What to do to Avoid Being Targeted by Copyright Trolls?

The industries, especially apparel in the present era is being hit by an unpleasantly hot trend that leaves several retailers, apparel manufacturers, etc., in a situation where they find themselves trapped in Copyright Infringement cases made by copyright trolls. These are the entities that go after the companies or entrepreneurs by opportunistically enforcing their copyrights to make money in litigation. They employ the strategies that make it difficult for people to defend against infringement claims. In general, their strategies include the following steps:

  • First of all, they amass vast libraries or stockpiles of copyrights on an array of fabric prints, even which they may not be producing or licensing for paid distribution.
  • After that, they send out shoppers to find merchandise made of fabric that’s identical or similar to their copyrighted fabrics.

Indeed, even the basic fabric prints, including floral, paisley, geometric, and more, can be subject to infringement lawsuits. Once the copyright trolls find something, they retain Intellectual Property Law Firms to send numerous cease and desist letters and to file lawsuits. Since the litigation is risky and expensive, most companies prefer settling them outside the court rather than fighting in front of the judiciary.

For a company, which is continuously adding to its fabrics already including many, legally clearing every suit is not practical and can eat up a lot of its money and time. Hence, apparel-related businesses need to find how to avoid copyright infringement claims by copyright trolls. Besides, they also need to look for what to do to mitigate the damage if a claim is made.

Although the perfect protection is to sell only solid fabrics produced by designing your patterns, which certainly is not realistic, you can still take a few other measures to protect yourself. Some of the steps you can follow to stay safe against copyright trolls are as follows:

  • Begin by asking your textile supplier if his/her company possesses an appropriate Copyright Registration for the pattern/ design being considered to be used in your products. You can ask for evidence of the ‘original work’ authorship. In case the supplier has purchased the pattern or design to be sold to you from any third-party, you must demand a statement stating that the original copyright is being transferred to you.
  • Obtain a clear indemnification clause and shifts the burden and damages to the supplier in the event of copyright infringement lawsuits. It is a contract under which one party (supplier) commits to compensate the other for any harm arises out of the contract. The promise, by the suppliers to cover your losses if they do something that makes any third-party to sue you, should be in writing.
  • Since the policies related to copyright infringement insurance are expensive, people often ignore purchasing their own insurance. You may also be thinking to do so, but note that it is a very small cost to protect yourself and your customers from issues, like infringements, confusions, and monetary losses due to them.
  • Prefer using ‘public domain designs.’ These are the designs available without issues of copyright ownership. There are various facilities that maintain libraries consisting of thousands or more prints, which exist in nature or are already in the public domain. You can pick and use any design from these reference materials. Although you cannot copyright that design, still it will keep you out of the courtroom.
  • Last but not least, if you are not satisfied with the supplier’s response to your inquiries, then it will be in your best interest to avoid buying the pattern or design from him/ her.

Conclusion

Whether manufacturers or retailers, legitimate companies are in the business of creating products their customers will enjoy and appreciate. On the other hand, copyright trolls are in the business of targeting these legitimate companies, and thus, finding opportunities to file copyright infringement claims and seek monetary settlements. As these types of attacks are difficult to defend against, apparel companies need to be prepared for the circumstances when copyright trolls inevitably rear their ugly heads. Hopefully, the information provided in this blog will prove helpful in preventing you from being targeted by copyright trolls. However, if you still have doubts regarding anything or face any issue, you are advised to have a discussion with an experienced IP attorney. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Apple Signs Multi-year License Agreement for Imagination’s Intellectual Property

UK chip designer Imagination Technologies Group has recently revealed that it’s struck a new license agreement with Apple Inc., an American Multinational Technology Company, reviewing a business relationship that had all but ended in recent years.

The company that was sold for 500 million pounds to Chinese buyout firm – Canyon Bridge Capital Partners – in September 2017, said that it formed a new multi-year license agreement in which Apple, the iPhone maker has access to a wide range of Imagination’s Intellectual Property (IP) in exchange for license fees.

