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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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its Implications on Patents

Artificial Intelligence (AI), in the past few years, has seen a profound increase in its media coverage and attention. It is due to the continuous improvements in its capabilities that has nourished its adaptation into various areas. Today, AI has found its applications in many fields, like small to large businesses, automotive industry, healthcare centers, etc.

AI is a technology that focuses on the creation of intelligent machines, which react and work like humans. One of the common activities for which AI-based computers are designed is speech recognition. Some basic technologies that include AI are as follows:

Boolean Search

These refer to algorithms that implement a sort of search, which enables the users to produce relevant results by combining keywords with operators like AND, OR, and NOT.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP emphasizes AI algorithms that enable computers to comprehend and process human languages.

Natural Language Search (NLS)

NLS comprises AI algorithms that carry out searches by identifying content matching a topic described by the user in plain language.

Machine Learning (ML)

Machine learning refers to a data analysis method that automates the building of the analytical model. With the concept of using algorithms that learn from data, ML allows computers/machines to find out the hidden insights even without being programmed – where to look.

AI Implications on Patents and Intellectual Property

With AI-based machines appearing to have surpassed human performance in many fields such as medicine, automotive, and others, it is expected that the future for AI would impact the ways humans beings work and perform. These predictions led to several debates such as ‘can AI surpass human capabilities,’ ‘is it the best tool used to aid humanity in work,’ etc. Apart from these questions, the implications for the emergence and rise of AI on Intellectual Property (IP) and especially Patents are also subject to debate.

With the advent and advanced functionality of AI in a wide range of fields, this technology may probably be on its way towards creating remarkable tools, approaches, and applications. For instance, the Neural Machine Translation System of Google, at the end of the year 2016, was found to have developed its internal language that represents the notions it uses to translate different languages. Not only this, there are a lot of other examples that showcase the consistent advancements in AI technology. Well, this is only the beginning, because as evidence suggests – AI technology may one day perform with its independent mind and intelligence. All these facts also suggest that AI, due to being the creation of the mind, has major implications for Patents and IP.

IP refers to unique and useful creations of the mind. It is a category of property that comprises intangible creations of human intellect. Additionally, when it comes to patent, this is a type of IP that provides its owner with the legal right to prohibit others from stealing and misusing his/her invention for limited years. But, with this definition that defines IP as a creation of the mind, the term ‘mind’ is left for debate – whether a robot or a human mind. Still, AI can create inventions that should be protected by filing Patent Registration Application. In other words, though the word ‘mind’ is in question, yet AI can create potentially patentable inventions. Hence, keeping this thing in mind, the human beings who so ever create AI technology-based inventions should logically own the patent rights over the same. The owner of AI-related inventions must obtain robust Patent Registration Protection as soon as he/she could. It is recommended because AI is the latest and continuously advancing technology, and therefore, the inventions based on this are highly vulnerable to be stolen, copied, or imported by unauthorized users. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Baidu Files Patent Application for ML-based Audio Synthesis Ownership

By catching the attention and likes of Tencent and Huawei, Baidu has topped as the leading artificial intelligence (AI) Patent Application leader. Apart from this, Baidu (with 1,237 patent applications) is also leading in the highly competitive area of intelligent driving, as many reports stated.

Victor Liang, Vice President & General Counsel Executive Assistant to CEO at Baidu, said that they retained the top position for AI-related patent applications in China because of their:

  • Constant investment and research in developing AI
  • Strategic focus on patents

After years of research and development, Baidu has now developed a comprehensive AI ecosystem, and therefore, is at the leading spot of the AI industry worldwide.

Patents focused and filed by Baidu encompass a wide range of domains, including:

  • Deep learning (1,429 patents)
  • Speech recognition (933 patents)
  • NLP – Natural Language Processing (938 patents)

While Baidu acquired top position in China, its R&D center located in the US had filed patent applications in the US patent office also.

