INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY JUNE 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018
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Welcome to this year’s sixth issue of IP Monthly, filled with interesting news articles and developments. We hope that you will find the features in this newsletter informative. Enjoy!

Important Dates in June

3 June: World Bicycle Day
4 June: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
5 June: World Environment Day
5 June: International day for the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
8 June: World Oceans Day
12 June: World Day against Child Labour
13 June: International Albinism Awareness Day
14 June: World Blood Donor Day
15 June: World Elder Abuse awareness day
16 June: International Day of Family Remittances
17 June: World Day to combat desertification and drought
18 June: Sustainable Gastronomy Day
19 June: International Day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict
20 June: World Refugee Day
21 June: International Day of Yoga
23 June: United Nations Public Service Day
26 June: International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
27 June: Micro, Small and Medium sized enterprises day
29 June: International Day of the Tropics
30 June: International Asteroid Day
30 June: International Day of Parliamentarism

Interesting facts about June

  • June’s birthstone is the pearl, the moonstone and the alexandrite.
  • June is named after Juno, the goddess of marriage.
  • June is International men’s month.
  • Antony and Cleopatra and Henry IV Part 1 are the only Shakespeare plays that mention June.
  • Anglo-Saxons gave the June the name Sera monath (Dry month).
  • June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • All those who are born in June, Rose and Honeysuckle happen to be their birth flower.

Historical Dates in June

  • 1 June 1938: Superman appears for the first time in DC Comics.
  • 2 June 1953: Queen Elizabeth II is formally crowned as the Queen in England.
  • 4 June 1919: The 19th Amendment to the US constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote passed by Congress.
  • 5 June 1968: Senator Robert F Kennedy, former US Attorney General and brother to President J. F. Kennedy, was shot and passed on June 6 after a celebration of his victory in the California Primary.
  • 7 June 1965: The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law banning contraception. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court guaranteed the right to privacy, including freedom from government intrusion into matters of birth control.
  • 8 June 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his last speech before being assassinated.
  • 11June 1895: The first U.S patent for gas driven auto issued.
  • 12 June 1964: The leader of the African National Congress in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, is jailed for life for sabotage.
  • 13 June 1967: Thurgood Marshall became the first black justice on the United States Supreme Court
  • 14 June 1951: Univac 1, the world's first commercial electronic computer was unveiled in Philadelphia.
  • 19 June 1862: Slavery was outlawed in US territories
  • 19 June 1970: Signing of the Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • 26 June 1945: The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco by 50 nations. The Charter was ratified on October 24, 1945.
  • 27 June 2018 – The signing of Marrakesh treaty happens.
  • 28 June 1914: Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Austria and his wife were assassinated at Sarajevo, touching off a conflict that escalated into World War I.
  • 28 June 1919: The signing of the Treaty of Versailles formally ended World War I.

Historical Dates in Kenya

  • 1 June 1963: Kenya achieves internal self-government (Madaraka).
  • 9 June 1982: Kenya officially declared a one party stated by the National Assembly.
  • 10 June 2012: A Helicopter crash near Nairobi, Kenya, kills five people, including George Saitoti, a Kenyan cabinet minister.
  • 11 June 2001: Moi forms the first coalition government in Kenya. Opposition leader Raila Odinga becomes minister of Energy.
  • 13 June 1990: Boeing 767 sets non-stop commercial flight from Seattle to Nairobi Kenya.
  • 27 June 1978: Henry Rono of Kenya sets record for 3,000 m, at 7:32.1.

ARTICLES ON/BY BOWMANS

Striking out of offensive company names

Against the backdrop of high levels of brand copycatting in Kenya, clients should be aware of the protection available if a third party uses a company name that is identical or confusingly similar to their registered trade mark. One of the avenues of recourse would be through the registrar of companies.

The Registrar of Companies operates under the Companies Act, which prohibits registration of '“offensive and undesirable names”. Offensive or undesirable names include:

  • a name that is identical or confusingly similar to a registered trade mark unless a document signed by the owner of the trade mark and indicating consent to its use is provided.

    To read more click here
    Source: Bowmans

Corporate deals win Kenyan law firms top ratings

Kenya’s emerging law firms took on their established rivals to bag mega corporate deals and win top ranking in the list of the world’s leading attorneys.

Newly released ranking of law firms by London-based Legal 500 magazine has placed three Kenyan law firms, Iseme, Kamau and Maema Advocates (IKM), Oraro & Company Advocates, and TripleOKlaw Advocates, in Tier One category of attorneys.

