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19 January 2016

OEM liability decision protects against bad-faith trademarks, but leaves border protection questions unanswered

The Supreme People’s Court has held that an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) may not be held liable for trademark infringement for exporting products bearing a trademark that is registered outside China, because the trademarks used on such products are not intended to serve as an indication of origin to Chinese consumers and there is thus no likelihood of confusion.

12 January 2016

Trademark Registry official convicted of graft in India, ending five year case

The five-year investigation and prosecution of a former registrar accused of accepting bribes to speed up trademark applications has finally ended with a guilty verdict and a prison sentence. How much has changed in India since the high-profile takedown made waves around the IP world?

04 August 2015

Obscenity or discrimination? Applicant decries rejection of SOAP PICKER mark in Taiwan

In a story which has gained traction in Chinese language media, a homemade soap company has raised an outcry over the fact that the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has rejected its application for a trademark which translates roughly to ‘soap picker’. TIPO reportedly reached the decision because the proposed mark “refers to gay sex” and was “detrimental to public morals”. However, one commentator argues that the decision is more nuanced.

13 May 2015

DGIPR launches new IP database

The Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights has launched its new integrated Intellectual Property Data and Information Service System, which includes patent, trademark and industrial design data. Among other things, the database includes registered, renewed, pending, expired, cancelled, deleted, withdrawn and rejected trademarks, collective marks and service marks.

06 May 2015

The curious case of Ikuhiro Ueda, Japan's top filer

It would seem that where China has legions of trademark squatters, Japan may have one very determined individual sweeping up trademarks. In yesterday’s ‘Regional Update: China, Japan and Korea’ session, Nagomi Tsuchida of Hitachi presented a list of the leading trademark applicants over the past three years. And in that time, it seems, the country’s foremost brands – Kao, Sanrio, Shiseido – have been displaced at the top of the table quite decisively by one Ikuhiro Ueda.

15 April 2015

Japan launches non-traditional marks as it looks to the future

The Japan Patent Office has begun accepting applications for a range of non-traditional trademarks, nearly a year after the new options were announced in revisions to the country’s IP laws. The new rights include colours and sounds, as well as position marks, moving marks and holograms. According to the JPO website, the office received 471 applications on the first day of availability, April 1.

09 March 2015

Drastic changes to official fees to be introduced

As a result of a costing exercise, changes have been proposed to the official fees for filing an application, renewing a registration and requesting an official search. The most radical proposed change concerns the fee for requesting an official search, which would be increased by 100% from HK$200 to HK$400 for the first class of goods and services.

06 January 2015

Proposed India IP rights overhaul will require strong political will

India’s IPR Think Tank has made a series of recommendations designed to establish the country as, in the words of its proposed national slogan, ‘Creative India; Innovative India’. Making these plans a reality will require both political momentum and, crucially, significant funding.

08 December 2014

Important updates to IP regime implemented

Following the installation of a new government on September 15 2014, a number of important updates have been made to the country’s IP regime. Among other things, the new director general of the Department of Intellectual Property has put in place a plan to clear the backlog of trademark and patent design applications by the first quarter of 2015. Moreover, two sets of amendments to the Trademark Act are currently under review by the Cabinet.

30 July 2014

MyIPO launches IPR Marketplace Portal

MyIPO has launched the IPR Marketplace Portal, which aims to bring together and connect individuals, investors and businesses for the purpose of commercialising and trading in IP rights. Among other things, the portal enables IP owners to put their patents, industrial designs, copyright and trademarks up for sale or out-licensing.

23 May 2014

China’s Trademark Office braces itself for difficulties as application levels surge

The latest figures released by China’s Trademark Office reveal that applications levels jumped by 14.15% in 2013, with more than 1.8 million trademark applications received. Reflecting on the figures, Zhang Mao, minister at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, highlighted the unprecedented difficulties facing the office.

27 March 2014

How Singapore’s PTO is harnessing art to take pro-IP message to the masses

This week World Trademark Review was the first media outlet to receive a sneak preview of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s (IPOS) new service centre, which opens next month and is designed to serve both IP novices and experts. To attract the former, it has placed an emphasis on artistic creation and will use art installations, band performances and photography exhibits to entice the public to learn more.

03 March 2014

Trademarks registry revamps its online platform

With India now a member of the Madrid Protocol, it is imperative for the Trademark Office to clear its backlog and speed up its digitisation drive. The office has recently taken several steps to improve its functioning - in particular, it has improved its web portal by introducing several new services for the benefit of brand owners and practitioners.

28 January 2014

IP regime to see major changes in 2014

This year the IP Court is expected to acquire more importance with the merging of the Supreme Commercial Court into the Supreme Court. In addition, the next amendments to the IP Law, which should make the law more favourable to rights holders, are expected this spring. Finally, the expansion of the Customs Union - with Armenia and Kyrgyzstan due to join - will affect the Russian IP landscape.

29 October 2013

KIPO issues new plan for improving quality of examinations

The Korean Intellectual Property Office has announced a plan for improving the quality of trademark and design examinations, in order to support the marketing efforts of businesses and enhance the competitiveness of companies through innovative brand and design creation. Among other things, KIPO plans to ease its strict examination standards regarding the distinctiveness of trademarks.