In the beginning, Apple tended to use either graphics chips or GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) in its iPhones and iPads that were designed by using IPs of Imagination Technologies. However, later it moved to its own internal chip designs starting with iPhone X in 2017 and the iPad Pro in 2018. Besides these models, the US Company used its own graphics processors in Apple watches as well. Then in 2017, the company told Imagination Technologies that it would stop using their IP in new products within a small period of two years.

When it comes to Imagination Technologies, then a public company, proclaimed the loss of Apple as its biggest customer, its stock plummeted. The British company in 2018 said that there could be ‘material uncertainty’ regarding its future if Apple doesn’t pay royalties on the largest generation of iPhones and iPads.

As per several reports observed till now, it is unclear whether or not Apple has paid the fees to Imagination Technologies. However, the British company argued that it would be very challenging for Apple to design GPUs in a way that enables the American company not to pay royalties to Imagination Technologies.

If we talk about Apple, the iPhone maker often uses a combination of supplier deals and acquisitions for building up its portfolio of patents and designs. For instance, last year also, it acquired Intel Corporation’s modem unit to design cellular chips for its future devices.

Although none of the two companies specified which IP the new agreement covers, it may possibly be related to either Artificial Intelligence (AI) or graphics, two main IPs of Imagination Technologies.

Though the IP covered in the latest agreement between the two companies has not been disclosed so far, yet it is expected that the Imagination’s IPs, which are associated with AI and graphics, could be a key to the future Apple devices. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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5 Benefits of Using Wood in Industrial Design

When it comes to the buildings that need to pass the test of time, wood appears to possess the necessary strength and resilience. As per many reports, wood provides the commercial and Industrial Designs with not just the outstanding durability but also a more acceptable aesthetic look over steel and concrete. Adding mass wood to the workspaces is a type of modern revival of the traditional timber post-and-beam-based design of the past. Wood, along with state-of-the-art technologies, provides the commercial and industrial designs that are expected in today’s era.

Some of the sustainable features that clarify why designers and people nowadays prefer wood in industrial design are as follows:

  1. Cost-effectiveness

According to the construction data gathered by surveying the mid-rise buildings in the United States, the cost of constructing these buildings with concrete is around 23% more than the expense of constructing them with wood. Moreover, the steel-framed spaces are around 41% more expensive than the wood-framed ones. Besides being cost-effective, the wood-framed buildings found meeting the essential requirements for an individual’s performance and safety in a better way as compared to steel and concrete ones.

  1. Adaptability and Versatility

One remarkable feature that commercial and industrial buildings should possess is flexibility. In other words, these structures should be flexible as tenants look for changes over time. For this reason, wood that offers multiple options to get the long spans essential for an open and unobstructed floor plan is preferred by most of the designers when it comes to roof-framing. Roofs made up of wood are economical, strong, and easy to install. In the case of buildings with large-sized structural grids, the panelized wood roof sounds cost-effective due to the lower material costs and quick installation time.

  1. Ease of Use

In today’s times, most of the building materials are first built off-site and then assembled in the construction field. Wood perfectly fits this trend of offsite prefabrication of elements, and thus, helps in reducing the onsite construction time. This concept ultimately makes the wood buildings comparatively fast and efficient to construct. Using wood is advantageous in terms of location also. Wood buildings are simple and quick to be constructed in areas with varying climate. These are beneficial even in urban job sites, where finding space for steel fabrication or concrete delivery and mixing can be challenging. As experienced wood contractors are widely available, wood and related components can be obtained quickly and easily.

