was slow in comparison to the office's swift reaction following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
As the Indian trademark office steps up its efforts to clear its long-standing backlog and process the rapidly rising numbers of applications, one practitioner has observed a resulting spike in clients receiving provisional refusals to international applications designating the country. However, rather than a cause for alarm, she argues that this trend is a natural consequence of the office upping its game.
The Trademark Office in the northern Iraq region of Kurdistan has reopened its doors to trademark applications following a temporary suspension of operations. While costs have risen, the market should be on the radar of counsel as the market expands and counterfeiters look to capitalise.
World Trademark Review is seeking user views on the EU Intellectual Property Office’s operations and performance levels in the past 12 months, as well as perspectives on some of the bigger issues impacting European trademark practice. The survey closes on Wednesday (19 July) so act now to have your voice heard.
Exclusive survey finds OAPI agents broadly optimistic but concerns raised over frequent errors, slow examinations and soaring trade in fakes
An independent survey conducted by World Trademark Review has assessed the sentiment of agents accredited by the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) and feedback was decidedly mixed. While agents were broadly positive about a number of aspects of the office’s operations, there were a number of concerns voiced about the speed of examinations, frequent errors made on official documentation and a lack of English-speaking staff with OAPI also urged to help tackle the escalating counterfeiting problem in the region.
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