Distance learning course on IPR. Business Standard. 9/10 June 2001
The WIPO World Wide Academy (WWA) has launched an online distance learning course on intellectual property rights for students worldwide. The training is conducted online, in a specially equipped training laboratory at the WWA. The course content is presented via prescribed texts, case studies, audio files, self assessment questions, module summaries, end of module tests. The course ends with a final exam, and students have access to tutorial support for their studies. Major areas of intellectual property include copyright, related rights, trade marks, geographical indications, patents, the PCT and the international registration system. Details about this course can be had from http://www.wipo.org.
-- Reproduced from Intellectual Property Rights 2001, 7(6-7), 11
China copyright law. People's Daily.com 29 August 2001
The Copyright Law of China provides that the following acts shall be regarded as infringement: publication of a copyright owner's work without his or her permission; the unauthorized publication of a cooperative work as the work of a single author; claiming authorship of another person's work without taking part in its creation with the intention of gaining fame or profit; distortion or alteration of another person's works; exploitation of an author's work in any manner without prior permission; the use of another's work without providing the legally stipulated payment; and live broadcast of a performance without the performer's prior permission. In such cases, the infringer shall bear the civil responsibility for the cessation of the infringement, for the elimination of any negative effects caused by his actions, for offering a public apology, and for compensation for any losses. Those who plagiarize other people's works, or reproduce and distribute another person's works for their personal benefit without the copyright holder's permission, those who publish a book without the permission of the owner of the publishing right, and those who duplicate and distribute video and audio tapes without getting the permission of the tape manufacturers bear civil responsibility for their actions. The copyright administrative authorities may confiscate their illegal income or impose a fine on them. In the case of a copyright infringement or of violation of other related interests, the party whose rights have been infringed may also directly bring suit in a people's court. With regard to illegal activities that gravely jeopardize the social order or seriously infringe on the legitimate rights and interests of a copyright holder of other intellectual property rights, in cases where such violations constitute a crime, the criminal liability of the infringer shall be investigated and dealt with in accordance with the relevant laws. .
-- Reproduced from WISTA: Intellectual Property 2001, 3(3), 17
New copyright laws get raps. New York Times. 29 August 2001
The desire of entrenched commercial interests to control information is crushing the spirit of innovation that allowed the Internet to blossom, Stanford Law School Professor and technology pundit Lawrence Lessig said recently. He further said in his keynote address at the Linux World Conference and Expo that copyright and patent law, ostensibly designed to protect innovation, now have become tools large companies can use to maintain their dominance and control. And worse, those who stand to lose are letting this concentration of power take place. To address the situation, Lessig called for a middle ground that balances copyright and intellectual property interests with freedom. In particular, he called for "strong but short" copyright protection, perhaps a five-year term that could be renewed for up to 75 years.
-- Reproduced from WISTA Intellectual Property 2001, 3(3), 17
No breach in copying cutting. The Times. 13 July 2001
In the appeal case of Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd., the House of Lords held that a facsimile copy of a newspaper article which gave no indication on how the rest of the newspaper page was laid out was not a substantial part of the published edition constituted by the whole newspaper and thus was not an infringement of the copyright in the typographical arrangement of the publisher thus dismissing the appeal.
In this case the defendant subscribed to a press-cutting agency for the supply of photocopies of items of interest appearing in newspapers. The agency paid a fee for a license to copy the cuttings to the plaintiff which dealt with copyright licensing on behalf of the newspapers. The defendant made further copies of the same cuttings and distributed them to individuals within its organisation. It had no license to make those further copies. The issue was whether making such copies infringed the copyright in the typographical arrangement of the published editions of the newspapers which had been assigned by the publishers to the plaintiff . The cuttings supplied by the agency were facsimile copies of parts of the typographical arrangement of the newspapers. By copying the cuttings, the defendant indirectly copied the whole or a substantial part of the typographical arrangement of the published edition.
The House held that there was no paradox in the proposition that a facsimile copy of the single sheet was a copy of the whole of its typographical arrangement but a copy of the article on the page which gave no indication of how the rest of the page was laid out, and not a copy of a substantial part of the published edition constituted by the newspaper.
The House had been shown specimens of the press cuttings of which the complaint was made. None of them sufficiently reproduced the layout of any page to amount to a substantial part of its typographical arrangement. In many cases the changes in layout which had been made to fit the article to an A4 sheet meant that they did not even reproduce the layout of the article itself.
-- Reproduced from WISTA: Intellectual Property 2001, 3(3)
WIPO okays initiative on traditional knowledge. Business Standard and Economic Times
The World Intellectual Property Organisation has recently approved the concept and approach for the tabulation of traditional knowledge. Such information will have to be put on the Internet in patent compatible format which would be common for all countries which are members of the WIPO.
Dr R A Mashelkar, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (India) and Chairman of WIPO Committee says this would bring traditional knowledge at par with international property systems. It will then be mandatory for patent offices around the world to check databases on traditional knowledge before granting patents. A committee consisting of five countries, including India and China, are currently working towards finalising the format in which this knowledge will be put on the Web. Once this is done, patent offices around the world will have to check the online databases of traditional knowledge before granting patents.
There have been demands from several developing countries including India to assign classification number to indigenous medicines. India has already made a representation through CSIR for classification of several medicines. According to Dr Sabharwal, Director, WIPO, the process has been going on for more than a year.
