The African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) has launched a free online database as it bids to centralise IP records from across the continent. The project began in 2014 with the aim of creating a centralised database of ARIPO’s IP records, as well as those of its member states. The database contains information on over 400,000 trademark applications and 1,500 designs across the 13 different offices (ARIPO and the IP offices of Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
Research conducted by Einfolge has found that 35% of people studying and teaching at higher educational institutions in India have no awareness of IP rights. Einfolge co-founder Binod Singh added that “more than 70% of people in institutes have no thoughts of registering IP” and called for the incorporation of intellectual property into curriculum discussions in order to increase understanding of the importance and benefits of protecting such rights.
On 7 September 2018 Legislative Decree 1397 – which includes geographical indications and traditional specialties guaranteed on the list of industrial property elements – was published in the official gazette, El Peruano. The decree will affect time limits for trademark procedures, with the office granting a term of two working days to fulfil the requirements of an opposition. If the opposition requirements are not fulfilled, the office will declare the opposition abandoned. These changes will come into force when the supreme decree that regulates them is published.
ValueLab, the enterprise engagement arm of the IP Office of Singapore, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Administrative Committee and the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Company to establish an International IP Innovation Service Centre in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City. The centre is intended to connect IP expertise within the government and private sectors of both countries and to tap into Singapore’s experience in building IP skills in order to establish an IP college.
The IP Office of the Philippines has announced that all IP cases will be subject to compulsory mediation by disputing parties. The move has been launched “in a bid to achieve a quicker, more cost-effective, more amicable means of resolving IP disputes”, the office states.
In his speech at the Intellectual Property Owners Association 46th Annual Meeting, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu confirmed that the office is considering a new rule that “would require foreign trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by a US licensed attorney to file trademark documents with the USPTO”. The move is being mulled over in response to a 1,100% jump in trademark applications from China, which “has presented increased issues with the unauthorized practice of law from individuals outside the US”.
The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law has launched a new online IP programme for both lawyers and non-lawyers. The four-course programme offers the chance for inventors, business owners, brand managers and other professionals, including those working in the legal field, to gain a better understanding of IP law. The course will be run by a number of IP law experts from private practice and can be completed part time in one year (or longer, if preferred).
The McCarthy Institute, named after J Thomas McCarthy, has moved from the University of San Francisco Law School to Golden Gate University. Operating at the nexus of trademark law, marketing, technology and consumer behaviour, the institute conducts regular symposia, workshops and networking groups, and pursues original IP and branding research and scholarships. The official opening of the institute on the university campus took place on 13 September 2018.
A new Regulation on Organisation and Operation of the National Office of Intellectual Property has been issued, with the re-named Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam undergoing structural changes. In particular, the newly established Geographical Indication and International Trademark Centre is now responsible for handling the examination of applications for geographical indications and international trademarks filed through the Madrid System.