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/

Stringent Laws, Collective Application Vital to Protect IPR: CJI Dipak Misra

Intellectual Property

Former CJI (Chief Justice of India), Dipak Misra said that the business corporations in the current global economy focus on staying competitive by deeply managing Intellectual Property (IP). That is why; stringent laws and their collective enforcements are imperative for the security of Intellectual Property Rights in India.

Misra at a conference held in New Delhi delivered a speech on intellectual property through collective enforcement. In his speech on this topic, the justice emphasized that though the proprietary knowledge and possessions of mind are attaining recognition over centuries, IP gained importance in the present framework due to incessant advancements in trade and technology.

Continued speaking at the conference, Justice Misra added that the significance of intangible goods is increasing at a rapid pace, thus forcing businesses to create and manage IP conceptions as their keys for achieving competitive advantages and improved performances.

Continuing further, he came up with the following information:

In India, the ancient times were facilitated with the ideology that knowledge sharing is better than all other kinds of giving. However, today, IP is what acts as the planned alliances of growth in socio-economic and technology. It is the basic context of sustenance in the existing economically competitive era.

In the view to promote inventions, it is necessary to consider Intellectual Property Rights. Undoubtedly, the legislative system is not just in force but also in accord with a framework of developing countries but that’s not sufficient. Since India is moving ahead in the form of a developing nation, some other stringent laws are required.

Our country is advancing to such level of development that we need to have control, have a safeguard, and provide protection to those who are creating and inventing or actively involved in innovation.

Dipak Misra known as a former CJI was born on October 3rd, 1953. Being the 45th Chief Justice of India, he served the nation from 28th August 2017 to 2nd October 2018. He is also identified as the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who served the nation as the 21st CJI from 1990 – 91. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Geographical Indication and its Importance

 Geographical Indication

In earlier times, we were hardly available with more than one option for a particular thing. For example, there were very few varieties of tea grown in only some specific regions. However, with the advancements in technology and other sectors, people are persistently coming up with new ways to produce more varieties of tea. This continuous practice is giving rise to a competitive market, thus making it arduous for producers to acquire the precise cost for their produce. Geographical Indication (GI) is an essential tool that helps the growers in attaining the premium price for their products.

GI plays a vital role in the lives of both producers and consumers. Moreover, it adds to the nation’s economy. In short, there are a lot of benefits that make GI a considerable term. But before having an insight on those advantages, let’s go through some other noticeable facts regarding Geographical Indication.

Definition

Geographical Indication is a certification for agricultural, natural, or manufactured products that are unique originates of a specific area in a country. The products with GI tag are known for their quality and own a sense of trust and legitimacy.

Some products that have achieved the GI tag in India are:

  • Basmati Rice, which is famous for its long grains and matchless aroma, is unique to Indo-Gangetic plains. After a legal battle, seven states of India have attained the GI certification in 2016.
  • Darjeeling Tea was the first commodity that achieved a GI grant in India. Both the title and logo of Darjeeling tea were given fortification under the Intellectual Property laws.

Besides agricultural goods, the following sorts of products are also enjoying the merits of Geographical Indication:

  • Natural like Makrana marble
  • Handicraft such as Kashmiri pashmina
  • Foodstuff like Dharwadpedha

The purpose of providing the status of Geographical Indication to products is to stop the practice of unfair competition and prevent misstatement on the subject of the geographical origins of products.

Why Geographical Indication Protection is vital?

Most of us often doubt whether going for GI protection is worthwhile. Go through the following benefits that will aid you in figuring out the importance of geographical indication.

Boosts export

The essential purpose of using GI tag is that it provides a legal defense that encourages the producers to produce and sell more. More production results in the expansion of businesses worldwide. Hence, we can say that geographical indication protection boosts exports.

Increases Economic Wealth

GI tag rewards the products with a positive reputation that develops the producers’ confidence to ask for an optimum price for their produces. In other words, geographical indication boosts the economic wealth of growers, regions, and the entire nation.

Prevents misuse

The producer with the GI tag has the legal right to prevent unauthorized people who do not belong to his geographical indication region from using his certification. In this way, he can deter damages to his reputation. The farmers selling goods under GI safeguard seem to face fewer issues and competition from false sellers who vend bogus commodities.

Upsurges Tourism

Geographical indication bestows the commodities with a brand reputation worldwide. Alluring people with thoughts that the particular products hold a good reputation, GI tag motivates them to access those products in their original form by visiting the places of their origin. All these facts result in the remarkable growth of a nation’s tourism.

Conclusion

Nowadays, almost all states yield products unique to that specific area. There are a ton of products, which are continuously making their place in millions of hearts in the entire world by acquiring a GI tag. Ultimately, GI is another name to increase in the economic wealth of growers and nation. Hopefully, after going through the statistics above, you are left with no doubts about why and how a geographical indication is imperative. GI is essential for not just producers but for consumers as well. It enables the growers to avail the best possible price for their premium products. Besides, it aids the customers to buy optimal commodities. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/