The Tier One category has traditionally been the preserve of a small clique of elite law firms that have been in existence since independence, have the financial depth to attract and retain top talent as well as expertise in specialised areas.

To read more click here
Source: Business Daily

PIC ~$35m investment in Kenyan Energy Company (“Kengen” – listed on the Nairobi stock exchange) - March 2017

Sao Capital acted a strategic financial adviser to the PIC and performed the valuation, the sourcing of shares, coordinated the due diligence and the transaction execution;

In addition, Sao Capital is providing regular update to the PIC on its investment in Kengen;

Other advisers in the transaction were Renaissance Capital (adviser to Kengen and broker to the PIC for on-market share purchases), White & Case and Coulson Harney (Legal), Lummus Consultants (technical);

To read more click here
Source: Politicsweb

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ARENA
COPYRIGHT
CLAIMS OF BREXIT BLACK HOLE FOR COPYRIGHT IS SCAREMONGERING, SAYS HOGAN LOVELLS

The European Commission issued a notice on the impact of Brexit on UK copyright law which states that all EU “primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019”.

The notice goes on to point out that, although the UK is a party to many of the main international copyright treaties, including the WCT, WPPT and TRIPS, these treaties do not provide the same level of cross-border protection as EU copyright laws. As a result, the UK will lose the benefit of cross-border copyright measures or rules in the absence of a transitional agreement.

To read more click here
Source: Hogan Lovells

AY AND MWANA FA AWARDED KSH96 MILLION AGAINST TELCO GIANT

Tanzanian rappers Hamisi Mwinjuma AKA Mwana FA and Ambwene Yessaya (AY) are smiling all the way to the bank after winning a 4-year court case against mobile phone company MIC Tanzania (Tigo), for unauthorized use of their music as callback tunes.

The duo were awarded TSh2.18 billion (Sh96 million) for damages by Ilala senior resident magistrate Juma Hassan on April 11, 2016 after a 4-year court battle with the giant telecommunication company Tigo.

In protest of the ruling, Tigo went to the High court to block the execution of the award pending its appeal.

The case was finally concluded a few days ago when the Tanzanian High Court upheld the ruling made by the Ilala District Court.

To read more click here
Source: Standard Digital

I OWN THE COPYRIGHT IN MY TATTOO RIGHT?
Tattoos are no longer taboo. From the grunge metal singer in your local bar to the CEO of a fortune 500 company, tattoos are commonplace in modern society. Most neighbourhoods will have at least one tattoo parlour that will offer a broad spectrum of designs which you can choose from or you can request a custom design to be made up for you.

However, have you ever stopped to think about who owns the copyright in that exquisite piece of art on your bicep? Well, unless there was an assignment of the copyright in the image on your arm in writing, the owner is someone other than you.

To read more click here
Source: Kisch IP

BODY/PERFORMANCE ART LOSES IN COURT

Last month, the Paris Court of Appeal handed down its decision in the case between Lady Gaga and the French body and performance artist Orlan (Paris Court of Appeal, 1st ch. 5th pole, 15 May 2018, No 16/1477: Porte k/a Orlan v Germanotta k/a Lady Gaga and others). In this dispute, the French performance artist argued that Lady Gaga’s album cover and video clip for the record Born this way’ reproduced a number of her works and traits of her personality – most notably some of her body transformation including her face implants.

Orlan is a performance artist best known the surgical ‘re-creation’ of her face and body, which she has staged over several years as a criticism of the man-made notion of beauty.

To read more click here 
Source: The IPKat

FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA AGAIN EXERCISES ‘WEBSITE BLOCKING POWER’

On 19 June 2018, the Federal Court of Australia (Court) handed down its decision in Foxtel Management Pty Ltd v TPG Internet Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 933. This is the Court’s most recent exercise of the “website blocking power” contained in section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act).

Nicholas J ordered that Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG all block 28 websites that facilitated the illegal download and streaming of movies and TV shows. His Honour found that the nature and extent of the copyright material made available on each website demonstrated “a flagrant disregard by the operators of the rights of copyright owners”.

