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The blog for design law, in Europe and worldwide. This weblog is written by a team of design experts and fans. To contribute, or join us, or for any other reason, email class99@marques.org.

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Hague System Seminar and Trade Secrets Symposium
WIPO Headquarters

Class 99 readers may be interested in the seminar on “The Hague System: Insights into Refusals and New Developments, Opportunities” taking place at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva on 29 October 2019.

According to WIPO:

The Seminar will focus on national procedures for international registrations of certain major examining jurisdictions, such as Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.  There will be a roundtable on such procedures, in particular, on the issuance of refusals to international registrations by the concerned Offices in these examining jurisdictions.  In addition, an update will be provided on the recent practical developments of the Hague System – the ongoing modernization and improvement of e-tools, including a detailed introduction to the new features of eHague, the Hague System’s electronic application filing tool.

Finally, a Practitioner in the field of industrial design will share practical experiences and views on successful filing strategies as well as the advantages of the Hague System for SMEs and multinationals.  You will have the opportunity to interact with Hague Registry experts and invited speakers, seek advice and share opinions, experiences and ideas.

Registration costs Sfr300 and you can register online for the seminar up until 6pm on 22 October. More details about the seminar, including general information and a provisional programme, are available here.

Trade Secrets Symposium

WIPO is also hosting a Symposium on Trade Secrets and Innovation in Geneva on 25 and 26 November 2019. The Symposium will be open to the public. WIPO states:

The Symposium will address issues relating to interface between trade secrets and innovation, covering the wide range of aspects on policy, law, economics and business. It also explores new challenges and opportunities for both technological and service innovation sectors, and potential impacts of emerging technologies on the integration of trade secrets in the modern innovation ecosystem.

Find out more, including a draft programme, here. There will be simultaneous translation in English, French and Spanish. You can register for the Symposium here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.01
Tags: WIPO, Hague System, trade secrets,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA879

When is a disclosure not a disclosure? Designs discussed at Annual Conference

The 33rd MARQUES Annual Conference is taking place in Dublin, Ireland this week and this morning featured a session dedicated to evidence of disclosure in design law. As moderator Mikas Miniotas of AAA Legal Services in Estonia explained, this is a complex and evolving question in design invalidity cases, especially where the supposed disclosure took place on the internet. Guidance for design practitioners is available from General Court case law and the new Convergence Programme 10, and EPO practice on patents also provides some useful lessons.

Recent cases and pending issues

Arnaud Folliard-Monguiral, Team Leader, Litigation, ICLAD, EUIPO provided a perspective on disclosure on the internet in registered Community design cases, including an overview of General Court case law, pending issues and an introduction to Convergence Programme 10.

Articles 7 and 11 of the EU Designs Regulation govern what constitutes a disclosure, and these have been addressed in several General Court cases, such as:

  • Case for mobile phone: the Board of Appeal found that one item of evidence from an online platform did not have probative value because representation of the design was lacking, but the General Court annulled this finding. It also said that an e-mail containing informative documents could not be classified as confidential.
  • Lattice: The General Court said that disclosure of small and poor-quality photos can be corroborated by better photos in an undated catalogue.
  • Crocs: Addressing the exception to disclosure, the Court said the correct test is whether it was not actually possible for professionals to be aware of the events constituting disclosure. A design cannot be deemed to be known in the normal course of business if the specialised circles can become aware of it only by chance. It also confirmed that there is no quantitative threshold with regard to actual knowledge of the disclosure events.

Pending issues Arnaud highlighted included: disclosure on pay-to-access websites or those with password protection or file-sharing systems; searchability of the disclosure by keywords relating to the content of the design (an issue that arose in the Crocs case); disclosure by email to one specific recipient; and the time during which the URL remained accessible.

“Some of these issues, and many others, were considered in the context of CP10, which was a project launched two years ago,” said Arnaud. “We have agreed on a final text, which will be presented to the Liaison Meeting on Designs in October this year and will be formally endorsed in November.”

CP10 provides recommendations regarding different types of disclosures on the internet, including the desirability of using a timestamp and to timestamp the entire browsing session, the advisability of including reviews left by users and using a unique code linking information on the internet with other evidence.

The EPO approach

“We don’t know what the internet looks like. Nobody has a good overview of what’s on the internet,” said David Brophy of FRKelly in Ireland. “A lot of stuff out there is not on any catalogue or master list.” That makes it even harder to find what was on the internet in the past, he added.

