Revolving Chairs In The IP World: People Shift Positions. But Interests? Not So Much

Crowd-1-Stan-Douglas-850x504

A lot has happened among the global intellectual property community over the past months. Beyond the usual shifts in law offices, many key positions have either changed hands or been filled. For example, the European commissioners changed, and the United States nominated a new “piracy czar” and a new head of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The International Telecommunication Union, UNITAID and other organisations have new heads. And the World Intellectual Property Organization has a new top management team.

Non-governmental organisations and the private sector also saw a lot of movement in recent months, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the International Trademark Association, the International Publishers Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America.

In this article, we take the opportunity to catch up. Here is a look at some of the changes.

EU IP Policy Proposals, Initiatives Come Clear At 20th European IP Forum

Christian Peugeot gives the opening speech of the event, photo credit: 20ème Forum Européen de la Propriété Intellectuelle par l’Union des Fabricants

PARIS – A recent gathering of IP owners, lawyers and government officials explored strategies and potential policies to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

USPTO Acting Director Discusses Patent Quality, Pendency, Harmonisation

trilateral-IP-offices-logo-square

At today’s meeting of the “trilateral offices” – the United States, Europe and Japan – Deputy Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee gave an update of USPTO activities, including improvements in patent quality, patent pendency, and discussions about patent harmonisation.

EPO Hits New Record In Patent Filings; US, China Rise

EPO President Benoît Battistelli

BRUSSELS – In 2014, patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) reached an all-time high, as announced by EPO President Benoît Battistelli last week at the traditional Annual Results Press Conference. Among key patenting trends were figures revealing strong growth in filings from the United States and China.

Design Law Seminar In Geneva Discusses Current Issues And Concerns

design image

Experts gathered in Geneva recently to discuss current issues and future developments in the protection of industrial designs and its importance, and give practical advice on suitable ways to protect and enforce the design rights.

At EPO, Patent Oppositions To High-Priced Gilead Hepatitis C Drug Pile Up

Gilead Solvaldi tablet

According to a public health advocacy group, there are now as many as 10 oppositions filed at the European Patent Office against the Gilead company’s patent on sofosbuvir, a treatment for hepatitis C. The group has compiled a table showing the filings with links to the documents.

UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits

legal-costs image

Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government’s stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.

Researchers Find Liberalised Google Keywords Not Harmful To Trademarks

Google logo

A Swiss-US team of researchers is challenging the “belief that the granting of property rights is necessary in order to overcome information asymmetries and other market failures in consumer markets,” a core concept in the fight over trademark protection on the internet.

Neuchâtel Event Looks At Swiss Innovation, Competitiveness

wire lightbulb image

NEUCHATEL – Switzerland is among the best students of global innovation. It continues to score at the top of global indexes and reports on innovation and competitiveness. At a seminar last week at the University of Neuchâtel, speakers gave their views on that success.

The Year In Biotech/Biodiversity: Patentability, Plant Varieties, Treaty Implementation

Biotech

Intellectual property-related developments expected this year could profoundly impact the fields of biotechnology and biodiversity. In addition, ongoing issues relating to plant variety protection and public health are expected to be at the forefront of discussions this year. The following is a look at many of the top issues to come.