To read more click here  
Source: MediaWrites (Bird & Bird)

EU COPYRIGHT REFORM PROPOSAL CLEARS LEAD LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, TO CHEERS AND JEERS

The European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted its report on the European Commission-proposed copyright in the digital single market directive yesterday. The vote, by the lead committee vetting the proposal, sparked a continuation of the acrimonious debate that has raged for many months over several controversial provisions: The creation of a new right for online publishers and a requirement that Internet platforms monitor users’ uploads for copyright infringements. The narrow majority that approved the report by German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Axel Voss, of the European People’s Party, “suggests that the struggle is still long,” telecom consultant Innocenzo Genna blogged.

To read more click here  
Source: IP-Watch

'DISASTROUS' COPYRIGHT BILL VOTE APPROVED

A committee of MEPs has voted to accept major changes to European copyright law, which experts say could change the nature of the internet.

They voted to approve the controversial Article 13, which critics warn could put an end to memes, remixes and other user-generated content.

Article 11, requiring online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content, was also approved.

One organisation opposed to the changes called it a "dark day".

To read more click here
Source: BBC

ELON MUSK IN COPYRIGHT SPAT OVER FLATULENT UNICORN

A gassy unicorn is this week at the centre of a copyright dispute involving entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is well-known for his development of electric vehicles at Tesla. According to posts on Twitter, Musk is currently facing allegations that he “ripped off” an artist in the US by using the artist’s work to promote Tesla’s sketch pad feature without permission.

To read more click here  
Source: WIPR

ED SHEERAN HIT WITH $100M SUIT OVER MARVIN GAYE SONG

UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has been accused of copying parts of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit song “Let’s Get It On”. US-based Structured Asset Sales (SAS), which part-owns the copyright for “Let’s Get It On”, sued Sheeran at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday, June 28. SAS alleged that Sheeran’s 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” copied various elements of “Let’s Get It On”. These elements include the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, and tempo.

To read more click here  
Source: WIPR

SWEDISH COURT CONSIDERS NEW BLOCKING INJUNCTION AGAINST THE PIRATE BAY AND OTHER TORRENT SITES
The Swedish Patents and Market Court (the specialist IP court since 2016) has been recently requested to issue an injunction against Swedish internet access provider Telia to block access to torrent sites The Pirate Bay, Dreamfilm, Nyafilmer, Fmovies, and several other related proxies and mirror sites. Not completely unfamiliar to readers, The Pirate Bay and several of the sites at issue give access to works protected by copyright through links to Torrent sites (eg, The Pirate Bay) or allow users to upload and make available those works, without the rightholders’ consent.

To read more click here  
Source: IP kitten

TRADE MARKS

GRUMPY CAT SAD?

The owners of the cat set up Grumpy Cat Limited and registered a trade mark and four copyrights associated with Grumpy Cat and went ahead to license their IPRs to Grenade Beverage LLC for the use of the Grumpy Cat name and image in connection with the manufacture, advertisement, merchandising, promotion, distribution, and sale of solely products. The products were described in the licence as “Grumpy Cat-branded coffee products, or other additional products within the Product Category that may, upon the Parties’ mutual approval, be marketed hereunder.”

To read more click here
Source: The IPKat

INVALIDITY OF GEOGRAPHICALLY DESCRIPTIVE MARKS CRYSTAL CLEAR

Justice Burley of the Federal Court of Australia has handed down his decision in Bohemia Crystal Pty Ltd v Host Corporation Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 235.

The case involved a dispute concerning the validity and infringement of two registered trade marks owned by Bohemia Crystal Pty Limited (BCP), for the word marks "BOHEMIA" and "BOHEMIA CRYSTAL" (the Bohemia marks) in relation to glassware and crystal. The Bohemia marks were held to be invalid and cancelled as they were incapable of distinguishing BCP's glassware and crystal from those of others. His Honour nonetheless went on to consider the infringement case and in obiter decided that if the marks were valid, Host Corporation Pty Ltd's (Host) use of the phrases "Banquet Crystal by Bohemia" and "Czech Crystal by Bohemia" were infringing uses. However, the descriptive uses of the marks were considered to be non-infringing use.

To read more click here
Source: Davies, Collison, Cave

ENSURING THAT YOUR TRADE MARK IS PROTECTED IN PERPETUITY IN AFRICA

Unlike other forms of intellectual property that are protected for a limited period of time, trade marks can be protected in perpetuity provided the trade marks are renewed.

In some African territories it is necessary to do more than simply file a renewal application every couple of years. It may also be necessary to file a Declaration of Intention to Use (DIU) or to submit proof of use.

