Blog

Patent watch

Patent Watch : a strategic tool for innovation

There is no doubt that patents play a crucial role in promoting technological development. However, due to the ever increasing filing of patent applications, patent monitoring can be a daunting task.

Have you ever wondered what is the latest innovation in your field of expertise? Not only for the effort to find partnerships but also, to identify potential competitors or determine if you are free to operate. To stay informed on all levels in this capacity, a formalized program to “patent watch” can provide valuable business intelligence for your company.

ChatGPT : a pioneer of generative AI

ChatGPT : a pioneer of generative AI

In today’s tech-driven world, ChatGPT is virtually impossible to ignore. Emerging as a vanguard in generative AI, its impact on content creation pervades both mainstream media and the daily routines of myriad individuals. While ChatGPT boasts undeniable advantages, it prompts crucial discussions surrounding intellectual property (IP) and the impact of AI on the patent system.

digital fashion

The rise of digital fashion: A new area for community design rights?

The fashion industry is transforming from analog to digital. This evolution came about due to the increasing demand for sustainability and the influence of the gaming industry. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process by compelling the fashion industry to adjust to social distancing. While the use and sale of digital fashion creates a number of opportunities for fashion brands, it also opens the door to new disputes concerning the intellectual property rights attached to these digital products, especially design rights.

Non-Conventional Trademarks: the senses

Non-Conventional Trademarks Article #2: Trademarks that stimulate the senses

Trademark protection is invaluable within corporate intellectual property protection. First, there is a strong patrimonial value associated with trademark protection. Second, a trademark is the consumer’s point of reference within a vast and rapidly growing innovative and competitive world. A trademark offers recognizability and creates trust. It ensures that a consumer knowingly chooses a product or service from one company over the other. The investment in trademarks is therefore inextricably linked to the economic success of companies.

artificial intelligence & patents what's the connection?

Artificial Intelligence & Patents: what’s the connection?

A working group started in January 2022 with the aim to establish a common understanding of terms and to outline a common practice among EPC contracting and extension states and the EPO. Several aspects are playing a role in the very fast expansion of AI that we see today. For example, processing power has increased significantly and better AI models are available as a tool. Combine that with big data, cloud computing, 5G, etc. and AI can solve technical problems in almost any technical domain. This resulted in the past years in a significant rise of the number of AI-related patent applications.

Non-conventional trademark – Color Mark

Non-conventional trademark – Part 1 – Color Mark

The route to registration for a sign is made up of several steps including an application to register it as a trademark. And within this application, and in order for it to be registered as a trademark, it must comply with a number of statutory rules.

If the most frequently occurring trademarks are “traditional” words, figurative and figurative marks with word elements, then a sign used in trade to identify the origin of products or services (the basic definition of a trademark) can also consist of non-traditional marks.

Without being too exhaustive, a list of “non-traditional” trademarks will include color marks, shape trademarks, sound marks, pattern marks, position marks, motion marks, multimedia marks or even hologram marks. In this article, we will focus on color and follow it with a series of articles on the other forms of non-conventional trademarks.

Abortion pill: effect on patentability

Abortion pill: effect on patentability

The abortion pill belongs to the category of medicines insofar as it is subject to marketing authorization, at least in Europe and the United States, and must be prescribed by a doctor. The two main active ingredients in the abortion pill are mifepristone, launched on the European market in 1982, and misoprostol.

The issue addressed here is the patentability of the abortion pill itself. Indeed, most patent laws provide for exceptions to patentability, including inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to ordre public and morality, as well as therapeutic treatment methods applied to the human body.

Good reputation of a trademark

They say that “You can’t buy a good reputation, you must earn it”… however this is not the whole truth

The advertising of tobacco and tobacco products has been prohibited in Belgium (Benelux?), at least with a few exceptions since 1999 and since 2021 altogether. Nonetheless, smoker or not, the public is quite familiar with the Marlboro brand which includes the “red rooftop” that is omnipresent on its packaging. And since the Marlboro-marks have a reputation, third parties should think twice before applying these on a product, whether these are cigarettes or something different entirely.

Indeed, a reputed trademark grants protection for identical and similar goods or services, but also for dissimilar goods or services. Provided that the signs are identical or similar, the earlier mark enjoys a reputation, and the use of the trademark applied for takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or reputation of the reputed mark without due cause. In this case, the owner of such a trademark can take actions, as shown below…

CRISPR usage suddenly become patent infringement

Will CRISPR gene editing suddenly become patent infringement on June 1st?

The research exemption for patents has long been a vital mechanism in striking a balance between protecting inventors’ rights and promoting scientific exploration. Within Europe, Belgium historically provided a notoriously broad exemption relating to research. However, on the 1st of June this year, the Unified Patent Court will start. One of the aims of the new patent court is harmonization and Belgium and other countries that will join the system have aligned their patent law. The changes that have been introduced in the Belgian law will have an immediate impact on companies, universities and institutes and concern general research as well as research and development for medicines specifically.