Protecting your company often means guaranteeing its industrial and intellectual property rights. In a global world, you have to pay attention to make sure no one copies your idea or takes advantage of your efforts and investment.

In this article we’ll give you some practical examples and explain how you can use patents to defend your interests and those of your company.


Amazon’s Patents


Amazon is one of the biggest spenders on patent registration, both for the new technologies they develop and to defend them. Although they are controversial, the measures the company takes are extremely effective for helping them maintain their leadership position in the online retail sector.

You must be aware that protecting your company is essential at a time when profit margins are becoming increasingly tight. When faced with this situation, it is vital to offer something different and to define your scope of action vis-à-vis the competition or your customers. Although industrial property rights were already becoming entrenched in the second half of the 19th century, they spread far and wide in time with economic globalization.

Some patents provide one company an advantage over others by giving it exclusive use of the latest technologies, generally for a maximum of twenty years. This does not mean that you can never use these technologies, but you do have to come an agreement with their owner and establish a fee for their use.

There is also another type of patent that is more controversial: patents that restrict access to existing services, such as price comparisons. Amazon has developed a tool of this kind and, for the time being, is able to use it.

1-Click ordering

The idea of being able to place an order with just one click was introduced by Amazon in 1999 and it is calculated that this feature led to an increase of up to 5% in the company's sales. Immediacy is a value intrinsically linked to online purchases.

Although the patent is due to lapse at the end of 2017 and all retail companies will subsequently be able to use it, it has given Amazon an undoubted competitive advantage for gaining market share over the last 20 years.


Blocking comparisons

Many of us like to use price comparison websites, but the US giant has proposed putting a stop to this when people visit their  brick-and-mortar stores, which are spreading rapidly over several continents. A new patent will block the use of price comparison websites from the competition and redirect customers to Amazon’s own site or an approved site whenever the user is connected to the store’s free Wi-Fi network.

The move is intended to encourage consumers to do their shopping in the Amazon brick-and-mortar store, since comparative shopping impossible encourages impulse buying.

 
Conclusion

As protecting a company through industrial property rights is inescapable, we recommend you find a company that will manage the entire process. SHIP specializes in national and international patent management and offers a guaranteed service. Contact us and we’ll provide you with further details.

 

 

The new Spanish patent law has paved the way for protecting compositions or colors, including chemical products. The law, which came into force on April 1st 2017, is Law 24/2015, on Patents. In this post, we explain what it is and what you can do.


Protecting colors and compositions

The major new feature of the patent law is the possibility of registering compositions that may not meet one of the requirements for patentability, the inventive step. Now, a few issues should be noted. It is not a question of patenting the color itself, since a color cannot be considered for protection, as it does not offer a technical solution to a technical problem. Nevertheless, a paint that is obtained by mixing others, or from a chemical composition, can be patented, as long as it does not rely on pharmaceutical substances and compounds or biological material. To be able to be registered, it must be described completely and clearly in the invention, it must be new and have an inventive step, and, lastly, it must have an industrial application. 

According to the Office of Registration and Patents, you gain a right over a mark for the whole of it, without the symbols TM (Trademark) or R (Registered Trademark) being mandatory.  The former shows that it is a trademark, and the latter that it has been registered. For example, there will be no problem for a company to use the Cola-Cao red and yellow in its image, but there will be if it copies the typeface or the design as well as the colors. If the whole of it is plagiarized, that can lead to legal action. 

So, with the new law, if a color composition represents a brand, then it can be protected. You can register what is known as factory marks or trademarks. They are cataloged as a trademark color and can be used exclusively by the company that registered it in its own sector. For example, Tiffany’s turquoise is protected in the jewelry sector, but not in any other. 

 


Reasons for protecting a color

As a company that specializes in processing and managing patents all over the world,SHIP recommends that protection be given to colors and composition, especially if we are talking about brands with international power and a great potential for market penetration. You will undoubtedly know of “Klein blue”, one of the major colors that have been registered, and “Kodak yellow”, “Louboutin sole red”, and “Coca-Cola red”. These are colors that have been linked with their respective brands, and so are protected. 