Declaration of Intention to Use (DIU)
In territories like Mozambique and Cape Verde it is necessary to file a DIU every five years from the date of application, except for the year the trade mark renewal is due.  A DIU is a statutory requirement where the proprietor files a statement confirming that the trade mark is still in use. Failure to file a DIU, results in the trade mark registration being unenforceable against third parties.

To read more click here
Source: Kisch IP 

PASSING OFF IN AFRICA: GOODWILL OR REPUTATION?

African IP specialists need to consider various issues that arise as legislation across the continent evolves. One issue in particular that tends to come up is in the form of a question that goes something like this: we are a multinational company with a brand that is internationally famous, but we do not actually sell in Africa – will we be able to rely on the law of passing off if someone copies our brand?

To read more click here    
Source: Spoor & Fisher

PRICK! - PASSING OFF, TATTOOS, CACTI AND GEOGRAPHICAL PROXIMITY

The IP Enterprise Court has undoubtedly been a success. It is a low cost IP court for England and Wales which enables access to justice for SMEs with IP disputes to resolve. However, every now and again a case comes along which might well have benefited from a higher hurdle to issuing proceedings.

The owner of Amy Winehouse’s favourite tattoo parlour, Henry Martinez, also known as Henry Hate, has a tattoo parlour in Shoreditch which has been called Prick Tattoos since 2001.

To read more click here  
Source: The IPKat

MEMORANDUM ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INTERNATIONAL (MADRID) REGISTRATIONS IN AFRICA

The international trade mark registration system (known as the Madrid system) is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva, Switzerland.  It is considered to be a one-stop solution for the registration and management of trade marks worldwide.  Brand owners from Madrid member countries can file one application, in one language and pay one set of fees to protect a trade mark in up to 114 countries (comprising 80% of world trade – and growing).

International (Madrid) Registrations allow for the centralized management of trade marks.  Licenses, registered users, changes of ownership and limitations of specifications of goods/services can be recorded in the International Register through a single procedural step. 

To read more click here    
Source: Adams & Adams

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO CLAIM A COLOR AS YOUR OWN?

The fashion media has been abuzz since a top European Union court sided with Christian Louboutin in its ongoing and very global fight for registered protection for its red shoe sole trademark. The decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union – which means Louboutin is one step closer to maintaining its exclusive rights in its red soles in Benelux, where the legal battle at hand was initiated and where Louboutin maintains a registered trademark (the validity of which was up for debate in this case) – has been deemed “a win for fashion brands.”

This is a win for some brands, certainly – but chances are, not very many. 

To read more click here
Source: The Fashion Law

FEDERAL CIRCUIT REIGNITES DR PEPPER V COCA-COLA CLASH

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit yesterday revived a trademark clash between Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Coca-Cola over the term ‘Zero’.

Overturning a May 2016 decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the Federal Circuit remanded the case for further proceedings.

Coca-Cola first tried to register a trademark for ‘Zero’ in 2003 covering its zero-calorie drinks, including Coke Zero.

To read more click here
Source: World IP Review

EU COURT SINKS TM APPLICATION FOR CRUISE SHIP SERVICES

The EU General Court has confirmed a European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) decision to reject a trademark application relating to cruise ship services. US-based NCL Corporation, a subsidiary of cruise ship operator Norwegian Cruise Line, applied for the EU word mark ‘Feel Free’ at the EUIPO in 2016. The trademark was applied for in relation to goods and services in class 39, which includes cruise ship services.

To read more click here    
Source: WIPR

CJEU REJECTS EUIPO APPEAL IN PUMA TM DISPUTE

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has today upheld a decision by the EU General Court concerning the reputation of two of Puma’s trademarks. In upholding the ruling, the CJEU dismissed an appeal by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) against the General Court decision. Italy-based machine manufacturer Gemma Group applied for a trademark at the EUIPO in 2013 for a figurative sign depicting the blue outline of a leaping feline-like animal.

To read more click here  
Source: The WIPR

FRENCH STATE TRIUMPHS IN WAR OVER ‘FRANCE.COM’ TRADEMARK

The French State has emerged victorious in a dispute over ‘France.com’ after the EU General Court rejected a US company’s claim to the trademark. The dispute dates back to August 2014, when Jean-Noël Frydman applied for the figurative EU trademark ‘France.com’, with the words appearing next to an image depicting the French flag and the Eiffel Tower. Frydman filed the mark in three classes—35, 39 and 41, with the goods and services including advertising services (35), provision of travel information (39) and online publications (41).

