Microsoft Wins Patent for an Environment-friendly Artificial Reef Datacenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Active promotion of marine life may include:

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

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

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Facebook Gets Patent To Track Users’ Television Viewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Challenges to Solutions in Patenting IoT Technology

The Internet of Things shortened as IoT refers to a network of computer-based gadgets, physical devices, appliances, and all the items that are deployed together with actuators, sensors, electronics, and software to enhance the collection, connection, and data exchange. As a platform that offers opportunities to connect and control different types of devices with big data technology, which in turn improves performance, promotes economic benefits and minimizes the need for human intervention, IoT is the most important achievement of the 21st century. Considering the path IoT covered so far, it is predicted that the continuously growing technology would bring remarkable changes in not just the way we work but also the way we live. Now, as everyone wants to make profits by implementing this modern technology, the market revolving around it is turning more competitive and vulnerable day-by-day. One of the most common concerns that this vast technology, having its applications in almost every area, including transportation, healthcare, etc., faces is issues in patent-related activities.

Patenting of IoT

Although the patent distribution in the IoT domain is very fragmented, the bulk of activities related to patent regularly takes place in this domain. For instance, several branded companies, like LG Electronics, Ericsson, and Qualcomm, along with various other firms, stay active in enhancing their patent portfolio. Moreover, if considered from the nations’ perspective, then multiple countries, including the US, Japan, China, Korea, India, etc., are experiencing a remarkable hike in the number of patent filings made by their residents in regards to IoT technology. With a large number of firms and nations investing highly in patenting IoT technology, it would not at all be wrong to infer that IoT is flourishing as a hotbed of inventions. Indeed, securing innovations associated with IoT under Patent Protection isn’t easy. Individuals or firms innovating and operating in the IoT domain often encounter several challenges that prevent them from patenting their IoT inventions appropriately.

Challenges in Patenting IoT and Solutions to Them

  1. Claim Scope

As IoT systems refer to multiple devices functioning together, there are many different approaches with which the specific invention can be claimed in a Patent Application, for example:

  • Device or gadgets claims that comprise the IoT components
  • Method claims that consider how the IoT device operates, functions, or communicates with each other
  • Software-styled claims that emphasize software-implemented procedures and methods used by the remote server to communicate with the IoT devices

Though available with lots of options yet the inventors often keep their patent applications limited to only one or two claims due to cost factors and complexities.

To get a solution to this challenge, you need to understand the patentability requirements, be aware of the cost for obtaining a patent, and be familiar with the proposition from the innovation. Moreover, find out the answers to some questions like what is the working model of your business, which part of your invention is novel, who can infringe your idea. It will help you in getting the most suitable claim type for your IoT invention deprived of investing in unwanted claims.

  1. Joint or Divided Infringement

IoT technology is interactive, and therefore, can be used at multiple different locations. Although beneficial, this feature turns the IoT devices more vulnerable to Patent Infringement as it allows multiple parties to violate the inventors’ patent rights. Furthermore, everyone who infringes on the IoT system can do so in two ways – he/she can use the entire IoT device or only its parts, i.e., components. In the case of divided infringement, people often confuse whether there is a liability if the infringement splits amongst multiple actors, parties, and devices. As per the Patent Law‘s rules, the violation liability is likely if the patent infringement involves the participation of various parties. It is also possible if a single defendant exercises ‘control of direction’ for the entire process in a manner that each step is attributable to the ruling party.

A solution in regards to this challenge can be obtained by drafting claims from the viewpoint of just one component existing in the IoT system. Nevertheless, due to continually changing trends and doubts regarding patent eligibility of inventions, it appears a bit difficult for the individuals or companies to draft such claims. If it is so, then you should claim only those components that are more susceptible to be operated or sold by others without your consent.

