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IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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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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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.

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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    Decision on WIPO Design Treaty Left To General Assembly; Internet Issue Dropped

    Published on 21 September 2012 @ 8:09 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    World Intellectual Property Organization delegates today were unable agree to recommend to the upcoming WIPO General Assembly to convene a high-level treaty negotiation on industrial designs. Work on draft treaty articles demonstrated good spirit, according to the committee chair, but experts could not agree on the timeframe. The committee, meanwhile, reached agreement on further work on the protection of country names, and quietly dropped the role of internet intermediaries in trademark protection from the meeting agenda.

    The 27th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) took place from 18-21 September.

    At the beginning of the week hopes were high for some countries that the SCT would forward a recommendation to the WIPO General Assembly at the beginning of October to convene a diplomatic conference to agree on a treaty on industrial designs.

    However, following a week of discussions, delegates were not able to decide on a recommendation, as noted in the meeting summary [pdf] of the SCT chair, Imre Gonda.

    In particular, delegates could not agree on further work on a study [pdf] provided by WIPO to this session of the SCT.

    The Development Agenda Group and the African Group said that the study did not meet all the requests of the terms of reference adopted by the SCT and asked that the study be extended (IPW, WIPO, 19 September 2012).

    The European Union and other Group B developed countries considered that the study adequately fulfilled its mission and need not be extended.

    Most countries acknowledged that the study was a valuable source of information on the potential impact on developing countries of the work of the SCT on industrial designs, and said a treaty on industrial designs would be useful, but disagreement arose on the timeframe of such an instrument. Extending the study and pursuing further work on it in the SCT would likely postpone the convening of a diplomatic conference, which is the highest-level negotiation.

    Developing countries said that the SCT should take into account the different levels of development of its member states, that the study should be extended and the questionnaire simplified, in particular to allow more applicants and IP offices in developing countries to provide answers. Some developing countries have also said that a premature decision on a treaty could lead to a situation where only a handful of countries become members of this new instrument.

    According to a Group B source, the EU initiated talks on a potential treaty on industrial design, which explains why the EU member states have a firmer position on the advancement of work at the SCT towards a treaty. As shown by the study and comments on the draft provisions during the SCT, the source said, interest in a treaty exists in various regional groups, and the requests to extend the study seem to be attempts to prevent the conclusion of work on industrial design at the SCT.

    The apparent impatience of the EU for the 1-9 October General Assemblies to convene a diplomatic conference comes from the fact that work on a potential treaty has spanned over several years and has reached the desired level of maturity to justify going to the next level, the source said. Delaying that decision for another year just seems a waste of time as the SCT would meet twice before the diplomatic conference which could be convened at the end of 2013, the source added.

    On the relative silence of Group B as a whole this week on the potential treaty, the source said that since the SCT is a technical committee, Group B considered group positions were not necessary, and preferred that each of its members contribute to the discussions on an individual basis on technical questions such as drafts articles and draft regulations.

    At the close of the session, Gonda, the chair, told Intellectual Property Watch that progress had been accomplished on the draft articles and regulations, with countries willing to compromise and that if experts could not agree on a diplomatic conference this week, the General Assembly members might find an acceptable solution for all parties.

    Protection of Country Names: A Step Forward

    Informal discussions took place yesterday (IPW, WIPO, 20 September 2012), between Barbados, Jamaica and the European Union to try to find a common position on a proposal by the two Caribbean countries for a study on the protection of country names.

    This morning, Barbados and Jamaica issued a revised version of their study proposal (which stands as an annex to the chair’s summary) which met the approval of the plenary. The revised version trimmed out reference to a work programme on the protection of country names that appeared in the proposal they submitted to the SCT [pdf].

    The WIPO secretariat is to provide a study on the protection of country names, and the results of the study are due to be presented to the SCT at its 29th session, instead of its 28th session as initially requested by Barbados and Jamaica.

    Quiet Exit for Internet Intermediaries

    Meanwhile, delegates unanimously decided to delete from the SCT agenda the item relating to the role and responsibility of internet intermediaries in the field of trademarks. Delegates praised the information meeting on the subject which took place on 17 September (IPW, WIPO, 18 September 2012).

    For Nick Ashton-Hart, Geneva representative of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the decision to remove this agenda item without any comments or decisions, which itself is a rare occurrence in WIPO committees, shows that “member states wisely recognised that there is not really any international work to be done relating to intermediaries and trademarks, and it was better to focus on other work areas.”

    The topic, which according to Ashton-Hart was not requested by any member state, was proposed by the chair of the 23rd session of the SCT, in November 2010.

    Contribution of SCT to Development Agenda

    This item was added to the draft agenda at the opening of the session at the request of the Development Agenda Group and supported by a number of developing countries, such as the African Group. Both groups recalled the importance of developmental considerations in all WIPO committees and praised efforts made in the SCT to implement the WIPO Development Agenda recommendations. They called for a sustained effort, and in the context of industrial designs insisted on the need for technical assistance and that the SCT take into consideration the different levels of development of member countries.

    The DAG and the African Group, joined by India and Algeria, asked that the contribution of the SCT to the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations be a standing item on the SCT agenda. Group B countries, the EU, and the Central European and Baltic States countered that it should not be a standing item.

    Nonproprietary Names for Pharmaceutical Substances

    In the morning, the World Health Organization gave a presentation of the WHO Global Data Hub for International Nonproprietary Names for Pharmaceutical Substances (INNs). The WHO INN programme assigns INNs to medicinal substances through a consultative process. WHO INN provides names for pharmaceutical substances to help understand and identify them, attributing one single name worldwide that is recognisable by all and places them in the public domain, said Raffaella Balocco Mattavelli, from the INN programme, giving the presentation.

    INNs can thus never be registered as trademarks, such as paracetamol, a well-known pain killer, for example, but are identifiable everywhere. The WHO INN programme works closely with regulatory authorities and IP offices around the world. INNs should be distinctive so as not to be confused with a common name and as part of the public domain can be used without restriction to describe pharmaceutical products, she said.

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

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO General Assemblies Face Big Questions, Small Details | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] The assembly will be asked to weigh the possibility of a diplomatic conference in yet another area, industrial designs. The committee charged with negotiations, Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), could not agree earlier this month on whether to move to a diplomatic conference, despite the seemingly low-conflict subject (IPW, WIPO, 21 September 2012). [...]

    2. Industrial Designs On The Spot In Upcoming WIPO Committee | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] Although a number of developing countries seem to find an interest in this harmonisation of procedures, they have some concerns about the costs implied and have argued that the SCT needs to take into consideration the different development levels of countries, in particular the need for capacity building. They have said that treaty talks were premature (IPW, WIPO, 21 September 2012). [...]


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    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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