Patent Current Affairs

Trade Mark Rules 2017 come into effect 

The Trade Mark Rules, 2017 have come into effect, streamlining and simplifying the processing of Trade Mark applications.

The new rules were released by Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry and will replace the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules, 2002.

Salient features of revamped Rules
  • Number of Trade Mark (TM) Forms have been reduced to 8 from 74.
  • For the first time, the rules have laid out, modalities for determination of well-known trademarks.
  • The TM applications fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing to promote e-filing.
  • The provisions related to expedited processing of an application for registration of a trade mark extended upto registration stage. Earlier, it was only upto examination stage).
  • Modalities for service of documents from applicants to the Registry and vice-versa through electronic means have been introduced to expedite the process.
  • e-mail has been made an essential part of address for service to be provided by the applicant or any party to the proceedings so that the office communication may be sent through email.
  • Hearing through video conferencing has been introduced. Number of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been restricted to a maximum of two by each party to dispose off matters in time.
  • Procedures relating to registration as Registered User of trademarks have also been simplified. Over all fees have been rationalized by reducing the number of entries in Schedule I from 88 to just 23.

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Apple Inc fined $553 million for patent infringement

US Tech giant Apple Inc has been fined $553 million for three patent infringements owned by patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC.

This verdict was given by federal Jury in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The Jury in its verdict found out that Apple Inc’s iTunes software has infringed three patents owned by Smartflash LLC.

The federal jury in its verdict also held that Apple had not only used Smartflash’s patents without permission, but also used them willfully.

Background

In May 2013, Smartflash LLC had sued Apple Inc, alleging that iTunes software has violated its 3 patents related to accessing and storing downloaded songs, videos and games. In this regard, Smartflash LLC had asked $852 million in damages from Apple.

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