Guidelines to Prevent Intellectual Property Issues in the Virtual World

Trademark Infringement

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that has been surrounding us, in different forms, for the past many years. Although the technology is in effect since the mid-twentieth century, the hike in its popularity came now due to the rapid technological advancements in mobile data and other relevant services. As the cost of VR devices is falling continuously, even ordinary people can afford them at the moment. Therefore, large numbers of entrepreneurs are striving to make profits by driving remarkable consumers through advanced and affordable VR services. If you also want to grow your business with the help of this technology, don’t forget to emphasize some legal considerations.

Below is the crucial information that will aid you in evading issues related to your Intellectual Property (IP) assets while investing in virtual reality technology

Virtual Reality

VR or virtual reality is a simulated technological environment, including the computer-generated, three-dimensional images that enable the users to communicate to the real world by utilizing electronic gadgets, such as:

  • Sensor-fitted gloves
  • Helmets having a special screen

These environments are self-contained and thus, do not allow people to have direct interaction with the real world.

Trademarks

Usage of third-party marks is the main thing people need to consider in association with trademarks related to VR. Virtual Reality technology-based service providers who want to deploy third-party marks on their headsets or in their content should use them after getting permission from the owner. As the incidental inclusion of Registered Trademarks is not always fair, sometimes it may result in Trademark Infringement issues. Hence, it is better to use the marks after being permitted.

If any entrepreneur provides VR service by using a mark in the course of trade for driving commercial benefits, then he or she appears to (intentionally or unintentionally) infringe that mark. For instance, if a service provider (in a fashion-based VR or a game) starts selling an item having a third-party mark on it, he possibly infringes the trademark. It is true even in cases where the businesses use virtual currency.

Copyrights

No matter, whether you are using or not using the copyright-protected assets in the course of trade or anything else, accessing the assets without being allowed by the owner can lead to Copyright Infringement. VR environment facilitates the users with a lot of options to utilize the original creative images, text, videos, and music, but with the considerable risks of infringing others’ rights.

VR software also allows businesses to use the work by altering or modifying it. As per the fair use doctrine, people can deploy or change copyright-protected assets without seeking permission from owners. But note that this policy is not applicable everywhere and thus, can make the users face legal concerns in many cases. Therefore, it is vital for the service providers to use, change, or reproduce the work after attaining permission for the same.

Conclusion

Everyday news, rapidly growing usage, and many other things regarding virtual reality are resulting in predictions that it could be the next big thing, which will serve the digital market with remarkable benefits. But as the legal considerations around this technology and their implications are continuously increasing, there is a dire need to understand it in the context of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).Not just trademarks, copyrights, and patents, but many other legal subjects, including product liability, data protection, etc., are also related to the new virtual reality age. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Delhi HC Restrains Prasar Bharati from Infringing the ‘Dish TV’ Trademark

Trademark Infringement

The Delhi High Court (HC) has recently restrained Prasar Bharati from infringing the trademark of Dish TV. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw has passed an interim order in which he said that during the suit’s pendency, the public service broadcaster was restrained from continuing Trademark Infringement of the mark “Dish” of Dish TV India Ltd for its DTH (Direct to Home) service. He ordered the defendant to stop using any mark, including the word DISH, whether it is DD FREE DISH or other.

The Judge expressed his disappointment and said he was dismayed that a famous public sector enterprise is infringing another’s trademark and on being objected, refused to act reasonably.

The High Court continued by saying that at least now the officials responsible for conducting the business of Prasar Bharati are expected to pay attention to the matter and take call, whether it is worth opposing the case or not. Prasar Bharati has three months to bring up a new name in front of its subscribers and customers.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi and lawyer Sudeep Singh representing Dish TV have filed the case for a permanent order to restrain the defendant from offering its services by adopting a name, including DISH.

On the other side, Prasar Bharati refuted the case saying that DD Free Dish is quite different from DISH TV, and thus holds no possibility of misleading anyone. Moreover, DISH is a general word that describes equipment, which functions by receiving signals from satellite and no DTH platform can work without Dish Antenna.

The court disagreed with the argument of the defendant and continued that although the mark of Prasar Bharati holds the word ”DD”, which in all senses is associated with Doordarshan, there is no assurance that the same cannot confuse the consumers. Though a bit similar yet the mark can break the connection or fade the identity, which is there in the consumers’ minds. It is possible for the subscribers and consumers to come across a misconception that the complainant, in association with Doordarshan, is offering certain channels for free. Apart from this, such association can result in several opinions that uplift the consumers’ desire for getting the plaintiff’s services for free, thus raising issues for complainant.

