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China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

USPTO Time Goal Changes Could Improve Patent Quality
Adjusting the time goals for U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiners could improve patent examination and the overall quality of issued patents, former examiners and attorneys say, though some of the onus falls on applicants to do what they can to help streamline the process.
The USPTO hosted the first in a series of planned roundtable discussions around the country, seeking feedback on the amount of time patent examiners have to examine a patent application. The discussions are part of an ongoing effort from the office to improve patent quality.
 
Former examiners and patent attorneys welcome the USPTO’s initiative to re-examine its time goals, as some believe that more effective prior art searches and allotting more time for things like applicant/examiner interviews could help improve patent examination.
 
Instagram Files Trademark Opposition against Microsoft
Social networking company Instagram has opposed a trademark filed by Microsoft for the term ‘Actiongram’. Microsoft filed its trademark application at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in June last year. The mark covers class 9 and cites products including “computer software for virtual reality visualisation, manipulation, immersion and integration of audio, video, graphics and multimedia files”. Instagram filed a notice of opposition on November 11, when it said that if Microsoft’s mark is approved then its ‘Instagram’ mark will be damaged. Instagram added that it has owned marks at the USPTO since 2012. Its marks cover downloadable computer software for modifying images, telecommunications services and dating services. Further, the ‘Actiongram’ mark is likely to cause “dilution of the distinctive quality” of the ‘Instagram’ mark and could harm Instagram’s reputation.
 
Trump Trademarks Grow, Not All from US President-Elect
US President-elect Donald Trump, as a famous entrepreneur, has filed more than 80 trademarks in China using his name over the past decade, most of which have been granted. Trump filed his first five trademarks in 2005. In 2015 alone, when he announced he would take part in the presidential election, he filed more than 40 trademark applications in China.
 
The applied trademarks cover a wide range of businesses, such as real estate, financial services, insurance and education. Besides his name Trump and Donald Trump, as well as their Chinese translations, the trademarks also include Trump Estates, Trump Plaza and Trump International Hotel & Tower.
 
UK to Ratify UPC 
In a statement released by the UK government on November 28, UK Minister of State for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe made the announcement that the UK will implement the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UK will continue with preparations for ratification over the coming months and will be working with the Preparatory Committee to bring the UPC into operation as soon as possible.
 
As the UPC is now set to go live shortly, probably in the second half of 2017, even if the UK decides to withdraw from the EU, the UPC would still be up and running. The central division of the UPC will be based in Paris, with London (life sciences) and Munich (mechanical engineering) each hosting specialist seats.
 
EU Court: Authors Must Have Digital Control over Out-Of-Print Books
EU member states must allow authors to prevent the digital reproduction of out-of-print books, Europe’s highest court has said. In a press release sent out on November 16, the CJEU said legislation must ensure that the authors are actually “informed of the envisaged digital exploitation” of their work, while “being able to put an end to it without formalities”.
 
Pursuing the digital exploitation of out-of-print books is compatible with the directive, explained the CJEU, but this can’t justify a “derogation not provided for by the EU legislature from the protection that authors are ensured by the directive”. French legislation also enables authors to stop the commercial digital exploitation of their works either by mutual agreement with the print publishers of those works or alone, but they must provide evidence that only they hold the rights in their works.
 
UK Market Visit: Three Chinese Delegations to Better Understand IP Protection in UK
During the occurrence of the 2016 UK-China Trade Mark Summit, the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and the Intellectual Property Office of the UK (UKIPO) invited State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People's Republic of China (SAIC) Delegation, Renmin University of China (RUC) Delegation and Judicial Delegation to join them on the exciting trip to Great Britain to understand the UK’s intellectual property field better, when SAIC Delegation visited UK. Hosted by the UK government, the Summit was aimed at providing Chinese participants an opportunity to better know the IP protection procedures and system in UK, interact with senior government officials, build better relationship with UK companies and service providers etc.
 
US Trademark Litigation Filings Might Hit 16 Years Low
The latest available data from Lex Machina estimates that 3,529 trademark litigation suits will be filed in the United States in 2016. If so, the level of filings will be the lowest since 2001. For law firms, competition for the trademark litigation dollar seems set to intensify. Similarly, copyright cases are expected to drop to 2013 levels, after six years of consecutive rises.
 
In May, Lex Machina’s Trademark Report 2015 found that trademark litigation appeared to be on the slide, with 795 cases filed in the first quarter of this year-the lowest since the start of 2009 and down almost 10% on the same quarter last year. That figure has subsequently risen a little (832 are now reported for Q1), but it still represents a significant drop.
 
Battistelli Asks to Nominate EPO Appeals Committee Members 
Benot Battistelli, the president of the European Patent Office (EPO), has allegedly asked the Administrative Council to adopt an amendment allowing him to make additional appointments to the appeals committee.
 
According to a communication from Battistelli to the Administrative Council, Battistelli will take these “appropriate measures” only if the central staff committee “fails to comply with its obligation to make statutory appointments”.
 
Battistelli proposes an amendment to the EPO’s legal framework, called the service regulations. It is unclear when the Administrative Council will hear the request, although should it adopt the decision, it will enter into force on January 1, 2017.
 
 
 

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