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JamaicaProtecting geographical indications (Market intelligence)
After a five-year wait, the eagerly anticipated Geographical Indications Act came into force on June 8 2009, having originally been passed into law in 2004. This was followed in relatively quick succession by the Geographical Indications Regulations, promulgated on September 9 2009, which effectively brought the act into operation.
MexicoPatent system rings the changes for the 21st century (Market intelligence)
A decree published on June 18 2010 has introduced perhaps the most relevant changes to the Mexican patent system since the enactment of the Industrial Property Law 1994. The changes took effect 90 days after the date of publication.
VenezuelaMajor progress in the declaration of well-known trademarks (Market intelligence)
In Venezuela, the recognition and declaration of wellknown trademarks is uncommon. However, in a May 4 2010 decision, the Political Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice declared HUGO BOSS to be a well-known trademark in Venezuela. This statement was a step beyond the position of the Trademark Office, which for some years has appeared reluctant to recognise the reputation of well-known trademarks. In several cases the Trademark Office has held that the evidence adduced in support of the reputation of a trademark was insufficient to demonstrate such character, while in other cases it has simply not issued a decision.
DenmarkRe-examination: a convenient tool for testing patent validity (Market intelligence)
Many have experienced the feeling that strikes when a competitor’s patent pops up in a database or arrives by mail: this patent may mean trouble. If the patent is critical and the period for opposing it has expired, in most EU member states the only way to invalidate the patent or at least to have it limited to a tolerable extent is to instigate invalidation proceedings in court.
FranceRights over sporting events and online betting: new rules in France (Market intelligence)
On May 12 2010, around one month before the opening of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the Law on Online Betting and Gambling (2010-476) was promulgated. This law has one main objective: the liberalisation of online betting and gambling in France. In 2006 the European Commission ruled that the French state monopoly on betting and gambling was incompatible with Article 49 of the EC Treaty, which guarantees the free movement of services. Since this monopoly was not justified by public policy or law and order considerations, the French government was obliged to deregulate the market. After several years of discussion, three categories of online gambling have been opened up to competition in France: horseracing betting, sports betting and gambling. Each of these activities is subject to accreditation by the newly created Online Gaming Regulation Authority (Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL)), which imposes strict criteria on online bookmakers.
GermanyPatent litigation: the rejected cornerstone? (Market intelligence)
It cannot be gainsaid that the German patent system was the finest in the world. Obtaining a German patent on a new invention was tantamount to obtaining an insurance policy on the invention.
ItalyWhen to take action against infringement in Italy (Market intelligence)
IP matters in Italy are regulated by the Code of Industrial Property, which came into force in 2005, superseding all previous IP laws (ie, the Patent Law, the Trademark Law, the Design Law and the Utility Model Law). The code was last revised in Summer 2010 to introduce some aspects that were inadvertently left out of the 2005 version.
LuxembourgResearch, innovation and intellectual property in Luxembourg (Market intelligence)
While most famous as a leading finance centre, Luxembourg is becoming more active in the field of research and development (R&D). The recent establishment of the National Research Fund is a perfect example of this trend.
NorwayA year in intellectual property (Market intelligence)
While the new Trademarks Act, which came into force on July 30 2010, has helped to modernise Norway’s legislation from the point of view of drafting and language, as far as substantive law is concerned the act adds little new.
PolandTrademarks and domain name disputes in Poland (Market intelligence)
In this era of globalisation, trademarks play a significant role as instruments of industrial property protection. It is increasingly difficult to find a sector unaffected by trademarks. A natural consequence of granting monopoly rights over particular designations is the entrepreneur’s desire to exercise that right in the widest possible way. This results in a partial overlap of trademark protection rights and other rights and tools. There are cases of conflicts between registered trademarks and industrial designs, personal rights or copyright, as well as company names, product packaging, descriptive marks or unregistered trademarks. The appearance and development of the Internet has inevitably led to the extension of trademarks to internet domain names.
RomaniaThe economic impact of counterfeiting and new anti-counterfeiting strategies (Market intelligence)
Counterfeiting is a genuine threat to commerce, economic development and consumer health and safety, and is becoming a major focus for organised criminals. One reason for this is that under the current system in Romania, the punishments for those found guilty of counterfeiting are considerably lighter than the punishments for those found guilty of more traditional avenues of organised crime. However, despite this the potential profits are similar to those that might be expected from trafficking drugs or people.
