8 Significant Trademark Terms You Must Know

In the present era of rapid advancements and cut-throat competition, the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) is exponentially increasing. Besides significance, thefts and unauthorized uses of IPs are also multiplying, thus making the owners think about the protection of their valuable IP. Amongst the several ways in which one can safeguard his/ her IP assets, trademark registration appears to be the easiest one when it comes to the protection of the businesses’ unique brand names, logos, or slogans. Apart from preventing the use of one’s hard work without his/ her permission, the trademark serves him/ her business with remarkable goodwill and reputation. And this is what makes it the foremost choice of many entrepreneurs and companies worldwide.

Trademark is assuredly emerging as one of the excellent kind of IP and interests more and more businesses, you still need to comprehend some frequently used terms while planning obtaining protection for your mark. In this article, we will explain a few important trademark terms in simple and understandable language.

  1. Trademark

 It can be anything like a sign, symbol, name, sound, or word that distinguishes its proprietor’s products or services from that of others.

  1. Class

A trademark class represents a distinct group of goods and services. As per the NICE Classification, which is an international classification system followed by most registries, the class of goods and services to which the trademark pertains must be specified in the application. There are many trademark classes, and each class holds various goods or services, which are not always obvious from the class name. Under NICE Classification, goods and services are divided into 45 classes, out of which 1-34 define goods while 34-45 include services.

  1. Priority Claim

Priority claim refers to a right given by the majority of countries worldwide to the applicant of a trademark that has been filed for the very first time. Under this, the applicant applying for registration of a mark for the first time is granted the right to claim priority while filing applications to register the same mark in other countries within six months from the date of the first filing. If priority is claimed, the second application would be considered as having been filed on the same date of the first filing. As a consequence, the applicant will enjoy prior rights against applications filed by other parties from the date of filing in the first nation.

  1. Infringement

Trademark Infringement is an issue, which occurs when a mark that’s identical or confusingly similar to another company’s trademark is used without the owner’s permission.

  1. Trademark Journal

 It is where the mark is published if the application hasn’t been refused by the duty officer during the trademark registration process. In this way, the Trademark Law provides the public with a legal opportunity to file an opposition against the registration of the associated mark. Note that the opposition should be filed within a limited period before Trademark Protection is granted.

  1. License

It is an agreement amid a trademark owner (licensor) and another party (licensee), where the licensor allows the licensee to make specific and limited use of his/ her trademark. These licenses are often subject to royalty payments.  

  1. Symbols ® and ™

The symbols ® and ™ represent that the term on which these are put is someone’s trademark. ® means that the trademark is registered with the associated registry, and this symbol cannot be used before the Trademark Registration Process is completed. However, ™ can be used if the company is using its mark as a trademark even though it hasn’t yet applied for their mark.

  1. Distinctiveness and descriptiveness

As the prime purpose of a trademark is to identify its origin, it must be distinctive to the consumers to be accepted by the registry. In general, arbitrary trademarks like Blackberry and fanciful trademarks like Nike are considered as the most distinctive ones. Along with being distinctive, your trademark should be descriptive, i.e., it describes some characteristics like the quality, quantity, value, origin, or intended purpose of the goods or services. Descriptive trademarks cannot be secured as a trademark unless their extensive usage enables them to have acquired distinctiveness.

The above information will hopefully prove beneficial for you, no matter whether you want to register your trademark or provide your Registered Trademark as a license to any third party. In other words, the data will help you in protecting as well as monetizing your trademark. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Amazon Gets Patent for Robots That Drop Off Items on Delivery Routes

Amazon.com is already working on robots that deliver packages, but a newly issued patent includes a far more ambitious scheme that covers storage compartment vehicles, which can roam the footways to make multiple deliveries along their routes.