  1. Sustainability

For projects that emphasized sustainability and the use of renewable building components, wood is often the foremost choice. Almost all from new industrial designers to professionals, who deal with providing services like Registration of Industrial Design, Industrial Design Protection, etc., prefer wood over other materials. To evaluate the advantages of using wood in the construction of big stores, let’s go through the results of a study in which a 54,800 square foot steel-framed building was compared with one constructed of wood. Though the two buildings have the same geometry, floor area, and structural layout, yet the environmental impacts of the wood building are remarkably lower than the steel-framed one. The impacts were analyzed through demolition, disposal, recovery, recycling, and reuse of the materials used in the construction. When compared to the steel building, the wood building saves 642 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide and 9,116 gigajoules of non-renewable energy. Besides these, the wood building possesses many other benefits related to raw material supply, manufacturing phase, etc.

  1. Aesthetics and Biophilic Values

A ton of studies showed that wood possesses the ability to nourish a space with warmth, texture, and visually appealing appearance. That’s why not just common people and designers but even national to International Industrial Design Registration services providers have positive associations with it. Exposed wood trusses are known for adding immediate interest to commercial and industrial buildings, and thus, setting them apart from the wide range of other similar spaces. Designers nowadays are also increasingly drawn to the biophilic benefits provided by wood. Biophilia is the inherent human tendency to seek connections with nature. Biophilic design, which is an extension of biophilia, includes natural materials, nature views, and other experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment.

These are some of the amazing benefits of using wood, especially in commercial and industrial buildings. Now, it would not be wrong to conclude that wood provides designs that bring nature into a space, which is thought to be calming for people within and nearby. Moreover, commercial buildings constructed of wood are believed to provide the working ambiance that can increase productivity. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Kanye West Seeks to Fight Against Ultralight Beam Copyright Lawsuit

Rapper Kanye West and Universal Music are seeking to battle against the copyright lawsuit filed earlier this year over the use of a clip at the start of his 2016 track ‘Ultralight Beam’.

According to an Instagram video, this song that was recorded for West’s album titled ‘The Life of Pablo’ includes the voice of a young girl in prayer. The video was uploaded by the girl’s mother in early 2016.

Sounds a bit interesting, West claimed that he received verbal approval to use the clip in his song from the child’s mother – Alice T Johnson. Nevertheless, in the Copyright Infringement lawsuit filed back in February, the girl’s adoptive parents – Andrew and Shirley Green, who adopted the girl in 2012 – argued that the agreement in connection with the use of the clip having girl’s voice had to be with them. It is because, at the time when the clip was recorded, Johnson was no longer legally the girl’s mother, and thus, didn’t possesses the authority to allow the girl’s voice to be used in the song.

The Greens further contended that even if Johnson provided approval, the lawsuit should continue as conversations amid her and West were only verbal. Meanwhile, Kanye neither finalized any written agreement with either Johnson or the Greens, nor he ever paid a fee for using the clip in his song.

To prevent the rapper from statutory or other relevant damages, his legal representatives have attempted to limit the copyright infringement lawsuit in several ways. Their response filed with the court deals with numerous elements of the case. For instance, firstly, West’s lawyers said that the Greens had not registered the original recording of the clip with the U.S. Copyright Office at the time when Ultralight Beam was recorded. Hence, they are not entitled to either attorney fees or statutory damages. Indeed, if the representatives succeed in arguing this, then there are possibilities that the damages owed to the Greens could reduce greatly.

Elsewhere West legal team seeks to remove an additional plaintiff, Andreia Green, from the lawsuit entirely. She is a relative of the child, and her adult voice, in addition to the girl, is also heard in the recording sampled by West. However, team West insisted that because Andreia Green is not listed as a co-owner of the recording in the Copyright Registration with the US Copyright Office, she has no standing in this case.

This is how West and his legal team responded so far in regard to the Ultralight Beam lawsuit. Nevertheless, for the final settlement, it now remains to be seen how the court and the Greens respond to West’s motion. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Facebook Gets Patent To Track Users’ Television Viewing

Facebook (FB) has recently secured a patent for tracking users’ television (TV) viewing by using the device’s microphone, GPS, or camera to capture images, audio, video, or location that reveals what the users are watching. With this patent grant, FB now is allowed to track what the users watch on TV and streamline services and associate the obtained information with the rest of their users’ data.

