Amendments Made to Canadian Trademark Law on 17th June 2019

Countries, no matter whether to strengthen the existing trademark protection or to include additional rules, often bring changes in their trademark laws. Almost all of us know how crucial role the trademark law plays in the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) assets. By providing relevant and robust trademark rights, it helps the owners in not just preventing unauthorized users from using their unique creation but also creating goodwill among customers. However, to obtain expected results, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the reforms made in such laws and their corresponding rights. Here, in this article, you’ll be going to get updated with the recent changes in the Trademark Law of Canada.

  1. Availability of Madrid Applications

Canadian applicants from now would be able to file the Trademark Applications in over eighty (80) countries worldwide just through a single international filing. With this new opportunity, it will be easy for Canadian applicants to manage their international trademark portfolios.

Similarly, applicants from the Madrid Protocol nations will be able to designate Canada in not just their International Trademark Applications but also existing Madrid registrations. Moreover, the incoming protocol applications would charge similar to the national applications – as per the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

  1. Increase in Filing and Renewal Fees

Filing Fees

Previously, CIPO tends to charge a fee of $250 for filing a trademark application encompassing any number of classes of products and services, along with $200 as the trademark registration fee. Nevertheless, to apply for a trademark after June 17, the applicant has to pay the filing fee of 330 CAD for the first class of products or services, along with 100 CAD for each additional class of products or services. For all these applications, the trademark registration fee is eliminated.

Renewal Fees

The renewal fee has been increased to 400 CAD from 350 CAD for the first class of products and services with an additional 125 CAD charges for each new class of products and services.

  1. Declarations of Use Is No Longer Required

After 17th June, Declarations of Use is no longer required for Trademark Registration in Canada. Note that this change applies to not just applications filed after June 17 but also applications pending as of this date. It means that all the applications filed before June 17, 2019, can proceed to trademark registration in Canada (once the opposition period expires) simply with payment of registration fee, without filing the Declaration of Use.

  1. Information Regarding Use Is No Longer Needed

Applicants filed the trademark applications on or after 17th June need not indicate whether he/she has previously used the trademark in Canada or abroad. In other words, the applications filed on or after this date are applicable to get approved even if they do not tell whether the concerned applicant has registered and used the Trademark in Canada or foreign countries.

  1. Nice Classification Appears Mandatory

As per June 17th amendments, all the new applications must be filed with Nice classifications. Moreover, the pending applications that have not yet advertised for objection/opposition purposes must be classified. Note that for unclassified registrations, the CIPO will request the Nice classification upon renewal.

Although this requirement of the Nice classification is expected to bring Canada more in line with the international norms, it does not mean that CIPO will become lenient in its practice of reviewing goods and services descriptions. All the goods and services must still be adequately specified under stringent standards set by CIPO.

Are You Getting Ready for Trademark Registration under Amended Law?

In the days after the reforms came into force, you as an owner, who’s looking for trademark registration in Canada should emphasize taking immediate steps, based on appropriate and up-to-date information. It will help you in saving costs in processes like filing multi-class applications, renewing multi-class registrations, etc. Besides, you must also think about streamlining your portfolio management. You should focus on using the Madrid international filing system and filing applications for non-traditional and international trademarks. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Europe’s Top Court Adviser Says Amazon Must Check for Trademark Infringements

An adviser to Europe’s top court has recently said that Amazon, the US online retail giant is not liable for unconsciously stocking products causing Trademark Infringement for third-party sellers, but should be careful in checking whether the products are legal or not.

The adviser gave his opinion on a case pitting Amazon against the US cosmetics firm Coty. The dispute reflects one of the many battles amid online platforms like Amazon, eBay, etc., fighting against online business barriers and luxury products firms seeking to preserve their branding and exclusivity. The opinion from Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona, the advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), came in response to a case concerning Coty’s German subsidiary. It is the subsidiary that took Amazon to a German court for stocking its Davidoff perfume for third-party sellers.

Coty said that such practices infringe on its trademark rights, and Amazon should be responsible for stocking trademark infringing products.

Campos Sanchez-Bordona said that the companies, which are unaware of trademark infringements, cannot be held liable for storing such products for third-party sellers. He also raises the question of the online platforms’ responsibility for the content transmitted or products sold on their sites. He even said that if the firms actively participate in disseminating the products and operate schemes like Amazon’s, then they must show diligence in checking the legality of products advertised or sold on their platforms.