As detailed in the Patent Application published recently, Amazon’s proposed SCVs could pick up the items for not just deliveries but return as well. If the plan gets fully implemented, it could address the final 50 feet or last mile challenge for delivery systems by having customers arrive at the footways, tap the needed security code on their smartphones, and open up the precise doors to collect the items they have ordered. Delivery agents could load the SCVs with items and set them loose from the loading area to make the required dropoffs. The robots could locate themselves at deliberate locations for pickups or move to the areas where the customers live. No matter whether the robots go to the customers or vice-versa, doors would get opened and closed using a unique security code registers with the cloud-based control system of SCVs. Besides, each storage compartment would cover a protective air bladder that could be inflated to cushion the package inside. Assets like cameras, microphones, biometric scanners, GPS devices, and other gizmos could also be installed on the robots to monitor their surroundings, provide navigational data, etc. Installation of these assets would also be beneficial in ensuring that the robots don’t get messed with anybody and deliveries get to the right customers.

Amazon said that its patent applications explore the comprehensive possibilities of new inventions, but those inventions don’t always get turned into real-life products and services as detailed in the applications. Furthermore, the inventions never see the light of day in some cases. Hence, there’s no guarantee that we would see the mentioned SCVs roaming the street anytime soon.

That being said, the storage compartment vehicle covered in the scheme is not all that much of a stretch beyond Amazon Scout delivery robots, which are being tested in the north of Seattle in Snohomish County and other climes also.

Drawings provided in the patent application showed that the proposed device is reminiscent of the Dalek cyborgs from the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series, but bristles with boxes instead of bristling with weapons.

Much about the tanklike tracks that make the SCV move along a wide range of slopes and rough terrain had already been revealed in the patent application filed two and a half years ago by Seattle-area inventors, including Wicksell Metellus, Kristopher William Bell, Julius Chen, Wesley Scott Lanka, and Ryan Scott Russell.

There’re even models outfitted with propellers for aerial deliveries, or floats for marine delivery applications.

Amazon Robotics is increasing by leaps and strides, but filling the footways, waterways, and flightpaths with robots on delivery routes would present a whole new level of automation. Let’s hope for the best! For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Nintendo New Patent Details Touch Pen Attachment For Switch Joy-Con

With Nintendo’s new patent that has unveiled a touch pen plug-in, the company appears to be planning to bring brand new features to the Switch’s controllers Joy-Con.

Published recently by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the new patent reveals that the Japanese video game company wants to provide the Nintendo Switch console’s Joy-Con controller with a touch pen plug-in that can be connected to Joy-Con and used on the touch screen.

According to the images and descriptions of the new touch pen feature shown in the Patent Application, the pen attachment would be located on the right side of the console’s controller. Although the pen plug-in appears pretty similar to the Galaxy S Pen, it is possible to say that this holds a controller to control the screen and maintain a difference. The patent further states that the touch pen will make the Joy-Con vibrate when objects are touched on the screen. It also demonstrates the way in which the stylus-like feature can draw thin or thick lines on the screen, along with the ability to draw lines by pushing the X button on the Joy-Con.

Assuredly, this pen appears to be a functional add-on in comparison to a normal stylus. With the new design, the users will be able to use both the Joy-Cons together. Besides, they can enjoy additional control options in games. The pen plugin holds the ability to vibrate when interacting with any object, thus giving direct feedback.

Nevertheless, many games lack the touch screen features of the Switch. Hence, if Nintendo wants to bring this new feature to the console, it should plan to release the games that are compatible with the same. It is because if the company doesn’t launch games with touch functionality, it would be arduous to use the plugin widely.

Well, Nintendo’s patenting such a touch pen plugin does not mean that the plugin will surely come. Several manufacturers, especially Nintendo, often patents features that won’t be launched. Moreover, even if the patent turns into a reality, it isn’t easy to predict when this will happen.

There is one more possibility that the pen plugin has been patented for the Nintendo Switch Pro, a subject of rumors floating recently. Following the announcement of Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation consoles, Nintendo may be making plans for a more powerful Switch. For now, we can wait and see. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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What Can Impact Intellectual Property Trends in 2020?

