Following news that Mozambique has acceded to the Banjul Protocol, part of the ARIPO system, Frouke Hekker sets out the two regional IP systems on the African continent, and their respective pros and cons for IP owners.
Apps provide brand owners with a new way to connect with and market to consumers, but how do you make the most of the opportunities while managing the risks of brand damage or infringement?
Banksy has failed to block a greetings card company from using one of his famous artworks, after the EUIPO agreed that the secretive street artist had no interest in commercially exploiting the trademark he had registered to protect it.
What happens to trademark rights when trade sanctions or other restrictive measures are placed on countries by the United Nations Security Council, or by countries or territories, such as the US or EU? Frederik Jocqué outlines the implications.
Safeguarding product designs via national, EU and international systems can provide companies with an important and cost-effective route to IP protection. However, systems for registering design rights do come with specific rules and restrictions.
Although trademark owners are legally entitled to oppose applications for similar or identical marks, by enforcing these rights they can sometimes be perceived to be bullying other companies. It is key for brands, especially those that are well known, to exercise their rights in a way that avoids causing damage to their reputation.
Negotiations between the EU and Mexico on an updated Free Trade Agreement could potentially open the door to non-agricultural geographical indications (GIs). Time will tell if the EU is ready to embrace protection for handicrafts however.
When budgets are tight, IP expenditure will naturally come under scrutiny, with patent annuity payments often one of the first areas to be identified for cuts.