WIPO reports about the election of Mr. Daren Tang as the new Director General of the organisation. He will succeed Mr. Francis Gurry, who has served as WIPO’s Director General since October 1, 2008.
As it is well-known, there was a tension between the US and China about the candidates for this position. The US was completely against the China’s nomination including in the light of the trade conflict between both countries.
Mr. Daren Tang, as a former Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, was accepted as a good choice in that regard.
For more information here.
The National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) announced its intention to published online all of its decisions regarding trademark oppositions in China. This will happen within 20 days after the relevant decision is issued.
The only option this not to happen is if the parties in the opposition proceeding require this based on not revealing confidential information contained in the decisions.
Obviously, this is another step that NIPA takes to make the trademark registration process in China more clear and transparent.
Volvo won a lawsuit in the US against an anonymous China-based company selling online different counterfeit accessories for its cars.
According to the company, these products were cheap, low-quality imitations that were against the company’s intellectual property rights.
The Court agreed and ordered $2 million in damages. The interesting part here is, however, the fact that the court required Pay Pal, which was used as a payment service by the counterfeiter, to transfer all of the funds related to the counterfeiter to Volvo as well as to reveal information for any closed or other accounts linked to that anonymous infringer.
Volkswagen has recently lost an opposition against a word trademark application for “Car-pollo” for the following goods and services:
class 9 – navigation apparatus (GPS) for vehicles [onboard computers]; car video recorders; batteries for vehicles; battery charging devices for motor vehicles; electric locks for vehicles and others;
class 12 – wheelbarrows; airplanes; vessels; bicycles; electric bicycles;
class 42 – automatic driving cars design;
The mark was filed by the Chinese company Baidu Online Network Technology Beijing Company Limited.
Against this application, the German company evoked its rights over POLO trademark in class 12.
According to Volkswagen, both signs are confusingly similar. The first part of the later mark is CAR which is a descriptive and not distinctive word for the list of goods and services at hand.
Apart from that, POLO trademark acquired a reputation in Japan due to its longstanding market presence in the country.
The Japan Patent Office, however, dismissed the opposition. According to the Office, both trademarks are dissimilar. The word CAR is descriptive whereas the term POLO means a game played on horseback between two teams. What’s more the POLLO part in the later mark has no dominant position.
Although the earlier mark is famous in Japan, the lack of similarity prevails the possibility of consumer confusion.
Source: Masaki MIKAMI.
Recently China has introduced some amendments to its trademark law which main aim is to fight against the widespread practice in the country trademark applications to be filed in quantity without any intention for real use.
Because of this, according to the new amendments, every applicant will have to declare intent of use otherwise the application will be refused. What’s more, this will be a ground for oppositions and invalidations against the mark. So far, if one trademark has not been used for 3 years it can be subject to invalidation. Now, this can happen even earlier.
Apart from this, damages awarded by the courts in case of trademark infringements are increased significantly. The procedure for ceasing and destruction of countrified goods becomes more efficient.
As it is well-known the Chinese tech company Huawei has serious problems recently in the light of the trade conflict between The US and China. After a decision by Donald Trump, many US companies were been pushed to limit its work with Huawei.
One of those companies is Google which has announced that the Chinese company won’t be able to use its Android OS in the future. That’s why Huawei considers launching a new replacement OS for its smartphones called HongMeng.
Because of this Huawei has filed many trademark applications for that name in different countries around the world such as The UK, Norway, Switzerland, The EU, Philippines, etc. The US, however, is not one of them so far.
China introduced a new intellectual property court on 01.01.2019. The main aim of this new court, which is a part of the Supreme People’s Court, is to bring more quality and efficiency regarding all sorts of intellectual property desputes in the country and in that way to send a positive signal to all local and foreign market players.
The new court will be responsible for:
- Civil law cases after the first instance
That includes: Invention patent, utility model patent, layout designs for integrated circuits, technical inventions, computer software, new plant varieties
- Administrative cases at first instance concerning more technical issues, including designs and monopoly disputes
- Protest cases after first instance appeal cases which have entered into force after first instance independently of the civil cases or administrative cases mentioned above.
For more information here.
Source: Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP.
Image: David Besh/Pexels