by Marta García
The National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile (INAPI) has ranked as the second most innovative Intellectual Property (IP) office in the world, according to the World Trademark Review (WTR), the world’s only independent daily news and information service dedicated exclusively to reporting on trademark issues internationally.
The IP Office Innovation Ranking is WTR´s annual project to recognize the IP offices around the world that are “committed to exploring value-add non-core offerings for users” with “boundary-pushing tools and services”.
In the third edition of WTR’s annual IP Office Innovation Ranking study, the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has reached the top position for the third time in a row. Chile, which has achieved the top position in America, has shared second place with Spain and Singapore.
Over 100 IP professionals were contacted by WTR worldwide and invited to share their insights on the non-core services from their local IP offices.
The 2019 IP Office Innovation Ranking studied 50 of the leading trademark offices from around the world, examining three areas in particular detail: value-added propositions, online capabilities, and public outreach efforts.
WTR described INAPI, which was also among the 10 top IP offices in its inaugural study in 2017 as an agency that “is doing enough beyond maintaining a trademark register.”
Among the best-rated aspects of INAPI were the accessibility and quality of the trademark searching and processing tools available on its website.
“We have made an effort to improve our systems, so that online processing is our users’ first choice. Currently, 89% of trademark applications are filed through our website, which requires us to maintain a high standard of quality and efficiency in our processes,” said Mr. Esteban Figueroa, National Director of INAPI, commenting on the achievement.
In addition, the study emphasized INAPI´s efforts on public outreach, among which IP learning tools and the use of social media for reaching new audiences to stand out.
Regarding value-added propositions, WTR highlighted INAPI’s initiatives on technical advice and support to local entrepreneurs on IP matters.
In April last year, INAPI inaugurated its Technology and Innovation Support Center (CATI), backed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which provides entrepreneurs with IP search tools and assistance/training regarding technological information, database search, specific searches (e.g., novelty, prior art and infractions) and technology analysis.
Source: https://www.inapi.clRead More
As a result of an investigation by the National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC), the Ministry of Commerce fined the Argentine Society of Authors and Composers of Music (Sadaic) for US $ 1,567,945. The survey determined that Sadaic charged “excessive prices” on copyright fees paid by hotels and other establishments for music reproduction in hotels guest rooms.
To determine this fine, the CNDC made an international comparison of the tariffs paid for the reproduction of musical works and the result of the investigation determined that in Argentina hotels and other establishments pay between six and nine times more than the average of the reference countries.
These fees imply a fee payment for copyright for playing music in hotels. With the calculation methodology used by Sadaic, each hotel must pay the fee for having televisions in the rooms, regardless of whether the room was occupied or not and if musical works were even used.
“This measure implies an improvement in the competitiveness of the tourism sector and enables the reduction of tariffs for rights of authors and composers charged for the secondary reproduction of TV and music content in hotels,” according to the president of the CNDC.
Finally, the CNDC recommended to the Executive Branch that the tariff fixing system be restructured based on a criteria of “reasonableness, non-discrimination, transparency, fairness and limited scope.” The CNDC suggested that the collection management system must be modernized in order to expand users and reduce tariffs, “without substantially affecting income.”Read More
By Moeller IP Advisors
After years of judicial battles, Dior succeeds before the Chinese Justice System.
In 2015, the French company Christian Dior filed a trademark application before the Chinese Trademark Office, requiring the registration of the J’ADORE perfume bottle as a 3D mark.
Unfortunately, this application was rejected by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, arguing that it lacked all distinctiveness, and that it was a common container. This resolution was of course appealed by Christian Dior, arguing that they already had registrations before the United States Patents and Trademarks Office, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, thus fulfilling the requirements for IP protection.
Moreover, it is Christian Dior’s position that ever since the product’s introduction in the Chinese market in 1999, it has gained fame and notoriety, and that “Many consumers could easily recognize it as one of Dior’s perfumes through the bottle’s appearance,” according to Li Fengxian , a Dior China representative.
