Global View

Burundi

Rights holders in Burundi which own trademark registrations dating from before July 29 2009 must renew them before July 29 2019 to ensure that they remain valid. Before July 28 2009, trademarks were granted indefinitely. However, on that date it was announced that registrations must be renewed every 10 years, with effect from July 28 2019.


China

Online marketplace JD.com has joined the American Apparel and Footwear Association, making it the first Chinese e-commerce company to become a certified member. The e-commerce giant has pledged to partner with international fashion brands “on issues surrounding IP protection”.


India

Speaking at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, West Bengal’s Minister of Consumer Affairs Sadhan Pande has called on trademark owners to be more diligent in reporting suspected counterfeiting to local authorities. Arguing that when it comes to the fight against fake goods in the country, many “do not take it seriously”, Pande stated: “It is a concern that such companies are not taking appropriate steps to stop counterfeiting.”


International

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released the third version of the WIPO Jurisprudential Overview for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) decisions. Last updated in 2011, the offering helps to make UDRP decisions issued by panels appointed in WIPO cases more predictable.


International

The Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may enter into force this year following the announcement that it has now been signed by Belarus. The code – which still needs to be ratified by all five members (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia) – provides for the establishment of the EAEU Customs Register, which will be kept by the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and will exist alongside national customs registers. An EEC representative has suggested that the code’s entry into force could be expected in December 2017 or January 2018.


Nigeria

The Trademark Registry has released a new Trademark Journal, dated May 2 2017 – the first in more than a year. The journal lists approximately 4,000 trademark applications, all of which were filed through the manual Industrial Property Automated Systems (IPAS) filing system between 2012 and 2015. E-filing system service provider Einao Solutions has indicated that it may publish additional trademark journals in 2017 to cover the backlog of trademarks filed through IPAS between 2014 and 2016.


Russia

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs; the law is due to enter into force on October 1 2017. After this date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia will notify WIPO of ratification and within three months of this, Russia may be designated in international applications for registrations of industrial designs.


Turkey

Following the entry into force of the Industrial Property Code on January 10 2017, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO) has published new Proof of Use Guidelines, which regulate the submission of evidence of genuine trademark use. The TPTO has stated that the effective use of trademarks can be proven by invoices, catalogues, price lists, product codes, products, packaging, signboard visuals, advertisements, promotions and related invoices, marketing surveys, opinion research, information regarding the rights holder’s commercial activity and any other documents or statements relevant to Turkey.


United Kingdom

The UK Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act has received royal assent. The new legislation aligns the approach to unjustified threats made to patents, trademarks and designs, and sets out the principles which courts will apply in order to decide whether a communication amounts to a threat to sue for infringement. In addition, the act removes personal liability for advisers who satisfy specific conditions. Secondary legislation is required before the bill becomes law.


United States

The Office of the US Trade Representative has published the 2017 Special 301 Report, the first released under the Trump administration. While Pakistan and Spain are complimented for the “positive momentum” behind their IP regimes, the report criticises a number of jurisdictions – including US neighbours Canada and Mexico – for what it deems to be ineffective border enforcement against fakes. Every country that was added to the Priority Watch List and Watch List in 2016 reappears in this year’s report.

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