Guidelines to Prevent Intellectual Property Issues in the Virtual World

Trademark Infringement

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

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

Virtual Reality

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

  • Sensor-fitted gloves
  • Helmets having a special screen

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

Trademarks

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

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

Copyrights

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

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

Conclusion

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

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/

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/

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/

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/

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/

Importance of Intellectual Property Rights in Modern Times

intellectual property right

In the 21st century, intellectual property rights have played a key role in indigenous and international trade of every country. With the advent of growing digitalisation, there is a huge risk of innovative ideas being stolen by an outsider, without any prior permission and consent.

The importance of intellectual property protection varies across the world. Almost, every nation which relies upon international trade is now taking strong action for intellectual property rights protection. A robust IP law structure is partly responsible for the overall growth of the economy of a nation.   Unlike any other tangible asset which can be secured by locking up or fencing up, intangible assets like IP, in contrast, is accessible to the common people and can be misused by anyone. In a few situations, self-protection is also done by integrating the IP asset and tangible asset.

Intellectual Property Rights enhance the intrinsic value of all kinds of goods and services, as a unique idea is the core and foundation of every business. If the business is not unique from others, it will be unlikely to be differentiated from the competitor’s product and services.  Nowadays, many cases of the unique idea being stolen by the third party are quite common. But, there are still so many people who do not deem it imperative to secure their distinct design or logo. Hence, it is important to secure intellectual property, which would otherwise perilous to business growth.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Intellectual Property can be defined as a set of intangible assets owned by any individual person or institution. Like various physical properties, intellectual property provides the same competitive advantage to a business.

The protection of intellectual property in a web-based environment is crucial for a business than ever before, as the unique designs and logos are more vulnerable and can be easily replicated by anyone.

THREE TYPES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES RIGHTS:

An Intellectual Property right is majorly divided into three types- trademark, copyright and patent:

  1. TRADEMARK

A trademark can be a logo, design, or a mark of a business or an individual to distinguish his products and services from the competitors. A unique symbol enables a customer to easily recognize the product and relates to the brand value of a business.

  1. COPYRIGHT

Copyright protects a tangible creative expression like a painting, music compositions and a book.  It is one most used intellectual property rights given to the producers of an original creative piece, which includes both published and unpublished work.

  1. PATENT

A patent protects the unique and distinct creation from illegally sold, used by an outsider for a set time period. In other words, a sovereign authority grants the intellectual property rights to the inventor through a set procedure.

FOLLOWING ARE THE KEY ADVANTAGES OF PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS:

 

  1. CONVERT THE CREATIVE IDEA INTO PROFIT

Generally, ideas do not possess any commercial value on their own. In the modern era, Intellectual Property rights have great untapped potential to convert your creative ideas into profit- yielding machine. IP registration through copyright, patent, or trademark will result in a steady stream of commercial gains and extra revenue, which will expand and improve the bottom line of business.

  1. TO EASE THE MARKETING PROCESS

The intellectual property acts a great tool for establishing the distinct identity of both brand and business. It helps to distinguish the products and services of one seller from the other in the market, which further helps in easily promoting them to their prospective clients.

  1. FOR RAISING FINANCE FOR THE COMPANY

Any IP right holder can monetize and commercialize the IP assets via licensing, sale and can use them as collateral for debt financing.  IP assets can also be used for raising public funding, loans and to get government subsidies.

  1. FOR PROTECTING THE CREATIVE IDEAS

There are so many cases of creative ideas being replicated through illegal means by an outsider for commercial gains. So, it is mandatory to secure the IP rights before it gets infringed by anyone. A person can take IP protection, irrespective of the kind and size of the business. So, evaluate the business needs and circumstances and take appropriate action for IP protection.

  1. IMPROVE THE EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES OF A BUSINESS

IP assets accelerate the level of competitiveness in the export market for goods and services. The IP right holder can protect brands and design to market and promote their products and service abroad, and can also take franchising agreement from the overseas companies.