Amazon’s Scheme

The US online retail giant under its scheme known as “Fulfilled by Amazon” stores and delivers products for third-party sellers and this is one of the main features of its whole business model.

Campos Sanchez-Bordona continued by saying that the companies should be aware that they cannot absolve themselves of responsibility. They must understand that without this control, their platforms can serve as a channel for advertisement and sale of counterfeit, stolen, illegal, or unethical products.

Amazon, in regards to this, said that it made efforts to combat fake products on its platform. The company added that they continuously invest heavily in battling against bad actors and are committed to turning counterfeits to zero on their platform. Moreover, courts have ruled in their favor in the first two instances of this action, and they are now expecting preliminary legal clarification from the CJEU.

Nonetheless, Coty did not immediately respond to the request, but the Luxembourg-based court, which looks in the majority of cases related to such non-binding recommendations, would normally provide a verdict in the next two to four months. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Justin Bieber Attempts to Trademark the Term – R&Bieber

Justin Bieber, a Canadian pop singer-songwriter, is currently attempting to trademark the term “R&Bieber.”

TMZ, a tabloid news website, reports that Justin has been going back-and-forth in regards to dropping a new album – R&B soon – and it looks like he is stepping ahead to do so.  As per the reports, Justin and his team have filed official papers to trademark the phrase for “entertainment services in nature of live musical performances and production of sound recordings.” They also noted that the singer wants to trademark the same term for movies and merchandise, he is seeking to sell.

Bieber’s team filed for the Trademark Registration on October 31, which was just a few days after October 27, when he shared a photo of the phrase to Instagram. Hence said, as Bieber began teasing that he would be open to coming up with new music related to the specific term last month via Instagram, this news shouldn’t appear like a shaking surprise.

However, it is not clear to say whether “R&Bieber” will represent an album or not, but the fans must consider the Instagram post by the pop singer in which he wrote that if this post succeeds in getting 20 million likes, he will launch an album before Christmas.

On Instagram, Bieber posted, “Share it, like it, post it in your story, I gotta view the demand, love you guys – pumped for it! I am almost done, but your support would make me move faster.” Apart from this post, the pop singer made a statement that fueled fans’ excitement following his previous statement regarding – a kiss ass album ASAP. Justin robustly hints that he is planning to launch a new album and the Trademark Application signs that the album will be named “R&Bieber.”

Justin Bieber had released his last studio album – Purpose – around four years ago, so it is about phase for a new album from the famous and lovable Canadian artist. Though it’s after a long time, yet it doesn’t mean that the pop singer has been silent. He shed a combined record with Dan + Shay called – 10,000 hours – in October.

According to reports, Justin is expected to release his new album before the end of this year. Ultimately, whatever may be the implications of R&Bieber, Beliebers better get ready! 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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TM and R: What Role These Trademark Symbols Play In IP Industry?

Trademark, also written as trade-mark, is any word, name, design, symbol, or combination thereof used to indicate the source of products to identify and distinguish them from goods of others. Undoubtedly, the definition of this exclusive Intellectual Property Right (IPR) is clear to most of us, but what about the vital elements related to it. Besides, queries like whether you can use a specific mark and when can you file a trademark application, there are several areas of trademarks around which confusion abound. One remarkably confusing area is TM and R symbols. People often appear confused with what these two trademark symbols represent, when should one use them, etc.

What do TM and R Symbols Represent?

The TM symbol, which can be used by any individual or company, indicates that a particular word, logo, sign, or phrase is a trademark intended to work as an identifier for the source of the relevant product or service. To use a TM symbol, the owners don’t need to have a Registered Trademark. In general, many companies opt to use this symbol for new goods or services in advance of and during the Trademark Application Process.

On the contrary, the R symbol indicates that the specific word, phrase, logo, or sign is a Registered Trademark, and only the owner or licensee has the legal rights of ownership to use it. It must be used only in the regions in which the owner possesses a valid Trademark Registration.

Can TM and R Symbols be Used at Any Time?

The precise answer to this question is both yes and no. In the case of the first one, i.e., TM, where you want to use a word, phrase, sign, or logo as a trademark intending to identify your company as the source of products or services, you are free to do so any time. As per some privileges under the common law of many companies, you can use TM symbol without applying to register a trademark. However, it enables you to obtain the protection, which is quite lesser as compared to that you could have enjoyed as the owner of a registered trademark.

