STOPfakes News

U.S.-EU Transatlantic Working Group discusses Intellectual Property Rights

July 18, 2014

On 17 and 18 July, the EU and the U.S. convened a session of the Transatlantic Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group in Brussels to discuss cooperation in the IPR field relevant for both IP rights holders and users. The group is composed of officials representing lead agencies and services from both Europe and the U.S. and was established in 2005. Read a full press release here.

IPR Center Director Testifies on Strengthening Trade Enforcement

July 16, 2014

On July 16, Lev Kubiak, Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s and the IPR Center’s work to combat trade fraud, including intellectual property rights violations.  “IP violations and trade fraud pose significant threats to the U.S. economy and the health and safety of the American public,” said Kubiak.  The IPR Center was created to share information and promote a coordinated U.S. government response to IPR enforcement.  See the full testimony here and the full hearing here.  

INTERPOL Launches "Turn Back Crime" Campaign

June 5, 2014

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and INTERPOL Washington, the United States National Central Bureau, are announcing the launch of “Turn Back Crime”, INTERPOL’s global campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of organized crime and its impact on everyday life. Using a variety of media channels that include video, the Internet and social networks, the campaign provides information on how to stay safe and encourages private businesses, government agencies, and the general public to play an active role in the fight against organized criminal activity.

While many people are aware that criminal networks are behind the illicit trafficking of drugs, firearms, and even persons, they are often unaware of these networks’ ties to other, seemingly unrelated offenses such as the counterfeiting of commercial goods, cybercrime, fraud, child exploitation, and corruption in sport. Consequently, they are increasingly vulnerable to the threats being posed to their health by poor-quality, potentially life-threatening counterfeit medicines; to their financial security, from the theft of their personal data; and to their children’s safety, through techniques such as online grooming.

By creating a better understanding of these threats, Turn Back Crime empowers individuals to make informed choices that can not only increase their personal safety, but help deny illicit proceeds to criminal enterprises the world over – proceeds that in some instances support terrorist activity. The campaign is also reaching out to businesses and policy makers in a bid to form a united front against contemporary crime challenges, and to support the ongoing efforts of the global law enforcement community.

“For many of us, crime is quite often viewed in local terms because it is in our communities that we generally feel the impact of most criminal activity,” said Director Shawn Bray of INTERPOL Washington.  “Turn Back Crime is an innovative global campaign to increase our national awareness and reduce crime by empowering our citizens and helping them understand that even our day-to-day decisions, especially as consumers, can have a profound international impact and may even help combat transnational organized crime,” added Director Bray.

The initial topic for the campaign is that of illicit trade and the counterfeiting of commercial goods. Future topics will cover other crime areas such as cybercrime and border management. 

Turn Back Crime is supported by a dedicated website (www.turnbackcrime.com) that serves as the public face of this global initiative. It provides campaign-themed videos and news, and a communications platform on which tips, activities, and success stories from INTERPOL’s 190 member countries can be shared. In addition, the campaign can be followed on social media outlets that include Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/turnbackcrime); Twitter (https://twitter.com/TurnBackCrime) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/turnbackcrime). Two campaign hashtags have been developed that will provide a searchable link: #TurnBackCrime and #TogetherWeCan.

 

USPTO Launches Glossary Pilot to Promote Patent Claim Clarity

June 2, 2014

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announces the launch of a new Glossary Pilot as part of a White House Executive Action designed to enhance claim clarity in the specification of software-related patent applications.

The pilot runs for six months from the start date of June 2, 2014.

Pilot participation requires an applicant to include a glossary section in the patent application specification to define terms used in the patent claim. Applications accepted into the pilot will get expedited processing, be placed on an examiner’s special docket prior to the first office action, and have special status up to issuance of a first office action.

Learn more about the Glossary Pilot at: www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/glossary_initiative.jsp.

USTR Releases 2014 Special 301 Report

April 30, 2014

On April 30, 2014, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).  The Report and press release can be found on the USTR website by clicking here.