  1. BOOSTS THE BUSINESS GROWTH

Needless to say that, Intellectual Property protection cannot be overlooked in the cut-throat competitiveness. There are huge chances that the unprotected creative idea can be used by the rivals, which will result in shrinking the market share and slow down of business growth. Shrinking of market share in the formative stage can be detrimental to the overall business growth and performance.

Furthermore, it is important to note that IP Protection is the sole responsibility of the owner to secure from any infringement, as no one else will make an effort to protect the idea from being copied by someone.

CONCLUSION

Thus, it can be concluded that IP protection is extremely significant, and there must be proper IP laws in each country to protect the indigenous manufacturers from the outside completion.

The government also needs to improve the overall structure of IP laws for forging a long-term social and economic development of a company. The government needs to formulate proper IP laws for individual and companies, as laws should neither be too strict or lenient. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Industrial Design Protection in India

Industrial Design Protection in India

Industrial Design Protection is provided for the features or characteristics of shape, configuration, surface pattern, or combination of lines or colors, which, when applied to a functional article, either a two-dimensional or a three-dimensional article produces or increases aesthetics, and improves the visual appearance of the design. In India, The Design Act, 2000 governs and deals with the mechanism of registration of Industrial Designs. Once the Industrial Design is registered, it lasts for a period of 15 years from the date of registration with the first renewal due in the 10th year, and subsequent renewal in every 5th year.

In India, as per the Design Act, 2000, the pre-requisites which any article should meet to qualify for Industrial Design Protection are as follows:

  1. The design should be novel and original.
  2. The design should be applicable to a functional article.
  3. The design should be visible on a finished article.
  4. The design should be non-obvious
  5. There shouldn’t be any prior publication or disclosure of the design before the date of application for registration.

How can a person obtain an Industrial Design Protection in India?

In India, the registration process for Industrial Design Protection is fairly simple. The application is to be filed at the Design office either via the paper filing option or using the online filing option. All designs are categorized according to the Locarno Classification, which classifies goods for the purpose of their registrations and further helps in Design searches. An application is to be submitted at the Design Office along with the desired designs, classification code, and a description of the design. Once the application for Industrial Design is filed, it goes through an examination process to determine if the design can be registered or not. Accordingly, the Design Office may issue a statement of objection in the examination report, to which the applicant must respond within 3 months from its date of receipt. The application for Industrial Design Protection is abandoned if the applicant fails to respond to the objections raised within the stipulated period of time. On the basis of the applicant’s response to the objections, the Design Office determines if the application should be accepted, rejected, or put up for a hearing. If accepted, the application is processed for registration. After the registration, the particulars of the application, along with the representation of the article will be published in the Official Gazette. Once granted, the Industrial Design becomes exclusive to the owner if there are no objections raised from any third-party sources.

What is the difference between Patent Protection and Industrial Design Protection?

In several cases, a question or a query may arise pertaining to which type of protection to opt for between Industrial Designs and Patents. So here’s a detailed difference between patents and industrial designs to give you a basic understanding of their main aspects.

PATENTS

  • What can be protected?

A technical enhancement, new process, or manufacture, which is novel, unique, and useful, can be protected as patents.

  • Duration of protection and renewal term:

The patent of invention lasts for 20 years in the country of filing with no extension after 20 years.

  • Maintenance of Right:

An annual fee has to be submitted for a duration of 20 years.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS

  • What can be protected?

Any functional article of use which has a novel ornamental appearance can be protected as industrial designs.

  • Duration of protection and renewal term:

An industrial design is valid for a duration of 15 years with first renewal in the 10th year and subsequent renewal in every 5th year.

  • Maintenance of Right:

A Fee is required after 10 years if an application for renewal is submitted.

Why should one look into filing an application for Industrial Design Protection?