In cases where you don’t want to or unable to go for trademark registrations, the use of the TM symbol can be a strategic decision. It allows you to tell the public that you are using this brand as a trademark, which over an extended period, will become recognizable in the marketplace as an identifier for your business. Moreover, it also signifies that you have legalities to protect your brand in mind, and thus, ultimately act as a deterrent to severe Trademark Infringement.

On the other hand, the R symbol can never be used without successfully registering your trademark with the associated trademark office. The use of symbol R on the mark that has not been registered is a criminal offense. Doing so can leave you with penalties or behind bars. Hence, whenever you decide to use a trademark symbol, it is better to proceed after being aware of the rules related to that symbol. Although it is possible to obtain the required information from several sources, knowledgeable IP Lawyers can be the best option. They can provide you with precise info, clear your doubts, and assist you in getting rid of any legal concern if you have already misused any mark.

What Should Be the Location of TM and R Symbols?

The upper right corner of the sign, logo, or word is the most common place to put these two significant trademark symbols. Nevertheless, placement of the symbols on the bottom right corner is also acceptable in cases when placing them on the top don’t appear pleasing.

Bottom Line

Here at the end, you have a wealth of information about symbols TM and R that will help you to secure your valuable assets under the Trademark Protection. Recognize your needs and select the symbol that suits you. Although using the symbols even on the registered mark is not necessary, electing to use them is a good idea as it can prevent issues like infringement, and thus, limit the losses that you otherwise can come across. If you want to know about any other trademark symbol or more regarding these two, then consult an adept Intellectual Property Law Firm. Having years of experience in the Intellectual Property industry, they can serve you with the best possible guidance! For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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How to Protect Mobile Apps against Intellectual Property Theft?

The speed with which enterprises across different sectors and industries are undergoing digital transformations has left the majority struggling for the protection of their data and Intellectual Property (IP). The reports showing tremendous losses due to theft and duplication of mobile apps worldwide each year clarifies that only firewalls are no longer sufficient to protect these assets. As more and more companies adopt the use of mobile devices and applications, the threats extend far beyond the traditional concepts. With the estimation that 80% of tasks would be going to take place through mobile apps by 2020, securing them must be the top priority for their developers. Businesses should realize that if a mobile app can make them; it can also break them in case the innovative and valuable source code gets stolen. It is because mobile apps are inherently vulnerable to hacking, copying, and more. To understand this phenomenon and learn how to protect your mobile applications against the growing threat of IP theft, read further.

What is IP Theft in Regards to Mobile Apps?

Intellectual property refers to a category of valuable assets that includes intangible creations of human intellect. In general, types of IP vary from country to country; however, some most common ones are copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents. Digital IP encompasses algorithms and source codes, while mobile IP theft involves piracy and cloning of whole or parts of mobile apps.

Why and How Should You Protect your Mobile Apps?

Designed to bring a multitude of services at the users’ fingertips, mobile apps’ flexibilities and portabilities make them attractive to not just users but infringers as well. Hence, it is as imperative to fully preserve your app’s functionality as it is to protect the app itself. Well, mobile application protection software is an excellent tool to safeguard your app. By mutually reinforcing multiple layers of non-stop protection integrated into your app’s code, it can defend your app’s integrity and buzz off security threats while optimizing app performance. Nonetheless, relying on application protection software alone may not be sufficient in many cases, especially when the theft of unique code or app can result in reputational losses. Therefore, in addition to mobile application protection software, you must emphasize protecting your apps with patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other relevant Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). For instance, copyright registration can prevent copycats from copying your app codes or user interface (UI) elements. Besides, if you want to safeguard your apps’ artistic aspects like images, sound, videos, etc., then also Copyright Protection is the best tool.

Filing a Patent Application is another significant way to reinforce the protection of your mobile app. Although, in general, the technological arrangement of mobile apps and the way how they communicate with other mobile apps/devices and servers are patentable, the patentability criteria still vary from country to country. Hence, to avoid any delay or monetary loss due to the rejection of your patent application, you must always proceed after ensuring if your app is eligible to obtain Patent Protection. A knowledgeable Patent Attorney can assist you in checking whether your app suffices the patentability criteria or not, learning How to Apply for a Patent without committing any mistake, and more.