To read more click here    
Source: WIPR 

PATENTS

DEEPMIND: FIRST MAJOR AI FILINGS REVEALED

DeepMind is a London based artificial intelligence (AI) research company, widely recognized as being at the forefront of the field. DeepMind was founded in 2010 and acquired by Google in 2014 for £400m. In 2017, DeepMind famously developed AI capable of defeating a world-champion at Go (Silver et al. Nature). DeepMind has filed a series of international patent applications, which have now been published for the first time. The applications relate to a number of the fundamental aspects of modern day machine learning, and are therefore of potential significance to anyone operating in the commercial AI sector.

To read more click here
Source: The IPKat

PATENT LAW IN EUROPE: WHAT PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES NEED TO KNOW

With pharmaceutical competition in Europe continuing to evolve, established companies and new market entrants alike need to understand how key patent litigation tools are shaping the competitive landscape.
Increasing competition within Europe’s pharmaceutical space makes knowing the market and understanding available patent protections more critical than ever for both well established and new market players. Andreas von Falck and Miriam Gundt, partners in Hogan Lovells’ Dusseldorf office, say that companies should consider five key factors influencing patent law across the European market.

To read more click here
Source: Hogan Lovells

SANDOZ RESTRAINED FROM SELLING MABTHERA BIOSIMILAR IN AUSTRALIA

Sandoz is unable to sell its rituximab biosimilar (RIXIMYO) in Australia until at least 19 August 2019, after an order by the Federal Court of Australia made on 12 June. 

Sandoz had threatened to supply RIXIMYO in Australia, having obtained a registration and applying to list RIXIMYO on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  There was also evidence in the interlocutory hearing that it was likely that RIXIMYO would be 'a' flagged, meaning that when a doctor prescribes rituximab by reference to the brand name MABTHERA that the biosimilar product can be dispensed by a pharmacist, unless the doctor indicates on the prescription that it cannot be substituted. 

To read more click here   
Source: Bird & Bird

MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR REVIEW OF PRINCIPLES OF EQUIVALENTS?

On 19 June the Court of Appeal gave judgment in Jushi v OCV [2018] EWCA Civ 1416, an appeal from the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC).  The case concerned a patent for glass fibre strands for use in fibre-reinforced composite materials.   The main issue on the appeal was the validity, or otherwise, of a claim which included numerical limits.  There were several ranges in the claim, the most relevant one being a requirement that the ratio of calcium oxide to magnesium oxide be "≤ 2, preferably ≥ 1.3".

In the wake of last year's Supreme Court judgment in Actavis v Eli Lilly [2017] UKSC 48, one issue that has remained unresolved is whether the scope of protection of a claim for infringement, including by equivalents, remains the same as the claim's scope validity. 

To read more click here   
Source: Bird & Bird

CJEU JUDGEMENT ON CASE C681/16 PFIZER V ORIFARM

Today the CJEU issued its judgement on Case C681/16 Pfizer v Orifarm, regarding the parallel imports of medicines from new EU member states (accession countries) into the old EU member states.

The CJEU has ruled that in situations where:

  • patents were not available for the medicine in the accession countries at the time of filing the patent in the core EU countries, but
  • SPC regulations had been introduced in the accession countries at the time SPCs were sought in the core EU countries,

an innovator possessing a patent and SPC in the old EU member states can rely on the Specific Mechanism to object to the parallel importation of a drug from those accession countries, even if the medicine was legally placed on the market in those countries.

To read more click here
Source: Boult Wade Tennant

WHOSE INJERA IS IT ANYWAY?

According to the European Patent Office, a Dutchman Jans’ Roosjen, is listed as the ‘inventor’ of Ethiopia’s staple food, the Injera as from 2003. He also holds the same patent in America.

The Ethiopians are not too excited about this!

To read more click here   
Source: Mail&Guardian

APPLE AND SAMSUNG SETTLE SEVEN YEAR PATENT DISPUTE

Apple and Samsung have settled their long-running design patent dispute, one month after a jury awarded $539 million to Apple in the clash. District Judge Lucy Koh, of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, ordered the dismissal of the case with prejudice on June 27. Rivals Apple and Samsung submitted a joint notice of settlement and stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on the same day, to “inform the court that they have agreed to drop and settle their remaining claims and counterclaims in this matter”.