As mentioned above, IoT facilitates the world with numerous opportunities by allowing the easy and direct combination of the physical world with computer-based systems. It is the trendiest way to improve efficiency and economic benefits, along with reducing human involvement. And patenting IoT is the best way to extract more and more benefits from this technology while keeping your invention out of the reach of infringers. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Apple’s Patent for Wraparound Display Hints Possibility for New iPhone

Apple, an American multinational technology company, has revived its interest in an old patent that details a mysterious wraparound display. In March 2013, Apple had filed a Patent Application that features an ambiguous device having a glass body and a display looping around the body. Since then, the company has filed thirteen patent applications revolving around the design of this device. The recent patent that details some changes in the design of the device is a continuation of the previous ones.

As far as display and body are concerned, Apple has always had a glass display and a metal body. Undoubtedly, some plastic derivatives at the middle and lower-end were also used for the rear panel, and there have been smartphones’ models with the display on, but a complete wrap-around is something no one has seen so far. Although the concept of wraparound display technology has been available with Samsung and Xiaomi also, no commercial model with such design is accessible in the market.

The changes in the latest patent showcase virtual volume keys, rather than the traditional physical buttons. They also show that the device includes a top bezel that further consists of an earpiece and many other essential sensors in addition to a narrow bottom bezel. The device doesn’t hold the notch, which most of the recent iPhones do.

The wraparound display described in the patent application indicates that the expected device will be an all-glass affair having the display on both sides of the phone. It even suggests that this could be Apple’s answer to a foldable phone. That may appear a little far-fetched as a foldable smartphone when unfolded converts it into a tablet.

Nonetheless, it is noticeable that the sketches in the patent application detail the original 2013’s design so that the company can update it for a future release to keep up with the prevailing design trends. However, with Apple too, it is highly unlikely that the firm will unveil an iPhone with a wraparound display or the iPhone 12 (to be launched next fall) will have this updated design.

We should consider that this is just a patent, which may exist as it is for several years. It is also possible that Apple may never come up with this device as the company files multiple patent applications each month, and it’s a continuous process. Indeed, various concepts and designs for which it gets the patents don’t see the light of the day. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Metrasens Global MRI Safety Business Obtains another Patent

A leading provider of advanced magnetic detection technologies, Metrasens has proudly announced about the recent grant for a new patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for further strengthening of its patent portfolio. The newly granted patent revolves around the protection of the technology proficient in decreasing alarm weakness in the Ferromagnetic Detection Systems (FMDS) of Metrasens. Being used to increase the safety of staff and patients in the MRI departments of hospitals, Metrasens’ FMDS systems for MRI safety were invented by the company’s founders and have been purchased by MRI departments in 36 countries since 2003, when they were first introduced globally.

By obtaining its first patent before 2000 along with a total of 21 international patents till now, Metrasens at present has a considerable Intellectual Property (IP) in the field of magnetic detection. Nevertheless, this family’s patent protection granted in China is currently subject to a challenge by Nanjing Cloud Magnet Electronic Technology Company Limited in the China State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). Metrasens is defending itself against the plaintiff and its affiliate – Nanjing Haole Technology Company Limited (NH) in the Nanjing Intermediate Court for Copyright Infringement and in the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court for Patent Infringement. A decision announced by SIPO in regards to this case has proclaimed that the office concludes the patent to be invalid because it lacks an inventive step. It appears that Metrasens will robustly appeal to the SIPO decision.

Metrasens with an intention to defend itself claimed that previously, Nanjing Haole Technology Company Limited was a distributor appointed to disseminate its Ferroguard FMDS products in Southern China. Metrasens had terminated the relationship as it found this group emerging and selling products that possessed very similar technical features and functions to those for which Metrasens had obtained patents. With the aid of Beijing Yihai (one of its distributors), Metrasens has evolved as a leader in providing MRI safety services and resolutions to hospitals throughout China. Metrasens also has a Patent Application having further eight patents that reflect its investment to develop technology that helps in keeping the Chinese citizens safe.