In the present era of creativity, aesthetics, and presentation, the outer appearance of any product is very important as it makes the product more appealing and attractive. This aspect increases the marketability of your product and raises a need to protect it from others who may copy or illegally adopt similar looking products in the market. In a number of cases, the design itself becomes the identity of a brand. Industrial Design Protection also encourages creativity, which leads to an expansion in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. So protect your novel creations by thinking beyond just functionality and looking into eye appeal too. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Trademark Enforcement and Protection: Bangladesh

trademark protection

In Bangladesh, the mechanism of trademark registration and protection is governed under the Trademark Act, 2009, and the Trademark Rules, 1963.  As per the 2009 Act, the trademark owner possesses the sole right to refrain others from further using it in any kind or manner.  Any person who tries to imitate or produce an identical product which is already registered under the trademark act is considered as an infringement of trademark rights.

PROTECTION OF TRADEMARK

A person needs to submit a trademark application with the Department of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (DPDT), Dhaka for trademark registration. A registered trademark is valid for the period of 7 years from the application date and can be renewed every 10 years after submitting the required fee.

PROTECTION OF WELL-KNOWN MARKS

In Bangladesh, well-known marks are acknowledged by the Trade Mark Registry under the International, National and Cross Border Reputation. According to the Trademark Act, 2009, the protection of a well-known trademark is given under the following levels:

  • Measures against the identical or same well-known mark registration
  • Action against the unlicensed use of the well-known marks

INFRINGEMENT

A trademark right is infringed if a person violates or uses an already registered trademark without any authorized access from its owner. Under Sec 29 of the 2009 Act, a person is deemed to infringe a registered trademark in the following ways:

  1. Where a person uses a trademark which is identical or similar to an already registered trademark used in the course of trade, for the similar goods or services not being a registered proprietor/user and causes confusion on the part of the public.
  2. Where the registered trademark is used in the course of trade, for the goods or services which are not similar but has a reputation in Bangladesh and the use of the mark by the person without due cause, takes unfair advantage of or is detrimental to the distinctive character or reputation of the registered trademark.
  3. Where a person who is not being duly authorized by the registered proprietor or a registered user, uses the trademark on a material intended to be used, for labeling or packaging goods, as business papers, or for advertising goods or services.
  4. Where a person not being a registered proprietor/user uses a registered well-known trademark for the identical or similar goods or services for which the mark has been registered.
  5. Where a person not being a registered proprietor/user uses a registered well-known trademark for the goods or services which are not identical or similar to those in respect of which the mark has already been registered, by using the mark in relation to those goods or services, would point out a connection between those goods or services and the owner of the registered well-known mark, and that the interests of the owner of the registered well-known mark are likely to be damaged by such use.

REMEDIES

When the rights of a proprietor of a registered trademark are infringed in Bangladesh, the following actions can be taken for the remedy:

  1. CIVIL ENFORCEMENT: The Trademark Act of 2009 provides both infringement suits and passing off actions in case of registered and unregistered trademarks respectively. In the case of infringement suits, the trademark must be registered in Bangladesh as per Section 24 (1) of this act. In the case of civil proceedings, passing-off proceedings can be instituted before an assistant judge or a joint district judge. However, Trademark Infringement suits can be instituted only in a district court or higher.

The Code of Civil Procedure establishes that rights holders may file suit for permanent injunctions before the Dhaka District Court. If the infringement is proved, a suit for damages may then be filed separately.

A) PRELIMINARY MEASURES:

The administrative authorities have no direct jurisdiction over counterfeiters and the seizure and/or confiscation of the infringing goods in question. The law governing agencies such as the police, the Bangladesh Rifles and the Rapid Action Battalion takes cognizance of any matter relating to counterfeiting only after being directed to by the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, since the imitation or use of false trademarks is a non-cognizable and a bailable offense under Sections 482, 483, 485 and 486 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Besides civil infringement suit, IP rights holders may file an application for a temporary injunction under Order 39, Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If it is proved that there is a prima facie arguable case and that the balance of inconvenience is in the IP rights holder’s favour, then the court may grant a temporary or interlocutory injunction against the counterfeiter when the suit is filed.

