Trademarks

Updates

Despite the sale and import ban Apple got in Munich last month, the patent lawsuit initiated by Qualcomm was dismissed by a regional court in Mannheim this month. The German court did not find violation of Qualcomm patent rights by installing Qualcomm chips in Apple iPhones. Qualcomm announced that will appeal this decision. This is one of the many cases in the worldwide battle of Qualcomm and Apple on patent rights.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) publishes a new report: ‘Creative Economy Outlook: Trends in International Trade in Creative Industries’ The report demonstrates that growth in the creative sector remains stable. Even though global economy suffered from the financial crisis in 2008, the creative sector was not affected. The report states that China is the one of the economies that benefit the most from the creative sector. The data in the report are from 2002 to 2015, during this period the global market for creative goods rose from $208 billion to $509 billion.

The new EU Trade Mark Directive (2015/2436) has entered into force in the UK through the new UK trademark regulation. The new regulation will bring many changes including: terms of licencing and assignment, seizure of goods passing through the UK, technical function exception, infringement deficines, anti-counterfeit measures, opposition, and others. One of the most important changes is that you can register a trademark even if it does not have graphical representation (sound and motion or hologram trademarks can now be registered).

After ban of Apple iPhones in China, a German court adopted a similar injunction stating that Apple infringed patents related to power saving. This ban will forbid Apple to sell, offer to sell, and import infringing goods. The judgement will be enforceable when Qualcomm depose bound. Bond is required to secure potential request for damages by Apple, if the judgement would be overturned in latter stage.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court in China issued an injunction against Apple in China for violating two Qualcomm patent rights. Qualcomm stated that the patents were unlawfully used by Apple to ‘enable consumers to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photographs, and to manage applications using a touch screen when viewing, navigating and dismissing applications on their phones’. The injunction will ban the import and sales of most iPhones in China. Apple stated that this ban should only be related to iPhones with operating systems older than iOS 11 and that it will fight against the decision.

EU Commission publishes first ‘counterfeiting and piracy watch list’. The watch list is the result of an almost year-long consultation process. It provides information about marketplaces and service providers outside of the EU that were reported due to their involvement in piracy or selling counterfeit goods. The list consists of four parts: online marketplaces offering content protected by copyright and service providers enabling access to such content; e-commerce platforms; online pharmacies; and physical marketplaces. The watch list aims to serve all interested stakeholders, but especially the commission in its work within intellectual property rights (IPR) dialogues and working groups.

Knowledge and ideas are key resources in the global economy. The protection of knowledge and ideas, through IPR, has become one of the predominant issues in the Internet governance debate, and has a strong development-oriented component. Internet-related IPR include copyright, trademarks, and patents.

Trademarks are relevant to the Internet because of the registration of domain names. In the early phase of Internet development, the registration of domain names was based on a first come, first served basis. This led to cybersquatting, the practice of registering names of companies and selling them later at a higher price.

 

Mechanisms for the protection of trademarks

 

This situation compelled the business sector to place the question of the protection of trademarks at the centre of the reform of Internet governance, leading to the establishment of ICANN in 1998. In the White Paper on the creation of ICANN, the US government demanded that ICANN develop and implement a mechanism for the protection of trademarks in the field of domain names. Soon after its formation, ICANN introduced the WIPO‑developed Universal Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP).

The recent introduction of the new gTLDs reinvigorated the relevance of trademark for domain names, ICANN, and overall IG.

ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) authenticates information from rights holders and provides this information to registries and registrars.

The UDRP - the primary dispute resolution procedure - is stipulated in advance as a dispute resolution mechanism in all contracts involving the registration of gTLDs (e.g. .com, .edu, .org, .net), and for some ccTLDs. Its arbitration awards are applied directly through changes in the DNS without resorting to enforcement of trademark protection through national courts.

Events

Resources

Publications

Internet Governance Acronym Glossary (2015)
An Introduction to Internet Governance (2014)

Papers

Competition in the Software Industry: the Interface between Antitrust and Intellectual Property Law (1999)

Reports

2016 Special 301 Report (2016)
Report of the Director General to the WIPO Assemblies (2015)

GIP event reports

GNSO Review of all Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLDs PDP Working Group Face-to-Face Meeting (2017)
ICANN58: GNSO-GAC Facilitated Dialogue on IGO & Red Cross Protections (Session 2) (2017)

Processes

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