The Menlo Park-based social media giant applied for the patent “Correlating media consumption data with user profiles” in 2015 but didn’t get the approval until this week. The invention mentioned in the Patent Application was invented by Ramesh Sarukkai, a former engineering director who left FB in the year 2017.

The patent application described ways in which Facebook could determine or capture media consumption data through a media device or by obtaining data from a content provider. For instance, acoustic fingerprinting. The user’s device with a Facebook app running on it could capture images, audio, video, or location data using a camera, microphone, or GPS to pick up data from a TV show the user is watching. The collected data then would be sent to the company to analyze the data, and thus, identify what the user is viewing.

The Patent Registration Application also described how FB could capture and analyze even the images from an incoming video stream. The company could also analyze audio or signals from an HDMI cable to discover which cable provider is broadcasting a given TV show or movie based on the unique time delay of the signal.

According to the patent, that information would enable Facebook to determine if a user is watching something on Comcast. The company then can associate the information with Comcast’s schedule for a specific time of the day.

In recent years, Facebook has come across many privacy advocates for its act of tracking the different types of users’ data. There are complaints that FB tracks users’ data even when they have their tracking services turned off.

In August 2019, Facebook released a tool to let users see which websites and/ or apps have traced them.

As per some reports, Mr.Sarukkai couldn’t be reached for comments in regards to the recent patent. Moreover, Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison announced that no one at the company was available for comment over FB’s holiday closure. Hence, it is unclear whether the social media giant is currently utilizing the technology. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its Implications on Patents

Artificial Intelligence (AI), in the past few years, has seen a profound increase in its media coverage and attention. It is due to the continuous improvements in its capabilities that has nourished its adaptation into various areas. Today, AI has found its applications in many fields, like small to large businesses, automotive industry, healthcare centers, etc.

AI is a technology that focuses on the creation of intelligent machines, which react and work like humans. One of the common activities for which AI-based computers are designed is speech recognition. Some basic technologies that include AI are as follows:

Boolean Search

These refer to algorithms that implement a sort of search, which enables the users to produce relevant results by combining keywords with operators like AND, OR, and NOT.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP emphasizes AI algorithms that enable computers to comprehend and process human languages.

Natural Language Search (NLS)

NLS comprises AI algorithms that carry out searches by identifying content matching a topic described by the user in plain language.

Machine Learning (ML)

Machine learning refers to a data analysis method that automates the building of the analytical model. With the concept of using algorithms that learn from data, ML allows computers/machines to find out the hidden insights even without being programmed – where to look.

AI Implications on Patents and Intellectual Property

With AI-based machines appearing to have surpassed human performance in many fields such as medicine, automotive, and others, it is expected that the future for AI would impact the ways humans beings work and perform. These predictions led to several debates such as ‘can AI surpass human capabilities,’ ‘is it the best tool used to aid humanity in work,’ etc. Apart from these questions, the implications for the emergence and rise of AI on Intellectual Property (IP) and especially Patents are also subject to debate.

With the advent and advanced functionality of AI in a wide range of fields, this technology may probably be on its way towards creating remarkable tools, approaches, and applications. For instance, the Neural Machine Translation System of Google, at the end of the year 2016, was found to have developed its internal language that represents the notions it uses to translate different languages. Not only this, there are a lot of other examples that showcase the consistent advancements in AI technology. Well, this is only the beginning, because as evidence suggests – AI technology may one day perform with its independent mind and intelligence. All these facts also suggest that AI, due to being the creation of the mind, has major implications for Patents and IP.

