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Kuwait Under Scrutiny for IP Rights Violations

Kuwait Under Scrutiny for IP Rights Violations

Washington, DC – The U.S. moved Kuwait a notch higher on its Watch List of countries to monitor for potential breaches of U.S. patents, copyrights and other intellectual property (IP) rights.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Kuwait had failed to introduce a copyright law in line with international standards and to properly protect copyright and trademarks.

According to the USTR, the status of copyright legislation in that country “hampers the market environment for intellectual-property-intensive industries.”

Kuwait’s “lack of sustained enforcement action” against trademark infringement is another reason for the priority-watch designation, he said.

The U.S., Froman added,  is “encouraged” by reported recent progress on enforcement against copyright infringement, by the country’s recent accessions to several intellectual-property-related treaties and seeks to “engage Kuwaiti authorities on these issues in the contest of the long-standing cooperation” between the two countries, according to the statement.

“The U.S. remains concerned about the lack of sustained enforcement action against trademark infringement and the lack of progress in passage of updates to Kuwait’s copyright legislation, which hamper the overall market environment for intellectual property-intensive industries,” he said.

Kuwait will join 10 countries, including India and China, on the “Priority Watch List,” one rung higher than its current status.

More often than not, say observers, a place on the list signals a higher level of scrutiny and diplomatic pressure to bring policies into line.

11/14/2014

 

Segway Inc. Targets Transporters from China

Bedford, NH – Segway Inc. has filed a major patent case against imports of personal transporters from a number of Chinese companies in Beijing and Shenzhen.

The company is alleging that the personal transporters from China “infringe its utility and design patents” in a complaint that could, according to one source, lead the International Trade Commission (ITC) to issue a ‘general exclusion order,’ prohibiting not only all personal transporters from China, but from any country, as well.

“This patent case will be a very visible high tech case brought by Segway against Chinese imports of Segway like personal transporters,” said William Perry, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

The company “is also asking the ITC to issue cease and desist orders to prohibit US importers from selling any infringing imports that they brought into the United States,” he said.

Segway is requesting a general exclusion order to exclude all personal transporters from China and other countries and also ‘cease and desist’ orders to stop importers from selling infringing personal transporters in their inventories.

The complaint filed with the ITC lists at least six manufacturers and three distributors that Segway claims are infringing two patents related to the transporter controls, and two for the design of the machines.

The manufacturers named, the complaint says, “intend their products to largely, if not completely, mimic Segway’s personal transporters in operation.”

The manufacturers named in the complaint include Shenzhen Inmotion Technologies Co., Robstep Robot Co. and Ninebot Inc., all of which claim they independently developed their own ‘self-balancing’ transporters without benefit of Segway’s patented technology.

Should Segway win the case, the government could block the competing products made overseas from the US market.

US inventor Dean Kamen introduced the Segway in 2001. His company was eventually acquired by Summit Strategic Investments in 2013.

09/17/2014

Tips On Stemming the Flood Of Counterfeit Goods

Los Angeles, CA – Despite significant government efforts, China remains the world’s primary source of counterfeit goods, constituting 84 percent of shipment seizures in the US in 2012.

Experts, in fact, predict that the online trade of counterfeit goods in China will surpass the physical trade of such goods in the next two to three years.

The problem seems too vast and overwhelming to surmount, however, says Bob Youill, senior managing director in the Global Risk and Investigations practice of New York-based FTI Consulting, “doing so will never be easy, but it can be done” if companies take the appropriate steps.

In an article published this week in the FTI Journal, Youill, an acknowledged authority on product piracy, makes several suggestions on what US-based exporters, importers, retailers and manufacturers can do to stop the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit goods.

First, he says, declare your intellectual property. An effective anti-counterfeiting strategy for China, he says, “begins with begins with registering the relevant intellectual property rights in China, as Beijing doesn’t automatically recognize IP rights registered overseas.”

That done, writes Youill, “quantify the risk to your brand with in-house counsel working directly with key stakeholders to review the company’s markets inside and outside China and organize those markets into those that must be protected and those that are less important to focus on.”

Next, it needs to be understood that the primary responsibility for managing counterfeiting will rest mostly with in-house counsel and will involve representatives from different corporate functions, including a PR lead, external consultants, and internal stakeholders. To achieve that goal, “build your anti-counterfeit team.”

When considering tackling organized counterfeiting operations, a “best course of action” should be strategized that carefully analyzes various tactics that could include ‘street sweeps,’ Customs watches, administrative action, and civil or criminal proceedings.

Lastly, says Youill, “There are a number of risks to manage when dealing with Chinese authorities, such as controlling sensitive corporate information, fulfilling government requests for documents, overseeing internal reporting and complying with reporting rules. So, learn how to work with them.”

08/15/2014

 

Texas-based SoftServe Acquires German Software Developer

Austin, TX – Global software application developer SoftServe Inc. has acquired UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH, a German company specializing in high quality individual software development, business software solutions, and IT consulting.

The acquisition represents SoftServe’s continuing commitment to serve the growing needs of the European market with best-in-class technology solutions and applications.

UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH offers a comprehensive suite of nearshore outsourcing services from developing complex solutions to individual tailored software needs.

Additionally, UGE GmbH “provides highly skilled development teams and IT consulting on site or remotely,” SioftServe said in a statement.

Based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH provides high quality software solutions to their customers in banking, insurance, industry and public services industry sectors.

The company’s services range from the design of webpages via the development of web based applications up to the implementation of big and complex software solutions  The company’s list of clients includes Panasonic, Sanyo, Commerzbank, and GFT.

07/03/2014