International Property Rights Newsletter – June 11, 2015, N.31

Section: Taxpayer Leaders Forum / WTA Blog
12 June 2015

International Property Rights Newsletter – June 11, 2015, N.31

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Please check the 2014 International Property Rights Index


Prof. Sary Levy Carciente is the new Hernando De Soto Fellow (2015 International Property Rights Index)

We are delighted and honored to announce that the new Hernando De Soto fellow, in charge of authoring the 2015 International Property Rights Index, is Prof. Sary Levy Carciente. Prof.  Levy Carciente is a full time professor at the Economics and Social Sciences Faculty, Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), Caracas, Venezuela. She is also Coordinator of the Public Spending Watchdog Program of CEDICE-Libertad, one of the most influent free-market think tanks in Latin America. Prof. Levy Carciente will be in charge of collecting and analyzing data for the 2015 International Property Rights Index.  


North America

TPA Passes US Senate

The Trade Promotion Authority bill, essential to American negotiation in and completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, passed the Senate by a vote of 62 to 38.  However, it still faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives. Continue Reading

Who Likes TPA? Presidential Hopeful Lineup

With the 2016 presidential race filling up, it’s critical to know where candidates stand on important issues. As the Trans-Pacific Partnership reaches completion, see where the candidates stand on Trade Promotion Authority, a critical vehicle for US negotiation. Continue Reading

What’s in a Name? Trademark Battle

DC Comics filed a lawsuit in mid-May against famous performer Rihanna over her attempt to trademark her first name, Robyn.  The comic book behemoth claims the name is too similar to that of the iconic Boy Wonder and sidekick of Batman. Continue Reading

Online Marketplace Plagued by Rumors of Counterfeit Goods

The peer-to-peer site, which focuses on handmade and vintage items, took a stock hit this month after a report that as much as 5% of their merchandise is counterfeit.  However, legal precedent could absolve them of responsibility. Continue Reading

ExIm Bank, Currency Manipulation at Center of TPA Senate Battle

The passage of TPA in the Senate was hotly contested, and two of the most important sticking points were currency manipulation penalties and the continuation of the Export Import Bank. Multiple amendments almost held up the bill’s passage. Continue Reading

Mexico Joins the Patent Prosecution Highway

By joining the US, Japan, Korea, Canada, China, the European Union, and other parties, patent applicants will be able to expedite their applications through the Mexican Patent and Trademark Office, expanding IP protections and free market innovation for Mexico and her partners. Continue Reading

Intellectual and Property Rights not Protected In Venezuela

The break down of rule of law in Venezuela has led to a system in which personal property and intellectual property are at the mercy of corrupt government officials and oligarchical businessmen. Continue Reading

Chile Says Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Nearing Their End

According to the Chilean Deputy Trade Minister, Andres Rebolledo, negotiations over the TPP are wrapping up and the passage of Trade Promotion Authority by the US Congress will be an important step in finalizing the agreement. Continue Reading

Jamaican Legislators Seek to Extend Intellectual Property Rights

A bill has come to the floor of the Jamaican House of Representatives that would extend the length of copyrights from 50 to 95 years.  According to the Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, this will stimulate creation of IP in the island nation. Continue Reading

Europe/Eastern Europe
European Patent Office Honors Eight Inventors with European Inventor Award

The European Patent Office today released the names of outstanding inventors to be awarded this year for their contributions to intellectual property and innovation in Europe and around the world. This was the tenth year the Award has been given. Continue Reading

GE May Sell Intellectual Property Rights in European Deal

GE CEO Jeff Immelt said the corporation is willing to sell some IP rights in order to ease the European Commission’s concerns over competition and possible monopoly in the GE deal to buy Alstom, a French energy multinational. Continue Reading

Updates Made to International “Appellations of Origins” Registration System

The rules guiding registration under the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origins and Geographical Indications, which controls use of names such as Scotch whiskey or Swiss watches, was updated by members of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Continue Reading

Tech Company Files Patent Infringement Suit Against French Company

US visual technology company RealId. Inc. filed a lawsuit with the Paris First Instance Court for violating their intellectual property with the production of a 3D technology in France. Continue Reading

EU Supports Arbitration in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The European Parliament voted in favor of including investor arbitration in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which has been criticized by some as a way for large corporations to bully opponents. Continue Reading


Georgia Seeks to Develop Intellectual Property System

In order to bolster their economy and bring them more into line with the modern global economy, the former Soviet Satellite of Georgia is getting help from the World Intellectual Property Organization to shore up their IP issues. Continue Reading

Russia Okays Parallel Imports, Disregards Intellectual Property Rights

The Russian government has approved parallel imports of several types of products, especially medicine. While the move is an attempt to lower prices, it means that goods can be imported without the permission of rights holders, a flagrant violation of IP protections and likely to result in increased counterfeiting on the Russian Market. Continue Reading

