Week´s news headlines – Nov. 04th 2016

IP Court grants application for preliminary injunction based on trade secrets protection

The applicant, Genesis Photonics Inc, discovered that after one of its ex-employees left Genesis a number of other employees also resigned and began to work at a company established by the ex-employee. Based on the post-resignation confidentiality obligations agreed in the services agreement previously entered into between Genesis and the ex-employee, Genesis applied for a preliminary injunction order against the ex-employee, requesting that the court prohibit the ex-employee from using or disclosing trade secrets that he obtained during his employment. The court first confirmed that the ex-employee should comply with the confidentiality obligations.



A Bit More Transparency in Patent Lawsuits

Should patent lawsuits filed in federal courts be hidden from the public? We don’t think so, especially where a patent owner may be suing multiple people based on the same claim. Apart from the general principle that legal processes should be open to the public whenever possible, as a practical matter sealed filings prevent other people under legal threat from the same person from learning information that may be crucial to their own defense.

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InDex Pharmaceuticals Gets New Patent Granted in the US

InDex Pharmaceuticals Holding AB (publ) (STO:INDEX) today announced that a new method of use patent for the drug candidate cobitolimod will be granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent provides additional protection for the use of certain dosage regimens of cobitolimod for treating chronic active ulcerative colitis in patients that are not responding or are intolerant to anti-inflammatory therapy.

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A new provision for trademark parody: is it a joke? 

A number of fashion players base their business on the very thin line running between tribute and misappropriation. In this context, it is difficult to understand how quotations of well-known fashion trademarks made with humorous intent should be treated, especially as European Union legislation has not provided any guidance on the parody fair use defence — at least, up to now.

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Lucasfilm brings trademark suit against operator of lightsaber training academies

It’s been a busy few years for the Star Wars movie franchise since Lucasfilm, the George Lucas-owned production company that filmed the first six installments of the series, was purchased byThe Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DISin October 2012 for $4 billion. Last December, Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the most recent installment of the immensely popular movie saga. Next December, the adventures of Rey, Poe Dameron and Finn will continue in Star Wars: Episode VIII as they work with the Resistance to undo both Kylo Ren and the First Order.

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SAIC issues new regulation on trademark examination

On July 26, 2016, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) published the “Opinion on Pushing Forward the Reform to Facilitate Trademark Registration Procedure” (the Opinion), making such reform its priority for the year 2016 – 2017.

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Sorry, Trump. Someone Else Just Got Dibs on the Trump TV Trademark

A guy named Mark Grabowsky just made Trump’s post-election plans more complicated.

If Donald Trump wants to launch a broadcast network with his name on it after the election, he’ll have to get through an enterprising public health doctor named Mark Grabowsky first.

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U.S. Register of Copyrights at the Library of Congress Resigns Suddenly

On Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, the United States (U.S.) Register of Copyrights at the Library of Congress, Maria Pallante, resigned suddenly. Pallante’s letter of resignation, leaked to “The Hollywood Reporter,” came after the newly appointed Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced that Pallante had been moved to another position, senior advisor for digital strategy. At this same time, Hayden confirmed that Karyn Temple Claggett will act as Register of Copyrights. The Register of Copyright has not been dismissed in 119 years.

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Chinese Company Challenges ITC’S Authority Over Trade-Secret Theft Occurring Outside the United States

About 5 years ago, the Federal Circuit held that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) had the power to adjudicate trade-secret theft occurring wholly overseas. The case was TianRui Group Co. Ltd. v. ITC, 661 F.3d 1322 (Fed. Cir. 2011), and we blogged about it here. That decision is now under attack. Last week a Chinese company known as Sino Legend petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari to review TianRui Group’s principle holding—namely, that Section 337 of the Tariff Act gives the ITC jurisdiction over trade-secret misappropriation, even if the predicate acts of misappropriation occur entirely outside the United States.

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Federal Copyright Law Does Not Preempt Trade Secret Claim

Addressing issues of preemption, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that federal copyright law did not preempt the plaintiff’s trade secret claim because trade secret claims seek to protect different rights than those protected under federal copyright law. GlobeRanger Corporation v. Software AG US, Inc., Case No. 15-10121 (5th Cir., Sept. 7, 2016) (Costa, J).

