Technology and Patents

Over the last decades, there really has been a true multitude of very new and very exhilarating inventions and amazing discoveries. The advances have truly affected many lives of the people that are from around the world along with creating a truly new concept of the electronics and the information technology.

While there is an ongoing growth, many people have been faced with very new challenges and the continuing of questions on how to be able to protect the rapid developments from the exploitation and the infringement.

Patents help to secure the inventions that will grant the inventor sole rights of their own work and prevent anyone else from being able to claim it as their work throughout the coverage of the patent terms. The trademark along with the US Patent Office had been established back in 1977 along with the Patent Acts. The significance of the new inventions is a very important part of the growth of society.

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Media IP Clinics

Media IP Clinics – IP Issues in Film/TV Productions

Are you able to identify what rights you have in your own created works? What rights do you have to an idea for a production? Do you need to obtain any clearance before adapting a novel into a film or television program? How do you ensure that all the necessary rights to exploit your production have been secured?

This is a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) video in which Din and Siti Kamaluddin talk about how they set up “Origin Films” in Brunei. These young and creative siblings tell how trademarks, Intellectual Property, and copyrights are so critical to be successful in the highly competitive world international film productions.

If you find yourself facing these issues and more, we are pleased to inform you that MDA and IPOS, with the support of APAA, have launched the Media IP Clinic series. To be held on a regular basis, each clinic will address a different area of intellectual property rights within the media industry.

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What is Intellectual Property Law?

Intellectual Property law can be divided into several different areas, but essentially there are industrial properties and copyright laws. Copyright law protects the rights of the owners of creative works and provides the exclusive right to control production, reproduction or adaption of any creative work.

Take a look and listen to the following IP Week Singapore 2018 video that includes an interview with Lim Jing, CTO at Osteopore, true pioneers in the world of bioresorbable polymer implants for orthopedic, neurosurgical, and maxillofacial surgery applications. The annual IPOS (Intellectual Property Office of Singapore) IP Week is always highly fascinating and interesting.

Industrial properties law involves all industrial or commercial intellectual property such as patents or trademarks and their reproduction.

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Intellectual lawyers perform dual purposes within this field of law, that is, the establishment of a person’s intellectual property or the protection of infringement on a person’s intellectual property. The latter involves infringements on trademarks, copyrights or patents along with anti-competitive or restrictive trade practices among others.

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Intellectual Property and Patents

You can protect your intellectual property (IP) by obtaining a Patent on your idea. You should contact a professional IP Lawyer who can provide the services you need to get a Patent. Success at obtaining a patent requires a thorough understanding of the application process. From patent searches to prosecuting claims in the patent office, it is advisable to hire a professional. See also this Durham University video about Intellectual Property and Patents:

What To Do First?

Make a record of your invention
In order to establish an invention record which may be relied upon for evidence, make a complete written description of your invention along with any sketches or drawings. Your written narrative should describe in precise detail what the product or process is, how to use it, what it is good for and how to make it or use it. Every part of the product or process should be numbered and these numbers inserted into the text of the written description immediately following the name of that item.

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Patentability: Novelty and Obviousness

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I could have invented that.” Everybody does, but then the next time they think of something neat, they don’t act on it because they don’t think they can get a patent for it. So let’s dig a little deeper into Patentability: Novelty and Obviousness.

There is a four-prong analysis for whether something is patentable. It is: 1) is it patentable subject matter, 2) is it novel (new), 3) is it obvious to one skilled in art (the subject matter of the invention), and 4) does it have a utilitarian, or useful value, to the public?

The two prongs that everyone gets hung-up on are novelty and obviousness. When you ask the question, “Can I get a patent for the great new invention I’ve just thought up”, you need to analyze novelty and obviousness. So what are they?

When an invention is obvious to one skilled in the art, you can’t get a patent for it.