After many years of judicial procedures and argumentations, China’s Supreme People’s Court revoked the prior resolutions from lower authorities denying this trademark registration, and ordered the IP Office to review its decision, after a public hearing last April 26, 2018.
From this decision it is clear that according to China’s Supreme People’s Court, this supposedly ordinary bottle has acquired sufficient distinctiveness through its use, and can consequently be registered and used as a trademark to identify Dior’s iconic perfume.
This resolution and decision came in the middle of a conflict with the U.S. due to an alleged lack of sufficient protection of U.S. Intellectual Property. This ruling is a clear move in the opposite direction, giving trademark protection to significant marks, regardless of their country of origin.
Over the years, we have seen and heard many different attempts at registering different trademarks.
In this occasion, Gene Simmons, famous rock star, and Kiss’ front man, has now filed an application to register the famous “Rock On” sign as a trademark, claiming it to be of his own.
In the application, filed last June 9th, 2017, before the US Patents and Trademarks Office (see link below), Simmons claims that he first used the sign in November 14th, 1974; this is, during the Hotter Than Hell Tour. It aims at protecting class 41 services: Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.
The application describes the sign as consisting “…of a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular” (from the application), as you can see in the image that was filed in the application before the Office.
Should this trademark be registered, it would mean that Mr. Simmons would have exclusive rights over the sign, and could consequently force other artists to cease in the use of it in their live performances, and even lead to claims for damages.
Of course, this matter is still quite new, and it still has to go over the regular examinations and the opposition period, and it is highly likely to face official objections and a series of oppositions from third parties. Indeed, the sign is very well-known, and used worldwide in rock concerts and performances, by almost every rock band.
However, it might be worth the while to keep an eye on this case, as it may still be registered, and could mean a strong precedent in this matter, and would have serious repercussions in the music industry.
The three levels of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as follows:
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) refers to a computer´s ability to perform a specific (single) task.
- Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) which is capable of transferring knowledge from one domain to a new domain, e.g. when a computer program can perform the same intellectual task as a human being.
- Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) which is theoretically capable of surpassing human intellect.
Today, most experts would agree that we are seeing tangible results from ANI only. AGI is at least two decades away from being perfected (only scientific studies but no more), and ASI is even farther off (still kind of science fiction).
There is a diffused sentiment that the trend is that software will widely become AI, which in turn will become “Super Software” implemented everywhere, in every field of technology, well beyond ICT.
Key elements to be considered when drafting/prosecuting a patent application in the field of AI are the following:
- The technical effect(s) of the invention should be explicitly defined by means of technical features.
- The AI invention must be a technically implemented.
- The AI invention must be applied to a field of technology.
Theoretical and futuristic aspects include the following issues:
- Who is the inventor, a person or AI?
- Reverse engineering will be more and more difficult: How to detect infringement?
- Who is the skilled person for assessing inventive step, a person, AI or a combination of both?
The European Patent Office (EPO) held on 30 May 2018 a conference on Patenting Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Koen Lievens, Director Operations at the EPO, presented as keynote speaker the topic “How does the EPO deal with the challenges of AI in patents”.
The key concepts are the following:
Computer-Implemented Inventions would also apply to the inventions relating to AI, therefore to examine AI inventions the EPO two-hurdle approach should be used.
Are AI and Machine Learning (ML) just mathematical methods?
According to Articles 52 (2) and (3) EPC, mathematical methods as such are considered non-inventions and therefore not patentable.
Algorithms used for the purpose of, among other things, classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction would be mathematical method as such and therefore not patentable subject-matter.
Algorithms applied, among other things, to data of technical nature, parameters of technical nature and trainable based on training data would not be considered mathematical method as such and therefore would not be excluded from patentability according to Articles 52 (2) and (3) EPC.
To overcome the second hurdle the mathematical method (steps) should contribute to the technical character of the invention.
There are two dimensions to contribute to the technical character of the invention:
1)The AI and ML method (steps) is adapted to a specific technical implementation, 2)The AI and ML method (steps) is applied to a field of technology.
In the case 1), the AI algorithm should be specifically adapted to a specific technical implementation, and, furthermore, the AI design should be motivated by technical considerations of the internal functioning of the computer.
