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5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.


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    WIPO Discusses Industrial Design Treaty, Trademark Protection On Internet

    Published on 30 March 2011 @ 9:52 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    World Intellectual Property Organization members congregated this week to advance work on a potential treaty on industrial designs, and to look into trademark protection against infringement on the internet, including through social media. But they ended early after nominal progress in these promising new areas for the United Nations agency.

    The 25th World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) is scheduled from 28 March to 1 April, but delegates finished work early and ended today. They will reconvene on 1 April to approve the chair’s report.

    At the previous session of the SCT, in November, members discussed the concept of an international instrument for industrial design. This was considered at the annual WIPO General Assembly in September. In November, some countries appeared eager to set a target for negotiating a treaty on industrial designs while other countries requested more information before moving into negotiations. Industrial design refers to the aesthetic aspects of an item (IPW, WIPO, 7 November 2010).

    The WIPO secretariat was charged with providing a revised text for consideration at this week’s session of the SCT, taking into consideration comments made at the November session.

    The document entitled “Industrial Design Law and Practice-Draft Provisions,” [pdf] submitted to members, included a set of provisional articles to be discussed this week.

    According to a developing country source, several delegations felt that some work still needed to be done before considering the convening of a diplomatic conference, which is a highest-level treaty negotiation at WIPO.

    A source told Intellectual Property Watch that some countries, such as Japan and those in the Development Agenda Group (DAG), said in their opening statements that it was premature to call for a treaty. The DAG, launched about a year ago, consists of about 20 developing country governments such as Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, including many members of the group that led the conclusion of the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda (IPW, WIPO, 26 April 2010).

    In their statement [pdf], the Development Agenda Group said that the group participation in the discussion on the document provided by the secretariat “shall in no way imply accepting in advance any of the provisions or prejudging the outcome of these discussions in favour of legally binding instruments and norm setting.” Entering the discussion should be considered as a “constructive engagement,” the statement said.

    “We are also aware that some [member states] want it [a treaty] sooner rather than later,” but “we expect discussions in this session to be inclusive, and essentially member-driven and take into account different levels of development and a balance between costs and benefits, as mandated by the Development Agenda Recommendation 15 on norm-setting.”

    On norm setting, the DAG statement said that the SCT should follow the guidelines mandated by the Development Agenda. “In particular, it wishes to recall Development Agenda Recommendation 22 stating that ‘WIPO’s norm-setting activities should be supportive of the development goals agreed within the United Nations system, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration.”

    The statement also says Recommendation 22 states that the WIPO secretariat “should address in its working documents for norm setting activities, as appropriate and as directed by Member States,” issues such as safeguarding national implementation of IP rules, potential flexibilities, exceptions and limitations, and the possibility of additional special provisions for developing countries and least developed countries.

    A source from the Mexican mission said, “Mexico considers positively a treaty on industrial designs, as the international practice for registration is not uniform.” Brazil said that the issue was not only time-related but substance-related.

    According to meeting Chair Park Seong-Joon, director of trademark examination policy at the Korean Intellectual Property Office, all member states agreed to pursue the discussion on a potential treaty. There was no clear objection to a diplomatic conference, he told Intellectual Property Watch.

    Trademark Protection on the Internet, Social Media

    Another issue discussed this week is the topic of trademark protection on the internet. At the last session, the secretariat was tasked to examine the WIPO Joint Recommendation Concerning Provisions on the Protection of Marks, and Other Industrial Property in Signs, on the Internet (Joint Recommendation), adopted in 2001, “with a view to determining, whether the types of trademark uses on the Internet,” are adequately addressed by that instrument, according to WIPO.

    According to the SCT working document “Trademarks and the Internet,” [pdf] three main topics were looked into: the use of trademarks on Internet auction sites, the use of trademarks as keywords on search engines, and the use of trademarks in virtual worlds and social media, as representing the new types of trademark uses on the Internet.

    The document says use of trademarks on the internet generally involves three categories of actors: trademark holders, internet intermediaries, such as operators of internet auction sites, search engines, and social media, and users of the services.

    WIPO secretariat concluded that the Joint Recommendation “addresses to a certain extent the types of trademark uses on the Internet.” However, the Joint Recommendation would not ”address certain other issues – such as the liability of Internet intermediaries – that arise with regard to the current types of trademark uses on the Internet.”

    A discussion on the prospect for, and methodologies of, an information session will be planned at the 26th meeting, Park told Intellectual Property Watch. Then if agreed upon, the informational session would be held in the following 27th session.

    The secretariat will also prepare a document on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for discussion at the next session, Park said. ICANN is the technical body overseeing the internet domain name system.

    Protecting Country Names from Trademark

    On the protection of country names against registration and use as trademark, no conclusion was reached, Park said. The document prepared by WIPO will be available for comments online on an electronic forum. The secretariat will then revise the document, and it will be considered at the next session of the SCT.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. JJ says:

      I can’t wait for the ICANN discussion. That should be very interesting indeed.

      Anybody else wonder just how they plan to protect trademarks through social media? Also, what about phone applications. The Android platform in particular is very difficult to protect against. Developers can use audio, visual and other copyrighted works and Google refuses to remove offending applications.

      For once, Apple are the ones looking like the good guys.


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

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