To read more click here   
Source: WIPR

BOSE PATENT COMPLAINT TRIGGERS USITC INVESTIGATION

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched an investigation into earpiece devices after receiving a patent infringement complaint from audio equipment company Bose. Launched on Monday, June 25, the investigation is based on a complaint filed by Bose in May 2018. The ITC will investigate in-ear headphones and accessories that use a “retaining structure to secure the device in a user’s ear”.

To read more click here
Source: WIPR

SCOTUS: PATENT OWNERS CAN RECOVER LOST PROFITS FOR OVERSEAS INFRINGEMENT

The US Supreme Court today ruled that patent owners can recover profits lost outside the US as a result of infringement in WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical.

To read more click here
Source: WIPR

TRADE SECRETS

TRADE SECRETS – ADDED PROTECTION IN FORCE

The Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018 (the “Regulations”) came into force on 9 June 2018 and transpose Directive (EU) 2016/943 (the “Directive”) into UK law.

Summary:

  • The aim of the Directive is to create a level playing field by harmonising this area of law across the EU.
  • The UK already has well-developed legal protection for trade secrets governed by common law breach of confidence and by contract law.
  • A trade secret holder may now apply for remedies under breach of confidence in addition to or as an alternative to remedies under the Regulations.
  • Changes mainly concern limitation periods, procedural issues for the courts when hearing cases in relation to trade secrets and certain remedies.

To read more click here   
Source: Herbert Smith Freehills

US JUDGE DISMISSES FRACKING TRADE SECRETS SUIT

A water tracking company is unable to pursue its trade secrets lawsuit because of an earlier agreement that any dispute between the parties is arbitrated out of court, according to a US court. District Judge Robert Kelly dismissed the complaint at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Friday, June 22. H20 Resources uses its proprietary WaterTRAC platform and database to track the amount of water needed for fracking operations.

To read more click here   
Source: Herbert Smith Freehills

ANTI-COUNTERFEIT

EA CABLES CRIES FOR HELP OVER CHINESE FAKES

East Africa Cables (EA Cables) wants Kenya to diplomatically engage China to clampdown on look-a-like substandard cables, which it says are endangering its regional investment by flooding its key markets in East Africa.

In a letter addressed to Foreign Affairs secretary Monica Juma, Michael Waweru, the listed firm’s chairman said the cables bearing EA Cables trademark logo were passed on as genuine products to unsuspecting consumers exposing them to risks of fire and poor performance.

“Discuss with the Government of China measures to be taken to stop Chinese industries from flooding Kenya and the EAC with substandard products that have put our products in disrepute.

To read more click here
Source: The Daily Nation

NORTH FACE, VANS FILE $300 MILLION-PLUS LAWSUIT OVER 831 COUNTERFEIT-SELLING WEBSITES

The recent explosion of counterfeiting over the Internet has created an environment that requires companies to file a large number of lawsuits … in order to protect both consumers and themselves,” Vans and the North Face argue in a recent lawsuit. The two brands – which fall under the umbrella of American apparel and footwear giant, VF Corporation – filed suit in federal court in Florida this week. Their goal: To stop the individuals behind 831 different websites, which are actively selling low quality sneakers and outerwear bearing the Vans and North Face trademarks.

To read more click here     
Source: The Fashion Law

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

DO YOU HAVE A TOY BMW?

Have you ever had anyone ask you whether you could start a toy business based on model cars, or create a car kit business, or how to describe a prize in a competition which is a car, or use models of famous cars in an amusement park for kids, or use a toy car in a promotional campaign for your business? This article will assist you understand some of the legal aspects as applied in South Africa, insofar as the shape of the car is concerned.

To read more click here
Source: Afro-IP

DATA PROTECTION

NEW SCIENTIFIC DATA RULES IN CHINA: CHINA CLAIMS "DATA SOVEREIGNTY"

In March of this year, the State Council released the Scientific Data Administrative Measures, a set of rules with the seemingly innocuous aim of collecting and making public the results of government-funded scientific research.

Dig deeper, however, and the measures have serious, far-reaching consequences for all organizations in China carrying out scientific research, regardless of whether they are publicly or privately funded. Privately-funded research institutions are required to submit scientific data to the Chinese government if they concern state secrets, national security or are in the social and public interest, all of which are vague, malleable concepts open to interpretation.

To read more click here
Source: Hogan Lovells

EU GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION

Bird & Bird's guide to the General Data Protection Regulation seeks to summarise the key changes that the new law will bring and to highlight the most important actions which organisations should take in preparing to comply with it.