In this patent US20190355347A1, which is for a computer-implemented method to train a neural network model for spectrogram inversion with the title – Spectrogram to waveform synthesis using convolutional networks, Baidu lists the following points:

  • Inputting an input spectrogram, including many frequency channels into a CNN (convolution neural network).
  • Outputting a synthesized waveform from CNN for the input spectrogram, which has a corresponding ground truth waveform.
  • Using the synthesized waveform, the corresponding ground truth waveform, and the loss function, consisting of at least one or more loss components opted from convergence loss spectral.
  • Using the loss to update the CNN.
  • A clear mention of using the CNNs (convolutional neural networks).

As CNN is the lifeblood of several contemporary ML-based applications, any claim, even on a small part, can create damages in the long run.

The current year has witnessed a sudden and rapid growth of interest in owning algorithms and deep learning. So, even if the plans are to protect the researches from falling prey to pseudo players, this trial appears as a slippery slope where owners of big businesses can leverage the smaller companies that are using advanced technology.

In Baidu’s case, too, there lie risks of losing ownership to various audio processing applications. Contributed to the increasing fear among the ML community, Baidu is a Chinese company. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) vision of this company was fortified with projects such as Apollo, which is an open-source independent driving platform together with many other intelligent driving innovations.

China has allegedly been found involved in Intellectual Property (IP) thefts, especially from US companies. Hence, when Baidu’s foreign division files a patent application, one cannot assist but think about the consequences of handing the ownership to China that continued to be the world’s leading source of fake goods, exhibiting its failure to take crucial action to restrain the widespread manufacture, sale, and export of bogus goods. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Nokia Suspends Legal Action Against Daimler With Mediation Offer in Patent Row

Nokia, the Finnish Multinational Telecommunications and Consumer Electronics Company, has recently suspended legal action against the German carmaker Daimler with the hope that mediation will bring their dispute over the technology licensing fee to an end. Nevertheless, Daimler responded to this decision by Nokia in a cool way and iterated that the two companies had different legal opinions on the conflict.

Nokia’s pursuit of charges from Daimler has highlighted the wider fight amid tech companies and the automotive industry over royalties for tools and technologies needed for vehicle communications, navigation systems, and self-driving cars.

Daimler, along with Continental AG, Valeo, Thales-owned Gemalto, and Bury Technologies, complained to the European Commission (this year, i.e., 2019) about the fees demanded by Nokia from them for patents associated with car communications.

In recent years when Nokia has inaugurated ten (10) court cases against Daimler over Patent Infringement, Daimler has also declared lawsuits against Nokia.

Nokia, on 9th December 2019, said that constructive negotiation was the most suitable way to resolve such battles, emphasizing last week’s offered mediation as an effort to evade an EU antitrust investigation.

Nokia spokesperson Mark Durrant said that to make sure there is time for this recent mediation to be successful, they have decided to postpone the pending Court hearing to be held on 10th December in Germany. They have a belief that Daimler and its suppliers will now join them in these significant efforts to reach settlements. There is a lot more to gain for each if all work together, he added.

Daimler reiterated its previous stance and declined to comment on this move of Nokia. The German company said that they have a completely different opinion on how to license necessary and vital patents for communications standards in the car industry. The Carmaker added that Nokia has so far denied licensing their suppliers on a comprehensive basis.

Nevertheless, Margrethe Vestager – EU antitrust chief – welcomed the mediation efforts by Nokia. She said that the decision to postpone Court hearing was a positive move. That’s why they think it is good to attempt mediation at the International Chamber of Commerce, and it would be best if the parties could have a mutual understanding, she told reporters.

Nokia has also proposed mediation on licensing fees with several car parts makers rather than only Daimler.

Carmakers argued that instead of them, the car parts makers should look at the licensing fees and that patent holders must be open to negotiating with the companies interested in purchasing or using their patents.

Sources revealed that EU competition enforcers had been poised to investigate into this matter until Nokia made mediation offer.

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How’s the Patent Application Process in India Affected by 2019’s Amendments?