IP refers to unique and useful creations of the mind. It is a category of property that comprises intangible creations of human intellect. Additionally, when it comes to patent, this is a type of IP that provides its owner with the legal right to prohibit others from stealing and misusing his/her invention for limited years. But, with this definition that defines IP as a creation of the mind, the term ‘mind’ is left for debate – whether a robot or a human mind. Still, AI can create inventions that should be protected by filing Patent Registration Application. In other words, though the word ‘mind’ is in question, yet AI can create potentially patentable inventions. Hence, keeping this thing in mind, the human beings who so ever create AI technology-based inventions should logically own the patent rights over the same. The owner of AI-related inventions must obtain robust Patent Registration Protection as soon as he/she could. It is recommended because AI is the latest and continuously advancing technology, and therefore, the inventions based on this are highly vulnerable to be stolen, copied, or imported by unauthorized users. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Why Cost Barriers to Copyright Access And Use Need to Go?

Copyright, nowadays, appears as the foundation for much of what goes into the knowledge economy. It is not just a way to protect unique creative works from being infringed but also a source of income for a wide range of creative workers. Some writers, composers, etc., get copyright income directly. Nonetheless, others earn by joining a creative network, including publishers, record labels, distribution companies, and others. Being a part of such an ecosystem, they make money by licensing rights under Copyright Law.

But, the fact is that if legal rights can’t be enforced, they don’t help the owner much. In documents, it appears as if the owners of a copyrighted work possess a solid set of rights. However, the reality is a bit different. The copyright, indeed, cost too much to enforce. It is common, and thus, the governments and Intellectual Property Law (IP Law) administrators should recognize that the law needs updating.

They should consider that although copyright assets don’t lead to as many problems as other products do, reinforcing this area, i.e., the knowledge economy is somewhere tied to economic success.

Because of mounting up things like legal advice costs, court fees, IP Attorneys‘ hourly charges, copyright litigation can be very expensive. And then the more threatening concern is the risks of having to pay to other parties if you lose. Take an example of a writer who finds that a large amount of his work has been violated. A report made in 2019 stated that the writers, on average, earn 31 percent of their annual income through writing. For most, if not all writers, enforcing their copyrights in cases where their work has been infringed upon will be prohibitive. The same also applies to small businesses and many others.

Sometimes, the only option writers and small businesses have is to put up with Copyright Infringement, in addition to the possible loss of income.

Another case to consider is that people often want to use material sheltered under Copyright Registration Protection but are not familiar with the way to go about clearing rights. The Copyright Act undoubtedly has many defenses and exceptions regarding this matter, but they may be arduous to comprehend. Many times, it is unclear whether the proposed use of copyright-protected material is lawful or not. Indeed, this is a common issue for cultural institutions such as galleries and museums.

Copyright owners often grant permission or give license but, if they don’t, then there can be a legal deadlock. One option that may be helpful in such cases is to knock the Court’s doors. But again, costs act as a barrier and prevent the public from getting the benefits of creative work or activity. IP Lawyers in Maldives and almost every nation call this an “access to justice” issue.

This concern, which is not just a copyright issue, impacts the IP industry in several countries of the world.

Although including some glitches, copyrights are still leading to the emergence of innovative solutions worldwide. Hence, to make the world enjoy continuous and better new creations, it is vital to turn all this good work into a meaningful and useful asset. For this, the government and authorities taking care of Copyright Law in Maldives and outside need to ensure that the rights can be utilized by the creative workers, cultural institutions, small businesses, and all for whom these matters. They should also make sure that the costs do not create barriers in the process of accessing copyright justice.

Almost everyone agrees that copyright law needs to be turned fit for purpose in the modern digital economy. Therefore, many IP experts have already started working on this subject matter and finding ways to improve the Copyright Acts of different nations. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Baidu Files Patent Application for ML-based Audio Synthesis Ownership

By catching the attention and likes of Tencent and Huawei, Baidu has topped as the leading artificial intelligence (AI) Patent Application leader. Apart from this, Baidu (with 1,237 patent applications) is also leading in the highly competitive area of intelligent driving, as many reports stated.