At last, the court said, Trademark Law emphasizes preventing such happenings and therefore, on finding the possibilities of such opinions, it has to come to action and stop infringement.  For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Blockchain and Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Multiple industries are already exploring the possibilities of using blockchain technology, thus making it the hottest topic nowadays. Since blockchain ensures comparatively lessened administrative burden, low maintenance cost, and resilience to avoid fraud, every next day arises with new cases of its use in different sectors. But how can the blockchain technology affect the Intellectual Property (IP) industry?

Blockchain

People often have a misconception that blockchains are Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins. Yes, cryptocurrencies indeed use blockchain technology, but this advanced technology itself is much more than several online currencies. In general, blockchain is a distributed or open ledger of statistics used to track and record transactions that are verified or exchanged on peer-to-peer networks. By allowing verification of transactions and advance identification of future entries, blockchain maintains a reliable record. Parties can not alter the entered data afterward. Moreover, no block or transaction can add to the ledger until all participants (nodes) in the network verify it.

As each transaction gets validated by multiple participants, the process leaves nearly no scope of hacks because to change any information, hackers have to strike each copy of the ledger.

Role of blockchain in the IP industry

At this moment, authenticators like the governments of various countries and other administrative bodies are the managers of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Sad but because of physical limitations, this system seems incapable to meet the pace of continuous developments in the digitized and globalized market. Hence, there is a need for a more feasible and reliable alternative that is blockchain, a possible successor to this physical system in the existing digital space.

Blockchain can benefit the IP industry in many ways, such as:

Ideas Generation

“How to protect my ideas?” is the foremost question that almost every individual or company comes across while it creates new ideas. In those circumstances, most owners look for a patent to protect their assets.

A blockchain is an excellent option that keeps the companies and individuals away from worries by allowing them to identify and place their innovations on a reliable record. By giving precise information about the first creator of the ideas, this technology can avert expensive litigation issues.

Ownership and Licensing

With limitations in the current physical system, verifying the ownership or licenses of the patent appears quite challenging. Most companies often trade IP assets without updating the ownership status, thus making it difficult for others to attain a license for their products. These difficulties further result in patent disputes that blockchain can prevent by providing accurate records of licensing and ownership associated with IP assets.

Anti-Counterfeiting and Supply Chain Management

The aspect of blockchain to show the ownerships and licenses in the records facilitates the people to track assets on the supply chain. Apart from this, blockchain-connected imprints enable the authorities and customers to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit products.

Conclusion

No doubt that this advanced technology is in its early stages at present, but persistent growth and propagation can aid businesses in solving problems related to the IP industry. Implementing new technology in an industry that already has proven methods is challenging and demands many efforts. Still, if the Intellectual property industry succeeds in winning the challenge of adopting a precise path for blockchain technology, it could enjoy amazing benefits. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Samsung’s Patent Shows Its Vision for Phone with an Expandable Screen

 

Intellectual Property

Samsung, the South Korean tech giant, is in the news for several announcements, including information regarding the launch of Galaxy Note 10 and 10+, which is set to take place on 7th August, 2019, at the Unpacked event. Although the Galaxy Fold smartphone hasn’t launched yet, talks about the South Korean multinational conglomerate is planning to come up with another phone, are already in the air.

In a recently published patent documentation, the firm has proposed the design of a phone that will be available with a pull-out display. The patent got filed around the end of 2018, but approved in May and published from the Korean Intellectual Property Office on 24th June 2019.

The patent details show the phone with a smart expandable display that extends the screen’s width by nearly fifty percent. The display panel is set to open on the right-hand side. When the user opens the screen, a frame border will also get opened around the display to safeguard it. The smartphone with this design will not just provide the tablet-sized viewing experience but also keep the screen protected. The information also unveils a punch-hole camera that appears in the middle of the front display. The patent doesn’t share information about the technical aspects and functioning of the phone.

Undoubtedly, the details of the new smartphone excite the users, but as this is just a patent filing till now, it is difficult to predict when Samsung will release the exciting gadget.

There is a dire need to note that the firms frequently file patents, but it is not necessary that each ends up into the light of day. Ultimately, whether Samsung will bring a smartphone-based on this design or not, remains confusion. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

How Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents Differ?