-- Reproduced from NAM S & T Newsletter 2001, 11(2), 4-5
Copying CD's face punishment. TIPLO IP News. April 2001
The Ministry of Economic Affairs, [Taiwan] passed "Statutes for Governing CDs" on 16 March 2001 in order to prevent counterfeit CD's from circulation. In future, while manufacturing recordable CDs, an application for SID code must first be filed with the competent authority. Prior to using any dies for manufacturing CDs whether for import, transferring or stoppage of use, applicants should notify the competent authority. After the Statutes are brought into effect, every CD manufacturer must acquire a permit from the competent authority when setting up a factory, purchasing dies for CDs or manufacturing CDs. Currently, established CD [producers] or factories must follow the relevant purchasing directories for acquiring the permit within 6 months, or face prosecution.
US representatives insisted on adding punishment regulations during the IP negotiation between the US and Taiwan. Taking into consideration the views of the concerned Ministries of Taiwan, it was decided that any manufacturer of recordable CDs would be punished by fine in addition to imprisonment and detention.
Moreover, if a manufacturer has been punished by imprisonment of more than one year for violation of the Copyright Law or the Statutes for Governing CDs, the competent authority shall not permit him to establish a factory to manufacture CDs.
-- Reproduced from WISTA: Innovation 2001, 3(2), 4
Patent search portal. Derwent. July 2001
Singapore hopes to quadruple the number of patent applications filed by its citizens by 2003 and plans to expand an Internet patentportal into tne world's first site allowing searches across global databases.
According to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) about 7,700 patent applications were filed in the city state in 2000 but just 680 were by Singaporeans. But by year 2003, IPOS want to increase it from 680 to 2900 applications by Singaporeans. IPOS hopes to create the first comprehensive search capability by the end of 2002 after signing agreements with about 10 major portals. The IPOS has set up a portal - http://www.SurfIP.gov.sg - in November to help the commercial use of intellectual property information. Experts estimate there are about 70 sites around the world listing more than 100,000 intellectual property assets.
-- Reproduced from WISTA: Innovation 2001, 3(2), 16
Design protection tools to safeguard fashion industry. Economic Times. 10 Aug 2001
For the first time in India, the fashion industry has used the design protection tools to safeguard their interests related to new designs. Renowned fashion designer Ritu Kumar has filed a suit against firms in Calcutta for reproducing, printing, publishing and distributing her fabric designs with a commercial motive. This is for the first time that a designer has enforced existing laws.
-- Reproduced from Intellectual Property Rights 2001, 7(8), 4
Guide to STN patent databases
The guide to STN patent databases can be obtained free of cost from the Internet at http://www.fiz-karlsruhe.de/stn/documentation/patents/index.html. The printed version can be obtained from FIZ Karlsruhe's Customer Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) at US $19.50 or DM 40. The guide is a very useful tool for searching STN databases. Even the skilled searcher can use it as a reference book for an occasional control of his own search techniques and for preparing these search tasks that are done only occasionally.
-- Reproduced from Intellectual Property Rights 2001, 7(8), 6
Ownership of patents
A substantial reform of the patent law of Germany on the ownership of patents of German universities is on the anvil. Under the existing law, the inventions of university lecturers remain their own personal property. The reforms have suggested that the universities will be able to directly claim ownership to the inventions and it will not be necessary to make separate agreements with the inventors to enable the universities to market intellectual property created in their laboratories. Inventors will enjoy a share in the rewards that the university receives from licensing or sale of the inventions, will continue to have the right to exploit his invention for teaching and/or research purposes and to prevent the publications of the invention in the form of a patent or utility model.
-- Reproduced from Intellectual Property Rights 2001, 7(8), 6-7
Something about software patents
A software related patent claims some feature, function or process embodied in a computer program that is executed on a computer. Most types of software that have been patented in the USA include system software, expert system software, application software, business software, and user interactive software. In general, the functional aspects of software are patented, such as editing and control functions, compiling and operating system techniques Icons and electronic font types have also been patented in the USA.
The criteria for assessing a software patent application are the same as used for assessing other applications. The invention has to be novel, non-obvious and useful. The determination of novelty in the use of software patents is a little difficult through the patent documents alone.
Software developers traditionally ignored patenting of software. Trade secrets and later, copyright protection were generally recognized as suitable forms of protection by many, even after the historic decision of the US Supreme Court in 1981 allowing patenting of software.
As a result, there is a large amount of non-patented software which needs to be scanned and analysed for determining the novelty of a software-related invention. Of course, software protected through trade secret cannot be accessed. While one needs to look at the non-patent literature, one should look at classes 364 and 395 under the USPTO classification system for classifying inventions. The title of class 364 is "Electrical/Computers and Data Processing Systems" and that of 395 is "Information Processing System Organisation". These two classes should be extensively used for ascertaining the prior art.
-- Reproduced from Intellectual Property Rights 2001, 7(11), 8
Interactive multimedia training package on IPRs
National Research Development Corporation [India] has developed an interactive multimedia training package on intellectual property rights titled "Key to New Wealth" on a CD-ROM. The package provides information about different types of IPRs in details. Information about law books, case studies related to IPRs, seminars and training programs is given in a very lucid and user friendly manner.
The package is of use to scientists, research institutions, lawyers and even IPR experts. The package, available for Rs. 20,000.00 offers more than 10,000 pages of information related to IPR.
For further information, visit the website at http://www.nrdcindia.com
-- Reproduced from Intellectual Property Rights 2001, 7(11), 14-15
Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 21, No. 2, June 2002, p.17-p.19