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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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    GI Protection Gets Boost In BRICs; Common Definition Needed For International Debates

    Published on 9 October 2012 @ 10:52 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The protection of geographical indications at the international level is a brainteaser which translates into lack of progress in several fora, to the dismay of geographical indications proponents, according to speakers at an event last week. A publication was launched by GIs advocates at the event, aimed at providing producers in emerging economies with useful tools to protect their GIs.

    On 4 October, alongside the World Intellectual Property Organization General Assemblies, the Organization for and International Geographical Indications Network (OriGIn) launched its latest publication during a side event co-organised with the permanent mission of Italy to the United Nations.

    The manual entitled “Protecting the Geographical Indications in Emerging Economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China – BRICs countries)” aims at helping producers in developing countries to understand the concept of GIs, said one the authors, Giorgo Bocedi, an Italian lawyer specialised in intellectual property and food law. It also aims at providing GI producers a practical tool to get protection for their GIs in key export markets in which there is a middle class who can afford to buy those products, said Massimo Vittori, managing director of OriGIn.

    The publication looks at the sui generis system of intellectual property protection established by the four BRICs countries, Bocedi said. Some common aspects tie together the four systems, but notable differences can also be found, he said. For example, one such common aspect is the low fees for the registration and the maintenance of GIs, he said.

    According to Jorge de Paula Costa Avila, president of the National Institute of Intellectual Property in Brazil, “the issue of GIs is possibly one of the most interesting issues in the IP scenario”. GIs might protect not only spirits and agricultural products, but also all kinds of products alike handicrafts, he said. Brazil is a large country with many different well-known regional products that become well-known nationally but not worldwide, he said. The institute helps producers get organised to protect their products.

    One example of such products is “golden grass,” he said, a special grass growing near the southern border of the Amazon. When collected at certain periods it becomes very golden and resembles spun gold. Many handicrafts are made from this grass, he said.

    There are now 29 GIs for Brazilian products registered in Brazil and 6 GIs for foreign products, he said. The most interesting thing about GIs protection, Avila added, is that it helps producers get better organised and think about their market strategies.

    Scattered Definition and Concepts, WIPO Says

    GIs refer to goods that have a specific geographical origin and display qualities or characteristics that are directly linked to that geographical origin, according to most definitions. Examples of GIs include champagne, tequila, Turrón de Alicante, and prosciutto di Parma.

    According to Matthijs Geuze, head of the International Appellations of Origin Registry at WIPO, one of the problems of international discussions about GIs is the diversity of definitions and approaches in different national systems. As shown by the new OriGIn publication, he said, four countries already show quite important differences toward GIs. Trademark systems and patent systems have more or less the same definition globally, but that is not the case for GIs, he said.

    One definition springs from the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and another can be found in the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, he said. But there are several others as well. That is part of the difficulty at the international level.

    In terms of GIs, WIPO is administering several treaties providing protection, the first one of which is the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. It contains a provision against false indications of source. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks contains measure to fight against false and deceptive indications of source, and the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin.

    Lisbon System under Review

    The Lisbon System has only 27 members while the Madrid system has 88, and this constitutes one of the major differences between the two instruments, he said. That is one of the reasons why the Lisbon System is currently under review, he added. The sixth meeting of the working group on the development of the Lisbon System will take place from 3-7 December.

    The initial mandate of the working group was to look for improvements to the Lisbon System to make it more attractive for countries and users, while preserving the principles and objectives of the Lisbon Agreement, Geuze said. But after the last meeting of the working group in June, this mandate was refined to follow a two-fold objective: first to revise the legal framework and to provide full accession possibility for intergovernmental organisations, such as the European Union or the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI). The second objective is to establish an international registration system for geographical indications. The Lisbon System provides a definition for appellations of origin while many countries only have a definition for geographical indications, he said.

    The Madrid and Lisbon systems have similar procedures of registration and the protection has to be first sought in the requesting country, Geuze said. For the Lisbon System, the protection can then be registered under the system and is automatically extended to the other members of the system. However, countries have a right to refuse to protect an appellation of origin.

    For example, the first registration of the Lisbon system was for a Czech Republic beer: Plzeň. Six countries initially refused to protect it, he said. France because it said the appellation of origin did not meet the national definition, the former Yugoslavia because it was a generic name in the territory, Macedonia for the same, Peru because there was an earlier trademark, Iran because it is an alcoholic beverage, and Mexico because of an earlier trademark, but the country withdrew its opposition later on. So for five countries, there are five different situations, Geuze said.

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

     


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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.

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    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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