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NEWS
Created 19 May 2017
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Typical Case Review of Shanghai IP Court — BMW’s Trademark Infringement & Unfair Competition Dispute Recently, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court has issued the Typical Cases of Shanghai Intellectual Property Court (2016). In this issue of newsletter we shall review the dispute between BMW (BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT) vs. Shanghai Chuangjia Garments Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Chuangjia Company) etc. for trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Court Findings After trial, Shanghai IP Court held that the evidence provided by BMW in this case is sufficient to prove that the registered trademarks “BMW” and “寶馬” have already been well-known trademarks at least since 2007. Knowing that “BMW”, “寶馬” are well-known trademarks, Chuangjia Company, Dema Company and Zhou still colluded maliciously and jointly established BMN brand franchise system as well as used the infringing logos by production and sale of the allegedly infringing goods, licensing the BMN brand, advertising promotion and other business activities, which constituted trademark infringement as well as unfair competition. Therefore, Shanghai IP Court made a judgment that Chuangjia Company, Dema Company and Zhou immediately stop infringement on BMW’s exclusive rights on the registered trademarks “寶馬”, “BMW”, and Dema Company shall stop acts of unfair competition of using the Chinese version of GERMAN BMW GROUP (INTL) HOLDING LIMITED, Chuangjia Company, Dema Company and Zhou shall publish a statement on the newspaper of China Industry & Commerce News, eliminating the impact on BMW caused by infringement act, and that Chuangjia Company, Dema Company and Zhou jointly compensate BMW for the economic losses of 3 million RMB including reasonable expenses.

The parties did not appeal after the judgment. Typical Significance This is a novel and typical case of trademark infringement and unfair competition dispute with system establishment, full imitation, and comprehensive infringement. This case involves many legal issues, and the infringement acts found have the following obvious characteristics:

  1. The accused infringers establish franchise system through trademark assignment, registration, brand name registration, etc. to show the “legitimacy” of its use of the logo, trying to conceal the nature and purpose of the infringement acts.
  2. The accused infringers confuse the public through comprehensive imitation of the right holder’s logos, not only including the infringement act on all the major trademarks of the right holder during the process of business operation, but also including the unfair competition act of trade name infringement and even other infringement acts.
  3. The accused infringers completely imitated the right holder’s logos by division of labor and collaboration, assignment and registration of trademarks and trade names, as well as committed three-dimensional and full range of infringement acts by means of copying infringement through franchise system, etc. with huge impact and serious damage. Therefore, such malicious infringement acts should be severely punished.
Created 11 May 2017
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Researchers at the Leuven-based research centre imec have developed a new type of chip that can learn from its experiences and compose its own music.

Traditional chips repeat tasks that the programmers installed on them. Inspired by the way the human brain works, the new chip can recognise patterns in data, and, like a child, learn to perform additional tasks by taking into account earlier experiences. According to imec, the chip is the first in the world that is capable of learning so much on its own.

The chip can, for example, compose its own music. After the researchers inputted a series of minuets into the chip, the chip learned to recognise patterns and rhythms and created its own musical notes. The music, which still strongly resembles the original minuets, can be heard on imec’s website

The new chip is based on advanced memory chip technology, known as OxRAM, capable of processing a lot of information at low energy and low cost. According to imec, self-learning chips could be used in the management of large data flows, like road traffic analysis, and healthcare.