B) REMEDIES:

The following remedies are available by way of civil action:

  • Temporary injunction;
  • Permanent injunction and attachment order with a declaration that the goods are counterfeit; and
  • Claim for damages.

It can take up to three to four years for a case to be finally decided.

2. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION: The following are criminal offenses punishable under the Bangladesh Penal Code, 1860:

  • Using a false trademark so as to mislead consumers about the origin of the goods; and
  • Counterfeiting a trademark used by another person.

The punishment for using a false trademark is imprisonment for up to one year or a fine, or both. The punishment for counterfeiting is imprisonment for up to two years or a fine, or both. The courts also have the power to set the prison term and the amount of any fine. In addition, the Penal Code identifies a number of activities as a criminal offense and sets out various enforcement measures available to rights holders. Two such offenses and their punishments are as follows:

  • Making or possessing any instrument for the purpose of counterfeiting a trademark – the punishment for this offense is imprisonment for up to three years or a fine, or both; and
  • Selling, exposing or possessing for sale or any purpose of trade or manufacture any goods bearing a counterfeit mark –the punishment for this offense is imprisonment for up to one year or a fine, or both.

 

A) PRELIMINARY MEASURES:

In cases of counterfeiting, a rights holder may file a criminal complaint with the police, which then investigates. If the complaint is proved, the case then goes to trial before a court. In addition, police officials may launch raids against counterfeit and pirated goods and may take legal action.

All criminal proceedings begin in the magistrate’s court. All criminal cases relating to false trademarks or counterfeiting are tried by a magistrates court (first or second class, or a metropolitan magistrate in an urban area). Any appeal against the magistrate’s order must be made to a district magistrate or session judge.

B) Remedies:

Remedies available in criminal actions include the following:

  • Raids on the premises where the counterfeit goods are stored;
  • Seizure of the goods;
  • Destruction of the counterfeit goods; and/or
  • The imposition of penalties on the accused.

 

  1. BORDER MEASURES (CUSTOMS): All trading activities in Bangladesh are regulated and administered by the Ministry of Commerce under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act1950. Additionally, Under Section 15 of the Customs Act, 1969, the import of goods, whether by air, land or sea, is prohibited that fall within the following categories:
  • Goods marketed under counterfeit trademark or false trade description.
  • Goods manufactured or produced outside Bangladesh and intended for sale under a design in which copyright exists under the Patents and Designs Act in respect of the class to which the goods belong or any fraudulent or obvious imitation of such design without a license or the rights holder’s written consent; and,
  • Goods made or produced outside Bangladesh and marketed under any name or trademark being or purporting to be the name or trademark of any manufacturer, dealer or trader in Bangladesh.

Under Section 17 of the Customs Act: “if any goods bearing registered trademarks are imported into or attempted to be exported out of Bangladesh in violation of the provision of Section 15 or of a notification under Section 16, such goods shall, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the offender may be liable under this act or any other law, be liable to be detained and confiscated and shall be disposed of in such a manner as may be prescribed.”

There is no provision for the recordal of trademarks with Customs. However, upon receiving a complaint from a rights holder, Customs may take steps against any person or entity that imports goods in violation of Sections 15 and 16 of the Customs Act. Moreover, a rights holder may approach the High Court to obtain an order directing Customs to detain and/or seize the counterfeit goods. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Enforcement And Protection Of Trademark Rights in Nepal

trademark registration

In Nepal, the process of trademark protection and enforcement is regulated by the Patent, Design and Trademark Act (PDTA), 1965 (2022). As per Section 18 of PDTA, the validity of a registered trademark is for a period of 7 years from the date of application.