Till now, when it’s around 20 days from the start of the year 2020, you hopefully be aware of statistics from 2019, no matter whether in association to Intellectual Property (IP), brand protection, or anti-counterfeiting. Nevertheless, besides gaining information about the past year, it is vital to consider some of the key IP and brand protection trends for 2020, and the new decade beyond.

In 2020, we undoubtedly expect to hear more about the US-China trade talks, and the European (EU) Copyright Directive. However, this is not all. We can come across many other trends and stories that would be significant for brands and how they secure themselves from IP infringement in this year.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

2020 is expected to be the phase when many companies move from experimenting with new tools and technologies to their broader implementation. The scope of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) looks to increase and affect the interactions brands used to have with consumers and counterfeiters.

It appears as if the sophistication of conversational AI interactions will enhance, resulting in improved communication between businesses and consumers. It further may improve buying patterns. On the other hand, ML will become more advanced in regards to image recognition, data clustering, and web scraping. It means that data monitoring and IP enforcement will benefit comparatively more from automation, allowing machines to fight the scams in addition to human expertise.

Blockchain

Blockchain and its operative use in anti-counterfeiting can be the other key area of growth in 2020. As technology is becoming cheaper day by day, the world would see it into the hands of many more businesses. Widespread adoption and embedding of blockchain-based smart contracts system will make the technology to execute a license for the use of original creator’s IP, scale automatic payment, and ensure that he/ she gets the correct compensation for his/ her unique work. Apart from assisting the users in making profits by earning more money and saving financial resources on getting agents to manage IP, blockchain technology would work even to prohibit content piracy, one of the common challenges creators often encounter. Indeed, 2020 and other upcoming years are expected to provide blockchain technology with advancements that would help you monetize your IP in several new ways.

Social Media Expansion: WeChat, TikTok, Etc.

For a long time, online platforms have dominated the talks about the availability and impacts of counterfeit and copied goods. As these platforms have been one of the easiest ways for consumers to shop, they have created spaces where fake sellers of infringed products or services could anonymize their identities. Previously, online platforms like social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, etc., were a secondary option for counterfeiters and sellers of violated products. Nonetheless, with the introduction of additional social commerce-oriented extensions, they gained importance. Social media channels are remarkably difficult for Intellectual Property Law enforcement to target as communications on these channels are private. Moreover, there is no ID transparency rule, and accounts can be made using false information. All these facts make it important for the brands to enlist the support of an experienced IP Attorney. They can also partner with a specialized Intellectual Property Law Firm that can provide online monitoring and IP enforcement. This is what we expect to see more in 2020.

Another thing to watch in 2020 will be the increase in both the size and scope of spaces like WeChat, TikTok and more. As counterfeits and IP abuse, especially Copyright Infringement, is common on online sites and channels, brands need to be cautious about ‘how can they deal with such issues.’ Intellectual Property Law Firm in Maldives or any country appears to be the best helping hand to battle against the problems caused by counterfeiting and IP abuse in this advanced but malicious decade. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Federal Govt. Gives $100k Grant to Protect Australian Prosecco with GIs

Fighting to let Australian winemakers continue using the name Prosecco, the federal government has recently given a $100k grant to researchers at Monash University for exploring the legal basis to protect wines with Geographical Indications (GIs) in trade agreements.

Dan Tehan, the federal education minister, announced that with the grant for the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects, they want the university to provide recommendations on GI claims to the Australian government and industry bodies.

According to researchers at Monash University, Australia’s Prosecco exports, which worth $60 million annually, are prophesied to rise to around $500 million over the next decade. The research team includes Professor Moira Paterson, Professor Mark Davison, Dr. Caroline Henckels, and Dr. Lisa Spagnolo, from Monash University’s Faculty of Law.

A specialist in Intellectual Property Law (IP Law), Dr. Enrico Bonadio from the City University of London, has also participated as a member of the team. The legal specialists investigated the criteria, evidence, and procedure required to establish a GI of wine, as utilized in trade agreements and legal disputes.

