China to Reinforce Protection for Intellectual Property Rights

The Chinese government, through the medium of a document it issued earlier this week, has revealed its desire to improve the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), an issue reflecting at the center of trade matters with the United States (US).

The document launched recently is a joint directive by the General Offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Chinese State Council, aimed at strengthening the protection of Chinese IPRs between accusations from the US stating that China has stolen the American IP.  The directive laid out China’s goal of reinforcing IPRs protection over the next two years by raising the upper limits for compensation related to the infringement of such rights.

According to the excerpts provided by the Chinese State Council, the directive reads that increasing IPRs protection is one of the most significant ways to improve the IPR system and to boost up the economic competitiveness of China. The new guidelines also revealed that China would multiply its efforts to enhance international cooperation on the protection of IPR, promote communication between foreign and domestic rights holders, and provide support in overseas IPR disputes.

The document also discussed China’s plan to increase the protection of trade secrets, confidential business data, and source codes and speed up the procedure to introduce a punitive compensation system for violation of patents, copyrights, or other IPRs.

The measures came after considering that the disputes over the theft of Intellectual Property (IP) have roiled the trade negotiations amid the world’s two largest economies, i.e., the U.S. and China scramble to reach phase-one of a trade deal.  The development came as investors have been scaling back their hopes for a phase-one agreement amid Beijing and Washington before the end of this year, i.e., 2019. This sort of deal was expected to provide the stage for dealing with chief concerns like a complaint made by the U.S against China, alleging that China steals intellectual property.

In an investigation made by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative last year, it was found that the intellectual-property theft by China compels the U.S to face a loss between $225 billion and $600 billion a year.

Ultimately, the document claimed that by 2022, China would be making progress in matters that have affected IPRs enforcement, like high costs, low compensation, and the difficulty of proof. And also that by 2025, the nation would have implemented an upgraded system of IPR protection. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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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/

American Businesses want reforms in Indian policies on IPRs & e-commerce

intellectual property rights

An advocacy group at Washington-based USISPF (US-India Strategic Partnership Forum) thrown light on the American companies’ desire for the participation of new Indian government i.e., BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in bold reforms in several areas encapsulating data localisation, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, land & labour laws and policies.

USISPF which had been established with an intention to uplift the commercial and economic status of nations functions to develop and maintain robust relationships amidst two countries by providing suggestions to drive employment-creation, entrepreneurship, economic growth, and more.

Mukesh Aghi who is the President of USISPF while communicating with administrators from different Departments and Ministries encompassing Commerce and other Industry revealed that they are working on a document emphasizing the changes and reforms American businesses want in some Indian policies. He added that they will hand over the modified document to the government of India.

Policy Changes

Earlier 2019, e-commerce policies in India underwent a revision that discontinued firms with foreign investments to vend products of businesses in which they put the equity. This alteration had shaken the professional life of many foreign investors, for example – US-based Company ‘Walmart’ that had acquired Flipkart, an e-commerce company based in India by investing $26 billion. As the abrupt alterations impacted the investments immensely, the GOI (Government of India) ought to gain investors’ trust.

Apart from e-commerce, US companies wanted the Indian government to work upon data localisation policies that banned transferring and storing customer-related information out of the country. Aghi continued that American businesses are interested to both invest and bring technology in India but for that, they want reforms in land and labour laws that often hinder operations.

IPR laws

US companies demanded modifications in laws related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) also. The two alterations they want in relation to IPR include granting more security to patent holders and relaxation in cost for medicines and medical equipment.

In regards to the proposed withdrawal of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) benefits, the advocacy group suggested the American government to continue allowing tax-free imports of near about 3,000 products to the US from India, as it was a sign of goodwill for years and helped in creating jobs for Indian people.  For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Metro Shoes files a Case against Flipkart Alleging Trademark Infringement

trademark infringement

Metro Shoes on Tuesday filed a case in Bombay HC (High Court) alleging Flipkart is selling under ‘Metronaut’, a brand name that is similar to the eponymous brand of Metro. Besides this, the complainant alleged that the e-commerce company is using the same brand name to sell shoes also along with other products.

Advocate Piyush Shah, representing Metro, said as the defendant is marketing the products with the brand name that is alike to Metro, it constitutes trademark infringement.

Flipkart spokesperson in an emailed response said that the e-commerce company was not aware of any such legal proceeding. If they are informed by a notice from any court or judicial authority, they will positively take the needed actions that will be in the best interest of the company.

Metronaut brand name is being used by Flipkart to sell:

  • Men wear and accessories that were launched in late 2018.
  • Denims, t-shirts, shoes, and shirts
  • Accessories such as belts, sunglasses, and wallets.

When it comes to Metro, the brand operates around 200 outlets in 100 cities and also sells through several multi-brand stores. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

5 Varieties of Coffee Acquire GI Tag

Geographical Indication

The government of India gave the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to 5 varieties of coffee being produced in the nation. The list of Indian coffee that achieved GI tag by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade beneath the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is as follows:

  • Coorg Arabica from Karnataka,
  • Wayanad, Robusta from Kerala,
  • Chikmagalur Arabica from Karnataka,
  • Araku Valley Arabica from Andhra Pradesh,
  • Bababudangiris Arabica from Karnataka

As expected, the step of providing the GI tag will prove beneficial for the coffee growers by aiding them in attaining the maximum possible price for their high-quality produce.

In India, almost 3.66 lakh farmers are engaged in cultivating coffee over a 4.54-hectare area.

Southern states encompassing Karnataka (54 per cent), Kerala (19 per cent), and Tamil Nadu (8 per cent) are accountable for producing the major percentage of the total production of coffee in India. In addition to these regions, non-traditional areas covering Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and other north-east states are involved in coffee cultivation.

In the entire world, it is India that seems to be the only republic where the complete coffee cultivation executes in a natural way like grown under the shade, picked by hands, and then, dried underneath the sunlight. Tribal farmers in the Eastern and Western Ghats, the regions recognized as the most important bio-diversity hotspots globally, are known for producing the best coffee worldwide. Highly-valued all over the world, Indian coffee is sold as the premium commodity in European zones.

The ministry said that the tribals who produce Araku coffee follow an organic method where they focus on using organic/green manures and organic pest control and eradication practices. It also puts light on Bababudangiris Arabica coffee by saying that it is hand-picked and managed by natural fermentation.

The ministry added that the protection and recognition that comes with Geographical Indication certification will enable the producers to invest in producing good quality coffee and maintaining the qualities of the products in that specific region. It will benefit both – the nation by enhancing Indian coffee’s visibility in the global market and growers by allowing them to gain the maximum profits for their first-class coffee.

A Geographical Indication refers to a name or sign used on natural, agricultural, or manufactured products like handicrafts and industrial goods that originate from a particular geographical location. Functioning as a mark of assurance of uniqueness and quality, GI tag provides the producers with justification and confidence that commands a premium price of their genuine products in all markets, no matter domestic or international.

Besides coffee, a large number of other products have attained the GI tag in India. For example – Darjeeling Tea, Kangra Paintings, TirupathiLaddu, Kashmir Pashmina, and Nagpur Orange.

NIPO (National Intellectual Property Organisation) President T.C. James said that the GI protection grant is the guarantee that no other grower can misuse the identity to sell similar products. It is advantageous from the customers’ perspective also as they don’t left with any doubt regarding the authenticity of that product.

GI tag distribution will motivate the producers to grow more and better quality coffee, which further leads to an increase in sales of coffee and the nation’s economy. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/