He said the EPO has been looking at this issue in patent law for about 15 years, and has identified what is good and bad evidence. Good evidence includes: the Wayback Machine, reputable journals, traditional media and Wikipedia. Beyond those sources, said David, “we have to be much more careful.” Forums such as StackExchange that host posts and comments may be acceptable in evidence, though it’s important to remember that policies on dating and editing can change. The level of proof used at the EPO is the balance of probabilities taking into account the totality of the evidence.

Less trustworthy sources include Google search, where dating can be unreliable; short-lived disclosures; and documents hidden in public sight such as those posted on Google Drive but where the URL has not been shared. From a patent law point of view, it is irrelevant if the language is unfamiliar, if there is geoblocking or paywalls or if there is no evidence of actual access, as the relevant person is fictional.

How do companies deal with these issues on a day-to-day basis? That was the question addressed by Amelle Benabdellaziz of JT International in Switzerland, who said that her company is investing more and more in designs. Avoiding inadvertent disclosure requires close collaboration with designers, early filing and monitoring of social media. During the discussion, the speakers addressed topics including the potential usefulness of Blockchain-based tools in tracking disclosure.

The Annual Conference is taking place until Friday. For more updates, view the posts on the MARQUES Class 46 blog and follow #marques19 on Twitter.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 14.02
Tags: disclosure, EUIPO, EPO, Crocs,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA878

Global Innovation Index 2019 published

Class 99 readers might be interested in the 12th edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII 2019), launched in India on 24 July.

The GII 2019 ranks the world's most innovative economies, with Switzerland topping the list, followed by Sweden and the United States.

It is released jointly by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and the 2019 GII Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Dassault Systèmes - the 3DEXPERIENCE Company - and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) – Brazil and Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae). The Index is based on various data that indicate levels of innovation.

The top 10 economies this year are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United States of America
  4. The Netherlands
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. Singapore
  9. Germany
  10. Israel

China is ranked 14th and Japan 15th. The top-ranked economy in sub-Saharan Africa is South Africa, which ranks 63rd in the world. Chile (ranked 51st) is top in Latin America and the Caribbean, while India (52nd) is top in Central and Southern Asia.

Twelve of the top 20 economies are in Europe.

“The GII shows us that countries that prioritize innovation in their policies have seen significant increases in their rankings,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “The rise in the GII by economic powerhouses like China and India have transformed the geography of innovation and this reflects deliberate policy action to promote innovation,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

The theme of GII 2019 is “Creating Healthy Lives – The Future of Medical Innovation”. Chapters in the report look at how medical innovation, including the use of AI, genomics and mobile phone-based health applications will transform the delivery of healthcare.

Read and download more information about GII 2019 and watch videos from the launch in India on WIPO’s dedicated page.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.32
Tags: GII 2019, WIPO, Cornell, Switzerland,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA877

World Industrial Design Day 2019

Saturday 29 June marked World Industrial Design Day 2019!

Find out more about what was happening using the hashtags #WorldIndustrialDesignDay and #WIDD2019 on social media.

Below are some of the messages on Twitter to mark the occasion. Readers are also invited to share their experiences of the day in the comments to this post.

For more information on industrial designs, visit the Designs Team page on the MARQUES website.


Tomorrow is World Industrial Design Day! #DYK that design-intensive industries contribute 11.9 % of employment and 13.4 % of GDP in the EU? Learn more about design rights and how to register them at EU level: https://t.co/OrxaaYGLb4#WIDD2019 https://t.co/tvlDCSweF4

— European Union Intellectual Property Office (@EU_IPO) 28 June 2019

Today is…World Industrial Design Day!🎉 Did you know that fashion, furniture and food packaging…can all be industrial designs? 🤔 What are industrial design rights (also called design patents), and why are the important? Find out at https://t.co/SFPRDToEF9. #WIDD2019 pic.twitter.com/2wNaK62E0m

— World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (@WIPO) 29 June 2019

Happy World Industrial Design Day to designers everywhere 🌍

Over 100,000 designs are registered with the @EU_IPO every year! The more attention businesses pay to design, the more successful they are, find out why here 👉 https://t.co/lOuJZT6nee @worlddesignorg #WIDD2019 pic.twitter.com/Ow4MikQyLB

— Ideas Powered (@IdeasPowered) 29 June 2019
Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.16
Tags: WIDD, industrial design, EUIPO, WIPO,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA876

MONDAY, 17 JUNE 2019
EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme

MARQUES Education Team members Shane Smyth, Sandra Muller, Charlotte Duly and José Amorim took part in the closing ceremony of the first edition of the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme (ETMD EP) in Alicante on 11 June (pictured right).