However, the EU (European Union) wants wine producers to prohibit marketing wine labeled as Prosecco. It claimed that the term Prosecco is a GI for a sort of wine being locally made in northern Italy and isn’t considered as a grape variety.

Professor Davison said that if Prosecco is the name of a grape variety and isn’t a GI, the prohibition of its use in trademarks on Australian Prosecco would possibly contravene Article 2.1 of the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement and Article 20 of the TRIPS Agreement. He added that they’re grateful to the Federal Government for the financial support to develop a legal framework and associated guidelines to defend GIs for wines, and to aid the Australian wine manufacturing industry in dealing with Geographical Indication Infringement claims and Geographical Indication Registration issues.

Since the early 2000s, Prosecco has been produced in Australia and used worldwide as a grape variety until 2009. But then in the same year, it was recognized as a GI under Italian Geographical Indication Law through the creation of a Denominazione di Origine Controllata across the Veneto and Friuli regions.

Later in the year 2013, the European Commission attempted to register Prosecco as a Geographical Indication in Australia but failed after the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia successfully argued that it was the name of a grape variety. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Tech Industry Urges SCOTUS To Reverse Verdict in Google v. Oracle Copyright Battle

A group of technology organizations and companies have recently come forth with support for Google in its Copyright Infringement battle against Oracle. The group, including Mozilla, Medium, Reddit, Cloudera, along with others, filed a joint “friend of the court” brief in which they urged the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to reverse a Federal Circuit Court’s verdict that Google infringed on Oracle’s copyright to Java API code in its Android Operating system.

The Google v. Oracle fight dates back over a decade, with a core concern being whether Copyright Laws bar the common practice of software reimplementation, the process of developing new software to carry out certain functions of a legacy product. However, with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision stating that the functional elements of application programming interfaces (APIs) are subject to copyright, Oracle won the most recent iteration of the fight.

The brief stated that ‘innovation and competition’ is the engine of the healthy internet, and software development is the field that fuels it. For the past many years, the software engineers have been relied on reimplementation, emphasizing reuse of functional protocols like the software interfaces to create competitive alternatives to incumbent industry players and develop new software without fear of copyright infringement.

The companies argued that the federal court’s decision against Google stifled decades of industry practice and upended the established expectations of developers, investors, and consumers. They urged the SCOTUS to reverse the lower court’s finding and allow Java APIs to be free from copyright or at least be accessible for fair use.

Abigail Phillips, head of the Mozilla Foundation’s legal department, said that the brief made its argument from the perspective of not just small and medium companies but even open-source tech organizations. She wrote that the consequences of the Court’s ruling in favor of Oracle are especially dire for small software developers who are already suffering due to their size and relatively limited resources. Hence, the overall result will be worst, i.e., the future would see fewer innovations from small and medium companies, along with the reinforcement of the positions of large enterprises in the tech industry. The future, as a result of this decision, would also experience a decline in incentive among big companies to improve their products and services.

At last, the brief stated – the tech industry believes that a healthy internet relies on the Supreme Court (SC) reversing the Federal Circuit Court’s decision and reaffirming the current status of play for software development, where copyright doesn’t stand in the path of software developers reusing SSOs (structure, sequence, and organization) for API packages in socially, technologically, and economically beneficial ways.

Besides this recently filed brief, an application requesting SCOTUS to reconsider the earlier judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had been filed by Google as well. However, the final showdown amid Google and Oracle is set to take place in March. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Protection of GUIs as Industrial Design Patents

GUI (Graphical User Interface) design is an emerging player in the technology industry, and more so in the world of patents. For companies that are in the business of selling goods and services through websites over the internet, GUI plays a vital role in attracting their consumers. Hence, the GUIs, which often exist in the form of simple icons, visual signals, and screen layouts, have become invaluable and beneficial Intellectual Property (IP) assets that represent a business’s brand identity and goodwill. Like other assets, these GUIs are also vulnerable to get infringed, i.e., copied and used by unauthorized users. Hence, the companies, which rely on GUIs to make profits by attracting and making consumers buy from them, need to protect their GUIs. In this article, we’ll explore how Industrial Design Patents can protect GUIs, thus making them vital components of any robust IP strategy.

