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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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    GIs Closer To International Status As WIPO Committee Recommends Treaty Negotiation

    Published on 3 May 2013 @ 11:19 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Geographical indications might rise to the same status as appellations of origin in a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty, which member states are seeking to amend in order to attract wider membership. After a week of negotiations on a draft revised treaty, member states have decided to recommend the convening of a high-level negotiating meeting in 2015 to approve the revision of the current instrument.

    The WIPO Working Group on the Development of the Lisbon System on Appellations of Origin met from 29 April – 3 May. Delegates had to go through draft articles and draft regulations to provide comments and textual proposals.

    Geographical indications (GIs) are currently protected under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) but wines and spirits enjoy a higher level of protection than the rest of the GIs. The WTO also has been trying to establish a GI register for a number of years without success. The revised Lisbon System would provide the same level of protection for GIs and appellations of origin (AOs). The Lisbon System also includes an international register, which would include GIs after the revision of the system.

    In the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), GIs are also a standing item on the agenda, but no discussions have occurred on the subject for a number of sessions.

    On the last day of the meeting, the WIPO secretariat issued a summary by the chair [pdf], which was adopted with slight modifications. “The work this week was not easy,” Chair Mihály Ficsor, vice-president of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, told Intellectual Property Watch, “but the result is formidable,” he claimed, with a decision to recommend a diplomatic conference.

    Future Work

    According to the summary, the next meeting of the working group will take place in December 2013 and will include a half-day conference on dispute settlement within the Lisbon system. During this next session, delegates will continue working on the latest version of the draft revised Lisbon Agreement and the draft regulations, the chair said.

    The draft revised Lisbon Agreement is a single instrument covering both AOs and GIs and “providing for a high and single level of protection for both, while maintaining two separate definitions,” according to the summary.

    GIs are place names which identify characteristics such as the origin, quality and reputation of products. AOs are a particular kind of geographical indications, usually with stricter standards.

    The working group agreed that a recommendation be made to the Lisbon Union Assembly in September 2013, to convene a diplomatic conference for the adoption of the revised instrument in 2015. According to the summary by the chair, the roadmap to the diplomatic conference would include two further meetings of the working group, one in 2013 and one in the first half of 2014, and if necessary, one in the second half of 2014.

    During the week, member states which are party to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, observer countries interested in following the discussions, and non-governmental observers went over most draft articles and regulations.

    Some Sensitive Areas Left to Discuss

    Some articles particularly fuelled discussions, such as Article 13 (Safeguards in Respect of Other Legitimate Rights) dealing with the relationship between trademarks, AOs and GIs, and possible conflicts arising in the case of prior rights. (IPW, WIPO, 2 May 2013).

    After two revisions of Article 13, members states agreed to annex the second revision of the draft article, still containing brackets around areas needing further discussions, in the chair’s summary. The text will be included in the revised draft articles to be discussed in the next session in December.

    Another lengthy discussion was brought up by Article 10 (Protection Accorded by International Registration). The article contains three paragraphs: Content of Protection, Presumption in Case of Use by Third Parties, and Homonymy. The third paragraph was discussed at length, as certain delegations favoured a deletion of the paragraph, while some preferred for it to be retained. In particular, the delegation of Peru wished for the paragraph to be deleted and the delegation of Chile that it remains in the text. Peru is a contracting party to the Lisbon Agreement, Chile is not yet a contracting party.

    Short of an agreement, and under pain of delaying discussions, Ficsor proposed that paragraph 3 be deleted but that a footnote be added saying that nothing in the draft revised Lisbon Agreement would change the current practices under the Lisbon Agreement, he told Intellectual Property Watch. The subject will be further discussed in the next meeting, he said.

    Paragraph 3 or Article 10 said that the international registration of homonymous AOs or GIs would not be prevented by the agreement, with each contracting party determining what protection to be granted.

    One example of conflict is the well-known case of “pisco”, a alcoholic beverage for which both Peru and Chile have a registered geographical indication, and is still a cause of disagreement between the two countries.

    The issue of homonymous appellations is the object of Article 23.3 of the TRIPS Agreement, which states that, “In the case of homonymous geographical indications for wines, protection shall be accorded to each indication, subject to the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 22. Each Member shall determine the practical conditions under which the homonymous indications in question will be differentiated from each other, taking into account the need to ensure equitable treatment of the producers concerned and that consumers are not misled.”

    Attracting New Members, Promoting the Instrument

    The whole exercise of revising the Lisbon System is to attract a wider membership, as the instrument to this date comprises only 28 members.

    Switzerland, which is not party to the system, told Intellectual Property Watch that it was satisfied with the progress this week. The delegate said the main points for Switzerland are that GIs are included in the system, and that the same level of protection be granted to both AOs and GIs. According to some sources, a number of other countries are now showing potential interest.

    In his summary, the chair noted that the working group wished for the WIPO secretariat to “further promote the activities of the Working Group as well as the Draft Revised Lisbon Agreement and its Draft Regulations in order to raise awareness, and to stimulate discussions among the current membership of the Lisbon Union and other WIPO Member States.”

     

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

     

    Comments

    1. GI Proponents Assess Progress, Challenges; French Minister Blasts Large-Scale Agriculture | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] The main goal of the exercise is to widen the membership of the Lisbon agreement, which currently comprises 28 members. In particular, the working group is seeking to include GIs in the instruments which up to now only covered AOs, and give both the same level of protection. At the last meeting, the group decided to recommend to the Lisbon Union in September that a high-level negotiating meeting be convened in 2015 to approve the amendments (IPW, WIPO, 2 May 2013). [...]


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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.

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