Intellectual Property Rights

A common question whether Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents are the same or different often hovers over our minds. The main difference between these three common forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is that they protect different assets. In today’s competitive era, clear information about copyright, trademark, and patent, and how these differ from each other is essential for protecting your business from infringement issues.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a type of IP protection that includes the right to secure your original work, including content, images, and everything you put online, on paper, or elsewhere. Copyright encompasses the right to:

  • Reproduce the work,
  • Produce derivative works,
  • Distribute and advertise copies,
  • Represent and perform the work publicly.

Copyright Registration will bestow you with full control over how your assets are made available to others. To ensure complete protection of your copyright, you must register it with the government. Otherwise, you will be unable to sue people or companies for Copyright Infringement.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark refers to a word, symbol, phrase, or logo that recognizes and distinguishes the source of one product or service from others. Trademarks have goodwill associated with the products and services, which further helps the customers in finding their desired products.

Examples of some common trademarks are as follows:

  • Words such as Nike
  • Logos such as the swoosh
  • Slogans such as Just Do It

Apart from giving the ability to sue the unauthorized user, Trademark Protection empowers you to grant permission to others for using your Intellectual Property.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a limited duration IP right that safeguards your inventions by not allowing others to use them.

Patent Law encapsulates:

  • New and useful industrial processes,
  • Machines,
  • Manufactured products,
  • Chemical compositions,
  • Developments in assets.

A patent right gives you the complete authority to prevent others from using or selling your invention. All the responsibilities from implementing the patent law on discovering any infringement to bring the defendant in a lawsuit lie with you.

How Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks are Different?

i) Assets Protected 

  1. Copyrights protect the original material of the owner, for example – books, images, blogs, etc.
  2. Trademarks secure words, symbols, or phrases that distinguish a company’s assets from others.
  3. Patents ensure the protection of inventions, including processes, manufactures, machines, compositions, and improvements.

ii) Requirements

  1. For attaining Copyright Protection, you should provide original and creative work.
  2. To get your Trademark Application registered, you need to ensure that the mark identifies the source of your product.
  3. While applying for a patent, you should make sure that your invention is new, non-obvious, and valuable.

iii) Terms of Protection

Terms of Protection for intellectual property rights are country-specific. For example, in India:

  1. Copyright rights are valid for the duration, including your (owner’s) life followed by sixty additional years.
  2. Trademark Protection extends for 10 years from the date of application.
  3. Patents last for 20 years.

iv) Rights Granted

  1. Copyrights grant the license to use, disseminate, and publicly display your copyrighted material.
  2. Trademark grants the license to prevent businesses or people from creating confusion because of using marks similar to an already existing trademark.
  3. Patents grant the license to prevent others from using, selling, or importing your invention.

Conclusion

Due to rapid technological advancements, not just the businesses are developing but also the issues like infringement and fraud are increasing. Hence, there is a dire need to protect your intellectual property, which is possible with proper knowledge regarding all types of IP. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Offwhite Sues Virgil Abloh Alleging Trademark Infringement

registered trademark

OffWhite Productions LLC sued Virgil Abloh’s OffWhiteTM for infringing its trademark rights. The New York-based marketing and creative agency claimed that the defendant had hijacked its brand name.

The complaint filed on Sunday in Federal Court includes claims:

  • OffWhite Productions has been operating with its registered trademark since the late ’90s, whereas Abloh launched its Milan-based mark in 2012.
  • OffWhite had maintained a website named as “offwhitedesign.com” since July 2001 and operated a Twitter account with @offwhitedesign.

OffWhite Productions also accused the defendant of continuously applying for new trademarks, encompassing a logo that is “unmistakably similar” to one of its marks.

Besides the above claims, OffWhite Productions alleged the fashion agency saying that the defendant is “steamrolling its path for years by misusing its (OffWhite Productions’) present and past senior and superior rights, and putting a legal, branding, and commercial barricade in the expansion of OffWhite Productions’ business.”

OffWhite Productions claimed that the actions of using the same brand name by Virgil Abloh are creating confusion and hampering its competitive advantage. The plaintiff continued that the advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices by OffWhiteTM to promote the infringing use of its trademark, along with its celebrity-outreach campaigns and public relations efforts; have displaced offwhitedesign.com (website) from top search results of Google.

