- Singapore Launches Public Consultation on its Copyright Regime: The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) launched a public consultation to gather public feedback on proposed changes to Singapore’s copyright regime on August 23, 2016. The review seeks to ensure that Singapore’s copyright regime continues to provide an environment that benefits both creators and users in view of technological developments in the past decade. A summary of the issues under consultation can be found in Annex A. The public consultation will run for two months, ending on October 24, 2016 (5pm). Members of the public are invited to submit their views online via http://www.mlaw.gov.sg/CopyrightReview or in hard copy to the following address:
Intellectual Property Policy Division
Ministry of Law
100 High Street
#08-02, The Treasury
- WIPO Appoints New Legal Counsel: WIPO has recently appointed Frits Bontekoe to head its legal team.Frits will be replacing Edward Kwakwa who now is a senior director of the WIPO Department of Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges, in the Global Issues Sector. Frits joins WIPO from his previous role as legal counsel at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). More on that here.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. More details here and here.