The Indian government, along with administrators and several Intellectual Property Law Firms in India, has recently taken a considerable step to motivate inventors to get involved in more and useful inventions. With this welcome move by the concerned authorities, the Patent Application Process in India has become not just cheaper but easier as well.

The Patent Amendment Rules 2019, which came into force on 17th September, reflect the below-given four major changes: 

  1. Submission of Original Documents Only Upon Request

Although the Indian Patent Office in 2016 had dismissed the requirement to provide hard copies of the patent forms and specification while applying for Patent Registration in India, certain documents were still needed to be submitted at the IPO in their original form. Some such documents include the Power of Authority, verified English translations of Priority and PCT documents, etc.

Under the unamended rules, the applicants need to submit the original documents at the IPO within 15 days from the day of their online submission. Nonetheless, as per the rules amended in 2019, the applicants no longer have to do so. They can file their duly authenticated documents only by electronic transmission. The exception where original documents are required to be submitted within fifteen (15) days of a request is if the IPO asks the applicant for the same.

  1. Women and Many Others Can Enjoy Expedited Examination

In 2016, the government added the Patent Application Process in India with the provision of expedited examination. Under the unamended rules, this provision had limited the number of applications to be examined within twelve months, i.e., the expedited period. Moreover, it was open for only two categories of applicants, including:

  • Start-ups,
  • Applicants who mention India as an International Searching Authority (ISA) or an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) in their applications

The amended rules concerning the provision of expedited examination have come up as a beneficial change for many other applicants, like:

  • Small entities
  • Female applicants
  • Government entities, such as:
  • Different government departments
  • Institutions wholly or largely financed by the government
  • Institutions established by the Central, Provincial, or State Act
  • Government companies as specified in Section 2(45) of the Companies Act, 2013
  • Applicants who are suitable to process patent applications compatible with agreements amid IPO and a foreign Patent Office.
  1. Form 28 Needs to be filed

As the amended rules say, the start-ups now have to submit documents supporting their start-up status along with Form 28, each time whether they file a request, form, or document at IPO. The filing of such documentary evidence claiming start-up status will prove helpful in ensuring that the applicant is eligible for claiming the suitable deduction in the fee.

  1. Zero (0) Transmittal Fee

As discussed above, the amended rules have made the Patent Application Process in India easier as well as cheaper. Under these rules, the previously applicable transmittal fee for PCT applications at the IPO through the e-filing module has been abandoned. Additionally, the applicants don’t have to pay fees for the certified copies of priority documents and their e-transmission by the WIPO Digital Access System (DAS). Even the costs for filing PCT and convention applications have been reduced.

Before 2019’s amendments, i.e., under unamended rules, the applicants were required to pay a transmittal fee of INR 3200 for start-ups, INR 8000 for small entities, and INR 16,000 for corporates. Furthermore, fees of INR 1000 for start-up, INR 2500 for small entities, and INR 5000 for corporates for receiving a certified copy of a priority document with around 30 pages were applicable under unamended rules.

Wrapping Up:

These recently amended rules will undoubtedly be going to increase the number of patent filings in India as they are providing opportunities to women, small entities, etc., in addition to those who are eligible to file patent applications and get Patent Registration in India before amendments. Moreover, these ensure easier and cheaper patent application process that ultimately buzz off the applicants’ hesitation, thus making them confident to file their applications without any worry. Hence, we can say that this welcome move by the government of India will benefit not only the people but also the nation. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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TCS Reports Current Patent Laws Are Inadequate for AI-related IP

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has recently reported that despite the evolution of Patent Laws in India and abroad, the increasing proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the world requires new policies for Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) enforcement.

The report found that the current patent laws treat AI software-based inventions as logical algorithms implemented in the computer systems. Although patent eligibility of algorithms is valid, there is not enough about how to handle inventions with heuristic nature.

What is Heuristic?

