This year, World IP Day focuses on “IP and Youth: Innovation for a Better Future”. In a post-COVID-19 era driven by the growth and encompassment of technology, many aspects of innovation are changing.
To mark the occasion, we asked our editorial board to reflect on the events of the past year in the field.
Read their thoughts below:
Misum Hossain, Founder & Head, Lincoln Legal Chambers, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
“Intellectual Property for the last year has been a roller coaster ride. From expanding new frontiers in the metaverse to navigating trademark issues in non-fungible tokens to even seeing IP being used as an instrument of war, the last 12 months have seen the impact grow bigger than ever before.
Considering trends worldwide, it can be speculated that there will be a rise in trademark applications for products or services offered in the metaverse as well as new challenges related to trademarks involving artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality. The trademark offices will need to evolve their examination parameters to ensure applications can be treated fairly.
Copyright has also had its fair share of controversies with songwriters having to defend their ownership and explain creative processes in courts. With pop icon Ed Sheeran winning his UK case, it will be interesting to see how claims against other global artists shape up. For instance, UK popstar Dua Lipa is already facing multiple copyright and plagiarism claims.
Patents have seen new thresholds being breached as jurisdictions get to examine applications that have cited AI as inventors. While offices in Australia and South Africa have allowed such applications, jurisdictions like EU, UK and USA have rejected stating that only natural persons can be inventors.
As we celebrate World IP Day, we can safely predict that this interminably evolving area will see many more enterprising challenges in the coming year.”
Yasir Masood – Trademark Lawyer, Dennemeyer & Associates, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
From the perspective of the MENAP region, we continue to witness the development of the trademark protection regimes, the following being but a few examples:
After Pakistan less than 15 months ago, the UAE has also newly joined the Madrid system and it remains to be seen which other countries in the region might follow.
Another major development in the UAE is the issuance of a new Trademark Law introducing long anticipated changes such as the possibility of multi-class applications and cancelling the requirement of publishing applications in local newspapers. The implementing regulations with the final details are still awaited.
While many countries in the region still require the legalization of PoAs and other documents, a process which is lengthy and can be costly, Saudi Arabia has recently acceded to the Hague Apostille Convention making the attestation of documents easier for rights holders. The implementation is expected in the coming months.
Times in the wider Middle East remain dynamic with many countries transforming their economies and focusing on nurturing an environment of innovation while strengthening the necessary supporting IP systems.
Peter Sloane – Partner & Co-Chair of the Trademark and Copyright Practice, Leason Ellis LLP, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
The theme of World Intellectual Property Day for 2022 is “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.” Many young people would be surprised by the importance of IP in the arts and how the law provides artists with guidance on what they can and cannot do. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith is one such case which will be heard by the Supreme Court later this year. The case concerns a series of prints and illustrations made by the artist Andy Warhol based upon a photo of the musician Prince taken by photographer Lynn Goldsmith. The Second Circuit appeals court held that Warhol had not made “fair use” of the photos because his art was not “transformative” in adding any new expression, meaning, or message to the original works. The question before the Supreme Court is whether courts are permitted to “ascertain the intent behind or meaning of the works at issue” when deciding fair use. The Second Circuit had held that the trial court erred in considering Warhol’s subjective intent to portray Prince as an “iconic, larger-than-life figure.” Young artists with long careers ahead of them would be wise to pay attention to the decision as it will provide guidance on what they can and cannot appropriate without permission.
Gang HU – General Director of Litigation Division, CCPIT Patent & Trademark Office, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
In the past year, an encouraging phenomenon is that some groundbreaking cases have emerged to curb the malicious trademark squatting. For example, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court of England and Wales (IPEC) ruled in a case that as the trademark squatting is a false representation that may damage the goodwill of the trademark owner, it constitutes counterfeiting. Therefore, the trademark owner has the right to prohibit the trademark squatter from using the applied trademark. In addition, China’s Fujian Provincial High Court ordered in a case that, the trademark squatter need bear civil liability for the squatted trademarks that have not been actually used, and even ruled that the relevant trademark agency for this malicious trademark squatting should bear the liability for damages within a certain range.
