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Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    French IP Industry Experts Discuss IP Portfolios, Trademarks Online

    Published on 21 March 2012 @ 11:44 am

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    PARIS – Intellectual property assets and how they influence corporate value, plus trademarks in the digital world were discussed last week by intellectual property professionals gathered in Paris.

    The 7th international conference on IP was held from 15-16 March, and organised by the French Institute of Patent & Trademark Attorneys, and Premier Cercle, a think tank based in Paris and Brussels.

    The IP portfolio is a crucial aspect for companies, in particular for start-up companies, and is increasingly entering into contract negotiations along with financial discussions, participants said.

    According to Jean-Marc Brunel, director of intellectual property for the Snecma-Safran Group, a French global manufacturer of aircraft and rocket engines, the IP portfolio of a firm contributes to its reputation, shows the technicality of its products, its innovation capacity, its technical command, the execution of an IP strategy, its long term vision and its sustainable growth. IP also protects market shares and margins, represents a major obstacle on competitors’ advances, and limits the arrival of new actors, he said.

    For Patrick Legland, director of global research for the Société Générale, a French bank with global reach, intellectual property is the most important element for a company but also the most complex to put to work.

    The oil industry needs more investment, and IP plays a role that goes beyond the financial analysis, said Fabirama Niang, director of intellectual property for Total. The era of “cheap oil is over” he said. The industry now needs key technologies to reach oil from deeper deposits, such as under the oceans. The financial challenges are more and more significant, he said, and states around the world are making sure that companies have the technical capabilities to manage large projects and to meet contractual obligations. A relatively new factor is the importance of intellectual property as a display of capabilities, to show those states that companies can do the job, he said, and the intellectual property portfolio now enters into negotiations, he said.

    There is an opposition between internal and external analysis, Niang said. When Total invests in a startup company, he said, Total has to make an external analysis and in doing so looks at the startup patent portfolio, their legal strength and technical input. Total then checks all the contracts and licences that the startup might have negotiated to make sure of the freedom of exploitation is not hampered by a number of factors.

    Legland said that the company belongs to its shareholders, who look for indicators of quality. Intellectual property is crucial, he said, adding that companies that do not pay dividends to their shareholders have a tendency to rise on the stock market because a shareholder actually wants that the company reinvests. Reinvestment is very beneficial to share-holders because it strengthen the value of the share, he said.

    French Minister of Industry Says Strong IP Vital

    Eric Besson, the French Minister of Industry, paid a short visit to the meeting and said innovation was vital. He went through several measures taken in France over the last few years in favour of innovation, in particular in the area of financial support to public and private research and higher education.

    Innovation needs to be correctly protected, Besson said, adding that France was establishing strong actions against counterfeiting, such as devoting resources to customs, and improving cooperation between right holders and internet service providers. Besson also said that France supports the European Union patent, which after years of procedure is in good status with the last remaining question on the administration headquarters.

    Trademarks on the Internet New Opportunities, Need Surveillance

    Trademark holders have to take advantage of new opportunities offered by fast-moving digital technological advances, said Gianni Pulli, who is “industry leader, fast moving consumer goods, cosmetics, luxury and health” for Google France.

    There are four means to valorise brands in the digital world, said Pulli. The first concept is the “zero moment of truth”. The moment the consumer decides to buy a product versus another product was first conceptualised by Procter and Gamble, who named that moment the “first moment of truth “, according to Pulli. Now, the valorisation of a mark must happen in a preceding period, characterised as the “zero moment of truth,” said Pulli which happens when consumers look for information on products on the internet.

    The second concept is convergence. Trademark owners have to take advantage of new means of information such as online videos, he said. In about three years, when the TV is connected to internet, the digital landscape will be completely different for a trademark owner and will open whole new perspectives, he said.

    The third concept is the interaction between a trademark and the consumer, Pulli said, asserting that winning marks of tomorrow are the marks that will be able to engage with consumers. Interaction is also built through the social dimension of a mark, he said. Social networks give an opportunity to have a finer knowledge of the consumer, who is eager to know what his network thinks about the page or the information he/she is consulting online. For example, on YouTube, “I watch what my network is watching,” he said.

    The fourth and last concept is the “shopper”. With geolocalisation tools, and mobile phones always within reach of the consumer, it is possible to locate the shopper and work between the “offline world and the online world,” Pulli said. With new tools like Quick Response Codes, people using their phone can get immediate information on products, and special offers will be available to the consumer according to his proximity to a given shop. The “mass model” becomes the “pertinence model,” he said, sending the right information at the right moment and to the right person.

    For Sandra Strittmatter, intellectual property counsel for Pernod Ricard, which holds some 30,000 trademarks in the world, the protection of those trademarks requires constant surveillance.

    According to Patrick Hauss, business development director for INDOM-Netnames, securing the entry point of an internet site is crucial and domain names are capital elements in the internet access strategy. There is a lot of attention devoted to patents, and domain names are kind of the “adopted child” of IP, he said.

    At the moment, there are 225 million domain names in the world, with 20 general extensions (generic top-level domains – gTLDs, such .com) and 250 country name extensions (ccTLDs, such .fr for France), he said. This already creates a number of conflicts, with 2,700 complaints made to the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2011, Hauss said.

    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decision to open the internet to more extensions will lead to an “explosion” of new names, he said. At the beginning of 2013, new extensions such as .shop, .bank, .NYC, .music or .gay likely will be available, he said. That will lead to new types of conflicts, he argued. Some will be situated “to the right of the dot” in the case a third party applies for a trademark or a sign that is protected elsewhere.

    Some will concern “the left of the dot,” he added, and to address those, a trademark clearinghouse will be very useful. This is a “central repository for information to be authenticated, stored, and disseminated, pertaining to the rights of trademark holders,” according to ICANN website.

    The details of the trademark clearinghouse are available here.

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

     


    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.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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