The name and logo that make the viewer identify and distinguish your mobile app from others are crucial assets, and no one except you should make profits from these. Trademarks are the IPRs that have been intended to safeguard one’s identity by preventing others from using the same or similar name or mark, which may create confusion. A Registered Trademark will also increase your mobile apps’ credibility, and thus serve you with more users. Hence, you should never miss out on the opportunity of securing your app’s name and logo under Trademark Protection.  

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, ensuring comprehensive protection of your mobile application against IP theft is not only arduous but appears impossible in some cases. However, if used together, the above-mentioned mobile application protection software and Intellectual Property Protection tools will never let you down due to the theft or misuse of your app. So, whether you are coming up with a new app or revamping an already existing one, it is always advisable to devise an appropriate strategy by combining these two protection shields. Don’t forget that it is the aptest way to make benefits from your mobile app without any concern in today’s era, where such applications are a part of continuously changing and fast-moving technology. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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4 Simple Steps to Secure Website’s Content with Copyright

Your website content that represents your business online is one of the most considerable aspects distinguishing you and your competitors. It is what makes customers find you and buy from you. As a content creator, you put hours into creating unique and eye-catchy content that helps you in attracting your potential consumers and search engines like Google, Bing, etc. Google and many other search engines frown on duplicate content and thus, push the related site to lower rankings. The lower your website ranks within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), the less traffic you get. Therefore, to list your website amongst high rankers on SERPs and make expected earnings as well as brand equity, it is crucial to prevent your content from being stolen or used by unauthorized users. In today’s continuously turning digital world, Copyright Registration is an excellent approach to prohibit others from violating your original content, which is your Intellectual Property (IP). 

Here, you will discover four simple steps to register a copyright for your website content according to the U.S. Copyright Law. The law states that your content is copyrighted as soon as it gets published and you need not necessarily register a copyright for the same. However, several IP Lawyers believe that doing so will help the original owner to prove his ownership if he/she comes across lawsuits like Copyright Infringement. The below step-wise process will aid you in obtaining the copyright protection that not just legally safeguard your website’s content but also enhance your business’s integrity.

The Process to Register Copyright for Website’s Content

  1. Make Use of Copyright Symbol

However, adding a copyright symbol to your content doesn’t fall under the registration process, but it is beneficial as doing so will result in the fast processing of your application. Besides, having a copyright symbol will help you in preventing unauthorized users from stealing your content by making them comprehend that the specific content is your IP, and they need to seek your permission for using it.

  1. Gather and List Materials To be Copyrighted

Undoubtedly, all of us want to protect our websites completely, but for full protection, we have to register copyrights for individual blogs, images, and any other media. It is because the U.S. Copyright Office considers all these to be separate entities, and therefore, single copyright for a site may not fully protect all posts, media files, etc. Luckily, it is possible to register collections of content, which means we won’t need to apply for individual copyright for every post and image. In other words, we can prevent the content on our websites by categorizing it under separate lists and then, filing a copyright application for each list. Hence, going through the website carefully to compile lists of content to be registered is a vital step while registering copyright.

  1. Submit Copyright Registration Application

If you are done with the task of compiling lists of content to be registered, then the next step is to file a copyright registration application. Nonetheless, before filling any form, it is imperative to produce hard copies of your content and understand that registration of the copyright is possible in two ways: online or via mail. To register online, you have to access an online application by creating an account with the copyright office. After that, you need to find a form that suits your content followed by filling it with the required details and ultimately submitting it. On the other side, if you want to carry out the submission through the mail, then there is a need to find out the suitable form, fill it, and finally mail it along with the set amount of filing fee. Your work doesn’t limit to just submission of the copyright application; instead, you have to keep an eye on its status until it gets processed.

  1. Create Schedule to Copyright New Material On Regular Basis 

Once your application gets approved, you will never have to renew the registration. However, note that the new content added to your website in the future will not automatically get protected by the registered copyright. Submitting a new registration application whenever you come up with additional content will be advantageous in maintaining robust and up-to-date protection. It will also appear efficient in preventing payment of complete filing fee for every new content and assuring that all your posts, images, or other content are safe. Therefore, you are always suggested to set reminders or add dates for registration updates to your calendar.

