Rospatent gives the green light to foreign applicants from 11 states

As outlined in art. 1247 of the Russian Civil Code, any applicant may choose one of the options how to be represented before Rospatent:

  • directly, or
  • by a Russian patent attorney, or
  • by another representative (e.g., attorney-at-law)

The list is significantly shortened for foreign applicants: under art. 1247 (2) of the Civil Code, foreign citizens and legal entities may be represented before Rospatent only by Russian patent attorneys, unless otherwise envisaged by an international treaty.
Continue Reading

When appealing bears fruit: Pear Technologies v EUIPO – Apple

Are apples different from pears? Or are they both just fruit? Or, as cockney rhyming slang would have it, are they stairs? These are the questions (excepting the last one) that the distinguished judges of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU) have been gr-apple-ing with in the recent case of Pear Technologies v EUIPO – Apple [2019] EUECJ T-215/17. Aside from offering opportunities for highly amusing wordplay, this recent decision includes some useful guidance on the CJEU’s approach to the visual and conceptual comparison of signs in trade mark disputes.

The case is the result of an EU logo trade mark application (see below) by digital marketing company Pear Technologies Ltd (PTL) in 2014. The application, which was in three classes (9 (computer software), 35 (consultancy services) and 42 (computer services)), was opposed by Apple Inc. (Apple) before the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Apple based its opposition on its prior EU registration for the well-known apple logo (see below). Continue Reading

Apple Closed Two of Its Stores in Eastern Texas. The Reasoning May Surprise You – How patent laws can affect key business decisions

Apple, the technology giant which runs successful Apple Stores all over the world, announced that it will close its only two stores in eastern Texas by Friday, April 12.

Apple, however, did not announce why it was closing those two stores. This is especially intriguing since Apple likely generates millions of dollars in revenue each year from those stores.

It begs the question: why would Apple close its only two stores in that area when those stores are typically very successful to its business? Continue Reading

New Process for Timestamping IP works in Greece

On 26 February 2019, the Hellenic Copyright Organization (Greek acronym: “OPI”) launched a new online service for “electronic timestamping” of all types of works.

The service, which can be accessed at www.timestamp.gr/en , claims to offer the opportunity to creators, both amateurs and professionals, to easily get certified proof of existence of their work at a specific time, in order to be prepared to prove the priority of their rights of intellectual property or related rights if a case of infringement or another related dispute arises in the future.

The authority of OPI to establish the new online platform was provided by article 54 par. 11 of Law 4481/2017, amending article 69 par. 1 of Greek Copyright Law 2121/1993 regarding the services that OPI may provide. Continue Reading

Plant Breeder’s Rights in Australia: updated, amended and strengthened

Recent amendments to the PBR Act have strengthened PBR rights and have aligned aspects of PBR with other intellectual property laws in Australia.

This article summarises the changes.


The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Act 2018 (Cth) (Amending Act) received Royal Assent on 24 August 2018 and makes significant changes to the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994 (Cth) (PBR Act).

The most recent changes to the PBR Act came into effect on 24 February 2019. Key changes include amendments permitting additional damages for infringement and new provisions dealing with unjustified threats of infringement, exclusive licences and joint ownership. Continue Reading

“…For me? As what? Tough guy? I don’t need tough guys. I need more lawyers…”: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

There is a popular vintage Harley Davidson t-shirt that says “Tough Guys Finish First.”  That may be true.  But, sometimes, to finish first, one does not need more tough guys; one needs more lawyers, as a crime-related matter involving the Mongols Motor Cycle Club has recently shown.  So today we thought that we would use Michael Corleone’s observation as the title of our discussion of how creative intellectual property lawyering has impacted that recent Mongols’ matter in a California federal court.  [Not only is the Corleone quote apt here, but it is often useful in any context to start with a quote from The Godfather, which has been described as the “sum of all wisdoms” and “the source of all knowledge.”  So it is probably fitting that we lead this piece (or any piece) with a Godfather quote or reference, especially since it has worked for us before.]

The notion that trademark law is relevant to criminal law is not a new one, and the concept that controlling the marks or identifying symbols associated with an alleged criminal enterprise are also not new.  Indeed, it has been celebrated in cinema and conceded in real life. See, US v. Saunders, 826 F. 3d 363, 375 (7th Cir.  2016 ) (“But the court ultimately accepted that … he used red tape to wrap his heroin in order to distinguish it, and that he was known on the street for having excellent quality heroin because of this ratio”) (emphasis added).  But law enforcement efforts to seize control of, and limit the use of, group identifying marks raise sensitive free speech and related issues that are worth considering.  And in the end, no matter how many tough guys were within the Mongols’ ranks, it was about having the right lawyers involved.  Indeed, those lawyers made their mark by making the right arguments to let the Mongols, who were on the verge of losing the rights to their name, keep their mark. Continue Reading

Case update: trade mark licensing and register formalities in the spotlight

The Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Calico Global Pty Ltd v Calico LLC1. This decision highlights the potentially fatal consequences of not updating the IP Australia register to reflect a change in trade mark ownership.

The decision also serves as a reminder of the fundamental importance of ensuring that the owner of a trade mark (such as the registered owner or an unregistered assignee) exercise sufficient control over the use of the trade mark by a licensee. Continue Reading

1-800 Contacts Unlawfully Restricted Competitors’ Trademark Use in Search Engine Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently decided that agreements reached by 1-800 Contacts, Inc. with a number of its competitors to settle claims that the competitors’ online search advertising infringed on 1-800 Contacts’ trademarks unlawfully restricted the competitors’ ability to engage in search engine marketing, to the detriment of both consumers and search engines.

The FTC’s Complaint

In August 2016, the FTC issued an administrative complaint against 1-800 Contacts, an online contact lens retailer, alleging that various settlement agreements it had reached with other online contact lens retailers unreasonably restrained both price competition in keyword search advertising auctions and the availability of truthful, non-misleading advertising in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. Continue Reading

TOP-10 IP Disputes in 2018


in PDF format

CATEGORY: Trademarks
CASE: Sony vs. PAG
DETAILS: Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 8-P dated 13 February 2018
SUMMARY: Unlike the counterfeit, the original (grey) product cannot be destroyed under the court judgment (unless it endangers human health, the environment or cultural heritage) and it is impossible to recover a large compensation
Continue Reading

Troubled Waters for Online Pirates in Greece

On November 6, 2018 a remarkable blow was delivered to online piracy in Greece. On that day, the newly-formed “Committee for Online Copyright Infringement” – informally and more descriptively also known as the Greek “Anti-Piracy Committee” – published its first decisions, ordering, by one of those (Decision No. 3/2018), all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Greece to block the access to 38 domains names that corresponded to websites with copyright infringing content. The decision was most welcomed by copyright holders in Greece and was also widely shared among Internet users, many of whom were taken by surprise by the new development as the Committee’s establishment had not, until then, become known to most people not associated with the intellectual property field. Continue Reading

LexBlog