We had the pleasure of having Mr. Andy Leck and Ms. Yoko Inoue from Baker & McKenzie visit our office today. They were kind enough to give us a presentation highlighting the most recent information available pertaining to the situation in Myanmar as well as some recent revisions to the Trademark Laws and practices in Vietnam, along with an explanation of the SIPFAST examination system in place currently in Singapore. As the situation in Myanmar has had IP practitioners and clients alike holding their breath for years now, we are happy to be informed of the latest information.
We had a virtual meeting with Jaime-Lynn Kraft and Kohji Suzuki from Smart & Biggar. They were kind enough to update us on some trending topics such as the newly passed Bill 96 pertaining to the use of French Language and how it will influence trademark usage and also the current state of affairs with examination times by CIPO. They also gave us some tips related to the examination of fast-track applications and divisional applications (with respect to pre-approved goods). We took the liberty of updated them on some process changes here at the JPO.
Ms. Lisa Yong from Rouse’s Indonesia office and Ms. Yen Vu from their Vietnam branch were kind enough to visit our firm today. They gave an excellent presentation about recent developments and trademark cases in both countries, including a recent case where what would widely be seen as a descriptive mark registration owner was unsuccessful in infringement proceedings (Indonesia) as well as another Indonesian case where almost identical word marks were allowed to coexist even though the services, while overlapping, were deemed to be sufficiently distinguishable. We also received detailed updates on the recent revisions to the Trademark Laws in Vietnam, which will come into effect on January 1, 2023.
Mr. Amjad Husseini and Mr. Ali H. Hijazi from Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP) visited our firm today. They were kind enough to answer our inquiries regarding wire transactions. They also explained about the cost-saving features of the “single POA system” effective in many Middle Eastern countries, as well as explaining the detailed plusses and minuses of Madrid-protocol filing vs. direct-national filing of applications in the UAE.
Mr. Nick Holmes from Davies Collison Cave visited our firm. He presented several points of interest regarding the trademark laws and practices in Australia and New Zealand. Of particular interest was the strategy and system of filing defensive mark applications in Australia (similar to the Japanese system), as well as the fact that the burden of proof of use in New Zealand oppositions falls squarely on the applicant instead of the opposer. Another point of interest was the potential benefit and cost-saving aspects of conducting official searches through the search/advice programs provided directly by the Intellectual Property Offices of both countries.