WIPO published its Global Innovation Index for 2019. Switzerland was ranked as the most innovative nation in the world followed by Sweden and the US. The rest of the countries in the top 10 are Nederland, Finland, the UK, Singapour, Germany, Denmark, and Israel.
Bulgaria is ranked 40 which is three places behind the last year’s position. More data for the country can be found here.
More information regarding this index you can found here.
Tommy Hilfiger failed to register its flag as a copyrighted work in the US. The US Copyright Office refused to register the following image:
According to the company, this flag was sufficiently original due to the fact that its representation combines the letters T, J, and H which stems from the name Thomas J. Hilfiger and three colors. Apart from this, the red rectangle element means “Going home” from a voyage.
The Office disagreed with these claims stating that the work is not original enough in order to be registered. The aforementioned combination of colors and shapes is standard and “exceedingly common for flag designs”. There wasn’t sufficient creativity in that regard. What the author of the work wants to convey as meaning is irrelevant for the originality of the work according to the US copyright case law:
“A work may be complete rubbish and utterly worthless, but copyright protection may be available for it, just as it is for the great masterpieces of imaginative literature, art and music. A work needs only be “original” in the limited sense that the author originated it by his efforts rather than slavishly copying it from the work produced by the efforts of others. (Mummery LJ, ). “
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.
The English High Court has dismissed an appeal from Trump International company (owned by German national Michael Gleissner) against the UKIPO decision to refuse registration as a trademark for ‘Trump TV’ in classes 38 and 41.
The US company DDTM Operations, which manages Donald Trump’s IP portfolio, filed an opposition against this mark based on alleged bad faith application. According to DDTM Operations, this trademark tries to take advantages from the reputation of the US President.
The UKIPO agreed with this claim and refused the application taking into account the Gleissner’s previous attempt to register similar signs.
The Court upheld this decision concluding that the applicant failed to give any reasonable arguments to support an eventual bona fide nature of its application.
The Japanese Patent Office refused to register as a trademark the phrase GRAND CANYON for class 25 – clothes, shoes etc.
The reason behind this decision was the fact that according to the law in Japan and many other countries, signs that indicate a geographical origin in regard with the relevant goods and services are not allowed for registration as trademarks.
In the case at hand, GRAND CANYON is a well-known US national park, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
What’s more, GRAND CANYON is famous with all sorts of merchandising products known and purchased by consumers around the world, including those in Japan.
From that perspective, it is highly likely consumers to perceive it in connection with the US national park than as a trademark sign.
Source: Masaki MIKAMI, Marks IP Law Firm.
The USPTO announced its new Director, Ms Laura Peter, who has a serious background in the field of intellectual property working for different companies the last of which is the Silicon Valley tech company A10 Networks where she was General Advisor. Ms Peter will take the helm of one of the busiest Patent Offices in the world with more than 13 000 employees.
For more information here.
The online platform Groupon and IBM have reached a patent deal. The case concerns a lawsuit initiated by IBM against Groupon for infringing the US patents 5,796,967; 5,961,601; 7,072,849; и7,631,346 related to online advertising and ways of allowing web users to connect to an internet provider.
After long negotiations and an ask by IBM for doubling the damages to 165 million dollars, both companies have reached an agreement to cease the lawsuit for which Groupon will pay 57 million dollars.
This case is just another good example of the role and potential that intellectual property has for generating additional revenue for its owners.
In the case at hand IBM will monetarize its patents giving longstanding licenses to Groupon against which the company will allow its employees to use some of the services offered by Groupon with cross-licenses.
Although intellectual property disputes can be quite tough sometimes, if they are used and managed skillfully they can lead to a win-win situation for both parties at the end of the day.