IN THE HEADLINES
WHAT TO WATCH
IN THE HEADLINES
Russia’s war on the Ukraine and on IP rights
The invasion of the Ukraine by Putin has been a tragedy on humanity. With loss of lives, sovereignty and community as the most egregious, other fronts have also opened due to the world’s mostly unified response against the aggression — and that includes intellectual property. Action and inactions by Russia have paved the way for infringement, and has become one of many weapons of retaliation.
USPTO Director confirmed
Kathi Vidal—President Biden’s choice for Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office— was finally confirmed by the Senate, six months after she had been nominated. Vidal comes from an extensive patent litigation background out of the Silicon Valley.
Spirits go digital
The list of brands offering NFTs and establishing a presence in the metaverse continues to grow. Beginning May 30, 2022, Dictador Rum will offer NFTs in a collaboration with a street artist on limited “bottles” and include access to a “closed community” consumer club. For digital authentication, the spirits company is using blockchain in addition to its anti-counterfeiting features for its physical bottles.
WHAT TO WATCH
Last days for patents in Russia
Due to the invasion of Ukraine, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that June 23rd, 2022, will be the last day for a US business with patents or patent applications in Russia, to pay anything to the Russian patent office (Rospatent). This is in line with sanctions imposed on Russia relating to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, Russia has announced that its businesses are now allowed to steal patents from anyone in “unfriendly” countries – which includes most of the world at this point. See March entry.
Collaboration in vaccines, a new way forward?
As of July 2022 it is estimated that 29.5 billion COVID vaccine doses will have been produced. In light of the pandemic, such organizations as WIPO are advocating waiving of IP rights such as patents and trade secrets. There are some criticisms of this movement citing jeopardization of innovation and incentives for collaboration to address situations like a pandemic.
Trade secret theft
From time-to-time, we find ourselves talking about the incidents of trade secret theft. This is because it is a not-so-distant cousin of trademark infringement and other IP violations. Also because, maybe, it is one of the most glaring and offensive of crimes against innovators. See a recent prosecution on such a theft and information soon-to-be sentenced criminal.
- Former GE Power Engineer Convicted Conspiracy to Commit Economic Espionage Following Four-Week Trial
- Also listen to a favorite episode of Brand Protection Stories, on the Sinovel Trade Secret Case Brand Protection Stories Podcast-Episode 6 with Josh Mayers
THE BRAND PROTECTION PROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2022 | VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2
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