Depending on several aspects, different countries have different rules and laws for the protection of GUIs. In general, GUIs may be secured under Copyright and Trademark Law, but Design Patent Protection offers distinct advantages over many other forms of IP protection.

  • Design patents can protect icons and screen designs that don’t function as trademarks.
  • For obtaining protection by the Registration of Industrial Design Patent, there is no requirement of creativity, as in the case of copyright.
  • Design patents possess validity. It means although the term of a design patent registration is limited to 15 years, it rarely outlives because of the driving nature of design, especially in the graphic user interface area.
  • Unlike copyright or several other Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) where fair use defense exists, design patent infringement isn’t available with this defense.
  • Design patent rights are easier to enforce than trademark and copyright, as no consumer survey or copying is required to prove infringement.
  • The measure of damages is a remarkable advantage. For instance, according to the rules for design patent damages – an infringer shall be liable to the patent owner to the extent of his total profit; whereas, Copyright Law limits the damages to the defendant’s profits attributable to the infringing component.
  • A design patent cannot just expand the intellectual property portfolio of the company but also increase its future asset value.

Significant Aspects Associated with GUI that Are Protectable as Design Patents

  • Firstly, novel icons related to GUI are protectable as design patents. These icons are the visual representations that display the subject matter related to the application. For example – an envelope representing e-mail, camera lens representing a camera, etc. In the case of third-party applications (apps), the app icon appears to be the most vital thing with which that particular company can convey its brand. Hence, protecting the app icon with the help of the design patent is of great importance.
  • Secondly, the GUIs that you can view when the app gets opened are also eligible to be protected as design patents. For instance, on clicking the icon, you can open the app and see the GUIs inside. At this stage, the novelty aspect is all about the GUI’s layout that includes the specific location of each element, which is also protectable. For instance, on opening a camera app, you can see the control and settings buttons displayed in a specific layout. All these are protectable as long as they are novel and nonobvious.
  • Finally, animation related to GUI is also protectable. For example, when you click on the settings of the camera app, the screen often slides to either right or left off the settings page. This type of movement in the app is protectable as a design patent. One common example of protection of such movement in GUI is the Apple ‘Cover Flow’ design patent, which safeguards flipping through albums in the music player interface and iTunes.

GUI is a booming technological area, and if we talk about GUI patents, then it is true that a major portion of the total design patent filings made worldwide is related to GUIs. Moreover, the number has been rapidly accelerating. The protection of GUI is an imperative type of Intellectual Property Protection that a developer should obtain to protect the company brand. Because of the continuous and rapid technological developments, it is expected that the future will see GUIs as essential assets for any business that wants to interact with its audience. That’s why almost all, including people, companies, national to International Industrial Design Registration service providers, etc., believe that the GUI protection must not be limited only to the software world, rather all industries should consider protecting GUIs strongly.

Design patents are what offer unique rights/ protection against GUI counterfeits and third parties, whose mimicking designs may cause the likelihoods of confusion. Furthermore, they can even help the owner to increase the value of his/ her IP portfolio, and thus, attract investors. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Microsoft Secures Patent For An Environment-Friendly Artificial Reef Datacenter

Microsoft, an American Multinational Technology Company, has recently received a patent for its Environmentally Friendly Ocean Floor Artificial Reef Datacenter.

Till now, Apple Inc. is the top technology company dedicated to working on environmental issues, using robots to dismantle iPhones and MacBooks for scrap metals, using recycled materials in its devices, and setting up solar farms. Moreover, it will be the first organization to use carbon-free aluminum.