USTR Press Release:  The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Significant elements of the 2014 Special 301 Report include the following:

  • USTR highlights growing concerns with respect to the environment for IPR protection and enforcement in India and other markets. 
  • The Report expresses ongoing, serious concerns about the protection and enforcement of trade secrets with respect to China, and emerging concerns in other markets.
  • USTR removes Italy and the Philippines from the Watch List in recognition of their IPR-related accomplishments, and as an indication of support for their commitment to continued progress.
  • The Report highlights music licensing and cable broadcasting concerns throughout the Caribbean that adversely affect U.S. copyright holders, including creators of original pay television programming, songwriters, and other independent artists.
  • USTR announces that it will conduct Out-of-Cycle reviews to promote engagement and progress on IPR challenges identified in this year’s reviews of India, Kuwait, Paraguay and Spain.

“The United States is an innovation economy.  We are the global leader in research and development.  We have given rise to some of the most creative, inventive and entrepreneurial businesses in the world, contributing significantly to advances in global health, the development of the digital economy and the education and entertainment of billions of people worldwide.  More than 30 million Americans owe their jobs directly to these and other innovative industries.  USTR is fully committed to unlocking opportunity for those Americans to share their inventions and creations with people all over the world without their work being infringed or misappropriated,” said Ambassador Michael Froman. 

“Release of the 2014 Special 301 Report marks 25 years since USTR published the first Special 301 ‘Fact Sheet.’  In that time, we have achieved dramatic changes in the international intellectual property landscape.  The Obama Administration is committed to meaningful and sustained engagement with trading partners -- from China to India to Canada -- with the goal of resolving intellectual property-related concerns so that Americans and American firms can compete on a level playing field in those markets.”

“I would like to congratulate the Governments of Italy and the Philippines on their removal from the Watch List.  Both were named in the first Special 301 Fact Sheet and in many annual reports since, but today we acknowledge their accomplishments and encourage them to continue their progress,” Ambassador Froman concluded.  “Likewise, we congratulate Israel on its removal from the Watch List earlier this year.”

BACKGROUND  

The “Special 301” Report is an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement.  USTR conducts this review pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

USTR reviewed 82 trading partners for this year’s Special 301 Report, and placed 37 of them on the Priority Watch List or Watch List.   

In this year’s report, trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns regarding insufficient IPR protection or enforcement, or otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection.  Ten countries — Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, and Venezuela — are on the Priority Watch List.  These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.   

Twenty-seven trading partners are on the Watch List, also meriting bilateral attention to address underlying IPR problems:  Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.   

USTR also announces that it will launch several Out-of-Cycle Reviews to enhance engagement with trading partners and encourage progress on IPR issues of concern.  USTR will conduct OCRs of Priority Watch List country India and Watch List countries Kuwait and Paraguay.  Details appear in Section II of the Report.  Although Spain is not listed in the Report, USTR announces the intention to continue an OCR, which was initiated in 2013, to monitor anticipated improvements in Spain’s enforcement regime.  USTR may conduct additional OCRs of other trading partners as circumstances warrant, or as requested by the trading partner. 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

USTR continued its enhanced approach to public engagement activities in this year’s Special 301 process.  USTR requested written submissions from the public through a notice published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2014.  In addition, on February 24, 2014, USTR conducted a public hearing that invited interested persons to testify before the interagency Special 301 subcommittee about issues relevant to the review.  The hearing featured testimony from witnesses representing foreign governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations.  For the first time, USTR recorded the testimony at the Special 301 hearing, and also offered a two-week post-hearing comment period during which hearing participants and interested parties could submit additional information in support of, or in response to, hearing testimony.  The 2014 Federal Register notice — and post-hearing comment period — drew submissions from over 100 interested parties, including 21 trading partners.  The submissions that USTR received are available to the public online at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2013-0040.  The public can access both the video and transcript of the hearing at www.ustr.gov

 

U.S. Removes Philippines from the Special 301 Watch List

April 28, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it has removed the Philippines from the Special 301 Watch List. The Philippines has appeared on the Watch List or Priority Watch List continuously since 1994, and was first listed in 1989.  In recent years, the government has enacted a series of significant legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines.  Philippine authorities have also made laudable civil and administrative enforcement gains.  Although significant challenges remain, the commitment of Philippine authorities and the results achieved merit this change in status.  The United States will continue to engage with the Philippines to address unresolved and future challenges.  