In the specific case of “Klein blue”, Yves Klein decided to register it in the Enveloppe Soleau, which is similar to the Intellectual Property Register, but in France protects a technique. It was not a patent in the true sense of the word. The color is known as International Klein Blue (IKB), and what was registered was the formula for a paint. 

 

There are many reasons for patenting your creations. Companies like SHIP specialize in advising you and guiding you through the entire process. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The EU trademark reform is a relevant advancement in administrative practice. Its goal is to make the system more efficient, clearer and more harmonized.

Since October 1st, Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and the Council of June 14th,  2017 on  the European Union trademark has entered into full force.

This new regulation consolidates the most important changes in the regulation to date and is effectively adapted to the new challenges for “unconventional” trademarks, which are becoming increasingly common.

The most relevant modifications of the regulation to become effective this month are:

  1. The elimination of the requirement that the trademark have a graphical representation: starting on October 1st, rights over a trademark will always be over “what is seen” in the application as long as the representation is clear, accurate and complete in and of itself, easily accessible, intelligible, lasting, and objective. For some kinds of trademarks (position, for example) the Office recommends including a description, but this will no longer be mandatory. “Hologram”, “sound” or “multimedia” are perfectly (a priori) registrable as EU trademarks.  For example, in accordance with existing technology, MP3 and MP4 files will be accepted. 
  1. The European certification trademark is created. Until now, only member states had this trademark. Starting on October 1st, any non-natural person may own a trademark certifying the quality of the products and/or services they produce or market to third parties. This must always be established by drafting a use regulation to the effect. 
  1. Procedural changes will be applied to different aspects, such as: 
  • the demand for priority which, from now on, must always be made along with the submission of the application.
  • a trademark’s acquisition of distinctive character as a subsidiary or secondary pretension, which must be requested after the trademark’s date of submission.
  • geographical indications are considered a relative cause of action in oppositions and annulment proceedings.
  • provisions on opposition or cancellation proceedings are harmonized.
  • it will not be mandatory to translate proofs of use to the procedural language if the documents are in any of the official EU languages, unless this is expressly requested, etc.
  • the “hand delivery” and “in the Office’s mailbox” delivery options are eliminated.

 Part of this Regulation entered into force already on March 23rd, and included some changes:

  • The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is the current name of what was until then known as the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM)
  • The name of the Office’s administrative trademark was changed from “community trademark” to “European Union trademark”.
  • The fee system applicable to the trademarks changed. Some amounts were reduced and the structure of the application fees was changed by eliminating the single fee for three classes.
  • Changes were also introduced into the examination proceedings, third-party observations, opposition, annulment and appeal.

Link to a video summarizing the main modifications

 

 

 

Europe’s largest IP Convention & Trade Fair offers a perfect opportunity to stay tuned for IP hot topics like the digitalization of IP, the unitary patent, IP Analytics as well as a systematic overview of all relevant Intellectual Property solution providers.

SHIP Global IP will be present at IP Service World for second year in a row.  The event will take place at the Convention & Trade Fair of Munich on November 27th and 28th.

Visit the SHIP Global IP team attending the event at booth IP54, located near the Forum 9-14 area.

Paco Martín, our IP Director, and Felix Donoso, Senior Account Manager will be more than glad to meet you and discuss how SHIP can help you reduce your IP.

If you want to pre-arrange a meeting during the event, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Learn more about IP Service World

 

 

 

Patent translation is the key to internationalization.