Department of Industries (DOI), a sub-department within the Minister of Industries, governs both foreign and native trademark registration process.

The DOI executes mainly two functions: quasi-judicial function and administrative functions for the enforcement and protection of the trademark rights:

  1. Quasi-Judicial Function
  • Pro-opposition of trademarks
  • Revocation of Trademark
  • Action against the unauthorized use of the registered trademark product
  1. Administrative Function
  • Trademark registration and renewal
  • Assignment and licensing of trademark
  • Trademark recordals (Name and Address of the trademark owner) changes

The following international treaties are signed by Nepal for the enforcement and protection of trademark rights:

Treaty Signed on
  1. The Paris Convention For Protection of       Industrial Property, 1883
  2. Conventions Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, 1979
  3. Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, 1995.
June 22, 2001

April 23, 2004

February 4, 1997

TRADEMARK PROTECTION BASED ON REGISTRATION

Under Section 16 of PDTA, a person can fortify the trademark title only through registration by the DOI.

PROTECTION OF WELL-KNOWN MARKS

There are no specific laws for the protection of well-known trademark under the PDTA. But DOI can decline the application of any trademark or already registered trademark under the Section 18 (1) and (3) in following situations: a) for sabotaging the reputation of any individual or institutions, or b) for damaging someone’s trademark reputation.

INFRINGEMENT

A trademark right is violated if any unauthorized party uses or replicates an identical or similar product, which is already registered. However, the trademark owner can take legal action only for the registered trademark, by submitting evidence for the same. The person can seek legal action for the infringements of trademark rights by filing an application. However, the person can complain anytime, as there is a time limit set by the government.

Civil, criminal or administrative action can be taken by the grieved party in case of trademark infringement. Under the Civil Right Act 1955, the person can also file for an injunction the High Court.

Injunctions

Rules and Procedure for regulating the issuance of the injunction for preventing imminent or further infringement of trademark rights:

The injunction is filed under the Civil Right Act 1955, and High Court regulations. In this case, the raid is carried at the place where the trademark infringement has allegedly taken place by the unauthorized party.

REMEDIES

Civil Action

The owner of a registered trademark has the right to file an injunction. But the party has to prove his claim that its trademark right has been infringed by the accused.

The claim for the damage can be made by submitting the proof for the same. All the products/labels/ advertising materials which are infringing the trademark right can be seized.

Criminal Action

The infringing goods/ labels/advertising materials can also be seized by the government for destruction. In a criminal action, raids can also be conducted, while the same is not possible in a civil action. The accused can be fined up to NRS 1000000.

Administrative Action

For administrative action, the person can file an infringement complain in the Department of Industry.

CUSTOM ENFORCEMENT

In Nepal, the Ministry of Finance, under the Customs Act, 2007, governs all the activities related to enforcement and protection of trademark rights. Under Section 68 (1), if a party imports or exports any product which is infringing the IP rights of any person, then the concerned person can submit an application, along with proof to the customs officer to stop the import or export of the goods.

If trademark application is filed under Section 68 (1), the customs officer can withhold the import or export of such goods. However, he can also pass an order to the concerned authority to undertake the necessary action, under Section 68 (2).

Then, the authority will undertake the relevant legal action as per the trademark laws. After that, under section 68 (3), the customs officer, will be informed in detail.

If it’s found in an investigation that goods are liable for forfeiting, the customs officer under Section 68 (3) will hand over those goods to the concerned body for further action.

Defense available to the accused:

In case of infringement of trademark rights, the defendant can plead for the following defenses:

  • The doctrine of estoppels;
  • The doctrine of laches;
  • Can prove the dissimilarity between the trademark;
  • Can also show that the feature of its goods is entirely different from that of the plaintiff;
  • Can also show that the client base is completely different from the plaintiff;

Under Section 27 of the Patent, Design, and the Trademark Act (2022/ 1965), a person can appeal within 35 days from the issuance of infringement decision.  For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/