News from the Manor Vol 15

  1. Japan Establishes Overseas Intellectual Property Litigation Insurance Scheme Established for SMEs: The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has established Japan’s first insurance scheme to cover the cost of overseas intellectual property (IP) litigation, to provide a safety net for SMEs that become embroiled in disputes over IP infringements in other countries. The premium will be halved for SMEs enrolling in this insurance scheme if they belong to a nationwide organization that includes SMEs among its members. More on that here.
  2. Medicines Patent Pool Signs New Round of Generic Manufacturing Licences for HIV and Hepatitis C Treatments: Earlier this month, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced new generic manufacturing licences for four antiretrovirals and hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral daclatasvir. The organisation signed licences with Aurobindo, Desano, Emcure, Hetero Labs, Laurus Labs, Lupin and new partner Zydus Cadila for a total of nine new sub-licensing agreements to produce generic versions of key World Health Organization-priority HIV and hepatitis C treatments. According to MPP’s Executive Director – Greg Perry, it is expected that these new sub-licences will secure greater volumes of low-cost medicines for people living with HIV and hepatitis C in low- and middle-income countries.
  3. British IP Day: July 5, 2016 marked the first British IP Day intended to celebrate the huge contribution that Intellectual Property (IP) makes to the UK. More on that here.

  4. V4 Countries Launch Visegrad Patent Institute: The four member states of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) launched the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI) on July 1, 2016. The Institute is aimed at strengthening regional cooperation in IP. Applicants will be allowed to communicate with the institutions in their respective mother tongues, and fees for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications will be reduced by as much as 40 percent, according to Poland’s Patent Office (UPRP).

  5. Intellectual property fees rise by up to 6,200% in Gulf countries: IP fees have risen in Arabian Gulf countries (UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain)  by as much as 6,200%. While there has been no official explanation from the governments of the affected countries, some lawyers believe that the hike may not be unconnected to attempts to increase revenue following the global oil price slump as well as the move by the Gulf countries to unify their trademark laws and move services online. More on that here.

  6. Thomson Reuters to Sell Intellectual Property and Science Business: Plans are underway for Thomson Reuters Corp. to sell its intellectual property and science business to private-equity funds affiliated with Onex Corp. and Baring Private Equity Asia for $3.55 billion in cash. About $1 billion of the proceeds will be used to buy back shares and the balance will be used to pay down debt and reinvest in the business.

  7. Led Zeppelin Found Not Guilty in “Stairway to Heaven“ Case

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News from the Manor Vol 13

  1. Tanzania ‘cuts off 630,000’ counterfeit phones: We love to see governments take a bold stand against counterfeiting and this is exactly what the Tanzanian government has done. This BBC report says that according to official figures, about 3% of mobile phones in Tanzania are fake.  In December 2015, Tanzania’s communication agency launched a new system called the Central Equipment Identification Register, which is a database of all International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI)  numbers. When paired with systems at the network providers, it is able to block all counterfeit phones. Counterfeit mobile phones have now been switched off using the IMEI number. Apparently, Kenya did something similar in 2012, while Nigeria initiated similar moves in 2014.

  2. Singapore records First IP-financed loan: These are exciting times for the IP community in Singapore as the first case of loan application using  intellectual property (IP) as collateral was approved few weeks ago. The beneficiary is Masai Group International.  This comes further to the IP Financing Scheme (IPFS), which was introduced by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to help IP-rich companies monetise their IP for business growth and expansion. The IP-financed loan was supported by DBS Bank (DBS), one of the scheme’s three participating financial institutions (PFI). More on that here.
  3. New Developments in Singapore’s IP Financing Scheme:  Following the development above,with effect from July 1, 2016, IPOS has announced that IP owners can look forward to monetising other IP asset classes such as registered trade marks and copyrights through IPFS. The Scheme will also be extended for another two years till March 31, 2018, as applications are expected to increase. To meet the anticipated surge in demand for IP loan financing, IPOS has appointed a fourth PFI and expanded the panel of IP Valuers from three to seven. More on that here.
  4. EU Trade Secrets Directive to come into force on July 5, 2016: Having followed the passage of the EU Trade Secrets Directive in previous posts, we are pleased to inform you that pursuant to Article 20, which states that the Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, the Official Journal Vol 59 containing the Directive was published June 15, 2016. Accordingly, the Directive will come into force on July 5, 2016. Member States have a maximum of two years to incorporate the Directive’s provisions into domestic law.

  5. Israel publishes Patent Report 2015: The Israel Patent Office has recently published its report of 2015. As always, IP Factor has provided an overview of its content here.
  6. Edison Visiting Scholar Program – Call for Proposals: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeks new proposals from scholars in intellectual property, innovation, economics and related fields for the Thomas Alva Edison Visiting Scholars Program as Research Fellows. The Edison Visiting Scholars Program enlists the services of academic researchers to study intellectual property issues that further the agency’s mission and the public interest. For full consideration for the 2016-17 academic year, proposals should be received by July 11, 2016. All enquiries should be directed to edisonscholar@uspto.gov. More details here and here.