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The informal session allowed delegates to tour the room and talk to any of the participating IP offices and ask questions or raise IP concerns. Managing IP first met with USPTO IP attaché for the Middle East and Africa, Aisha Y Salem, now in her fourth year of service, who told us that she has been touring the region lately on capacity-building initiatives, the most recent of which was helping to train the GCC IP Office staff.
IP Australia representatives said that the government is now considering the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s IP regime (report published in 2016). Among the recommendations is the decluttering of the register by quickly removing unused trademarks. The government’s response is expected this year.
In January this year the DKPTO launched an enforcement unit to provide initial, basic advice to SMEs facing trademark infringement issues. There is a small fee to pay for this service and the DKPTO hopes to receive more enquiries as the service becomes widely known. DKPTO representatives emphasised that the service is not a substitute for professional legal advice and, as an IP office, it will obviously not take on disputes on behalf of users.
JPO representatives informed those present about the first color trade marks that were granted by the office in March. Practitioners see this a “positive sign” for brand owners operating in Japan. OAPI Director General Paulin Edou Edou will complete his second tenure in July this year and will be succeeded by Denis Loukou Bohoussou, who takes up the post on August 1. On the other hand ARIPO’s Director General Fernando dos Santos started his second term in office this year. Representatives from Georgia said draft legislation designed to incorporate the provisions of the EU trade mark directive will soon go before its parliament.
The following offices were present: ARIPO, IP Australia, National IP Center of Georgia, OAPI, The Swedish Patent and Registration Office (SPRO), Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO), UKIPO, USPTO, Japan Patent Office (JPO), IP Office of Paraguay, and the Ugandan IP Office.
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