ANNUAL REVIEW

Intellectual Property 2013

May 2013  |  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

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Financier Worldwide canvasses the opinions of leading professionals around the world on the latest trends in intellectual property.

 

UNITED STATES

Roy D’Souza

Ocean Tomo LLC

“The America Invents Act (AIA) came into effect on 16 March 2013. The AIA changes the patent regulatory regime from a ‘first to invent’ to a ‘first to file’ system, bringing the US into line with other Western nations. This also effectively eliminates interference proceedings – for example, priority contests. The AIA also expands opposition procedures.”

 

CANADA

Cynthia Rowden

Bereskin & Parr LLP

The biggest development is the introduction of Bill C-56, new legislation amending the Trade-marks Act and the Copyright Act to provide improved remedies for counterfeit enforcement, and to make a number of revisions to the Trade-marks Act. The Bill, entitled the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, includes new criminal sanctions for trademark infringement, adds provisions permitting registered trademark owners to ask for Customs assistance to detain imported counterfeit goods, provides for possible registration of new ‘non-traditional trademarks’, and changes to prosecution and opposition proceedings.”

 

ARGENTINA

Iván Poli

Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal

No new rules have issued recently in Argentina regarding trademarks prosecution. Nonetheless, examiners are adopting stricter criteria, and a substantial number of applications are objected on the basis of their alleged descriptive or misleading character. In most cases, such objections can be overcome by restricting the scope of goods to be covered by applications. On the other hand, there have been some developments regarding patent prosecution, as the Argentine Patent Office issued two regulations on the examination of patent applications in specific technical areas.”

 

UNITED KINGDOM

Tim Jump

Venner Shipley LLP

The biggest development in IP in Europe over the last year is the agreement of the legislative package for the Unitary Patent system, which will bring significant changes to the patent litigation landscape in Europe. A single patent covering the whole of Europe has been talked about since the 1960s, and over the last 50 years there have been numerous failed attempts to introduce such a system.”

 

GERMANY

Eugen Popp

Meissner Bolte

A draft for Revision of the German Patent Act has been presented by the Ministry of Justice. All interested parties hope that this draft will be approved by the Parliament before the election in autumn 2013; otherwise it will take at least another one to two years for approval to be given. With the Revised Patent Act, the filing of German patent applications will be made more efficient and more attractive to applicants.”

 

FRANCE

Emmanuel Baud

Jones Day

In the past year, France has not been subject, at the national level, to any significant legislative or regulatory developments regarding intellectual property rights. At the European level, however, some important modifications have occurred. First has been the creation of a Unitary Patent, which was officially launched by the enactment of Regulation No. 1257/2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection, and Regulation No. 1260/2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation agreements."

 

SPAIN

Amparo Campos

Bird & Bird

In Europe, the major recent development has been the adoption by the European parliament of a unitary patent and a unified court to enforce it, both expected to be available as of 2014. Spain – together with Italy – is not party to this so-called ‘EU patent package’. Nonetheless, this new system also affects Spanish companies that can be either holders of a unitary patent or defendants in infringements cases concerning these new unitary rights.”

 

RUSSIA

Ekaterina Tilling

Baker Botts LLP

One of the latest developments in the area of intellectual property (IP) in Russia has been the establishment, at the beginning of this year, of a specialised IP court which should start its work within several months. This court is intended to deal with certain categories of IP disputes. The goal of creating this court is to consider disputes to a high standard, as IP disputes normally require specialist knowledge.”

 

ISRAEL

Narda Ben-Zvi

CBLS Law Offices

In 2012 the Israeli legislator continued the process of aligning Israel’s Intellectual Property legislation with international standards. This process includes amendments to the Israeli Patent Law, which enables the final implementation of the WIPO declaration of appointing the Israel Patent Office (ILPO) as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.”

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Bruce Lister

Bruce Lister Incorporated

In June 2012, the regulations of the Currency and Exchange Act were amended to included intellectual property in the definition of ‘capital’ for the purposes of the regulations. This means that intellectual property is now subject to the requirement that all transfers of capital from a South African to a non-South African must first be approved by the South African exchange control authorities.”


CONTRIBUTORS

Baker Botts LLP

Bereskin & Parr LLP

Bird & Bird

Bruce Lister Incorporated

CBLS Law Offices

Jones Day

Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal

Meissner Bolte

Ocean Tomo LLC

Venner Shipley LLP


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