Trade Mark Revocation in Singapore: A Case Study

tmEuropean SMEs who have fallen victims to bad faith trade mark registration in Singapore and elsewhere in South-East Asia have some opportunities of getting their trade mark back without having to pay a lot of ‘ransom’ money. If the unscrupulous company who registered the trade mark in bad faith  does not put the trade mark into genuine use, European SMEs could initiate a trade mark revocation process. in today’s blog post we are taking a look at the process of trade mark revocation in Singapore by analyzing an interesting case study.  

Trade Mark Protection in Singapore

Registered trade marks enjoy statutory protection in Singapore under the Singapore Trade Marks Act, which also recognizes three-dimensional signs (shapes) and sounds as trade marks, however trade marks based on taste and smell are not yet recognized and not registrable in Singapore. Singapore operates under a ‘first-to-file’ system meaning that the first company to register the trade mark will own the trade mark irrespective of the first use. This means that early application for trade marks, ideally before the release of products and services into Singaporean market is recommended.

Applications for trade mark registration in Singapore can be submitted in English to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the application fee is 341 SGD (228 EUR) if the application is filed online. IPOS will assess the application to ensure that all formalities are met before conducting the relevant searches and examination to ensure that the mark applied for is registrable. Once this is completed, the application will be published and, provided no oppositions are filed against the application within two months of publication, the trade mark will proceed to registration. Once registered, statutory protection for registered marks can last indefinitely, although renewal applications must be filed every ten years. Continue reading “Trade Mark Revocation in Singapore: A Case Study” »

IPR Protection Strategies within the Healthcare Sector in China

The healthcare sector in China is developing rapidly as the rising middle class becomes more and more concerned about quality healthcare services, which are currently quite scarce in China. This, on the other hand,  provides many opportunities for the European SMEs active in the healthcare sector. However, SMEs should pay attention to protecting their IP rights when entering to the lucrative market of China because counterfeiting and other IP infringements still persist in China. For today’s blog post we have chosen to share with you an infographic that will provide you with a basic and easy to read  overview of IP protection in the healthcare sector in China.

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Trade Mark Protection in Myanmar: A Case Study

imageedit_1_8961851529In today’s blog post we are taking a look at the trade mark protection in Myanmar, a country that is in the process of modernizing its IP laws. Even though  Myanmar has published a new Draft Trade Mark Law back in 2015, the law has still not yet come to force and in the meantime EU SMEs still  need to protect their IP in Myanmar. This blog post offers some advice on how to protect your trade mark and the design of your package in Myanmar by focusing on a recent case study. 

Trade Mark Regime in Myanmar

Compared to other South-East Asian countries, Myanmar currently has the weakest IP laws and regulations in place. Myanmar is not yet a signatory of any multilateral trade mark treaty. However, in accordance with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) , to which it has acceded, Myanmar is required to implement and comply with Articles 1-12, Article 19 of the Paris Convention and the terms of TRIPS by no later than 1st July 2021. Myanmar is now in the process of drafting several IP laws

Currently, there is still neither a particular statute nor law on trade marks, nor specific provisions regarding the registration of trade marks in Myanmar. However, the Penal Code of Myanmar defines a trade mark as “a mark used for denoting that goods are the manufactured merchandise of a particular person”. Likewise, the Private Industrial Enterprise Law provides that “a business is not allowed to distribute or sell its goods without trademark”. At present, foreign companies doing business in Myanmar have been relying on these laws to enforce their IP rights relating to trade mark. Continue reading “Trade Mark Protection in Myanmar: A Case Study” »

IP Protection for the Food & Beverages Industry in Malaysia

fb-ip-protectionIn today’s blog post we are taking a look at the IP protection in Malaysia for the food and beverages sector. The F&B sector in Malaysia is rapidly growing,  but so are counterfeiting and other IP infringements. This blog post gives some advice to European SMEs on how to build a robust IP protection strategy in Malaysia for the food and beverages sector.  

Malaysia’s food & beverage industry is growing rapidly, with the revenue of over 25 billion EUR in 2015 and with an annual growth rate of 7.6%,[1] making the country thus attractive for European SMEs.

Malaysia has a large Muslim population and has, thus strong consumer demand for imported beef, mutton and other halal products.  This means that importers should be aware of that all slaughtered food must possess halal certification and adhere to specific labelling requirements.

Malaysia’s rapidly growing middle class constitutes a consumer base that is increasingly health-conscious, pays attention to the nutrition value of the food, prefers minimally processed fresh food and tends to trust foreign (western) brands when it comes to packaged food.

Together with rapid economic growth, counterfeiting in food products has also increased dramatically in recent years. Thus, the EU SMEs should take steps to ensure that their IP rights are protected, when selling their food products to Malaysia.

IPR are very relevant in the food & beverage industry, such as Trade Marks, Geographical Indications, Design and Trade Secrets.

Trade Mark Protection in Malaysia

Increasing brand consciousness, concerns about food safety and the relatively high number of counterfeiting in the country mean that brand reputation is especially important in Malaysia. A trustworthy brand can be critical to the success of food & beverage products as company’s trade mark functions as a badge of quality. Continue reading “IP Protection for the Food & Beverages Industry in Malaysia” »

CALISSONS EN DANGER – DES LEÇONS À TIRER ET À RETENIR

Le blogue d’aujourd’hui a été rédigé pour nous par notre expert  en propriété intellectuelle Maître Philippe Girard-Foley de GIRARD-FOLEY & Associates en réponse à la couverture médiatique de l’affaire de Calissons d’Aix. Dans cet article de blogue  Maître Girard-Foley explique le cas en détail et donne quelques conseils sur quelles mesures pourraient être prises pour protéger la marque.

Introduction 

Les médias français résonnent de nouvelles alarmantes concernant l’appropriation des Calissons d’Aix par « la Chine » qui démontrent une grave méconnaissance du sujet. Il paraît urgent de réintroduire dans ce débat un peu de rationalité, ne serait-ce que pour le bénéfice des fabricants concernés et de producteurs français placés dans des conditions semblables de supposée vulnérabilité.

Une marque sans valeur ?

Une marque « Calissons d’Aix » ne vaut rigoureusement rien en Chine sur le plan commercial. Ceci pour la simple et pourtant évidente raison que les mots la constituant sont  incompréhensibles et impossibles à mémoriser pour un consommateur chinois.

La seule valeur de cette marque pourrait être de nuisance, faisant obstacle à l’entrée sur le marché chinois du produit authentique, ce qui serait donc une valeur de rachat.

En termes commerciaux, ce qui compte est (i) la translittération en langue chinoise, basée sur un concept ou sur une analogie phonique, car celle-ci est reconnaissable par le consommateur chinois et (ii) la marque figurative de l’apparence distinctive du calisson. Continue reading “CALISSONS EN DANGER – DES LEÇONS À TIRER ET À RETENIR” »