International Property Rights Newsletter – July 16, 2015, N.32

Section: Taxpayer Leaders Forum / WTA Blog
17 July 2015

International Property Rights Newsletter – July 16, 2015, N.33

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“The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.”  – F.A. Hayek

North America

House pushes back vote on patent reform

House Republicans are delaying a vote on patent reform legislation, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told lawmakers Wednesday, amid concerns about the bill.
Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the committee would use the extra time to try and grow support. He noted the bill overwhelmingly passed out of committee and received bipartisan backing. Continue Reading


YouTube, Cover Songs and Copyright Infringement

Musicians are constantly learning from each other and are often influenced by the musical styles and compositions of other artists. Playing cover songs is a popular way for artists to arrange their own version of a song by putting a unique spin on it and showcasing their creativity and originality. Continue Reading

India-Canada free trade agreement likely to be concluded by March 2016: Official

The proposed free trade agreement between India and Canada, which aims to reduce or eliminate duties on a large number of products traded between the two nations, is likely to be concluded by March next year. Continue Reading


New ‘Blurred Lines’ trial rejected but damages cut

A US judge has rejected calls for a re-trial in a copyright dispute that saw Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the writers of hit song “Blurred Lines”, fined $7.3 million, but has cut the damages award that the pair was forced to pay. Continue Reading


United States: Virtual Reality Creates Potentially Real Legal Issues

The next technological wave is bringing with it legal implications for its users, service operators, and platforms. New and upcoming virtual reality (“VR”) products are increasingly garnering excitement and attention, and they are stirring up legal issues for individuals using VR (“Users”) as well as the service providers and platforms providing VR (collectively, “Platforms”). Continue Reading


Why We Need to Fix Venue: E.D. Texas

I (and others) have written about the Eastern District of Texas. It’s a judicial district that handles more patent cases than any other district in the country. In fact, one judge, Judge Rodney Gilstrap, personally handles more than twice as many patent cases as any other judge. Nearly all of his patent cases are filed by patent trolls. Continue Reading


Why the Innovation Act Needs To Freeze Out the Eastern District of Texas (Part 2 of 2)

In my last post, I told you about the Eastern District of Texas and why it’s such a popular venue for patent trolls. (You can read more about it in the article, “Forum Selling.”) In this post, I want to tell you a key provision of the Innovation Act that will do something to address the problem of patent trolls overusing the Eastern District of Texas. Continue Reading


As he continues to fly Confederate flag, Williamsburg property owner awaits decision on permitting appeal for his business

It took almost a month for South Carolina officials to take down the Confederate flag flying at their statehouse. The one in Williamsburg, Yankee country, is not going anywhere soon, at least as far as property owner Chris Duval is concerned. Continue Reading


Federal Circuit denies Newegg attorneys’ fees, says case not ‘exceptional’

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has refused to award legal costs to online retailer Newegg after it failed to show that its patent dispute with a licensing company met the definition of ‘exceptional’. In a 3-0 decision handed down on Friday, July 10, the court backed a ruling by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Continue Reading



New Falklands row as Argentina accused of illegal attack to ‘strangle’ oil firms

Buenos Aires is threatening to take cash, boats and other property from six European and US companies who are drilling in the area. Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman said his country intended to pursue the case as part of its claim to the islands’ sovereignty. But the British government offered a strong rebuke, saying Argentina was conducting a “flagrant and unacceptable campaign to strangle the Falkland Islands hydrocarbons industry”. Continue Reading


Amazon wants to control ‘.amazon.’ But so does half of South America.

Before “Amazon” was a global e-commerce company, it was a rain forest in South America. That’s something most of us have forgotten amid the explosion of free shipping, instant gratification and buy-anything-ness that Amazon now stands for. But not Peru, Brazil and a group of other South American countries that are locked in a battle with over who gets to control a new “.amazon” Web domain. Continue Reading


Thought Of The Day: The Pope V. Capitalism

Like any vocation, capitalism is a pyramid, with a few successful people at the top. It is like an army or a ship, where there is one commander. It is similar to sports and entertainment. Just as there is only one CEO at a company, there is only one Kobe Bryant and one Taylor Swift. There is only one Pope. By definition, success reflects inequality – in aspiration, talent, effort and luck. Continue Reading

Europe/Eastern Europe
UK company forced to give up ‘Star Wars’ domain names

A UK company has been forced to give up seven domain names using the words ‘Star Wars’, including, after feeling the wrath of film production company Lucasfilm. The case concerned domain names that were registered with .uk and suffixes. Continue Reading


European court upholds Nanu-Nana CTM rejection

The European General Court has dismissed German retailer Nanu-Nana’s appeal against a decision by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) to partly reject one of its Community trademark (CTM) applications. Continue Reading