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Sell products globally, but keep trade secrets local

It has never been more important for Canadian companies to identify and protect their trade secrets. We often initially visualize an intruder or a hacker when picturing a trade secret thief. Consider the risk of a thief handing over your stolen trade secrets to his or her business partner.

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Key Takeaways from the Advanced Trademark Law Seminar

Kilpatrick Townsend recently hosted a seminar on Advanced Trademark Law exploring informative, timely issues in trademark law and the business of brands. Topics featured panelists from some of the top name brands in the world. Key takeaways from the seminar include:

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A.I. Computers Should Be Named as Inventors on Patents

A lawyer proposes that creative computers be elevated from the role of sophisticated tools to that of inventors.

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Who Owns the Intellectual Property for Your Website?

With visibility on the internet more important than ever, the website has become an invaluable tool for the majority of the UK’s businesses, regardless of size. However, many business owners are not aware of significant dangers when commissioning the creation of a website by a third party firm.

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Beijing to Further Intellectual Property Protection

The International Trademark Association (INTA), the Zhongguancun Federation of Social Organizations (ZFSO) and the Beijing Intellectual Property Protection Association (BIPPA) signed a cooperation agreement for Chinese brand construction strategy on September 20 in Beijing.

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Swatch aleja a iWatch

La compañía suiza logró impedir que Apple registre en el Reino Unido su marca de relojes inteligentes.

En 2014, el grupo relojero suizo se opuso al registro en el Reino Unido de la marca Swatch, solicitado por Apple para denominar a su reloj inteligente, pues podía confundirse con su marca registrada.

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Russia Intellectual Property – Non-traditional trademarks – not what you expected…

A trademark is defined in the Russian Civil Code as a designation, which individualizes the goods/services of one legal entity or individual entrepreneur to another.

The idea itself gives the Russian Trademark Law a very open view on what can be registered as a ‘trademark’.

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Beer trademarks hit record high in 2015

The number of new beer trademarks registered in the UK has hit a record high following a 12% annual rise, according to law firm RPC.

In 2015, 1,666 beer trademarks were registered, an increase from the 1,485 marks registered in 2014.

According to the law firm, the record number is probably being driven in part “by the proliferation of new own brand ‘artisan’ style beers being launched by mega-breweries as they seek a large share of the ‘craft beer’ market”.

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Motion Trademarks as an Element of Brand Promotion

A motion mark may be an animation created using a computer program, or some other moving object which exists in the real world. In particular, such a mark may be in the form of a gesture made by a person using various parts of the body, especially the hand. Submitting a motion trademark involves the same criteria of assessment as do other forms of trademarks, but motion marks remain but a small fraction of the trademark submissions made in the European Union.

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Guess? Victorious in Latest Round of Gucci Trademark Fight

Gucci has lost yet another round in its ongoing battle against Guess?. The Florentine design brand accused the comparatively lower-end brand of perpetrating a massive trademark infringement scheme, initially filing suit against Guess? in 2009 in New York, claiming that the interlocking “G” trademarks that adorn an array of Guess accessories infringe its own “G” trademarks. Gucci was awarded only a small fraction of the $221 million damages award it was seeking (a mere $450,000) in that case, and subsequently filed suit against Guess?

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Trademarks: A basic primer on trademarks and trademark law

Trademarks are a universal phenomenon.  Virtually all legal systems around the world recognize some form of identification of the source and quality of goods. Trademarks have been in existence for almost as long as trade itself, with identification symbols that today we would call trademarks dating 4000 years.  In free market economies, trademarks are legally recognized and protected as an inherent feature of the marketplace and of consumer protection.

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Copyright infringement issues concerning adaptations of computer software

Article 3(1)(11) of the Copyright Act states that an ‘adaptation’ refers to the creation of another work based on a pre-existing work by translation, musical arrangement, revision, filming or other means. According to the IP Court, derivative works resulting from an adaptation should still contain elements of the original. If a different work has been created through the use of the original, the work is not considered a derivative work according to the Copyright Act, but is deemed a completely new work. Naturally, such work does not infringe the original author’s adaptation rights.

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