RussiaUnfair competition and parallel imports (Market intelligence)
Issues relating to trademark rights during the import of goods into Russia are crucial for companies seeking to enter the Russian market.
SpainThe recent evolution of the IP legislation: a decade of change (Market intelligence)
Several years ago the Spanish industrial property regulations were adapted to international law and, in particular, the requirements of EU membership. The trademark, industrial design and patent regulations have all been reformed in recent years in order to bring them into line with the changes made to EU law. Spain is also a signatory to most of the international agreements that deal with IP law. This has influenced the content of its own regulations, which have been transformed in various ways over the past decade. The current Trademark Act, which was passed in 2002, replaced a text from 1988. The Industrial Designs Act was passed in 2003. The Patents Act 1986 has undergone several major amendments, mainly in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Also, in 2006 Spain implemented the EU regulations concerning the introduction of procedural mechanisms to reinforce the protection of industrial property rights.
SwedenThe new Copyright Act and Trademark Act are on the way (Market intelligence)
The past 12 months have seen a number of interesting proposals to amend the Swedish IP legislation, as well as some noteworthy case law. The legislative proposals include changes to the Copyright Act in particular, the rules relating to transfer of copyright. In addition, the Supreme Court is turning to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to ask whether the recently introduced national provisions on orders requiring third parties to provide information regarding the internet protocol (IP) addresses of individuals who commit infringements are contrary to EU law.
SwitzerlandIP litigation on the move: important IP litigation on the move: important developments in civil procedure and patent litigation (Market intelligence)
Until the end of 2010 each of the 26 Swiss cantons had its own civil procedure code. However, on January 1 2011, Swiss civil procedural law reached a long-awaited milestone when the Federal Code of Civil Procedure came into force. With regard to civil proceedings in IP cases, for the first time the code will provide a unified procedure before the competent courts. As before, each canton must designate a first instance court for IP cases, which will be responsible for hearing cases relating to infringement, validity, ownership, transfers and licences. However, this cantonal competence will end shortly for patent cases, due to the establishment of a single Swiss patent court of first instance to hear all patent cases.
United KingdomRecent developments in patent law (Market intelligence)
Recent decisions from the High Court and the Patent Office have shed light on several topical patent law issues. In a decision concerning the validity of a sandwich packaging patent, the High Court held that a failure to apply the structured approach in Pozzoli did not mean that there had been an error of principle in the Patent Office’s decision. For the second year in a row, the High Court also heard a rare case on employee compensation, this time providing clarification of the employee compensation calculation under the Patents Act 1977 in cases where a patent assignment or licence has been made to a connected person, such as a subsidiary of the employer. Finally, the Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that prior disclosure to a customer rendered a patent invalid.
AustraliaAustralia gets into line with international practice (Market intelligence)
The Australian government continues to reform Australian law and practice, seeking to align IP law in Australia with that of its major trading partners. In the last year the spotlight has continued to focus on patent reform. Given the relative infrequency of litigation in Australia, it was also a welcome development that both the Trademarks Act 1995 and the Designs Act 2003 were considered by higher courts for the first time, albeit without any startling changes to accepted jurisprudence.
China & Hong KongChina and Hong Kong step up IP protection (Market intelligence)
Many new laws, regulations and judical interpretations have been released in the two years since the National IP Strategy was promulgated. The judicial and administrative authorities have also been vigorous in helping both foreign and local IP owners to enforce their rights. In addition, IP filings in all fields have significantly increased, despite the global financial crisis.
IndiaA study of Indian companies and their approach to brand valuation (Market intelligence)
It is well established that valuing brands is essential when assessing a company’s market position. This chapter showcases some of the top-ranked Indian companies which have successfully leveraged their brands in addition to their global operations, overseas expansions and a strong foothold in the domestic market to move up in the global rankings.
JapanHow firms should pay ‘reasonable value’ to employee-inventors (Market intelligence)
In January 2004 the Tokyo District Court issued a surprising decision concerning employee inventions. The lawsuit was brought by Shuji Nakamura, the inventor of blue-light-emitting diodes, against his former employer, Nichia Corporation, a closely held Japanese chemicals company, for the payment of ‘reasonable value’ for his invention. The court determined that the reasonable value to be paid to Nakamura for the invention’s transfer was approximately 60 billion (although the actual amount awarded was 20 billion, which was the amount demanded by Nakamura; it was also the largest amount to have been awarded in such a case at that date).
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