Italian authorities seize more than one million counterfeits

Italian authorities have seized more than one million counterfeit products as part of a government clampdown, including 600,000 condoms that contained “harmful” chemicals. According to a report by Guardia di Finanza, a government-run enforcement agency, authorities also seized products including jewelry, food supplements and medical devices. Continue Reading


Joseph Goebbels estate claims copyright win against Random House

The estate of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief during the Nazi regime, has won a copyright lawsuit against publisher Random House. Handed down last week at the Munich District Court, the ruling means that the publisher will have to pay the estate royalties for using quotes from Goebbels’s diary. Continue Reading


Consensus Reached On Reform Of EU Trade Mark Law

In late April, the keenly awaited progress towards a new EU trademark regime was announced as the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU came to an agreement at an informal trilogue about the proposals for the reform of EU trade mark law. Continue Reading

Malta and China agree IP deal

Malta and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which aims to increase cooperation on intellectual property matters between the two nations. The deal will focus on sharing information on IP laws and policies in both jurisdictions. Continue Reading

 Taxman’s power to raid bank accounts ‘flies in the face of Magna Carta’

George Osborne’s decision to allow tax inspectors to raid people’s personal bank accounts “flies in the face” of Magna Carta, Francis Hoar, a senior barrister, has warned. Mr. Hoar, a prominent human rights lawyer and lecturer, said there are “significant flaws” in the new plans, which would enable HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to take money from accounts to resolve unpaid tax bills. Continue Reading

 Europe Frees Zorro From Trademark Restrictions

Zorro, the masked vigilante who wields justice in the form of a sword, was first brought to the world in 1919 by Johnston McCulley. As such, some portion of the Zorro existence is now in the public domain in many jurisdictions. That hasn’t stopped Zorro Productions Inc. from claiming all kinds of intellectual property rights on all things Zorro, of course. Continue Reading

Canada and Ukraine announce ‘milestone’ free trade agreement

Canada formally announced a “milestone” free trade agreement with Ukraine after the two countries’ prime ministers met in Ottawa on Tuesday. The agreement, which has to be ratified by both nations’ parliaments, will be implemented as soon as possible, Stephen Harper said after meeting Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Continue Reading



Copyright Agency: Armenians continue to steal our intellectual property

The Copyright Agency has commented on recent reports of some media outlets about misappropriation of “tendir” (clay oven) by Armenians. Continue Reading


Asia/Southeast Asia
Governments Cannot Choose What Is Good For Us

Having served as the Economic Advisor to the Malaysian Treasury some forty years ago, I am always pleased to come back and observe the astounding material progress and social change in this country. Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Initiatives to Drive “Make in India”

Several measures have been taken to ensure continuous and unending improvement of the Indian IP ecosystem in the country. To this effect, Department of Industrial Policy and Planning (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, has formulated a multipronged strategy to develop an Intellectual Property regime in the country to promote creativity and to develop the culture of respect for innovations and creativity. Continue Reading

Japan trying to end wartime copyright extensions under TPP

The Abe government is seeking to abolish wartime copyright extensions in negotiations on the protection of intellectual property rights as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade talks. In talks with the United States, Japan is demanding that the special arrangements be scrapped if the period of protection for copyrighted works of art is extended under a TPP deal, informed sources said. Continue Reading

Special task force to combat copyright piracy

Enforcement of the Copyright Act 197 and Trade Descriptions (Option Disc Label) Order 2010 were intensified to combat local copyright activities. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said between January and June this year, 70 cases amounting to RM3.5 million was recorded and 68 were arrested. Continue Reading

In Vietnam, counterfeits thrive on desire for cheap luxury

Nguyen Thu Ha bought a pair of Gucci shoes for only one-tenth the price of a similar pair she had seen at a store of the Italian luxury brand abroad. Although they felt quite different on her feet than the pair she had tried, she seemed very happy. “I know these are fake. I’m not being cheated here. There is no problem because these are nice,” she said. Continue Reading

China Bans Free Music Websites That Flout Copyright Laws

The Chinese government banned internet companies who offer free music without paying copyright dues, and warned of severe outcome if they fail to comply by end July, the country’s official press reported Friday. Continue Reading

5 Key Factors Companies Should Consider When Establishing Operations In China

This article is last in a three-part series on doing business in China, with a focus on how U.S. and foreign companies can establish a physical presence (e.g., sales office or factory) when doing business in China. Continue Reading

Hindu migrants from Pakistan may soon get banking & property rights

“We have a responsibility toward Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries …India is the only place for them” — that was prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi making a strong campaign pitch. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is working to make good that promise. Hindu migrants from Pakistan here on longterm visas may soon be allowed to open bank accounts and buy residential properties…Continue Reading