The recently granted patent covering Microsoft’s work on an apparatus for promoting marine life shows that the company is thinking of joining (following Apple) the trend of Silicon Valley. The apparatus mentioned in the patent issued to Microsoft in late December 2019 includes a datacenter implemented in a vast body of water. Besides, the apparatus is coupled to a network, one or more components that further coupled to the pressure vessel supporting the surrounding ecosystem, and a pressure vessel that houses the datacenter.

Microsoft’s patent 10,524,395 titled ‘Artificial Reef Datacenter’ was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Microsoft, in its Patent Application, notified that the environmental concerns for the erosion of beaches, loss of active reefs, diminishing marine life, and other impacts have led to the installations of ocean floor artificial reefs in some areas. In general, artificial reefs are built by using objects originally developed for other purposes and then repurposed into an artificial reef. Nevertheless, these repurposed objects often raise additional environmental concerns like corrosion, and the introduction as well as the expansion of pollutants into the marine environment.

These repurposed objects also provide a less than ideal environment for the growth of reef inhabitants. Moreover, these can promote some reef life more than others, thus leading to an imbalance in the reef ecosystem. For instance, oil rigs often emit heat that creates a very warm surface inhibiting or otherwise challenging the growth for some types of reef life.

Examples and information provided in Microsoft’s Patent Application show a datacenter configured for operation while submerged in water and designed to incorporate components and features that actively attract the growth of reef inhabitants and promote marine life.

Active promotion of marine life may include:

  • Active behaviors of the datacenter, like dispersing nutrients or providing warmth in the surrounding environment
  • Datacenter design and structural decisions that lead to inviting structures and components for the colonization of marine life.

The recent patent grant appears as a great opportunity that allows Microsoft to turn its project titled Environmentally Friendly Ocean Floor Artificial Reef Datacenter into reality. Nonetheless, as no details reveal when the company would be going to do so, the world (people) can do nothing except waiting. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Sonos Enters Patent Infringement Dispute Against Google Over Smart Speaker Tech

Smart speaker maker Sonos Inc. has recently filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that the search giant has copied its patented home speaker technology.

California-based Sonos is in the business of making high-end home sound systems that users can control with their voice. Although the firm is famous for its quality indoor speakers, it also makes the related accessories, like amplifiers.

Through the Patent Infringement suits filed in the Log Angeles Federal District Court and with the U.S. International Trade Commission, the company is looking for financial damages and a sales ban on Google’s speakers, smartphones, and laptops, in the US market.

Sonos claimed that the features in the Google Home smart speakers infringed upon five of its patents, including technologies that enable their speakers to communicate and synchronize with each other wirelessly. The company further claimed that the scope of Intellectual Property (IP) infringement could be much bigger, potentially beyond the search giant.

Sonos, in a statement, said that Google had been blatantly and knowingly copying its patented technology in creating and selling the audio products under the search giant’s name. It then added that despite the repeated and extensive efforts made by its team over the last few years, Google hadn’t shown any willingness to work with it on a mutually beneficial solution.

Executives at Sonos told the New York Times that they provided Google with a list of around 100 patents found to be used unlawfully. They further told that Amazon’s Echo smart speakers are also believed to be violating a similar number of patents. Nevertheless, the company opted to limit the litigation to the lawsuit it is pursuing against Google because battling against both the tech giants at once would be a risk.

Both Google and Amazon, on their part, have strongly pushed back the Sonos’ accusations. Google said that they are disappointed with Sonos’ move where the smart speaker maker brought these lawsuits rather than continuing negotiations in good faith and that they would battle against these claims and defend them vigorously. On the other side, Amazon’s spokesperson said that the Echo family devices and their multi-room music technology were developed independently by Amazon.

It is predicted that the recently launched lawsuit against Google will only complicate Sonos’ tense partnership with the search giant and Amazon. Besides, in the big picture, the lawsuit may add fuel to the upsurging pressure tech giants are having from competitors. Sonos revealed that after it started asking for patent licensing feeds, Google added new technical caveats to their partnership. However, Congressional staff members discussed having Sonos Chief Executive Officer – Patrick Spence – testify on the matter before the House antitrust subcommittee. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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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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