Background: Pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (1994), under the Special 301 provisions, USTR must identify those countries that deny adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access for persons that rely on intellectual property protection.

USTR has created a "Priority Watch List" and "Watch List" under the Special 301 provisions. A trading partner’s placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country or economy with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property. Trading partners on the Priority Watch List become the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas.

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/press-releases/2014/April/US-R...

USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

April 4, 2014

Full press release.

USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

Office to be run by new Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the creation of a new Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC).  The OIPC will be led by Mark Powell who will serve as USPTO’s first Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation and report directly to the Commissioner for Patents Margaret (Peggy) Focarino.  The establishment of the OIPC reflects USPTO’s strong commitment to work with global stakeholders and intellectual property (IP) offices to develop means to increase quality and create new efficiencies within the complex processes of international patent rights acquisition, and its commitment toward global patent harmonization, which both protects America’s ideas and makes it easier to do business abroad.

“The establishment of the Office of International Patent Cooperation reflects the USPTO’s strong commitment to the IP community in improving the international patent system,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle Lee. “It will allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving towards a harmonized patent system.”

While the USPTO has been effective in carrying out its international mission through such programs as the Patent Prosecution Highway, the Global Patent Search Network, the Cooperative Patent Classification system, and the new Global Dossier Initiative, creation of the new office will enable USPTO to focus dedicated resources to better implement its international patent cooperation efforts. The main focus of the office, working in concert with the Office of Policy and International Affairs and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, is to provide optimized business process solutions to the international patent examination system for examiners and external stakeholders.

Deputy Commissioner Powell began his career at the USPTO as a patent examiner in 1986, later becoming a patent supervisor and then a director of the telecommunications examination operation from 2003 to 2011. During his service as a Technology Center Director, he led many international initiatives for the Patents Business Unit. For the past three years, he worked full-time through a series of detail assignments to the Office of Policy and International Affairs where he focused exclusively on international cooperative activities.
 

ICE, CBP Announce Year-End Intellectual Property Seizure Statistics

March 26, 2014

ICE, CBP announce year-end intellectual property seizure statistics

Seizures increase as collaboration at the IPR Center continues

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the comprehensive results of counterfeit and pirated goods seized during Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), HSI and CBP are the agencies charged with the enforcement of intellectual property rights for goods entering the United States.

The number of IPR seizures increased nearly 7 percent from 22,848 in FY 2012 to 24,361 in FY 2013.  The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the seized goods also increased from $1.26 billion in FY 2012 to $1.74 billion in FY 2013. DHS averaged slightly over 66 seizures per day, with an average MSRP of each seizure being slightly more than $71,500.

“These numbers are the result of the hard work of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and the increased collaboration of our agencies through the IPR Center,” said ICE’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas S. Winkowski. “But a great deal more has to be done to protect the public from the health and safety threat that counterfeits pose to our society. We will continue to pursue these criminals and educate the public about the real threats that intellectual property crimes pose.”

“Together with our IPR partners, CBP continues to guard the nation’s borders against counterfeit products,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.  “These products are not only unsafe and dangerous to consumers, but they also pose a threat to the economic security of our country.”

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) continued Operation In Our Sites (IOS), a long-term law enforcement initiative which targets counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet.  In FY 2013, the IPR Center seized 1,413 domain names, and since the launch of IOS in June 2010, the center has seized more than 2,700 domain names.. Collaboration through the IPR Center led to 692 arrests, 401 criminal indictments, and 451 criminal convictions for criminal IPR infringement activities in FY 2013.