Importance of Copyrighting Your Website’s Content

A copyright is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) that empowers you to control how your creative works, including books, movies, content, etc., can be accessed or used by others. Registered copyright provides rights that prohibit others from infringing on your IP assets. In short, registering a copyright is the most efficient approach to obtain Intellectual Property Protection that not only keeps you away from infringement losses, encompassing low website rankings on SERPs, less traffic, or more, but also creates integrity, which will result in noteworthy profits. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Trump Urges SC Stay Out of Copyright Dispute between Google & Oracle

The Trump administration recently urged the Supreme Court (SC) to stay out of a long-running Copyright Infringement dispute between Google and Oracle Corporation, dealing a remarkable blow to Google’s efforts to evade an $8 billion damages award.

The dispute billed as the copyright battle of the decade is related to software interfaces known as API declarations, which are shorthand commands facilitating prewritten complex computer functions. As per the plaint, Google used a trove of Oracle-owned Java API declarations while building its Android smartphone operating system (OS).

The Trump administration brief stated that Google copied over 11,500 lines of computer code verbatim as well as the complex structure inherent in that code to develop its competing commercial product. The record also demonstrates that Google’s unauthorized copying has harmed the market for Oracle’s Java platform.

In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, which originally developed the API declarations. Soon after, Oracle sued Google in federal court for patent and copyright infringement claiming that Google impermissibly copied its API declarations. The litigation continued for years, but then Google questions the SC ‘whether or not APIs are copyrightable in the first place.’ In Google’s view, APIs are a method of operation as they help developers to access prewritten complex functions and according to the Federal Copyright Act, Copyright Protection doesn’t extend to ‘methods of operation.’

Google firstly explained that the API declarations make developers learn how to access the prewritten functions to perform tasks by implementing codes. It then added that in this respect, the APIs are analogous to rules developers are trained to follow while writing programs in Java language, and if these rules were changed, the prewritten methods would not work. That’s why the declarations are a necessary part of operating the libraries of prewritten codes.

The Trump administration disagreed by saying that the APIs cannot count as a method of operation just because they perform functions.

The government said that although there are conditions in which all computer codes appear as a method of operating a computing device, and the Copyright Act makes it clear that the computer codes can obtain copyright protection.

Giving the federal government’s views remarkable credence, the justices at the SC ask for its guidance about whether or not to take the case. Nevertheless, Google contends the federal pleas courts are split as to if copyright protections reach software interfaces such as APIs. The justices are more likely to take case emphasizing questions of law over which several courts disagree.

Google prevailed at the first trial of the case in 2012, where a jury deadlocked over Oracle’s claims, prompting the judges therein to sign with Google. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a court for patent appeals, changed that decision and ordered another new trial in 2014. Google petitioned the Federal Circuit’s ruling to the SC, but they turned its request down in 2015.

In the second trial followed in 2016, a jury sided with Google on finding its use of API declarations as fair use. Nonetheless, the Federal Circuit reversed that verdict, stating Google had not involved in fair use, and forwarded the case to a lower court for a trial on damages. As that decision is still pending before the SC, the judges asked the Trump administration to weigh in on the supplication on April 29. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Uganda Government Bans Red Beret, the Opposition’s Trademark

Uganda government on 30th September 2019 designated the red beret and tunic as official military clothing that could put the civilians who wear them behind bars, thus permanently preventing the public from wearing the uniform of the leading opposition leader Bobi Wine and his supporters.

Bobi Wine, the pop star who upturned as a leading opposition figure has announced that he is running for the president position against longtime leader Yoweri Museveni in 2021 and has made the red beret his signature, calling it a “symbol of resistance.”

The beret, which is also worn by some soldiers, was incorporated in Uganda’s first ever gazette of all military clothing, stating that members of the public who found in possession of the items are liable to punishment involving imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Richard Karemire, the army spokesman of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in a statement said that the dress code for the UPDF is gazetted. The action was supported by the army’s top authorities, which also endorsed the dress committee for concluding the task allotted to it years back.

He added that it demonstrates the commitment to define the identity and outlook of a trained army as well as adhering to a single East African Community (EAC) protocol.

‘People Power’ Reacts

However, Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, did not comment on the new rules as he is out of the nation, but a leader in his “People Power” movement, which is yet to register as a political party, announced that they would not end wearing the specific clothing.

The “People Power” is not limited to just a red beret; instead, it is more influential than their symbol. They are a part of the booming political movement fighting for the future of Uganda, and they will continue their struggle for democracy.

Bobi Wine has disturbed the Ugandan government and authorities who see him as an overwhelming threat to put an end to Yoweri Museveni’s more than three decades in power.