Moscow Threatens to Shut Down Facebook, Twitter, and Google

In response to online activities promoting “unsanctioned protests and unrest”, the Kremlin has threatened to completely block the three major US internet firms unless they hand over company information and data on users. Continue Reading

Asia/Southeast Asia
Chinese Expanding Intellectual Property into Indian Markets

With China’s explosion of cell phone users slowing alongside their market, Chinese cell companies are looking to expand into the ripe and untapped Indian market. Continue Reading

Indian and US CEO’s to Hold Meeting in September

The US-India CEO Forum is planning to meet to discuss topics ranging from intellectual property and renewable energy to defense.  Group is seeking to have both nation’s leaders attend. Continue Reading 

Taiwan Would Benefit from Joining the TPP

Taiwan always finds itself in a sticky situation in international trade issues due to their ongoing feud with China.  Beyond the economic benefits, membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership would give a clear signal that countries can embrace Taiwan fully without reprisal from the mainland. Continue Reading

Chinese Anti-Monopoly Laws Could Jeopardize IP

Laws against market monopolies could pose a threat to foreign corporations in China, who might be forced to share intellectual property if it is determined they “eliminate or restrict competition”. Continue Reading

Grand Jury Indicts 6 Chinese Nationals for Espionage

A federal grand jury charged the Chinese citizens for engaging in a plot to steal US trade secrets and intellectual property in order to share them with the Chinese government and corporations. Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Good for the Philippines

According to a briefing from an Undersecretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs, stronger intellectual property protections among those Asia-Pacific Region economies in which IP is lacking would benefit regional economic growth and integration. Continue Reading

Growing Concerns in China over Trans-Pacific Partnership

As a non-signatory, some Chinese officials are concerned about the regional effects of a multi-national trade deal in the Pacific Rim which doesn’t include them. Continue Reading

New Delhi Responds to Intellectual Property Criticisms from US

After being left on the 2015 ‘Priority Watch List’ put out by the Office of US Trade Representatives of nations who’s failure to protect IP rights harms the international economy, the Indian government responded that they have been working steadily on improving their IP protections. Continue Reading

China Coming Around on Trans-Pacific Partnership

China, which has been an opponent to a trade deal that could threaten its regional economic hegemony, is now warming to the TPP. They see it as a possible vehicle for the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, and may in the future sign on to TPP itself. Continue Reading

Middle East/Africa
Nigeria, other African Nations to Work with China Against IP Theft

Representatives from 25 English speaking African nations attended international property rights training in China, which said efforts were to reduce piracy and theft of intellectual property to the benefit of both nations. Continue Reading

African Representatives Criticize Chinese for Counterfeit Dumping

Some African attendees of the Chinese seminar on Intellectual Property theft have been challenging China on alleged use of Africa as a market for Chinese counterfeit products. Continue Reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership Faces Stiff Opposition in Australia

The TPP agreement is now being opposed by a block of Labor, Green, and other members of the Australian legislature, in large part due to the secretive nature of negotiations. Continue Reading

Indonesia Develops Online Copyright Filing System

In order to cut down on the time needed to file copyrights and patents, the Indonesian Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights developed an e-filing system that could cut the registration period to as little as sixth months. Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand Issues Decision

In a case between major international navigation brand TomTom International and small New Zealand company TomTom Communications, the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office upheld the GPS maker’s registration of their name even though the native company has held the registered mark since 1998. Continue Reading


Free-Trade and Property Rights

Trans-Pacific Partnership
Democrats Fight the Unlikely Alliance of Congressional Republicans and the President

While House and Senate Republicans work with President Obama to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Congressional Democrats are pushing back. Continue Reading

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
German Chancellor Pushes Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

In anticipation of the June G7 meeting to be held in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel attempted to raise support in Germany and abroad for the TTIP trade agreement between the EU and US, also saying she wants to stay on pace with the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. Continue Reading

“Hot Issue”

Plain Packaging

World Trade Organisation to Begin Hearings on Australian Plain Packaging

Following the United Kingdom’s decision to begin using plain packaging for cigarettes, Philip Morris has filed suit on the grounds that the move would violate English and European Union trademark laws. Continue Reading

Malaysia May Consider Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products

Following the example set by neighboring Australia, the International Nicotine Addiction Conference in Kuala Lumpur floated a proposal to create their own plain packaging law. Whether the Malaysian legislature will consider such a law remains to be seen. Continue Reading

Japan Tobacco Newest Company to Sue United Kingdom Over Plain Packaging

The UK’s second biggest cigarette seller has filed suit against the UK’s plain packaging law, planning to argue that the removal of their brand amounts to seizure of property to the tune of billions of pounds. Continue Reading

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