Obviously, it is a very beneficial and significant breakthrough to clarify that the malicious trademark squatting behavior has the attribute of unfair competition in the civil procedure, which provides a new way for the trademark owner to effectively deal with the trademark squatting and safeguard their legitimate rights and interests. Whether this will become a new trend of judicial practice in various countries in the new year deserves further earnest attention.
Stacey C. Kalamaras – Founding Partner, Kalamaras Law Office, LLC., Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
As the world’s commercial borders fade, more and more businesses are realizing the value of intellectual property. Thankfully, this is an area of law that is always changing and always on the cutting edge – from AI generated works to the explosion of the metaverse, IP is limited only by the creativity innovators possess. On this World IP Day, it’s up to us, the legal profession, to ensure we educate the next generation of entrepreneurs and the lawyers interested in this exciting area to ensure they understand how to protect and value their most important business assets so that their businesses can stand the test of time and be poised for growth by having a solid foundation, built upon a strong portfolio of IP rights!
Santiago R. O’Conor – Managing Partner, O’Conor & Power, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
“2022 World IP Day is truly a very different one in comparison to prior years. The world in it’s entirety has suffered a terrible pandemia which has changed our daily life, and at the moment that I am writing this article the entire world is also receiving the consequences of a war, which is always bad news.
Within the pandemia scenario, IP, knowledge and intangible assets have been more near the public in general; an example is how the innovation of scientists and labs have been able to develop vaccines in only a couple of months, which have saved lives, and that is IP in action.
At the same time, the health restrictions gave place to the explosion of electronic commerce. New challenges are on the table for all of us: NFTs, Metaverse, Data Protection. Online counterfeiting, the virtual world and its impact on IP are only some of the items which appear for analysis and more shall come in a changing world.
South American countries, and particularly Argentina, have strongly advanced in electronic filing and procedures, which have accelerated procedures and thus granted certainty and protection to the ownership of trademarks, patents, designs, and domain names.
Let us hope that all these sufferings and difficulties give place to a new era in which IP keeps us stronger and walking together, helping humanity and new generations in health and peace.”
Chris Mitchell – Member, Dickinson Wright, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
While there is ample reason this World IP Day to celebrate such trends as increased filings for IP protections and continuing innovation even in the face of a persistent global pandemic, there are concerning developments as well. Notable among them is the slide toward greater nationalism and the corresponding retreat from globalism. This is worrying for many reasons, not least being the threatened erosion of established relationships concerning intellectual property rights and protections. An extreme example is already evidenced by the impact the conflict in Ukraine is having on intellectual property protections in Russia. Particularly in the age of the internet – which is a counterfeiting multiplier – countries simply cannot afford to become insular and still serve their long-term economic interests. Even more fundamentally, a silo-mentality among nations will limit access to creativity’s benefits. It behooves us to take to heart the name “World IP Day” and champion the goal of global intellectual property protection.
Rachael Lodge Corrie – Partner, Foga Daley, Editorial Board Member for The Trademark Lawyer:
As we celebrate World IP Day, I’m particularly proud of this year’s theme – “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.” World IP Day provides us with the opportunity to reflect, educate and celebrate the many ways IP impacts our day to day lives and how we can continue to benefit from IP rights. Over the next year, I’m looking forward to increased education and engagement with the public on IP rights in the Caribbean and the wider Latin American region. In my experience, too often innovators and creators do not appreciate the value and have not reaped the full benefit of their work due to a lack of awareness of IP rights and how they can be used not only for personal gain, but often for the benefit of the wider community. In particular, as this year’s theme states I’m looking forward to continued engagement with young people from as early as possible, who will be the drivers of the change we want to see for a brighter future.
Wishing you a happy World IP Day form the CTC Legal Media Team!