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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Who we all are...
Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
EU-China Agreement on Cooperation on, and Protection of, GIs

On 14 September 2020 the European Union and the People’s Republic of China signed the EU-China Agreement on Cooperation on, and Protection of, Geographical Indications (GIs), a standalone agreement that concludes a long negotiation of over ten years. Paul Ranjard of the MARQUES GI Team explains its importance.

An initial EU-China pilot project “10+10” was run from 2007 to 2012, allowing the registration of 10 EU GIs in China under the AQSIQ regime (and 10 Chinese GIs in Europe). In 2010, the European Council mandated the European Commission to negotiate an EU-China Agreement for 100 GIs on each side.

The EU China Agreement is made up of 13 articles, which define the essential elements of the registration procedure of 100 GIs from each side, with an agreement to add another “batch” of 175 GIs from each side, within four years.

The agreement addresses issues such as the scope of protection of, and the right to use, a GI and the relationship between GIs and trade marks (an identical or similar trade mark may not be registered after a GI is registered, but newly registered GIs could coexist with earlier trade marks).

Six annexes are attached to the agreement: the relevant legislation of the parties, the technical specifications for GI registration, the list 100 GIs from China and from the EU, and the (to be added in the future) list of 175 GIs from China and from the EU.

A Joint Committee composed of representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and of DG AGRI is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the agreement and exchanging information.

Important issues remain to be reviewed and clarified, including how the Chinese legislation on GIs is enforced on the ground. In that regard, Article 7 of the EU China Agreement merely provides that the parties shall enforce the protection of GIs by appropriate actions of their authorities. They shall also enforce such protection at the request of an interested party. This is without prejudice to the rights of interested parties to seek judicial enforcement”.

Another clarification needed concerns the revocation of a GI on account of genericness: the European Union and China have quite different views on this issue.

Paul Ranjard is Counsel to WAN HUI DA Intellectual Property Agency and Law firm in Beijing and a member of the MARQUES GI Team

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 11.58
Tags: GI, China, geographical indication,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4915
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ISP liability throughout the EU: version 3.0

The MARQUES Cyberspace Team has published the latest update to its paper on ISP liability. Gabriele Engels introduces it.

Advocate General’s Opinion

In light of the recent opinion published by the Advocate General of the CJEU in connection with a reference for a preliminary ruling from the German Federal Supreme Court (16 July 2020, joined cases C‑682/18 and C‑683/18) concerning the primary liability of platforms such as Uploaded and YouTube, the Cyberspace Team has taken the opportunity to revise and update its paper “Overview on the jurisdiction on liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs)”.

The considerations brought forward by Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe have again highlighted how relevant and important the discussion surrounding provider liability remains, especially with regard to the much debated Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Directive 2019/790/EC).

In the view of the Advocate General, pursuant to the current legal situation, the illegal uploading of protected content by platform users does not result in the direct primary liability of the platform operators, as they merely act as intermediaries. Only the uploading users themselves are primarily liable.

This will, however, change with the implementation of the new Directive, which EU Member States must implement by June 2021. According to its requirements, platform operators will be obliged to obtain the permission of rights holders for the online publication of works uploaded by their users (e.g. through licensing agreements). Failure to do so can result in the primary liability of host providers.

A final decision by the CJEU is still pending and can be expected in a few months’ time.

Latest decisions

This updated version of the paper for the first time includes a comprehensive review of the French case law on provider liability, as well as a detailed and updated examination of the newest rulings of the CJEU and national courts (in Germany, the Netherlands, England, Denmark and Sweden).

We would like to take this opportunity to invite any interested MARQUES members to contact the Team with details of other countries to include.

To view the newest version of the "Overview on the jurisdiction on liability of Internet Service Providers (ISP)", please click here (MARQUES login required).

Gabriele Engels is counsel at DLA Piper in Cologne and Co-Vice-Chair of the Cyberspace Team

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 08.25
Tags: YouTube, ISP, CJEU, Cyberspace,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4913
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WIPO webinars on the Madrid System and IP offices

As part of its programme of education on the Madrid System, WIPO is hosting three webinars with national IP offices in the next few months.

These are:

Over the next few months, WIPO is also hosting webinars in various languages on topics including: guides to international applications, learning from common mistakes, the Madrid Application Assistant and other online services.

A list of upcoming Madrid System webinars is available on the WIPO website here.