The Guide was updated in May 2017 to incorporate the latest guidance published by the Article 29 Working Party in April 2017. 

In publishing a new General Data Protection Regulation in January 2012, the European Commission fired the starting pistol on 4 years of debate, negotiation and lobbying the like of which the European Union (EU) has never previously seen. From this process emerged a law which will significantly overhaul Europe's cornerstone data protection legislation at a time when information systems and digital business underpin human life.

To read more click here
Source: Bird&Bird

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

NAMIBIA INTRODUCES NEW INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY ACT

After years of anticipation, the Industrial Property Regulations were published in the Namibian Government Gazette on 1 June 2018. The effect of the publication is that the new Industrial Property Act No. 1 of 2012 will come into operation on 1 August 2018.

The Act repeals, amongst other legislation, the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act dating back to 1973 and introduces new legislation for patents, industrial designs, trade marks and trade names. Copyright protection is still mainly governed separately under the existing Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 6 of 1994.

To read more click here
Source: Adams & Adams 

NDAS & NNNS IN CHINA

Western companies have started moving away from Non-Disclosure Agreements over IP with Chinese companies due to non-observance of the same and due to the fact that such NDAs are not drafted according to Chinese laws and hence are mostly unenforceable in China.

Western companies are now moving to Non-Use, Non-Disclosure and Non-Circumvention (NNN) agreements. These are now being drafted in Chinese and are to be governed by Chinese laws.

To read more click here
Source: The IPKat

ELECTRONIC REGISTRY TO VERIFY LOAN SEEKERS’ ASSETS

Kenya has created an electronic registry for movable collateral that will help lenders search for credit information on both loan seekers and proposed assets to act as security.

In an advertisement in the Kenyan dailies, the Attorney-General gave step-by-step instructions. Potential borrowers will electronically register their farm equipment, livestock, durable consumer products like televisions and refrigerators, intellectual property as well as motor vehicles on the database.

The electronic registration is part of the Movable Property Security Rights Act 2017 which became law last year, and paved the way for the formation of a centralised electronic registry for mobile assets that financial institutions can use to verify the security offered.

To read more click here
Source: The East African

EMOJIS AND IP LAW

Everyone loves emojis, and why not? They are a fun and an increasingly ubiquitous way for people to express themselves. But despite their superficial frivolity, emojis can raise potentially complex and serious legal issues, including novel and complicated questions about intellectual property (IP). This article surveys how United States IP law protects emojis, and why such protection may be problematic.

To read more click here   
Source: WIPO

JUSTICE KENNEDY’S RETIREMENT MAY IMPACT IP CASES IN LONG TERM

The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and the addition of a new US Supreme Court Justice is unlikely to immediately change the court’s standing on IP issues, although it may have an impact in the longer run, according to IP lawyers. The news that Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court will step down means that US President Donald Trump will need to nominate a replacement. Last year, Trump successfully nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court following the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016.

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Source: WIPR

ESPN+ AND THE STREAMING OF SPORTS EVENTS--WILL IT COMPLEMENT OR CANNIBALIZE?

Already in the 19th century, the book industry had begun to experiment with publishing paperback versions. The question early on was whether paperbacks expanded the market, by reaching readers who would not otherwise have purchased the more expensive hardback, or whether it tended to cannibalize sales. The advent of paper books was perhaps the first example of the tension between complementing and cannibalizing a copyright-driven market. 

A version of this arose in the recent announcement by Disney of ESPN+, which is meant to be a sports-streaming service that will be available for a (modest?) monthly subscription fee. Still, even die-hard sports fans who cannot get enough of televised sports may have missed the launch of the service on April 12th. Usually, when Disney does a launch, one can expect bells, whistles, and a lot more, the better to draw attention to the new offering. Add to that is the fact that ESPN is the most consistently lucrative part of the Disney empire. Still, all in all, the launch of ESPN+ was a modest affair. It is interesting to consider the reasons this was so, and why Disney is gingerly taking steps as it enters the sports streaming business.

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Source: IP Finance (An IPKat approved site) 

Our Work

In the month of June we have:

  • Filed approximately [25] trademark applications across East Africa;
  • Assisted with approximately [20] trademark renewals, and [15] recordals of mergers, changes of names and assignments of trademarks;
  • Filed Patent applications [2] and
  • Filed [4] renewal of patent annuity.