In AI, heuristic refers to a technique to solve problems faster than the classical methods. The report cited that AI software is no longer bound to traditional rule-based systems, and in fact, has increasingly turned heuristic, thus showing higher intelligence over classical systems.

The report explained that as per the current patent laws – someone, typically a natural person (in legal terms – an individual instead of one associated with a public or private body) who only applies the logic to make anything workable cannot be an inventor.

It also clarified that machines are frequently deriving solutions to problems autonomously or in conjunction with a natural person, thus bringing the definition of a ‘natural person’ in question. Besides, it emphasized that this issue needs to be addressed by state laws and enterprises. Moreover, data-privacy and data-ownership issues, which would have severe legal implications, are other aspects that require fresh debates.

The report further noted that in the global ecosystem involving multiple players, data is not just accessed but also moved across jurisdictions many times. The data ownership holder or the data owner or the AI scientist who owns the IP rights on an invention is at the forefront of the debate.

It then revealed that AI is helping to develop new mechanisms and doctrines for future IP ecosystems. As the study recommended – the present administrators of Intellectual Property Right in India and outside have to address the IP management at three levels.

  • At the data level: In the form of access to accurate and high-quality data
  • At the IP system level: For enabling the IP systems with AI-based solutions
  • At the people level: To empower people to realize the merits of AI in the IP domain.

At last, the report informed that IBM, Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung, and NEC were the top five patent applicants. Nonetheless, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), dealing in deep learning (DL) with 235 patent families, held the largest patent portfolio worldwide – the report found. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Backcountry Faces Customer Scrutiny over Trademark Lawsuits

Backcountry, the enormous online outdoor retailer supporting backcountry.com that has known as Utah home for the last 23 years, is suffering from a flood of criticism as word spreads about the online website moved to sue dozens of smaller outdoor brands and sellers for using the word “Backcountry” in their name or product description.

Backcountry, which first got the word trademarked in 2004, has filed some additional Trademark Applications emphasizing the usage of the term in the intervening years. And then, it has launched a legal invasion against around 50 different defendants listed in a publicly available document from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

So far the companies being sued over Trademark Infringement have ranged from an independent ski manufacturer – Snapperhead Inventions/Marquette Backcountry – for their Marquette Backcountry Ski, which is being sold under the term since 2010 to Backcountry Babes, an avalanche safety course instructor and jean manufacturer Backcountry Denim Co., known as BDCo. Although some companies like Backcountry Babes have already settled the matter with Backcountry.com, others such as Marquette Backcountry are gearing up for legal battle.

The lawsuit details that Backcountry requests exemplary and punitive damages in the form of amount enough to punish and deter defendants, along with setting an example for them as well as others. Now, after engaging in such a legal dispute, Backcountry is unlikely to end the chaos with a sympathetic public image. Complicating things is the fact “Backcountry” has been in common usage for nearly a decade before the firm’s founding, and many people feel it is unfair for a company to try or secure exclusive rights to the common word. As a result, the #boycottbackcountry has been spreading rapidly throughout the internet, especially social media, with almost every individual from potential consumers to professional athletes speaking against Backcountry.

A Utah-based trademark and Patent Attorney asked people to remain anonymous to evade any professional backlash. The attorney said that considering a few initial research and without being familiar with all the facts of the lawsuit, it looks like the company is trying to strengthen its trademark by not letting others use it. If firms don’t enforce their mark, there’s always a chance that it could later turn enforceable. Everybody should think of a trademark as a weapon instead of a shield. It further added that some specific rules should be made for generic terms, and these must not be secured under trademarks. Backcountry’s Trademark Registration in the year 2004 states that it was for mail-order services, computerized retail services, retail store services, but since then, it has expanded a lot.

John H.Kim was the individual who applied for the trademark on behalf of Backcountry in 2018. Backcountry hasn’t responded to several requests revolving around the issue. As considered now, the firm is forging ahead with multiple branded items that could have remarkable implications for other members going forward in the industry. Note that Backcountry has yet to comment publicly on the dispute. 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/