Five things you need to know – Asia-Pacific


According to data released in its IP Protection Annual Report, Alibaba supplied 1,045 IP-related leads to law enforcement authorities in 2019. This resulted in the arrest of 4,125 criminal suspects and the closure of 2,029 facilities involved in the manufacturing and distribution of illicit goods, the total value of which was estimated at Rmb8.4 billion. In addition to the statistics related to law enforcement liaison, the report reveals that 96% of proactively removed listings were eliminated before a sale took place, with 96% of removal requests submitted through its IP protection platform processed within 24 hours.


In its first legal transparency report, Chinese video-sharing social platform TikTok has disclosed that it received 3,345 IP takedown requests from rights holders in the first half of 2019, with 85% of these leading to content being removed.


The IP Court Presidium has held that both a rights holder and its licensees, or any other entity of the group of companies, may be recognised as a source of origin if consumers associate the sign at issue with any of these entities. The decision came in a case on Soremartec SA’s RAFFAELLO mark, for which an application for well-known status has been rejected after the Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) found that consumers associate goods marked with this sign with the Ferrero Group, rather than the applicant (Soremartec being a Ferrero company). The IP court upheld the invalidation of Rospatent’s decision, with Vladislav Ryabov of A Zalesov & Partners (which represented Soremartec SA) stating that the ruling is likely to have a significant impact on Rospatent’s practice with regard to well-known trademark applications.


WIPO has appointed Daren Tang as its next director general – his elevation to the position is expected to be confirmed at a WIPO general assembly between 7 and 9 May. As the organisation’s first Asian secretary general, he will take the helm after a successful stint as chief executive of the IP Office of Singapore (IPOS), which he transformed from being an administration registry into an “innovation agency”. Tang was the preferred candidate of the US administration and has since been congratulated by US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo, who stated: “Mr Tang is an effective advocate for protecting intellectual property, a vocal proponent of transparency and institutional integrity, and a leader who can unify WIPO member states by forging consensus on difficult issues. We look forward to working closely with him during his tenure as director general to advance WIPO’s core mission of safeguarding intellectual property as a means of driving innovation, investment and economic opportunity.”

South Korea

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is offering secure “collateral loans for intellectual property of Corona 19 victim companies” in response to the growing health emergency. It announced that it would provide financial support to companies affected by the virus and those helping to tackle it (ie, vaccine development, prevention and diagnosis). In addition, KIPO unveiled plans to conduct “emergency monitoring” on counterfeit goods that could impede the recovery and health of citizens at risk of contracting the virus.

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