Metrasens’ CEO and co-founder, Dr. Simon Goodyear, said that their close connections with MRI system vendors and the Chinese radiology community facilitated the fast and accelerating adoption of their Ferroguard systems in China.They are proud that both the IP executives and the MRI community value the benefits of their products, which are the result of years of their experience in this field. The new patent will help them in continuing to pursue their goals of safeguarding Metrasens’ intellectual property and businesses and of improving patient safety in China. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Intellectual Property Rights in 3D Printing Industry

Intellectual Property

With the availability of low-cost and high-performance 3D printers that are affordable to almost everyone, including large organizations and ordinary consumers, 3D printing is emerging as a remarkably beneficial technology for various industries. The potential use of this technology goes wider and generates both opportunities and concerns for manufacturers by facilitating them to easily manufacture objects whereas unauthorized users to effortlessly copy their products. Hence, to utilize the opportunities without coming across worries, it is vital to understand how the expanding use of this potentially transformative technology can have an impact the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Working of 3D Printing Process

The 3D printing process refers to a technological way of using a computer-aided design model to build up a three-dimensional object, usually by adding layer by layer. The process begins with a digital file that is exported to a three-dimensional printer by deploying software that converts the digital model into a physical object. As this process builds up a molten material by adding layers (one after the other), some people call it additive manufacturing.

Since the 3D technology is developing at a rapid pace, businesses predict that it will soon attain a considerable position in almost every area ranging from food and fashion to regenerative medicines and others.

Benefits of 3D printing

The innovation-intensive companies enjoy various advantages, by using the 3D printing technology, as it:

  • Enables the companies to design, develop, and test the new objects with remarkably reduced expenses
  • Helps the enterprises in saving their financial assets by preventing them from paying for costly prototypes
  • Allows the firms to improve their current products

By considering the changes that 3D printing brought in the ways of manufacturing objects, it is correct to say that this technology can significantly impact the manufacturers’ Intellectual Property Protection.

Intellectual Property Procurement

Firms that design, develop, or sell the 3D printers, parts, or accessories, possess the same opportunities to protect their Intellectual Property (IP) as those in other industries.They can trademark their brands, patent their technology, and copyright their creative works. Not only objects or works but 3D printing methods are also patentable.

Avoiding unauthorized 3D printing

People who are dealing with objects based on 3D printing technology are susceptible to get infringed by unauthorized users. However, the strategies to battle against infringements in regards to 3D printing vary according to the way of infringing. Consequently, the owner may need to consider different approaches for addressing infringement by a customer, a competitor, or other.

Competitors

Restraining competitors from using others’ trademark, copyright, or patent in the 3D printing arena is similar to doing that in other industries. However, the forms of IPR, like Design Patents and copyrights, which the owners can obtain quickly, may seem more valuable to avoid infringement issues in this field.

Copyright rights in the 3D printing industry enable the creator to protect the originality of his work. As per Copyright Law, if he finds anyone violating his work, it is likely for him to get the relief by filing a case against the defendant. Apart from it, the patent protects the objects’ technical functionality, the trademark enables owners to distinguish its source from others, and the design rights safeguard its ornamental and aesthetic appearance, including the shape and form.

Customers creating replacement parts

One main area where infringement related to 3D printing technology appears considerably high is ‘Printing replacement parts.’ Instead of purchasing the replacement parts from the original manufacturers, a large number of customers prefer making them on their own. Original manufacturers or suppliers can prevent such happenings by using utility patents or copyrights applicable to safeguard certain replaceable parts.

Consumers sharing infringing files

Sharing of CAD files, whether recreated or stolen, can lead to infringement.  However, the owners can prevent such occurrences by implementing relevant intellectual property protection strategies.

Copyright and trademark rights should extend to CAD files used to create objects, which deploy underlying IP rights so that the use of those files itself displays an act of infringement. To overcome the fact that the patent rights in the 3D printing industry are unlikely to extend to the CAD files of objects, manufacturers themselves can pursue the patent protection of their files. It would help them by showing that the copying of a stored CAD file is a direct infringement act.

