Five things you need to know – IP office insights

Ethiopia

A pilot workshop for local IP agents to get insights on its new online trademark filing system has been launched by the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office in partnership with WIPO. The new system is currently in beta and will be fully operational by the end of 2019. For now, agents can file trademark applications and upload documents through the system, with more features promised later in the year.

Mexico

At an event hosted by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), general director Juan Lozano announced the launch of an electronic notification service for official communications on trademarks and patents. IMPI states that the service will reduce waiting times for key procedures and means that creators and entrepreneurs will no longer have to wait to receive official communications by post. Instead, they will be notified by email as well as through the Industrial Property Gazette.

New Zealand

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has issued a warning about the “increasing amount of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotion or advertising services” being sent to users in the country. It advises that any IP-related communication from anyone except IPONZ, WIPO or a user’s appointed IP representative should be treated with extreme caution. The registry has also published several examples of solicitation scams that have been reported by users in recent months in a bid to prevent others from being duped.

Singapore

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore has announced a three-year extension to its mediation promotion scheme. Launched in 2016 to encourage parties to choose mediation as an avenue for dispute resolution, the scheme funds the administration and mediator fees incurred by parties during mediation up to a combined total of S$5,500 per case. Alongside the extension, the scheme has increased the available funding (from S$5,500 to either S$10,000 or S$12,000 per case) and allows parties to claim for mediation-related agent fees.

United Kingdom

Research carried out by WTR reveals that, of 30 assessed IP offices, those of the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan and Benelux have the most accessible website platforms for users, including those with motor or vision impairment. The study looked at the homepage and main trademark page for each website and checked their accessibility using the eAccessibility tool (a program that tests web pages against over 40 metrics to score how accessible they are for all users, with most measures based on stipulations from the second Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). The UK Intellectual Property Office was the only registry that had a perfect usability score for both its website homepage and trademark page.

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