“When used in heart sensors, self-learning chips can identify subtle changes in heart rate that may pose potential health risks,” said imec in a statement. “This would enable health monitoring that is tailored to individual patients.”
Created 04 May 2017
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Federal Circuit Rules that Patent Holder Cannot Evade Patent Marking Statute with Retroactive Statutory Disclaimer In Rembrandt Wireless Technologies, LP v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., No. 16-1729 (Fed. Cir. 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that a patent holder could not use a retroactive statutory disclaimer to avoid having to fully comply with the patent marking statute. The relevant statute, 35 U.S.C. § 287, states that "[p]atentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented" by appropriately marking the patented article. The statute further provides that, "[i]n the event of failure so to mark, no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for infringement occurring after such notice." Rembrandt had sued Samsung for infringement of a number of claims of two of its patents, US Patent Nos. 8,023,580 and 8,457,228. During the time period in which Samsung was allegedly infringing, Rembrandt had licensed the '580 patent to Zhone Technologies, which manufactured products embodying claim 40 of the patent, which was one of the claims Rembrandt had asserted in litigation. Zhone did not mark these products with the patent number. Before trial, Samsung moved to limit Rembrandt's damages on the grounds that Rembrandt did not comply with the marking statute (because the product manufactured by Zhone was not marked) and that Rembrandt was therefore not entitled to damages for infringement of any of the claims of the '580 patent for any time period before Samsung was notified of the infringement by the filing of the complaint. In response, Rembrandt withdrew claim 40 from its infringement allegations and filed a statutory disclaimer in the US Patent and Trademark Office to disclaim claim 40. The District Court accepted Rembrandt's argument that this statutory disclaimer removed its obligation to mark claim 40, for the reason that "a disclaimed patent claim is treated as if it never existed." The Federal Circuit disagreed, stating that such an interpretation defeated the purpose of the patent marking statute, because allowing Rembrandt to use a disclaimer to avoid the consequences of its failure undermined the public notice function of the marking statute. However, the Federal Circuit noted that it has not been resolved whether the marking statute applies on a patent-by-patent basis or on a claim-by-claim basis, and the failure to mark claim 40 may limit only the award of damages based on claim 40. The Federal Circuit elected to remand the case for determination of this issue.
Created 14 March 2017
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The number of applications to the European Patent Office (the EPO) coming from Belgian investors and companies increased by 7% in 2016, to a record number, 2,184. This was announced by the President of the institution, Benoit Battistelli, yesterday (Tuesday). Belgium recorded the highest growth in patent applications amongst the European countries that submit the most applications to the EPO. In total, the EPO recorded 159,353 patent applications, a stable figure compared to the previous year (160,004). Amongst the 38 states using the Office, China (up by 24.8%) and South Korea (up by 6.5%) recorded the highest growth. In contrast, the U.S. (down by 5.9%), although the leader in terms of applications to the EPO, and Japan (down 1.9%) decreased. In Belgium, where patent requests had already increased by 6% in 2015, the highest increases in 2016 were seen in the fine organic chemicals industry (up by 31.6%), biotechnologies (up by 30.4%) and the I.T. industry (up by 28.1%). With 269 applications, Solvay was Belgium's most active company in this sphere, ahead of the microelectronics and nanotechnologies centre Imec (169), Agfa-Gevaert (105) and Umicore (66). The universities of Ghent (55) and Leuven (31) are respectively ranked 7th and 10th in terms of patent applications for 2016. At the regional level, Flanders leads the pack with 64.4% of Belgian applications overall, ahead of Wallonia (19.5%) and Brussels. On a provincial level, Flemish Brabant was the most active (having 16.9% of the total), whilst Namur recorded the highest growth (up by 43% relative to last year). Lars Andersen The Brussels Times
Created 13 March 2017
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Finally, the new innovation income deduction (IID) has entered into force. On 20 February 2017, the law with respect the IID has been published in the Belgian Official Gazette. The patent income deduction regime (PID) has been replaced with the IID regime in order to make it BEPS compliant, i.e. avoiding that business profits would be shifted artificially to a country with a beneficial regime for intellectual property (IP). In contrast to the PID regime, the qualifying patent/innovation income will be calculated on a net basis. The percentage of this deduction will be raised from 80% under the PID regime to 85% under the IID regime resulting in an effective tax rate of 5.1% over the life time of the IP. The new regime entered into force on 1 July 2016. ...read more on lexgo.be
Created 13 March 2017
