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The Thai trademark appeal board and legal (un)certainty

The Thai Trademark Appeal Board (TTAB), a character encountered when a trademark applicant wishes to appeal any decision of the Thai Trademark Registrar. The TTAB is established by the Trademark Act B.E. 2534, comprising 11 – 15 members chosen by the Cabinet from the Council of State, the judiciary and experts in international trade and intellectual property. On 25 March 2019, a new edition of the Regulations will come into force, with repercussions expected to be felt by most trademark applicants in Thailand.

Singapore legislation update - Geographical Indications

As part of Singapore’s obligations under the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, as of 1 April 2019, the Registry of Geographical Indications will come into operation. The Registry allows an entitled party to file for registration of a GI, which previously would be automatically protected if the GI is already protected in its country of origin that is a party to the Paris Convention or a member of the World Trade Organization. Indications for wines, spirits, beers, certain agricultural products and foodstuffs can qualify for a place in the GI Registry.

Singapore update - clothing brand “GUESS” fails to prevent registration of a "HATER"

American clothing brand, Guess, Inc (“Guess”) opposed the registration of “Hater” filed by Jen Chi for goods in Class 25 (clothing). One of the main grounds of opposition was that the applicant’s mark was similar to their earlier marks, and relied on the following earlier marks, amongst others.

A turning point for Patent invalidation in Vietnam?

The possibility of invalidating a patent is clearly set out in Vietnam’s intellectual property laws. Historically, however, although thousands of patents are granted each year in Vietnam, the number of requests for invalidation has been extremely small. Nearly all of these cases have occurred in the context of patent disputes where the sanctioned party (in administrative measures) or defendant (in judicial measures) has been accused of patent infringement, and attempts to invalidate the patent in question as a defense mechanism, with the argument that if a patent is not valid, it cannot be infringed.

Vietnam Civil Copyright Decision

A copyright dispute in Vietnam indicates that civil litigation is increasingly common. This month the Hanoi People’s Court ruled in a civil decision on copyright. It concerned a musical called Tinh Hoa Bac Bo (Quintessence of Tonkin). This is an open-air water stage musical about the region of Tonkin, in north Vietnam. It premiered in late 2017 and met with critical success and awards. The show was produced by Tuan Chau Hanoi JSC. It is alleged to have reproduced components of another musical play called Ngay Xua (Back Then). This was produced by TCHN and directed by renowned director Viet Tu in June 2017.

Singapore court of appeal reverses high court decision on Patent revocation jurisdiction

The case of Sunseap Group Pte Ltd and Others v Sun Electric Pte Ltd [2019] SGCA 4 arose on appeal from a Singapore High Court ruling that held that the High Court did not have original jurisdiction to hear applications for patent revocation or to order that a patent be revoked. The import of the High Court’s decision was that all applications for patent revocation must be heard in the first instance by the Registrar of Patents and the High Court could only hear appeals from the Registrar's decision.

Facebook marketplace and IP infringement in the Philippines

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) aims to regulate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are selling products online using Facebook as a sales platform. Philippines is a fast growing digital commerce market in the SEA region. In January 2018, Facebook introduced its marketplace service in the country allowing Facebook users to use Facebook as a platform to buy and sell goods online. However, plenty of sellers on Facebook are selling their products without having registered stores and this leads to problems in relation to intellectual property violations as it becomes very difficult to trace these people if they sell fake goods.

Myanmar passes Patent law

Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 7/2019—Myanmar’s Patent Law—was enacted on March 11, 2019, providing a framework for the protection of inventions related to products and processes. This is the first legislation specifically addressing the protection of patents in the history of Myanmar. The law will be administered by the Directorate of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office, to be established under the Ministry of Commerce, and implementing regulations will be issued in due course.

Intangible Assets – SMEs are reminded of the importance of timely IP action

Late last month, members of the European Commission, Business Associations, Chambers of Commerce and other SME intermediaries came together at Brussel’s Residence Palace, to discuss a critical and complex issue facing expanding EU/COSME SMEs – intellectual property (IP).

The International IP Stakeholders’ Meeting has become one of the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME)’s events-of-the-year. Participants spent the day networking, asking questions, and hearing from a wide array of speakers. Even more importantly, they learned about the resources available to SMEs all year round through the South-East Asia, China, Latin-America IP SME Helpdesks, as well as the European IP Helpdesk.