Conclusion

With 3D printing technology, incredible manufacturing capabilities are accessible to almost everyone in the present era. However, this affordable solution can lead to concerns, like breaching IP rights, thus leaving rights holders with difficulties in finding infringers and taking action against them. So, people should pay attention to the influences of this technology on the intellectual property industry and vice-versa. It will help them in attaining the best out of 3D technology-based objects and services without suffering from any issue. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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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/

Louis Vuitton Sues two Chinese Shoe Companies for Copyright Infringement

Louis Vuitton Sues two Chinese Shoe Companies for Copyright InfringementFrench fashion house and luxury retail company, Louis Vuitton is suing two subsidiaries of China’s footwear giant, Belle International for allegedly copying the design of a pair of HK$8,950, famous Archlight sneakers.

As per the intellectual property high court of Hong Kong, the fashion brand Louis Vuitton has accused Belle International (China) and Best Able Footwear – both subsidiaries of Chinese shoe giant Belle International of manufacturing and selling a product that looks substantially similar to a product from its spring and summer, 2018 – the LV Archlight trainers. As a result of copying and selling these products, the two Hong Kong registered companies have damaged LV’s brand name and business reputation.

Undoubtedly, LV has acquired a distinctive reputation and goodwill for their trainers not only in Hong Kong, but across the globe as well; therefore the customers would always associate the product purely with the French brand.

According to the documents, the defendants first began selling its alleged replica in July last year. Belle International runs an array of retail chains in Macau, Hong Kong, and mainland China, including Jipi Japa, Staccato, Joyce & Peace to name a few, mainly focusing on women’s collection.

The fashion label Louis Vuitton has now asked the court to make sure that all the similar products are removed from the markets and the companies’ platforms. It has demanded the firms to cease all copyright infringements, and hand over or destroy the existing alleged copies. LV is also seeking for monetary damages of a sum to be determined at trial.

The officials have stated that the copyright law of Hong Kong will respect the freedom of expression and take a decision accordingly. The trial date has yet to be scheduled. More Visit: http://trademarkmaldives.com/

Victoria’s Secret threw shade at Budding Rival ThirdLove

Victoria’s Secret threw shade at Budding Rival ThirdLoveVictoria’s Secret, an American designer, manufacturer and marketer of women’s lingerie, women wear, and beauty products, has energized a prolonged and bitter quarrel with ThirdLove, an American company producing and selling bras, underwear and lounge wear, by the means of sedate US trademark applications. While ThirdLove might interrupt or distort the lingerie business, the global lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret strongly believes it still is customers’ “first love”.

The US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has officially agreed to the company’s trademark application, thereby attaching the phrase “first love” to a line of its personal care products. Although Victoria’s Secret has succeeded in acquiring its beauty products’ rights, it couldn’t trademark the phrase in association with its apparel and lingerie as the USPTO stated that “Victoria’s Secret First Love” is confusingly similar to “First Love,” an existing trademark registered for the same type of product, namely, women’s clothing.

Despite Victoria’s Secret recent ups and downs on the fashion runway, the lingerie giant remains the queen of lingerie. However, it is a matter of fact that yes; Victoria’s Secret has lost around 3.8 million customers over the past two years and has delivered a formal public statement on its plans to close 53 stores this year as opposed to its annual average of 15.

Coming to ThirdLove, the company had secured a $55 million fundraising round from a group of investors consisting of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of 23andMe, genetic testing company. Also, ThirdLove is now generating $100 million annual revenue and has become famous among women as its online “Fit Finder Tool” is being used by many customers to find their bra size.

Ed Razek, the senior creative at Victoria’s Secret said in an interview with Vogue that “We’re nobody’s third love, we’re their first love. Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning”.

When ThirdLove was questioned on whether they had opposed Victoria’s Secret application to trademark “first love”, the online lingerie retailer, Zac, refused to give a statement by focusing attention to their open letter which was published as a full-page ad in the New York Times in 2018 which read in one part, “Your show may be a “fantasy” but we live in reality”.

Nevertheless, it is not an end for Victoria’s Secret as still has time till June this year to make the required justifications in support of the trademark application’s registration. More Visit: http://trademarkmaldives.com/