Thanks to the MARQUES International Trade Mark Law and Practice Team for sharing this information.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 18.08
Tags: WIPO, IP Australia, USPTO,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4911
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Final week of MARQUES Month

There are six events taking part online this week as MARQUES Month draws to a close.

Today sees a workshop on sustainability hosted by the Intellectual Asset Management Team. This will look at the impact of sustainability issues on brand value, sales and consumer confidence – and how brands can support sustainability initiatives while avoiding accusations of greenwashing. The workshop starts at 13.30 BST/14.30 CEST.

On Thursday we have the Corporate Breakfast Meeting (08.00 BST/09.00 CEST, by invitation only to corporate members). This is followed by the presentation of the Lewis Gaze Memorial Scholarship at 13.30 BST/14.30 CEST, which is open to everyone, and the Network Reception at 16.00 BST/17.00 CEST.

The Lewis Gaze Memorial Scholarship is presented annually to a student in the city hosting the Annual Conference, to recognise an outstanding paper on trade mark law. This year's winner, from Stockholm University, will receive their certificate during the presentation.

MARQUES Month concludes on Friday with the MARQUES Annual General Meeting (09.00 BST/10.00 CEST) and the final panel session which is on Brands and Online Games (13.30 BST/14.30 CEST). This session will look at all aspects of online gaming, spanning various IP rights, including issues raised by online dissemination, new technologies, the resurgence of old brands and lessons for other sectors.

In addition to these MARQUES Month events, the annual Team Leaders Meeting and Team Meetings are taking place this week. These would have been held at the Annual Conference in Stockholm, which had to be cancelled. All those involved have received invitations. 

You can find out more about all the MARQUES Month activities, including how to join the sessions for which you have registered, on the dedicated page on the MARQUES website.

Last week’s sessions

Last week’s MARQUES Month activities comprised a panel on music and new technology and a workshop on technical functionality.

The panel consisted of Anders Ekström of Music in Brands, Oscar Höglund of Epidemic Sound and Wendela Hårdemark of MAQS. It was moderated by Sara Söderling of Setterwalls Advokatbyrå Malmö AB.

As Anders said: “Music is one of the most powerful things we have for connecting brands and consumers.” Music is important in establishing an emotional connection, and research suggests people are 96% more likely to remember a brand with music. But, as Oscar pointed out, there are also risks of misinterpretation, tastes change over time and the same music may mean different things to different people.

The panel also discussed the challenges of registering sound trade marks, copyright issues and the issues raised by new tools such as voice searching, which could change the way people interact with brands.

The Brompton Bicycle case was one of those discussed in the workshop on technical functionality

The workshop on technical functionality was led by members of the Designs Team and Copyright Team. They discussed the law and cases on functionality regarding trade marks (including the Philips, Lego, Rubik's Cube and Gombock cases), designs (notably the recent DOCERAM judgment) and copyright (where the decisions in Cofemel and Brompton Bicycle have provided some guidance).

Then, in two breakout sessions, participants discussed case studies presented by members of the Teams. These involved an inflatable helmet, a dental implant, an inhaler and a playground climbing frame. The workshop concluded with quiz questions (and answers) on the protection of various products in different jurisdictions.

All previous MARQUES Month sessions are available for registrants to view in the online Plenary Room.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.28
Tags: MARQUES Month, Lewis Gaze, sustainability, ,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4910
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MARQUES Month: update on week two

How can brand owners avoid being out-smarted by tech-savvy counterfeiters? That was the topic of the third panel session of MARQUES Month, which took place last Tuesday.

During the webinar on “Technology in tracking counterfeiters” speakers discussed the technological tools available to brand owners, and how these can be deployed. They also shared tips on how to prioritise threats and work with law enforcement.

Michael Sweeney of Incopro started by noting that the ICC estimates that counterfeiting and piracy will be worth $4.2 trillion by 2022 and that brand owner can often feel overwhelmed, outnumbered and that they have a thankless task.

But he said that by following the “Discover-Prioritise-Act” formula, brand owners can take a proactive approach that focuses on the biggest threats. He provided a case study of a toy company that had increased sales by 130% in nine months by tackling its counterfeiting problem.

Emma-Jane Tritton of Richemont provided more detail on how technology can help identify “clusters” of the biggest threats, which can then be assessed based on factors such as location, pricing and website status. She shared a case study from China where investigation followed by legal action had led to a couple who were selling counterfeits on Taobao and WeChat both being fined and imprisoned.