Speaking at the Ceremony, Shane said: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this education initiative. It was an honour to work with colleagues across such a broad stage from EUIPO, Academia and Sister Organisations. We are conscious that this is a pilot project but the piloting has been of such a high standard and has taken the course participants on such a flight of excellence that Marques hope that the pilot will stay with us for the future.

ETMD EP second edition

As previously reported on the Class 46 blog, the second edition of the Programme is now open for registration until 30 June 2019. It will start on 9 September 2019 to June 2020, with examination from 8 to 10 June 2020. There will be two three-day on-site workshops in October and March, as well as online testing.

The programme comprises 150 hours of courses involving e-learning, webinars and two three-day face-to-face sessions at the EUIPO in Alicante, Spain. It will be conducted in English.

The Programme’s main goals are to enhance IP professionals’ knowledge of EU trade mark and design law and EUIPO practice and tools, and to improve operational effectiveness by increasing the quality of applications and processes and by generating and sharing knowledge.

To be eligible for the Programme, applicants must be either (a) a legal practitioner qualified in an EEA Member State and having their place of business within the EEA or (b) a professional representative admitted and entered on the lists maintained by the EUIPO.

Registration is on a first-come first-served basis and limited to the first 100 participants. Tuition fees are €1,500. For more information, see the dedicated page on EUIPO’s website.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 22.38
Tags: ETMD EP, EUIPO, Education Team,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA875

MONDAY, 17 JUNE 2019
Mastering the Hague Agreement in Milan

MARQUES held the latest of its events on the Hague System in Milan on 6 June. The seminar was organised in association with WIPO and hosted by Bugnion SpA and Studio Torta SpA.

Like similar seminars held in other cities, the Milan event focused on practical issues with the Hague System, in particular the challenges encountered in new members that have substantive examination.

Gregoire Bisson, Director, The Hague Registry, Brands and Design Sector, WIPO discussed the experiences gained after the recent accessions of South Korea, Japan and the USA. He also highlighted the growing interest in the Hague System among Italian users: Italy has risen to become the number 4 country for international design registrations.

In the second part of the seminar, Ing. Fabio D’Angelo, Italian and European Patent and Design Attorney and Partner of Studio Torta, compared international design protection with the registered Community design system. He also presented a hypothetical case study on protecting the shape of a shampoo bottle.

“This was a very interesting exercise, and provoked some stimulating questions about drawings, dotted lines etc,” said Cristina Rolando, a Partner of Studio Torta. “It showed how you need to choose the most appropriate design system depending on what you want to protect.”

About 15 people took part in the seminar, most of them IP practitioners who regularly handle design right applications. “The number of participants made for a very interactive workshop, with lots of questions and discussion,” said Simone Verducci Galletti of Bugnion SpA.

The seminar lasted about three hours, including networking drinks after the presentations and discussion. Those attending were able to obtain two professional credit points, thanks to accreditation by the Italian Ordine dei Consulenti in Proprietà Industriale.

“We had very good feedback from the audience. In particular, some users said the seminar helped them to understand the potential problems that can arise in different jurisdictions and the tools that are available to solve those problems,” said Simone.

Attendees also took away others lessons, added Cristina: “It showed the importance of harmonising procedural requirements in the future. As we know from the trade mark field, such harmonisation is very important in making the system more predictable for users.”

Find out more about future MARQUES events here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 15.30
Tags: Hague Agreement, WIPO, Gregoire Bisson, Milan,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA874

Just one week until Mastering the Hague Agreement in Milan

The next MARQUES Mastering the Hague Agreement event takes place next Thursday, 6 June in Milan, and there are still some places available!

If you are considering registering, you might like to know that MARQUES has obtained accreditation for the seminar from the Italian Ordine dei Consulenti in Proprietà Industriale. This means that participants who attend and sign the register at the beginning and end of the event will obtain two professional credit points.

The half-day seminar starts at 15:30 and is the latest in a series of MARQUES events providing tips on the functioning of the Hague System and how to use it in practice. Registration costs €75. More information is available on our earlier Class 99 post and on the registration page on the MARQUES website.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 07.28
Tags: Hague Agreement, WIPO, Gregoire Bisson,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA873

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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