Chinese Corporation Seeks Intellectual Property in US Buyout

A Chinese microchip company has prepared a multi-billion-dollar bid to purchase Micron Technology Inc. If successful, it would be the largest Chinese takeover of a United States company and grant the Chinese access to important technology, the Wall Street Journal reported. Continue Reading

 Emerging Market for Clinical Trials in China – Communication Problems and Unresolved Intellectual Property Issues Restrict Growth: Research Report by

GBI Research has released its pharmaceutical report, Emerging Market for Clinical Trials in China – Communication Problems and Unresolved Intellectual Property Issues Restrict Growth that provides key data, information and analysis of the major trends and issues affecting the clinical trial market in China. Continue Reading


Middle East/Africa

Abu-Ghazaleh Chairs the Annual Meeting of the Arab Intellectual Property Mediation and Arbitration Society
The Arab Intellectual Property Mediation and Arbitration Society (AIPMAS) held its annual meeting in Amman chaired by HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of the Society with the attendance of members of the Board of Trustees, General Assembly and the Society members. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stressed the importance of community service and providing support for service societies…Continue Reading

 Ethiopia: Experts Meet to Establish Groundwork for Free Trade Area in Africa

Experts convened on May 8, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to do the ground work for Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), Ethiopian News Agency reported (ENA).

The meeting targets to see preparatory issues and reach on consensus on documents vital for the CFTA negotiations which will be held in June 2015. Continue Reading


Intellectual Property and Human Rights: Bringing the Two Together

Earlier this year the UTS:Law Research Centre held the Intellectual Property and Cultural Rights Roundtable with special guest Ms Farida Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. Continue Reading


Call to tighten intellectual property laws

An expert in intellectual property law says New Zealand’s creative industries are potentially losing billions of dollars a year because the laws are not tight enough. Dr George Barker is the director of the Centre for Law and Economics at the Australian National University. He said sales of creative output had fallen in real terms by about 70 percent, globally. Continue Reading


Australia Working On A Free Trade Agreement With India

Those Australians who are worried over the slowing Chinese economy may have some reasons to smile as Canberra is already working desperately to stitch up a Free Trade Agreement with the world’s second-most populous country – India. If everything goes according to the Australians’ plan there is every reason to believe that India would become one of the largest trading partners of Australia. Continue Reading


Free-Trade and Property Rights

Trans-Pacific Partnership

U.S. may cut Canada out of Pacific Rim trade deal, sources say

The United States, frustrated over the lack of progress with Canada over new rules for agriculture trade, is weighing “contingencies” that could include completing a Pacific Rim trade pact that excludes Canada, according to two sources familiar with the issue. One official familiar with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiation said Canada is not coming forward with plans to lower its barriers to agricultural trade. Continue Reading


Patent Protections Within The TPP Aren’t Unprecedented, They’re What American Innovators Deserve

Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and Obamacare subsidies overshadowed the fact that Congress finally granted President Obama fast-track authority over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade negotiations. As such, upon the TPP agreement’s finalization, Congress will now simply give an up or down vote on its implementation. Continue Reading

Patent trolls must be addressed in trade talks

In late June, President Barack Obama signed what’s commonly known as the fast-track trade authority bill into law. Despite the vocal opposition from Democrats in Congress, this agreement will grant the White House Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Continue Reading


Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The ratification of TTIP in the European Parliament promises to be a highly contested issue

On 10 June the European Parliament (EP) was scheduled to vote on a resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Such resolutions on trade agreements are non-binding, but often indicate what agreements the EP is willing to approve in the end. However, EP President Martin Schulz decided to postpone the vote due to the large number of amendments proposed. Continue Reading

“Hot Issue”

Tobacco firm successful in plain packaging case

Minister for Health and the State had sought to have the CJEU deal with questions, including whether the 2014 EU Tobacco Products Directive is valid, in advance of the hearing of JTI’s challenge here to the new legislation. The State also wanted the CJEU to decide, in the event of it finding the directive invalid, whether member states derive the competence to enact plain packaging legislation from the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). Continue Reading

Director General Nus: Indonesian Government Anticipates Singapore Plan on Cigarette Plain Packaging Policy

The Indonesian Director General of National Export Development, Nus Nuzulia Ishak, moved quickly to anticipate Singapore’s plan to implement a plain packaging policy for cigarettes. A similar policy has been implemented by the Australian government and is currently a subject of dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Continue Reading

 Overnight Tech: Uber becomes 2016 issue

The on-demand or sharing economy became part of the 2016 election on Monday. In an economic policy speech, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) gave a nod to companies like Uber and how they are changing the way many Americans work. She entered the debate over the services but stopped short of directly criticizing the companies. Continue Reading

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