A patent. Well already, just like that, the term inspires respect, and especially if the subject is the translation of patents.  In fact there is no lack of reasons because patents are complex technical documents that recognize the rights of the inventors, designers and creators to benefit exclusively from their inventions. What this means is that they guarantee that no other persons may benefit from selling their inventions. This is one way of protecting the industrial property or the intellectual property of the inventors. If a patent in itself already implies that the text we are going to read will be, not necessarily unwieldy, but certainly  involving complex syntax and very specialized terminology, now imagine that the text in such a patent is a translation. If the translator is not well versed in the subject or is not very skilled, the resulting gibberish may be impossible to understand.

Jurisdiction and intellectual property

One of the objectives of the inventors when they patent their innovations is to achieve the maximum internationalization of their patents. So that they can be protected in different countries, the original patent must be translated into the language of the jurisdiction in which the invention is going to be marketed. Such that  the translation is indispensable in order to obtain the certificate for the title of registration granted by the law in the relevant country.

But why is patent translation so important? In a global economy, intellectual property and industrial property are tools that ensure that companies remain competitive and in business. In order for these rights, which are essential in the development of companies, to be protected it is necessary to obtain the patent in the relevant jurisdiction. Such that, as well as the indispensable translation, we must also know the protocols, procedures and paperwork required to achieve the title of grant or registration that officially makes it the property of the applicant.

The translation of each  patent is a challenge in itself.

Direct, clear and concise language is exactly what patent translations require. In this type of translations, when we talk about a chemical product or a technological device it is essential that the translated word describes exactly what the original text states, so it is much more literal, without including cultural equivalents or approximations in the target language.

Taking into account the public the target patent is another indispensable task for a translator specializing in industrial property.  Such a translator must be not only a native speaker of the target language, but must also be an expert in the subject matter of the translation. She/he must know the technical vocabulary required to describe the invention with total reliability and it is essential that they are familiar with the formats required by the patent office in which the documents are going to be filed.

Technology is constantly evolving. The eagerness of many patent translators to be up to date in their areas of specialization makes some of them even become opinion leaders in such fields.

Consequences of an incorrect translation

An incorrect or low quality translation may restrict the scope or a patent and may have disastrous financial and legal consequences.  Unfortunately this is a fact, an inventor may achieve different levels of protection for a same patent depending on each country, not because they are granted under different patentability criteria, but because the translation of the patent claims may have included one or more errors, which may even make a patent ineligible for its most attractive potential market.

Ana Rojo, a well-known Associate Professor of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Murcia, states in her book “Step by Step: A Course in Contrastive Linguistics and Translation”, a case in which the European Patent Office granted a patent for cloning human cells, when the application only referred to animals.  The patent claims in German and French used specific terms (“tier” and “bête”, respectively), referring to animals, whereas the English translation included the term “animal”, which in English may also refer to humans.

Nevertheless, we must not forget that translation is an art, not a science.  It is more that likely that two experts working on a same document end up with translations with subtle differences.  One of the advantages of using a company with an internal service specialized in patent translation is the ease of communication with clients and the use of approved glossaries, thus ensuring consistent, reliable translations.  SHIP Global IP has an in-house multidisciplinary team of translators, proofreaders, linguists, lawyers and engineers.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

This treaty establishes a procedure for patent applications with validity in all the member countries. It is a service offered by the WIPO (World Industrial Property Organization). Via this procedure, the applicant achieves protection for a patent in up to 148 countries. The quality of the patent translation is very important. At SHIP we are aware that a PCT, once it has passed the national phase, can have its scope reduced or even be declared void by the different national offices if the translation is not correct.

European Patent Office

This application procedure is the European route for obtaining protection in the countries attached in the European Patent Convention. There are currently 38 member countries. Patents filed via this procedure must be filed in German, French or English. The advantage is that protection is achieved in all the countries of the Convention with a single application.

The translation of a patent is an essential phase in the management of intellectual property rights and here at SHIP we are very aware of that. This is why throughout our professional career we have developed an infrastructure based on the creation of a network of expert intellectual property agents and the development of a translation activity specialized in intellectual and industrial property, covering all industrial property services from A to Z, that is, throughout the entire life cycle of a patent.