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23 February 2016

Pressure grows on WIPO DG Gurry after submission of UN report and further explosive Pooley claims

The long saga that has unfolded since then WIPO deputy director-general James Pooley made a number of serious allegations against the organisation’s director-general Francis Gurry in a report of misconduct filed in April 2014 may be drawing to an…

03 February 2016

The trademarking of politics

The US primary season leading up to the 2016 presidential election is well underway. Political candidates and their supporters have been quietly filing trademark applications with an eye on commercial opportunities. However, as several applicants have been reminded, US trademarks that invoke the name of a living individual cannot be registered without that individual’s written consent.

01 December 2015

USPTO Director Michelle Lee – “I firmly believe the US has a world-class, quality patent system”

Yesterday we ran the first part of our interview with USPTO Director Michelle Lee. Today we’re publishing part two which covers the position of America’s patent system in the world, IP relations with China and the sense that recent developments mean…

03 November 2015

Why Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung have all been big winners in the smartphone patent wars

It’s not often that a war is fought in which almost every side bearing arms wins; but the one that took place over patents relating to mobile devices might be a very rare example of such a phenomenon. It began way back in 2009, got extremely serious…

06 October 2015

Misinformation and misinterpretation abound as the TPP passes after years of wrangling

Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries announced yesterday that they had reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade liberalisation pact covering 40% of the world’s economy which has proven controversial for, among other…

23 September 2015

Court rejects the concept of initial interest confusion

The British Columbia Supreme Court has issued one of the first Canadian decisions addressing at length the issue of keyword advertising in the context of an action for passing off. The court found that the use of a competitor’s trademark in keyword advertising did not constitute passing off, and in doing so rejected the idea of initial interest confusion as a basis for a finding of a likelihood of confusion.

04 August 2015

“Thank you Tesla for opening up your patents”: the Chinese company that might test Elon Musk’s IP views

Last week, the automotive press was abuzz – and more than a little puzzled – over the debut of the Youxia X, a Chinese-built electric vehicle (EV) with what appears to be an eclectic set of influences. Most prominent is that of the Tesla Model S:…

02 July 2015

Despite patent slowdown, investor appetite for intangibles is high, says man who sold RadioShack assets

Last week the disposal of a range of intangible assets owned by RadioShack was completed, raising around $40 million for the bankrupt business. The sale included a range of trademarks, domain names and a small portfolio of 73 granted and pending…

24 June 2015

Industrial design protection: Federal Court of Appeal confirms broad scope of protection

Recent case law in Canada had precluded enforcement of an industrial design where features common between the design and the accused article included functional purposes. However, in a recent decision the Federal Court of Appeal addressed this limitation on enforcement by holding that features of a design may be both functional/useful and aesthetic/visually appealing.

29 May 2015

For $37 billion, a semiconductor patent powerhouse is born - with its nerve centre in south-east Asia

After several days of rumours, it was confirmed yesterday that Singapore-incorporated electronics components manufacturer Avago Technologies has made an offer to acquire US semiconductor company Broadcom for $37 billion in what the Wall Street…

28 May 2015

Ford is the latest automaker to ‘open’ its patents; but, as always, be sure to check the small print

Ford is ‘opening’ a portfolio of its patents relating to electric vehicle (EV) technology to “competitive automakers to accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles,” according to a press release from the US company…

22 May 2015

World’s largest asset manager enters the IP financing game with wearables loan

BlackRock – the world’s biggest investment firm with over $4.6 trillion of assets under management – is loaning wearable technology company Jawbone $300 million against its intellectual property and other intangible assets. According to a Bloomberg…

15 May 2015

WIPO assembly chair calls in central UN unit to investigate the explosive claims against DG Francis Gurry

Päivi Kairamo, chair of WIPO’s General Assemblies, has asked the United Nations’ Organisation of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to investigate the claims made by James Pooley, the former deputy director general of the organisation, in a Report…

10 April 2015

A WIPO whitewash of the allegations made against Francis Gurry would damage the standing of the United Nations

It is now a year since James Pooley, then the deputy director for innovation and technology at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), made a series of explosive allegations about the UN agency’s Director General Francis Gurry. Detailed…

25 March 2015

Canadian trademark law: top cases of 2014

The year 2014 will be remembered as the year when Canada rewrote its trademark laws. However, 2014 was also an exceptionally busy year for trademark cases in Canada. While no single case stood out above the rest, there were a number of interesting cases of which both legal professionals and brand owners should take note.