Victor Liang, Vice President & General Counsel Executive Assistant to CEO at Baidu, said that they retained the top position for AI-related patent applications in China because of their:

  • Constant investment and research in developing AI
  • Strategic focus on patents

After years of research and development, Baidu has now developed a comprehensive AI ecosystem, and therefore, is at the leading spot of the AI industry worldwide.

Patents focused and filed by Baidu encompass a wide range of domains, including:

  • Deep learning (1,429 patents)
  • Speech recognition (933 patents)
  • NLP – Natural Language Processing (938 patents)

While Baidu acquired top position in China, its R&D center located in the US had filed patent applications in the US patent office also.

In this patent US20190355347A1, which is for a computer-implemented method to train a neural network model for spectrogram inversion with the title – Spectrogram to waveform synthesis using convolutional networks, Baidu lists the following points:

  • Inputting an input spectrogram, including many frequency channels into a CNN (convolution neural network).
  • Outputting a synthesized waveform from CNN for the input spectrogram, which has a corresponding ground truth waveform.
  • Using the synthesized waveform, the corresponding ground truth waveform, and the loss function, consisting of at least one or more loss components opted from convergence loss spectral.
  • Using the loss to update the CNN.
  • A clear mention of using the CNNs (convolutional neural networks).

As CNN is the lifeblood of several contemporary ML-based applications, any claim, even on a small part, can create damages in the long run.

The current year has witnessed a sudden and rapid growth of interest in owning algorithms and deep learning. So, even if the plans are to protect the researches from falling prey to pseudo players, this trial appears as a slippery slope where owners of big businesses can leverage the smaller companies that are using advanced technology.

In Baidu’s case, too, there lie risks of losing ownership to various audio processing applications. Contributed to the increasing fear among the ML community, Baidu is a Chinese company. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) vision of this company was fortified with projects such as Apollo, which is an open-source independent driving platform together with many other intelligent driving innovations.

China has allegedly been found involved in Intellectual Property (IP) thefts, especially from US companies. Hence, when Baidu’s foreign division files a patent application, one cannot assist but think about the consequences of handing the ownership to China that continued to be the world’s leading source of fake goods, exhibiting its failure to take crucial action to restrain the widespread manufacture, sale, and export of bogus goods. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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All About the Trademark Registration in Maldives

A trademark is a type of Intellectual Property (IP), which includes a logo, brand name, or sign that can distinguish your products and services from those of others. Hence, Trademark Registration in Maldives or at any place is one of the best and legal ways to restrict others from using your unique mark. For instance, the logo of NIKE and its tagline JUST DO IT are registered trademarks, and therefore, cannot be used by any unauthorized user. In other words, no one can use this logo or tagline without the consent of the original owner.

A Registered Trademark can benefit the owner in several ways. For example, it reduces the chances of theft and misuse of original assets, creates the brand reputation and goodwill among the targeted customers, etc. So, we can say that trademarking your logo, sign, or name is an excellent means to enjoy remarkable advantages like:

  • Robust Trademark Registration Protection that keeps your assets secured against infringement
  • Better sales of your products and services by creating goodwill among consumers.

In view of the above merits, it is always recommended (even by the experienced IP Attorneys) to go for trademark registration as soon as you could. Nonetheless, trademark laws are country-specific, i.e., different nations have different laws. For instance, the Trademark Law of Maldives may not possesses the same rules as Trademark Law in India does. Hence, before proceeding to register a trademark, it is better to comprehend the law according to the country where you want to do so. Here, in this article, we will discuss the trademark registration in Maldives.

Indeed, there is no specific legislation that governs the Trademark Registration Process in Maldives. Here, the question arises – if there’s no specific law governing registered trademarks in Maldives, then how do people secure their trademark rights. And the answer is – the protection of trademarks in this country is obtained by the publication of the Cautionary notice in the newspaper in English or local language.

Trademark Registration Proceedings

As discussed above, the Trademark Protection in Maldives is acquired by publishing a cautionary notice in the leading newspaper. This notice can be published for multiple classes or a single class. The application can undoubtedly include products and services in any number of classes, but for each additional class, the applicant needs to pay additional charges. Power of Attorney isn’t required. The entire procedure to acquire trademark protection by using Cautionary Notice in Maldives may take around 2 to 4 weeks.