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Internet Trademark Laws

The Internet Trademark Law is the same as those in general trademark laws, whereas the difference could be the issue of whether two trademarks are just too similar that there’s the likelihood that one could get them confused. So if there is the likelihood of the public being confused between the actual trademarked and the “copied” product, courts will usually determine that the trademark infringement occurred.

Laws and Protection of Electronic Trademark

This can commonly occur with the domain names are an issue and disputes arise. If a domain name has a trademark, if anyone purchases a domain having a very similar trademark, say one letter changed, there will be the probability of confusion.

Especially when it is a character or figure that is the trademark and they are just changing the image slightly, hoping that an input error when an individual attempt to access an actually trademarked site clicks on theirs or uses a typo in the address bar. Thus, bringing them to the “alternate” site and not the trademarked site and channeling traffic to their site and hoping for business.

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Internet Laws at Work

Granting employees internet access is often necessary in order to complete business-related tasks efficiently.  With the internet serving as such a valuable tool to the workforce, some companies are finding that they need to restructure their acceptable use agreements to ensure that employee internet usage and company policy are well aligned. The following PBS Idea Channel video explains more about Three Laws of The Internet:

Many people admit that they go online for non-work-related reasons and that this sort of internet usage is acceptable during business hours. As can be expected, acceptable use policies tend to prohibit this sort of internet activity, and companies will often restrict computers with company-generated IP addresses from accessing popular social websites.

The key to promoting appropriate and efficient business internet usage is to make the company policies transparent while imposing the fewest number of restrictions possible to ensure that employee productivity and work quality are not sacrificed.

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Internet Copyright Law

Internet copyright law is of particular interest to software companies and their programmers. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was established in 1998 to protect the intellectual property of these individuals in an attempt to keep them from becoming victims of piracy.

The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act was bringing copyright protections right into the upcoming 21st century. This law turned two treaties within the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) into law in the U.S. The law is pretty complicated and includes five separate and quite lengthy titles.

The Copyright Act shifts the liability from internet service providers to individuals who actually download illegal content.  Internet providers like COMCAST and AT&T have the right to identify individual users who violate copyright infringements rather than face legal prosecution themselves.

The legislation uses the argument that even though these internet service providers might at times facilitate the downloading of copyright-protected material, the end-users rather than the businesses are the ones who have violated the internet copyright law.

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E-Commerce Laws

In the United States, two main E-Commerce laws exist, UETA, or the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, and ESIGN, or the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. UETA basically makes sure that all states are in agreement regarding electronic commerce law, and it includes a major provision stating that one will no longer have to keep paper copies of books and files. Not having to have paper copies of everything makes electronic commerce much easier.

ESIGN controls interstate commerce, which is commerce that crosses state lines. ESIGN makes sure that a signature cannot be denied simply because it is digital. An electronic signature carries just as much as a written one.

E-commerce can have some legal issues, especially regarding electronic signatures and security. One of these issues is that the people involved in a contract are actually who they are claiming to be. Protecting everyone involved in these contracts require biometrics and sophisticated digital signatures. Another issue regards forming contracts and contract laws. Contract laws need to be tailored to meet the needs of digital contracts.

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Intellectual Property Lawyers

An intellectual property lawyer works with clients in the creation, licensing, protection, and transfer of intellectual property. Intellectual property encompasses a number of different products including music, books, movies, artwork, slogans, and logos, and intellectual property law allows owners to have the rights to both tangible and intangible assets. Intellectual property lawyers assist clients with five basic types of law: trademark, copyright, trade secret, patent, and licensing.

In the above video, Lionel Tan Rajah & Tan Singapore LLP) talks about Intellectual property (IP) rights and how valuable these assets are to any business. He explains the basic concepts and practices of Intellectual Property rights and how to protect them best.

Trademark law aims to protect logos, phrases, and symbols belonging to an individual or company. An intellectual property lawyer would assist the trademark holder if another individual or company used its trademark without permission.

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