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A trademark battle between the U.S. Lonely Planet Company and UPTOP Group was closed recently. The No.6337705 trademark LONELY PLANET and its figure were filed for registration by UPTOP Group in 2007, certified to be used in Class 18 products including wallet, bag, travel bag and briefcase. In January 2010, the registration was preliminary approved. Lonely Planet Company then filed an opposition to the Trademark Office (TMO) under State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of China. After examination, TMO rejected Lonely Planet Company’s opposition and approved the registration of LONELY PLANET and its figure. Lonely Planet Company filed an application to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) for reexamination. In November 2013, TRAB affirmed TMO’s decision. The Lonely Planet Company brought the case to the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court. The Court held that the LONELY PLANET trademark of Lonely Planet Company enjoys high reputation before the trademark in dispute filed for registration. The LONELY PLANET and its figure which certified to be used in travel products have a close relation with travel. The trademark in dispute has done damage to the prior right of Lonely Planet Company. The LONELY PLANET and its figure does not harm to Lonely Planet Company when certified to be used on wallet, bag, travel bag and briefcase products. So the Court revoked the decision made by TRAB and ordered TRAB to make new decision. Lonely Planet Company then brought the case to Beijing Higher People’s Court to revoke the registration of LONELY PLANET and its figure on wallet, bag, travel bag and briefcase. After hearing, the Court held that LONELY PLANET and its figure certified to be used on wallet, bag, travel bag and briefcase have close relationship with travel, and such trademark and figure have done damage to the prior right of Lonely Planet Company, so the trademark in dispute should not be registered. So the Court ordered TRAB to make a new decision. (by Wang Guohao)
Created 02 February 2017
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Friday, January 20, 2017 In December 2016 the Italian government ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). By this ratification, Italian patent law now has a new rule on the prevention of indirect use of an invention (“indirect counterfeiting”), which is unprecedented in Italy. (read full article on National Law Review)
Created 02 February 2017
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by Surur Jan 21, 2017: A recently published patent by Microsoft aims to address this by using e-Ink displays, which can of course be endlessly recycled and re-used, which would result in a significant reduction in paper usage. Unfortunately e-Ink displays are at present a poor substitute for paper, offering neither the low cost or flexibility. Microsoft’s idea is to divorce the bi-stable e-Ink display from its electronics, batteries, communication and other elements, creating a re-usable e-Ink “paper” and a new type of printer, which instead of using expensive ink would simply use electric fields to “write” information on the e-ink displays. Because the e-ink display would have no electronics it would be both cheap and bendable, and therefore be a good stand-in for paper. To change the information on the page users would simply feed the sheet back into the printer again.
Created 02 February 2017
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By Diane Bartz | WASHINGTON Apple Inc filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc in Beijing, alleging the chip supplier abused its clout in the chip industry and seeking 1 billion yuan ($145.32 million) in damages, Beijing's Intellectual Property Court said in a statement on Wednesday. Apple also filed a second lawsuit against Qualcomm which accused it of failing to live up to promises made to license "standard essential patents" broadly and inexpensively. Qualcomm is a major supplier to both Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for "modem" chips that connect phones to wireless networks. The two companies together accounted for 40 percent of Qualcomm's $23.5 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. (read in Reuters)
Created 02 February 2017
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31 januari 2017 Erika Racquet. Wie geld wil ophalen bij 'de massa', kan daarbij de fiscale stimulus van de overheid uitspelen, mits aan enkele regels te voldoen. © Serge Baeken. De wet die het kader voor crowdfundingplatformen schept, treedt op 1 februari in werking. Wie middelen verschaft aan een jonge kmo (maximaal vier jaar) krijgt daarvoor een belastingvermindering: 30 procent van het geïnvesteerde bedrag, of zelfs 45 procent als het om een micro-onderneming gaat (maximaal 700.000 euro omzet en tien werknemers). Dat taxsheltersysteem werd in 2015 gelanceerd en was al te benutten voor rechtstreekse investeringen in startende bedrijven. Daar komt nu de mogelijkheid bij om zo'n investering te doen via een crowdfundingplatform. (lees het volledige artikel op Tijd.be).
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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The “Green Patents” program has now finally become a permanent feature of the services provided by the National Institute for Intellectual Property (BPTO). Until November 6 of this year, a series of pilot projects granted accelerated examination to patent applications classified as green technology according to the World Intellectual Property Organization listing. During the life of these pilot projects, 480 requests for fast track examination were filed, of which 325 were accepted as Green Patent. Of these, 70% were granted in less than two years. This proved be a successful service and therefore, implemented as permanent feature. As is known, the average time for processing a normal patent request in Brazil is 10 years. The current procedure stipulates a maximum examination time of 24 months counted from the acceleration request.
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 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.

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