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NEWS
Created 19 January 2017
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Topmanagers van het Duitse chemieconcern Evonik halen deze dagen gezwind de koekjesdozen boven tijdens vergaderingen. Niet om de honger te stillen, maar wel als opbergdoos voor hun mobieltje. De maatregel kadert in de strijd tegen bedrijfsspionage, zo heeft een woordvoerster van het bedrijf bevestigd. "Experten hebben ons verteld dat via mobiele telefoons steeds vaker afgeluisterd wordt, ook wanneer de toestellen uitgeschakeld zijn", aldus de woordvoerster. De maatregel werkt, want blikken dozen houden de elektromagnetische straling tegen en vermijden zo dat anderen ongewenst meeluisteren. Bij Evonik worden de dozen vooral gebruikt wanneer er gevoelige informatie op de agenda staat. In de strijd tegen de bedrijfsspionage heeft de Duitse regering dit jaar een centrum voor cyberveiligheid geopend. Dat moet de inspanningen van bedrijven en die van de overheden bundelen. (dpa/adv)
Created 03 January 2017
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Als BBIE werken we continu aan de verbetering van onze dienstverlening. Zo werd eerder al de My BOIP omgeving vernieuwd. Onlangs hebben we een nieuwe dienst voor het i-DEPOT gelanceerd. Hiermee wordt het mogelijk om een i-DEPOT geheel of gedeeltelijk openbaar te maken op i-D Space. Sinds 1 december kunt u ervoor kiezen om een i-DEPOT geheel of gedeeltelijk openbaar te maken. Er zijn meerdere redenen om een i-DEPOT openbaar te willen maken. Bijvoorbeeld om partners te vinden voor het uitwerken of op de markt brengen van een concept, format, software of innovatief product of om de buitenwereld te laten weten wie de bedenker van een creatie is. Ook kan een openbaarmaking op i-D Space strategisch ingezet worden om te voorkomen dat een ander hierop een octrooi of modelrecht kan aanvragen. i-D Space is een database die alle openbaar gemaakte i-DEPOTs bevat en voor iedereen toegankelijk is via http://www.boip.int. Er kan o.a. worden gezocht op nummer, op naam van de indiener en op de toepassingsgebieden van het i-DEPOT. Door in de resultatenlijst te klikken op het i-DEPOT nummer, worden de openbare inhoud van het i-DEPOT en de bijbehorende gegevens getoond.
Created 26 December 2016
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LightBubbles 2017 1200x827
Created 12 December 2016
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by Casey Newton The Verge, Dec 7, 2016 As Facebook works on new tools to stop the spread of misinformation on its network, it’s seeking to patent technology that could be used for that purpose. This month the US Trademark and Patent Office published Facebook’s application for Patent 0350675: “systems and methods to identify objectionable content.” The application, which was filed in June 2015, describes a sophisticated system for identifying inappropriate text and images and removing them from the network. As described in the application, the primary purpose of the tool is to improve the detection of pornography, hate speech, and bullying. But last month, Zuckerberg highlighted the need for “better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.” The patent published Thursday, which is still pending approval, offers some ideas for how such a system could work. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company often seeks patents for technology that it never implements, and said this patent should not be taken as an indication of the company’s future plans. The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether it was now in use.
Created 12 December 2016
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By Mikey Campbell Thursday, December 08, 2016 In one of the first pieces of documentation proving Apple's investigation into autonomous vehicles, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a patent application describing a basic collision avoidance system that could one day serve as the underpinnings of a self-driving car telemetry solution. Apple's patent application for "Collision Avoidance Of Arbitrary Polygonal Obstacles," offers proof that the company is investigating the application of machine learning and computer vision to autonomous "agents" (vehicles). Designed for robotics —a field from which autonomous cars emerged —the disclosed systems and methods detail a basic collision avoidance technique capable of successfully navigating an environment without prior knowledge of the objects within. In particular, the system is able to operate in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional space, often a difficult task for computer vision systems.
Created 08 December 2016
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United Kingdom Set to Ratify Unified Patent Court Agreement Posted by Elizabeth Curtin Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016 After months of uncertainty since the United Kingdom voted in favor of Brexit, the UK government has given a green light for the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent to proceed. In a statement from the UK Minister of State for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe notes: “As the Prime Minister has said, for as long as we are members of the EU, the UK will continue to play a full and active role. The new system will provide an option for businesses that need to protect their inventions across Europe.”
Created 01 December 2016
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In Amdocs (Israel) Limited v. Openet Telecom, Inc., No. 2015-1180 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 1, 2016), a panel of the Federal Circuit reviewed the patentability of several patents owned by Amdocs which covered a system for monitoring and logging activity on computer networks. The patented system would allow raw data collected from computer networks, called "accounting information," to be processed in parallel, improving over previous systems that had relied on central databases to process the data. The District Court applied the Alice v. CLS Bank test and found that all of the patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. §101.