Although this procedure to obtain trademark protection doesn’t include filing, advertisement, and examination, the following information regarding the mark needs to be involved in the cautionary notice:

  • Name, status, address, and nationality of the proprietor
  • If the mark is a logo, then JPEG image of the same
  • Classes and specifications of relevant products & services.

Note that there is no limitation to the size of the cautionary notice.

Trademark Registration Duration and Renewal

Due to the lack of trademark law, the protection of trademarks in Maldives is obtained and used under common law, i.e., cautionary notice. Accordingly, there is no rule for the duration and renewal of trademarks. Nonetheless, the re-publication of the cautionary notice is recommended every two to three years.

Publishing a cautionary notice as per common law in Maldives is a way to make the public aware of the original owner’s ownership on the mark. Thus, the same can assuredly be brought to the Court in the case of Trademark Infringement. Hence, if you desire to enjoy the benefits of doing business in Maldives without any fear, cautionary notice is the safest and fruitful way. Be confident and go for this easy-to-get-protected option now. Nevertheless, if you face any difficulty or have any doubt, feel free to reach an experienced Trademark Attorney or Intellectual Property Law Firm in Maldives. These are the professional helping hands that will serve you with the best possible aid. Because of being familiar with almost everything to be used or avoid for ensuring robust trademark protection, they will keep you away from issues like the rejection of your request, infringement upon or violation of your mark, and many more. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Nokia Suspends Legal Action Against Daimler With Mediation Offer in Patent Row

Nokia, the Finnish Multinational Telecommunications and Consumer Electronics Company, has recently suspended legal action against the German carmaker Daimler with the hope that mediation will bring their dispute over the technology licensing fee to an end. Nevertheless, Daimler responded to this decision by Nokia in a cool way and iterated that the two companies had different legal opinions on the conflict.

Nokia’s pursuit of charges from Daimler has highlighted the wider fight amid tech companies and the automotive industry over royalties for tools and technologies needed for vehicle communications, navigation systems, and self-driving cars.

Daimler, along with Continental AG, Valeo, Thales-owned Gemalto, and Bury Technologies, complained to the European Commission (this year, i.e., 2019) about the fees demanded by Nokia from them for patents associated with car communications.

In recent years when Nokia has inaugurated ten (10) court cases against Daimler over Patent Infringement, Daimler has also declared lawsuits against Nokia.

Nokia, on 9th December 2019, said that constructive negotiation was the most suitable way to resolve such battles, emphasizing last week’s offered mediation as an effort to evade an EU antitrust investigation.

Nokia spokesperson Mark Durrant said that to make sure there is time for this recent mediation to be successful, they have decided to postpone the pending Court hearing to be held on 10th December in Germany. They have a belief that Daimler and its suppliers will now join them in these significant efforts to reach settlements. There is a lot more to gain for each if all work together, he added.

Daimler reiterated its previous stance and declined to comment on this move of Nokia. The German company said that they have a completely different opinion on how to license necessary and vital patents for communications standards in the car industry. The Carmaker added that Nokia has so far denied licensing their suppliers on a comprehensive basis.

Nevertheless, Margrethe Vestager – EU antitrust chief – welcomed the mediation efforts by Nokia. She said that the decision to postpone Court hearing was a positive move. That’s why they think it is good to attempt mediation at the International Chamber of Commerce, and it would be best if the parties could have a mutual understanding, she told reporters.

Nokia has also proposed mediation on licensing fees with several car parts makers rather than only Daimler.

Carmakers argued that instead of them, the car parts makers should look at the licensing fees and that patent holders must be open to negotiating with the companies interested in purchasing or using their patents.

Sources revealed that EU competition enforcers had been poised to investigate into this matter until Nokia made mediation offer.

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