Considering all these facts, OffWhite Productions formulated a set of claims including federal trademark infringement, common trademark dilution, and unfair competition. It is also looking forward to seeking monetary damages and stop OffWhiteTM from using any such logo or mark to prevent confusion in the consumer market. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Role of Copyrights in Social Media

Intellectual Property Rights

In today’s digitally equipped world, social media plays a significant role in the success of businesses. Having many existing users, along with adding more regularly, it provides the companies with remarkable opportunities to get more traffic and customers. Undoubtedly, by sharing images and content on social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, businesses can make considerable profits. However, to keep everything going smoothly, the firms need to be cautious while posting on social media; else Copyright Infringement can bother them.

The blog includes many facts regarding social media sites, copyright policies of these platforms, and tips to keep copyright infringement issues away.

Copyrights and Social Media

A few years ago, the copyright process was easy. However, with the advent of the internet, advancements in cyberspace and social media that made stringent laws to settle down at a back seat for controlling businesses’ progress, the process turned difficult.

Are you an entrepreneur and want to stay away from online embarrassment and costly litigation when you use social media sites to promote your business? You need to have a precise and comprehensive idea about Copyright Laws and what you write or post online.

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others may let you proceed with the copyrighted material. But, as these platforms don’t own the content or image you post, rights related to copyrights lie with the owner. Agreeing to the terms and policies shows that you are giving license to the sites to use your works. Each site is available with different agreements.

The below examples of Facebook (FB) and Pinterest will help you in getting a clear idea of how copyrights work with social media.

Facebook: FB’s service terms explain that all rights to your post lie with you; no matter whether it holds an image or content or both. Just by enabling the privacy and application settings, you can control how the posted content will be shared. FB offers terms and conditions even for the content protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Pinterest: Policies of this site state that it can use your content if you agree to its terms and conditions. Pinterest copyright statement includes a link that facilitates you to file a complaint or case against people who violate your copyright.

Tips to evade copyright infringement on social media

  1. Receive permission

The safest way to use copyrighted content or image is to get permitted by its owner. Once allowed, you are free to utilize the image or content without any fear.

  1. Prefer public domains

Selecting images from sites that are free from copyright restrictions is also a fruitful way to keep infringement away. On the internet, a plethora of websites are available with images that you can use without facing any legal issue.

  1. Give credit

If you are not able to reach the owner and seek his permission for using the content, it is better to give credits by attaching a link tothe source in your post.

  1. Overview ownership rights

Going through all the ownership rights on social media sites is essential. Apart from these rights, you should also overview the guidelines on safe usage of the copyrighted material.

  1. Believe in purchasing

There is no harm in paying some cents for purchasing copyrighted content as it will keep you far from expensive legal problems. iStock, Shutterstock, and Bigstock are a few websites offering good images at reasonable charges.

Conclusion

Social media posting is one of the trendiest strategies that can make your brand visible worldwide. However, if you want to avail the best possible advantages from this advanced strategic approach, you need to be meticulous about the most common issue – copyright infringement. Moreover, you have to be familiar with all the essentialities for safeguarding your material from its unauthorized use. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

IBM Patents a Smartwatch that Transforms Into a Tablet

Patent Application

The famous tech giant IBM has acquired a patent for its foldable smartwatch that transforms into a smartphone or an eight-panel tablet. The Patent Application includes a concept that appears implausible today but could become real in the upcoming years due to continuous advancements in display technology.

The company filed the patent application with the title “Variable display size for an electronic display device” three years ago in 2016 but obtained the grant in the mid of June 2019.

The patent showcases a rectangular shaped watch having a thick case under the display. The thickness is because the case consists of a slot including seven more display panels. Users will be able to open and use as many display panels as they want, say one, two, or all eight. Since each display panel is of 3-inches by 2-inches size, opening the whole device results in a tablet having a screen measuring 12-inches by 8-inches. By opening four panels, the user can transform his smartwatch into a smartphone with the proper reform in UI (user-interface).

The smartwatch includes many other considerable features. Some of them are as follows:

  • At least one speaker.
  • Minimal seams on display.
  • Ability to work with a physical keyboard and an optional mouse.

According to IBM, the concept is to make the screen more abundant by employing a set of slides that create a storage slot within the case. The case is capable of recognizing the display size when the users open up additional panels. However, the main emphasis of the concept is to expand the watch display to tablet size, but IBM also focuses on helping people to increase watch display to smartphone mode.

At present, IBM is focusing on quantum computing, consulting, and artificial intelligence (AI) rather than the foldable smart gadget. Moreover, the concept seems implausible today but could be possible with display technology advancements. Hence, no one can predict when the giant will pull such a smart device out of its technological hat. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Prime Inc. files a case against Amazon alleging Trademark Infringement

trademark infringement

Prime Inc. filed a trademark infringement case against Amazon in the US Federal Court situated in Missouri’s Western District. Located in Springfield, Missouri, the trucking troop claimed that the e-commerce giant is creating confusion by using the word prime on its shipping trucks.