The Federal Circuit panel reversed the District Court and found all the claims of each of the four patents to be patentable. In its opinion, the Federal Circuit relied on reasoning by analogy to past Federal Circuit cases in order to determine whether the claims were patentable. It noted that the "decisional mechanism courts now apply is to examine earlier cases in which a similar or parallel descriptive nature can be seen." The court found that the subject matter of Amdocs' patents was similar to patents that the Federal Circuit had upheld as valid under §101 (like those in BASCOM and DDR Holdings), and distinguishable from patents that the Federal Circuit had struck down under §101 (like those in Digitech, Content Extraction, and In re TLI Communications). As such, the Federal Circuit likewise upheld these claims.

The Federal Circuit panel also relied on a "utility-focused approach" for determining patentability. Because the patents spelled out that the patented system had a "distributed architecture" that could "efficiently and accurately collect network usage information in a manner designed for efficiency to minimize impact on network and system resources," the court found that the claims had enough structure to pass §101, even though this material was only in the patent specifications, and the claims did not explicitly cover the "distributed architecture."

One of the Federal Circuit judges on the panel, Judge Reyna, dissented, arguing that this "utility-focused approach" was improper and that the claims must be analyzed on their own to determine whether they are patentable.

Created 01 December 2016
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In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., No. 2015-1812 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 21, 2016), a panel of the Federal Circuit reviewed a covered business method patent (CBM) review decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which had held the claims of a patent invalid under 35 U.S.C. §101. The patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,203,752, claimed a method of setting "privacy preferences" which would affect whether applications on a user's device could access the location information of the device.

The law governing CBM review states that the PTAB is allowed to institute CBM review for patents that claim "a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions." In this case, the PTAB had held that the patent was eligible for CBM review because an application that could be prevented from accessing location information could be an advertising application. This, it held, would make the patented invention "incidental or complementary" to a financial activity (service or product sales), which would make it eligible for CBM review.

The Federal Circuit noted that the "incidental or complementary" language that the PTAB relied on was not in the law governing CBM review, and came from a statement by Senator Chuck Schumer, who had sponsored the law in Congress. This statement was not enough to override the text of the law, which prohibited CBM review for "technological inventions." The Federal Circuit thus determined that CBM review should not have been instituted based on the reasoning that the PTAB used, and remanded the case for reconsideration under the proper standard.

This decision may limit the applicability of CBM review, which has seen increasing use as a method for challenging the patentability of claims under §101.

This case also demonstrates the standard that the Federal Circuit has adopted for the reviewability of covered business method patent review proceedings before the PTAB, demonstrated in SightSound v. Apple almost a year ago. The Federal Circuit maintains that the decisions of the PTAB to institute a CBM are not reviewable. However, the PTAB's determination of whether a patent qualifies as eligible for CBM review is reviewable on appeal of the final written decision. This means that, once the PTAB has reached a final written decision on a CBM matter, a party can then appeal the final written decision on the basis that the proceeding never should have been instituted in the first place.

Created 02 November 2016
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25 October 2016 The EPO and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) today published their second EU-wide study of the impact of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on the European economy in terms of GDP, employment, wages and trade. The study finds that more than 42% of total economic activity in the EU (some EUR 5.7 trillion annually) is generated by IPR-intensive industries, and approximately 38% of all employment in the EU (82 million jobs) stems from businesses that have a higher than average use of IP rights. The report also finds that average wages in IPR-intensive industries are more than 46% higher than in other industries.
Created 26 October 2016
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A Chinese company has sued Dutch retailers Blokker B.V. and Leen Bakker for selling a party tent which might have been copied from the Chinese design. The case involves a party tent with a butterfly-like shape that Zhejiang Zhengte sells worldwide. Blokker and Leen Bakker sold an exact copy, bearing the name Le Sud.
Created 24 October 2016
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Bertrange, Luxembourg, October 20, 2016—Russian police raided Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Novosibirsk warehouses of Russian distributors Profpostavka and Opt-trading, which import and sell laminate flooring products under brands including Westerhof and Mario Loretto, finding products that infringe Unilin's Russian clic technology patents; during the coordinated actions across the three largest Russian cities, police seized approximately 50,000 boxes of unlicensed glueless laminate flooring.
Created 20 September 2016
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Article on the impact of the outcome of the British referendum on leaving the EU on the European patent reform (19/09/2016) The majority vote of the British electorate in favor of leaving the European Union has delivered a serious blow to the European patent reform. The usual protagonists nonetheless immediately started advocating for an instant ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPCA”) by the UK, now even deeming possible the participation of a non-EU member which so far, due to CJEU opinion 1/09, was held to be excluded by the same people. When looking at the situation from a less biased perspective, a UPCA with the UK may only be possible after a structural revision of the Agreement. (Download Article PDF 19/09/2016)
Created 19 August 2016
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BiiP is a service provider registered under the SME-portfolio. Subject to compliance with certain conditions, it is possible to recuperate till 40% of the costs incurred, depending on the company’s size (please refer to www.vlaio.be). Please find below some information on how to proceed.