The People’s Republic of China remained the primary source for counterfeit and pirated goods seized in FY 2013 with a total value of $1.1 billion.  This represented 68 percent of all IPR seizures by MSRP. DHS also made seizures from 73 additional economies during FY 2013 including Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.

//www.ice.gov/images/iprcenter/ipr-button.png

You may also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or access this news release on your mobile device.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1403/140324washingtondc2.htm

To unsubscribe to future press releases from the IPR Center, please send a request to IPRCenterArchives@ice.dhs.gov.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Supports IP Protection at Commemoration of 700,000th Design Patent

March 26, 2014

Full Press Release:

Intellectual property protections are essential to helping unlock American innovation. Patents and trademarks give entrepreneurs the confidence and security they need to invest in new R&D, new businesses, and new employees. That confidence and security translates into $5 trillion of economic output a year -- a 2012 Commerce Department study found that industries that rely most heavily on IP protections support 40 million U.S. jobs and more than one-third of GDP. In order to help create the conditions for economic growth, the Commerce Department is making the country’s IP laws work even better.  

As part of these efforts, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker joined USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee and Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino today for a ceremony commemorating the 700,000th design patent. The patent was assigned to LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. for the design of “Leapster Explorer,” a hand-held learning and play device for 4-to-9-year-olds, featuring a touch screen and 3D graphics.  At the ceremony, which took place at the Langdon Education Campus in Washington, DC, Secretary Pritzker and Deputy Director Lee presented the patent to Leapfrog Senior Vice President and General Counsel Robert Lattuga. 

Every day, USPTO is awarding more utility and design patents to entrepreneurs and businesses to help them grow, innovate, and compete. Last year alone, USPTO issued 22,000 applications for design patents, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.  A design consists of the visual, ornamental characteristics embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. Applications in this area cover designs of computer equipment, cell phones and other handheld electronic devices, such as the Leapfrog Design Patent Number 700,000. 

The Obama Administration has been a strong supporter of efforts to make the patent system works more efficiently. President Obama recently announced a number of new executive actions to increase transparency in patent ownership, provide more training to patent examiners, and help inventors and small business owners who unexpectedly find themselves facing patent litigation. 

At today’s ceremony, USPTO also announced a new Intellectual Property patch for Girl Scouts in the National Capital Region (GSCNC). The new patch was developed as a joint project between the GSCNC and the USPTO, in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPO). The patch is designed to support curriculum and activities that increase understanding of IP, especially as it relates to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board to Visit a City Near You for AIA Trial Roundtables in 2014

March 26, 2014

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board to Visit a City Near You for AIA Trial Roundtables in 2014

The USPTO is pleased to announce upcoming roundtables with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board focused on the AIA trial proceedings (e.g., inter partes review and covered business method review). The roundtables will be held in 8 cities from mid-April to mid-May 2014. The goal of the roundtables is to share information about the trials and collect public input and suggestions. More details about the roundtables are available below.

So, mark your calendars and come one, come all!

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board to Visit a City Near You for AIA Trial Roundtables in 2014

 

  

Alexandria, VA*

Tuesday, April 15

1pm to 5pm local time

New York City, NY

Thursday, April 17

Chicago, IL

Tuesday, April 22

Detroit, MI

Thursday, April 24

Silicon Valley, CA

Tuesday, April 29

Seattle, WA

Thursday, May 1

Dallas, TX

Tuesday, May 6

Denver CO*

Thursday, May 8

* Accessible via webcast.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is hosting roundtables to share information about the new AIA trials (i.e., inter partes reviews, post grant reviews, covered business method reviews, and derivations) including statistics, lessons learned, and techniques for successful motions practice. The Board is interested in receiving feedback about the trials and will feature a panel discussion to elicit public input.

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