Ivan Boowe, the youth leader, said that they would continue to wear the revolutionary red berets and tunic.

He added that no intimation could make them afraid and prevent exercising their rights. By designating their trademark/dress code as official military wear, the government is making attempts to ban the People Power Movement, but they are ready to face and respond to any action the government takes. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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5 Things Startups Must Know About Intellectual Property Law

The driving force behind almost every startup is the novel idea or product with which it enters into the market. Putting this idea or product into practice correctly and securely is what transforms small startups into million-dollar corporations. For this reason, startups should have a well-protected Intellectual Property (IP) strategy, which acts as a significant aspect of their competitive advantage and attractiveness to consumers as well as investors. In this way, IP is an asset that can enhance the commercial value of your businesses, and Intellectual Property Protection is what secures the IP intended to grow your startup. Besides attracting investors, suppliers, consumers, and more, IP protection can put legal checks on your competition by preventing others from infringing on and profiting from your unique assets. So if you want to achieve success in today’s competitive market, it is crucial to obtain robust IP protection for your assets. The first thing that you should do in this regard is to be aware of the five vital components of Intellectual Property Law.

Five Significant Things about Intellectual Property Law

  1. Types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

In general, startups seek protection for their inventions, logos, software, and business names. Based on this, intellectual property for startups includes a wide range of IPRs like trademarks, patents, trade secrets, and copyrights. Each of these different types of rights applies to a specific class of assets. For instance, patents protect inventions and ideas, copyrights safeguard software and creative works, trademarks secure brand names, logos, and symbols that are capable of distinguishing one’s business from others. Trade secrets work when your company comes up with a ‘secret’ manufacturing approach that provides you a competitive advantage over your competitors.

  1. How to Sell Intellectual Property

Do you want to sell your startup? It is advisable to consult an experienced IP attorney as, nowadays, when many companies purchase startups based on their IP portfolios, it is common to face issues regarding the proper ownership of IP. Hence, to avoid glitches that may leave you with a comparatively lower valuation than what you deserve, emphasize signing any dotted line under the supervision of a skilled lawyer.

  1. How to Address Intellectual Property Agreements

If your startup’s intellectual property has been stolen, copied, modified, or used in any other manner without your permission, you can get monetary compensation depending on the severity of the infringement. In the present times, federal courts of every country have specific jurisdictions related to Copyright Infringement, Patent Protection, etc. That’s why if someone has stolen your IP and uses it for his benefits, be ready to deal with him legally. First of all, contact the offender through a cease and desist letter, which should address the following:

  • What got infringed,
  • The protections in place,
  • The severity of the infringement,
  • The remedial actions that unauthorized user should take,
  • The legal actions that you expect if the infringer fails to comply.
  1. International Intellectual Property Protections

Nearly every country possesses different IP laws associated with How to Patent an Invention, Brand Name Registration, etc. For example, In China, the government emphasizes ‘first-to-file’ rule, i.e., it doesn’t care about who is the first creator of a product; instead, it focuses on who is the first to File a Trademark Application. Hence, before proceeding towards international markets, you should familiarize yourself with the unique trade secret, trademark, and Patent Laws in such countries. Having insight into the country-specific laws at the beginning of the process will help you in preventing the hike in expenses and complexity at the time of applying for an International Trademark, Patent, Copyright, and more.

  1. Legal Counsel

In today’s challenging era where businesses never hesitate to put obstacles in the path of one another’s success, there is an enormous need to enter into the marketplace with robust IP protection. Hiring a legal counsel having years of experience in this industry is one of the best ways to safeguard your IP. Apart from providing the beneficial guidelines regarding Application Processes, Patent Search, and more, a proficient IP attorney can help you in identifying ‘gray areas’ that may attract lawsuits, government investigations, etc. Assuredly, many startups find it expensive to hire legal representatives. If you are also not having sufficient money, then don’t worry as the advent of some programs to alleviate these expenses has made it easier to secure your IP with a limited budget.

Stay Ahed

Whether you are having an idea for a startup or already running one, getting your intellectual property protections in place is the foremost thing you should consider to lay the foundation of your future success. Nonetheless, as nearly every startup and even established businesses are running in the same race, it is imperative to stay ahead of others by being quick in regards to expanding nationally and internationally earlier rather than later. Don’t forget that the delay on your part can enable your competitors to push you behind them.

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