Five things you need to know – IP office insights

Australia

IP Australia has released a new report on indigenous knowledge, based on seven roundtables in urban, regional and remote locations across Australia, as well as written and online submissions. The report highlights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want to: control indigenous knowledge and how it is used; establish protection measures to stop unauthorised use, with sanctions, against misappropriation; be recognised as the owners of indigenous knowledge; and ensure that their ownership and cultural protocols are respected.

European Union

The EUIPO has warned of a “recently observed trend” of EU trademark applications that contain long lists of goods and services. According to the office, the average number of terms applied for on an EU trademark application is between 60 and 100. However, some applications are being filed that contain 50 times the average number of terms. The registry warns that such applications can lead to a number of disadvantages, including a delay in publication and registration, and an increased risk of opposition.

Russia

The Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) has crossed “beyond the psychologically important border” of trademark applications reaching registration in an average of less than six months. The average time for considering a trademark application under the national procedure in the past seven months fell to 5.78 months, Rospatent revealed in a press release.

Singapore

Effective immediately, WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre will offer reduced rates to businesses and creators who opt for mediation as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to resolve any copyright disputes in Singapore. This effort is driven by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) in a bid to strengthen the country’s position as an ADR hub. On top of that, the IPOS has launched an app, called IPOS Go, which allows practitioners and individuals to file for trademark protection in Singapore on their mobile device.

United States

A new rule that requires foreign trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by US counsel has been clarified in the USPTO’s heavily revised examination guide. This revision follows a backlash over examination instructions that required some applicants to submit proof of legal residence in the United States, sparking concerns that some US immigrants would be unable to attain registered trademark protection. The subsequent revisions clarify the domicile requirements and add an entire new section on how applicants can keep their domicile private. USPTO commissioner for trademarks, Mary Boney Denison, told World Trademark Review: “We want people to understand that the key to determining whether you need a US lawyer or not is where you are domiciled.”

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