Usually, generic technical implementation, mere programming or algorithm being merely more efficient than in prior art will not be sufficient to contribute technical character.
In the case 2), the AI and ML method (steps) should serve a technical purpose by means of a technical application, i.e., to solve a technical problem in a technical field. AI technical application fields would be image processing, speech processing, fault detection/predictive maintenance, medical analysis, self-driving cars, etc.
A generic statement like “controlling a technical system” would not be sufficient to contribute technical character.
Sources: www.epo.orgRead More
Technology, mostly the Internet, is responsible for redefining everything humans know, including Intellectual Property (IP). The challenge is to determine what is the correct type of protection that the law should conferred to technology innovators without excluding society from that innovation, and the possibility of improving it.
The challenge would be determining what the correct type of protection is. The law should benefit innovators without excluding society from said innovation and the possibility of improving it.
This is most definitely applicable to the fashion industry in the sense that fashion innovation is the motor for quality, novelty, progress, original expression, etc. Imitation is what makes these new creations accessible to the masses, which in time, activates commerce.
Does granting a temporary monopoly over fashion designs allows designers to perceive a monetary return for their creative investment? Would the incentive for creation be diminished without the protection offered by traditional institutions of Intellectual Property?
The European model shows us that given the fleeting nature of fashion designs, a registration system of protection does not really conform to reality. However, Europeans do have an interesting solution to this: non-registered communitarian design. The protection granted for the designs is effective for a 3 year term by solely making the design available to the public and aiming to prevent identical imitation of the original garments.
Emulating this type of protection in Latin America would be translated into preventing a rough copy of original designs created in fashion epicenters. At the same time, the protection would allow other creators to get inspiration from these creations, transforming it and creating something new.
In the Latin American region, given the lack of harmony in regional legislation -as per flexibility granted by the trade-related aspects of IP rights- different countries protect fashion by several different IP systems. TM protection continues to be the more effective way of protecting the fashion industry’s assets worldwide.
When thinking about a system to protect creative designs referring to clothing and accessories it is important to keep in mind that in this industry, to quote Bill Gates, “(Intellectual Property) has the shelf life of a banana.”
Every April 26, the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is celebrated around the globe to promote discussion of the role of IP in encouraging innovation and creativity.
The World IP Day is celebrated since 2000, when the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of raising people’s awareness and understanding of IP.
Each year, WIPO collaborates with partners worldwide to the organize events and activities to promote the World IP Day. To find out if any World IP Day event is taking place in your city/country, visit WIPO´s world event map.
This year’s World IP Day theme is “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined” and seeks to host a global forum to discuss how the Wi-Fi era is transforming how consumable culture is created, distributed and enjoyed in markets that are expanding far beyond national boundaries. This change requires flexible, adaptive IP systems to help ensure that the artists and creative industries in today´s digital universe can be properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating.
Source: http://www.wipo.intRead More
Each April 26 since 2000, organizations and individuals around the globe celebrate the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day to promote the important role that IP plays in encouraging innovation and creativity.
In 2000, the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of raising people’s awareness and understanding of intellectual property.
The designated theme for the World IP Day this year is “Get up, stand up. For Music,” to focus on some of the changes that the music industry is facing today, from creation to dissemination and access by the public.
Each year, WIPO collaborates with partners worldwide to the organize events and activities to promote the World IP Day. Several Latin American governmental and private entities, universities and associations in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador and Venezuela will hold events including conferences, lectures, forums and workshops for the World IP Day this year.
For more information about the World IP Day and the events being held in different countries, please visit http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/.
Source: www.wipo.intRead More
On July 2014, the European Patent Office and the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, signed an agreement to promote the quality and efficiency of the Latin American patent system for the benefit of general users and the European industry in particular.
This agreement, which follows the completion of a previous one signed in 2011, will enable both Patent Offices to develop their cooperation by creating synergies as well as joint actions, and it will improve the coordination of their respective activities in Latin America. It aims at improving the access and public dissemination of the Latin American patent information system.
Source: http://www.epo.orgRead More