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The Times, Cyprus, Apple suit, gTLD dispute and TMclass

James Nurton

Today’s developments in IP include a supplement on IP in The Times, talk of compulsory licences in Cyprus, the latest patent suit filed against Apple, the first trade mark dispute over a gTLD and the rebranding of TMclass

Sign of the Times

The Times (in London) published one of its occasional supplements on IP today: you can read it online and download a PDF version too. It is inevitably UK-focused (articles include Protecting British genius is a strategic priority; Tax bonanza on horizon for UK patents; and Combating rogue traders is a very real challenge) but it covers topical issues such as the patent box, social media and the unified patent court. There are some nice graphics, too.

Compulsory licences in Cyprus?

Readers will be familiar with the latest economic developments in Cyprus. But you may not have seen the call (reported in the Financial Times – subscription site) for the country to issue compulsory licences so that cheap generic drugs can be imported from India, Canada and elsewhere. A US lobby group called Essential Inventions is behind the call. I expect the Cyprus government will not rush into a decision, but with continuing pressure on budgets, concerns about access to drugs in the developing world and even the granting of injunctions for standard-essential patents, we are going to be hearing a lot more about compulsory licences as time goes on.

May the force be with you

Another day, another Apple suit. Luckily we have the Apple Insider site to keep us up to date. The latest patent infringement case filed against the company in San Jose concerns a patent for a “narrow profile speaker” owned by sound technology company THX. THX was founded by George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars: so not a patent troll, more a patent Jedi knight.

Watch this domain

WIPO has published a note that it has received a legal rights objection from Del Monte Corporation to Del Monte International’s application for the gTLD .delmonte. The objection was received by the Centre on March 2 and determination is pending. The two companies have been separate for a number of years. This is the first trade mark dispute over a gTLD to be notified. I know some practitioners predicted there would be lots of challenges, but I wonder whether that will be the case and also whether (like this dispute) they will be more about brand ownership/authorisation rather than more conventional infringement?

First Europe, now the world

The free online trade mark classification tool formerly known as Euroclass has become TMclass, reflecting the fact that it covers non-EU databases including those of the USPTO and JPO and includes terms in 24 languages. The new name is a good choice in at least one respect: sister site TMview reveals no conflicting trade mark rights for TMclass in the 25 offices covered.


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