While the role of data analysis is vital, said Emma-Jane, “you still need the human analysis to make sense of trends” and to build cooperation beyond notice and take-down letters.

In her presentation, Anja Franke of Grunecker summarised recent developments to fight counterfeits in Europe including European Commission initiatives, case law on blocking injunctions, the Blockathon and Europol and Interpol initiatives (In Our Sites and Pangea respectively).

Summing up, moderator Claire Lehr of EIP said that brand owners should not feel “outsmarted” given the technology now available to help with enforcement.

Brand owners and the Madrid System

In the second webinar held last week, speakers discussed practical issues concerning the Madrid System, and took questions from the audience (“WIPO: Corporate Counsel and the Madrid Protocol”).

Debbie Roenning of WIPO said that the shift to remote working “has worked surprisingly well” and provided updates on demand for filings, which she described as “erratic”.

David Grunbaum of BabyBjorn and Vadim Niuniaev of Gazprom shared insights from brand owners that use the Madrid System, including on the impact of COVID-19 on their business, trade mark filing strategies and strategies for the Madrid System.

Marcus Ateva of MarLaw added the perspective of a lawyer in private practice and the session was moderated by Jessica Le Gros of Baker McKenzie.

Both these webinars, as well as all the previous events in MARQUES Month, are available for registrants to view again in the auditorium. Read a summary of the first week’s webinars in this Class 46 blog post.

Coming up this week

There are two more MARQUES Month sessions this week. “Music and new technology” takes place at 13.30 BST/14.30 CEST today (Tuesday) and on Friday there is a workshop on technical functionality, also at 13.30 BST/14.30 CEST.

If you are registered for these events, you can join them live (and engage in the Q&A) or watch the recordings from the day after broadcast via the MARQUES Month lobby.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.39
Tags: MARQUES Month, WIPO, Madrid System, ,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4909
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UKIPO survey on post-Brexit trade marks

The UKIPO has launched a simple questionnaire to help assess how busy it will be when the UK leaves the EU trade mark and design systems at the end of 2020.

The deadline for responding to the questionnaire is 30 November. Responses are anonymous.

The survey comprises three questions with multiple choice answers. The first covers how many clients will wish to secure specific UK trade mark protection when it leaves the EU system. The second addresses when clients are likely to start double filing, or if they have already done so. The third concerns filings during the nine-month pendency window.

The questionnaire is available here.

The UKIPO welcomes all input, so please do consider responding if this is relevant to you.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 08.20
Tags: UKIPO, Brexit,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4908
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WIPO webinar on e-commerce and IP for indigenous peoples

Readers may be interested in a webinar being hosted by WIPO on 11 September at from 3pm until 4.30pm CEST. The topic is: E-commerce and intellectual property for indigenous peoples and local community entrepreneurs.

The introduction states:

With the exceptional circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous Peoples and Local Community (IPLC) entrepreneurs, who usually sell traditional knowledge-based goods and services in physical stores, markets and festivals, are increasingly turning to electronic commerce (e-commerce) and social media to maintain and expand their businesses. IPLC entrepreneurs now face additional challenges related to protecting works, ideas and images and distinguishing their goods and services in a digital environment.

This webinar will identify the main intellectual property (IP) challenges that IPLC entrepreneurs face in the context of e-commerce and social media, and provide information about the IP tools and options available to overcome these challenges. A panel of e-commerce experts and IPLC entrepreneurs will share their experiences and answer questions on how to protect traditional knowledge-based goods and services in a digital environment.

The speakers are:

  • Mr. Juan Hoyos, Adviser, Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains, Division of Enterprises and Institutions, International Trade Centre, Geneva
  • Ms. Lucille Anak Awen Jon, Jewelry Designer, Bidayuh Community, Malaysia
  • Ms. Solveig Ballo, Manager, Sàmi Business Garden, Norway
  • Mr. Gabriele Gagliani, Lecturer, Bocconi University, Milan, and Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve University, United States of America
  • Ms. Rebecka Forsgren, WIPO Indigenous Fellow, Traditional Knowledge Division, Global Issues Sector, WIPO (moderator)

You can register for the webinar on the dedicated page on WIPO’s website.

This topic is one that the MARQUES IP Emerging Issues Team focuses on. Find out more about their work here (MARQUES log-in required to download articles).

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.36
Tags: WIPO, webinar, indigenous peoples, e-commerce,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA4907
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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