 
Created 11 July 2016
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AI MAwards 2016

Sig Logo has been nominated in the 5th annual M&A Awards for Best Business IP Firm by Acquisition International. This achievement marks us as one of the most outstanding performers in our field.

For the past five years, through good times and bad, the global M&A Awards have acted as an invaluable resource, highlighting the dedication, stellar results and top quality client service provided by many worldwide M&A industry leaders.

The prestigious M&A Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts and amazing achievements of identifying, coordinating and completing the important deals which have the potential to change the fate of businesses, industries and even entire countries.

This is a huge pressure and faced with increasing demands from clients many businesses have had to work tirelessly to achieve success. These awards are dedicated to showcasing the hard work, dedication and determination of firms throughout the business world, as voted for by their clients and industry peers.


business ip 2016 winners

Sig Logo  has been nominated for 2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year, Belgium by Acquisition International

AI's in-house awards team has been examining a number of key firms and individuals from all over the world, in an effort to recognise the top intellectual property teams and professionals across all areas of IP.

As part of the selection process, the research team were particularly interested in firms that in the last 12 months had:

  • Demonstrated a truly innovative approach to matters of IP
  • Achieved outstanding levels of client satisfaction
  • Expanded into new areas within IP
  • Won previous accolades within the field
  • Received significant positive client recommendations/testimonials

Created 11 July 2016
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Intellectual property rights have not escaped the waves of uncertainty created by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, or “Brexit” as we’ve heard it referred to over the last few months. The UK’s obligations to the World Trade Organisation, and the widely accepted view that harmonisation of IP laws is advantageous, should prevent any wholesale changes being made to this area of law. However, the integration of the UK’s IP system with the EU means that changes to the way IP is protected and enforced in the UK are inevitable. While it is unclear precisely what those changes might be, and how they will be implemented, some of the issues that are likely to arise are discussed below.


Patents

At the moment, one way of obtaining an enforceable patent in the UK is to file with the European Patent Office (EPO), which will consider whether to grant the patent. Upon its grant, the application must then be validated in the UK (and any other EU member states of interest).

The European Patent Office (which was created by the European Patent Convention) is a separate organisation to the EU; several non-EU countries, including Iceland, Switzerland and Norway, are members of the EPC. The EPO confirmed in a statement released on 24 June 2016 that the UK referendum will have no consequence on the UK’s membership with the EPO. Accordingly, we do not foresee any changes to the UK patent system, and expect that:

  • European patent applications will continue to be available in the UK, and
  • Existing patents will continue to have legal effect in the UK.

That said, it is unclear whether the UK will now be able to participate in the incoming Unified Patent Court (UPC) system, which is designed to create a single system for patent registration and litigation and was expected to become operative as early as this year. The UPC system is an EU initiative, and as such only applies to EU members. The EPO has sought to reassure the public that it “expects that the UK and the participating EU member states will find a solution as soon as possible which will allow a full implementation” of the UPC. However, even if the UK remains a part of the UPC system, the UK referendum is nonetheless likely to delay its implementation.


Trade marks

Trade marks can be protected in the UK through either a national registration or an EU registration (EUTMs). EUTMs are a likely casualty of the UK referendum. Hopefully the UK government minimises disruption by creating a transitional mechanism that automatically converts EUTMs to UK trade marks; otherwise traders may be required to re-apply to protect their EUTMs in the UK. Other likely consequences include EUTMs used only in the UK becoming vulnerable to revocation for non-use.

In the future, new trade mark applicants may be required to file separate trade mark applications in the UK and EU, though as the Madrid Protocol (which allows trade marks to be registered in multiple jurisdictions) is separate from the EU, national UK trade mark rights should continue to be available through this system.


Designs

Like the EUTMs, existing Registered Community Designs (RCDs) are likely to cease to apply in the UK once it formally leaves the EU, though transitional arrangements may be put in place. In future, design applications may need to be filed in both the UK and EU.

EU member states currently grant owners of unregistered designs three years’ protection from the date of first publication. These rights may cease to exist in the UK.


Copyright

As copyright is governed by domestic legislation in the UK, it is unlikely to be altered to any substantial degree once the UK leaves the EU.


What next?

IP owners should identify which of their rights are now likely to be affected and may need further application/ registration in order to achieve maximum protection over that right.

It is likely to be some time before the UK clarifies what changes will be made to its IP system, and those changes are unlikely to take effect for some time. However, in the short-term Wrays recommends taking steps to identify new potential risks and opportunities that may result from the Brexit result. These potential reforms should also be kept in mind when seeking to protect IP rights in the UK and EU, and reviewing and developing IP protection strategies generally. Wrays also recommends reviewing contracts and precedents to ensure that the terms properly account for the UK’s new political climate.


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