In the application, Prime Inc. contends that it suffered a lot due to the past and present unfair competition and trademark infringement by Amazon, thus entitled to get more than three times of its profits or losses.

Prime Inc. further alleged that it informed Amazon regarding the unlawful infringement two years ago, through written notifications and proceedings at Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. It added that Amazon still continued to use one or other accused marks on its shipping trucks and moving trailers in commerce. The plaintiff also asserted that the trademark infringement by Amazon is wilful, malicious, and intentional.

In short, Amazon continued exercising unfair competition and infringing rights of Prime Inc.

Some tried to explain that the two prime words are quite different. Clarifying the facts, they said that the prime in Amazon includes small-case letters, and in the case of Prime Inc., it consists of upper-case letters.  However, Prime Inc. was still not satisfied and responded that when compared with each other; both the words appear identical in looks, commercial impression, and meaning.

Reports by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) revealed that prime is the dominant word in the markings of the two companies and thus, holds more weight than other differences. The applicant claimed that since Prime Inc. and Amazon deal in similar transportation channels, customers might confuse and associate transportation, trucking, and shipping services under the logo of the applicant with Amazon. It continued that the misconception that Amazon’s services are associated with Prime Inc., at the point of sale and after, leads to its loss. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Why protecting Intellectual Property is critical for Startups?

Intellectual Property

Are you an entrepreneur and passionate to grow your startup to a remarkably fruitful extent? In today’s highly competitive market, there are many factors, which could lead to a downfall in your business. Don’t be apprehensive as nowadays, even innovators, investors, and the government, are making efforts to facilitate the growth and success of newly established businesses in India.  The chief reason found resulting in failure or ineffective performance of startups is that their owners often overlook the need to safeguard Intellectual Property (IP) while crafting initial strategies that include significant demands and priorities.

Advanced searches concerning several IP assets, including designs, patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc., provide entrepreneurs with the idea of probabilities of the triumph of their business. For example, the owner will come to know whether a similar patent or design that is the base of his business corporation, already exists or not. The information obtained in this manner will help the entrepreneurs in making the essential modifications well in advance, thus preventing them from future conflicts.

What are the advantages of Intellectual Property Protection?

IP assets’ protection benefits a business in many ways like it:

  • Gives legal security
  • Avoids future litigations
  • Allows effective management of resources
  • Establishes a secure environment to let entrepreneurs focus on promoting their products without any hassle.

Businessmen often ask IP lawyers to protect their concepts, which is hardly possible. Well, there will be no need to ask anyone for preventing other companies from copying their business ideas if they implement an effectual strategy for IP protection.

IP is not limited to legal aspects, it holds noticeable importance in numerous other aspects such as entrepreneurs can monetize, and custom IP as a safety net for their enterprises during challenging times. Some avenues in regards to which a business can monetize IP are as follows:

  • Selling
  • Licensing
  • Franchising
  • Earning royalties

Well-organized IP protection develops businesspersons’ self-confidence to demand a suitable cost for their products and avail the expected benefits. It also plays a vital role in persuading the investors’decisions associated with raising funds.

With a thought of bestowing the startups with a positive and inspiring ambiance, the Indian government made many efforts. It began with a scheme called Startups’ Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) depicting that the Startup Certification Board certifies any startup when:

  1. It has a unique business model
  2. Its yearly turnover doesn’t exceed ₹250 million in any fiscal year
  3. Its incorporation or registration in the nation is less than 7 years old.

What benefits does a Startup enjoy after getting certification from the Startup Certification Board?

  • Full support from facilitators who hold responsibilities for delivering general advice, filing or completing prosecution of applications for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs.
  • Provisions to quick actions for patent applications
  • Preferential fee for Intellectual Property application
  • Fixed facilitators’ fees with no additional charges involved for engaging IP lawyers.

Conclusion

In today’s highly competitive world, new firms are more susceptible to get hurt due to losses in businesses. Therefore, it is crucial for startups to prioritize protecting Intellectual Property in the initial planning so that their businesses turn safe, right from the time of inception. Considering the IP protection cost as an optional charge, people often underestimate their needs and have to face negative results. Although, the government and many other representatives have taken initiatives relating to the cost concerns, however, the responsibilities for exploiting or maintaining the existing IP assets rest with corporations. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/