World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO SMEs Newsletter April 2011

 

By the SMEs Division of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

WIPO SMEs Newsletter is a monthly e-publication providing readers with useful intellectual property (IP) information contained in articles, case studies, forthcoming IP/SMEs relevant events, and published presentations featured on our web site.  We hope you will find it useful and informative.  We encourage you to share the newsletter or items of interest with friends and colleagues.  For past issues and information on the activities of the SMEs Division, please visit http://www.wipo.int/sme.

General Information on Training of Trainers Program, the SMEs Division, WIPO

The SMEs Division of WIPO is offering Training of Trainers (TOT) Programs in those countries that have translated and/or adapted the basic materials on IP for Business published by the Division.  The TOT programs are conducted with the objective of creating a critical mass of trainers in the country who have the basic knowledge, skills and experience to provide preliminary IP assistance to SMEs on effective IP asset management. For more details, please see here.

NEWS

WIPO Launches New On-line Tool to Facilitate Brand Searches

A new on-line tool launched by WIPO on March 8, 2011, will make it easier to search over 640,000 records relating to internationally protected trademarks, appellations of origin and armorial bearings, flags and other state emblems as well as the names, abbreviations and emblems of intergovernmental organizations. The Global Brand Database allows free of charge, simultaneous brand-related searches across multiple collections.
The service will be integrated into WIPO GOLD, which provides quick and easy on-line access to a broad collection of searchable IP data and tools relating to, for example, technology, brands, designs, statistics, WIPO standards, and international classification systems.

WIPO to Support South American Countries in Regional Collaborative Project

WIPO has responded positively to a request by a group of nine South American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay – to assist in their efforts to improve services to local and international users of the IP system, initially through sharing patent examination results and other intellectual property (IP) resources. The request came in a letter to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry from the President of Argentina’s industrial property office (INPI-Argentina), Mr. Mario Aramburu, who was writing on behalf of the nine countries.

International Conference Concludes TKDL Can Prevent Misappropriation and Fuel Innovation

Representatives from more than 35 countries discussed at the International Conference on the Utilization of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library as a Model for Protection of Traditional Knowledge the potential of India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) – a database documenting centuries-old traditional medicinal treatments – to be emulated in their countries and concluded that such a mechanism can fuel future innovation and benefit-sharing. There was widespread agreement about the value of TKDLs to protect against misappropriation of traditional knowledge (TK), as well as their potential in enabling further innovation, such as in the area of public health.

TRAINING/LEARNING RESOURCES ON IP ASSET MANAGEMENT

European Patent Office, IP Strategy Trainings 

The European Patent Office (EPO) is hosting workshops at its four main offices during May & June, with a selection of topics from over 50 teaching hours of its recently updated ip4inno teaching materials.  Much of this new material may be tried before attending the workshops. For more details, please see here.

IP PANORAMATM Multimedia Toolkit

The IP PANORAMA™ multimedia toolkit is now available in English, Arabic, Thai and Hungarian through the SMEs Division’s website. The English and Arabic versions are also available on CD-ROM on request.  The learning points (in English) of the IP PANORAMA™ multimedia toolkit have recently been uploaded as pdf format files on the website, which are also available as a separate book. Anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the CD-ROM and/or book containing the learning points may send an email to sme@wipo.int providing full postal address, including telephone number, and the purpose for which the CD-ROM/book would be used.
During this year, we expect to have more language versions of IP PANORAMA including the French, Spanish, Kiswahili, Vietnamese and Russian.

ARTICLE

Comparative Analysis of Olfactory Trademarks in the EU and US

As trademarks are becoming more important in distinguishing one company’s goods or services from another’s, there has been recognition that other components, such as scents, are also capable of being used as mark. Luca Escoffier, a Ph.D candidate at the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, London, United Kingdom and Arnold Jin, the Government Surveillance Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, United States, have written an article for this Newsletter where issues pertaining to olfactory trademarks are discussed, under the title of “To scent, or not to scent, that is the question: a comparative analysis of olfactory trademarks in the EU and US as good brand opportunities for SMEs.”
It explores the registration processes in both the European Union and the US to determine the registrability of olfactory scents as trademarks. Through this comparative analysis, the authors argue that olfactory trademark is yet premature due to weak distinctiveness of the scent itself in the scientific and technological perspective, even though there is some discrepancy between the EU and US as to registrability of a scent as trademark.
For the full text, please see here.

LINKS

Top Five Overlooked Pitfalls in Inwardly Licensing IP

There are many reasons to consider licensing “in” technology from an institution, com¬pany or even an individual. These include: expanding your own technology, increas¬ing market coverage, saving the time and money to develop the technology yourself, eliminating a possible patent infringement threat, and - in the case of an exclusive license - adding an offensive weapon to your arsenal. This article, written by Steven J. Henry, provides some tips many li¬censees often overlook when inwardly licensing technology.
For more information on IP licenses, see also the following WIPO links: Exchanging Value - Negotiating Technology Licensing Agreements - A Training Manual; Successful Technology Licensing; Licensing and Technology Transfer; and, Licensing of Intellectual Property Rights; a Vital Component of the Business Strategy of Your SME.

Supply Chain Toolkit: Protecting Your IP Rights

This informative toolkit for businesses and SMEs, published by the IP Crime Group, UK, aims to raise awareness of counterfeit goods entering legitimate business supply chains, and offers them guidance on how to strengthen and protect their assets. It includes a step by step approach on what action should be taken if counterfeits are found within the supply chain.

How Proactive Intellectual Property Management Can Improve Research Collaborations: Good Practices in EU and BRIC Higher Education Institutions BRIC Higher Education Institutions

The report is written under a project co-funded by the European Commission within the Erasmus Mundus Programme to present a reference document for individuals and organizations involved in EU-BRIC research cooperation.  It offers a detailed explanation of the most important factors which characterize the environment for R&D cooperation and intellectual property issues in EU and BRIC countries.
For more information on IP management, see also the following links: Fundamentals of Intellectual Property Management by SMEs; Why Does Intellectual Property Management Matter for the Public Sector?; and, National Principles of IP Management for Publicly Funded Research.

An Overview of Technology Transfer and Technology Transfer Models

Experience over the decades has shown that the technology transfer process can be problematic and transferees often lack the skills to manage it effectively. This paper, prepared by Dr. K. Ramanathan, Head of the UNESCAP Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), proposes a “ Life Cycle Approach for Planning and Implementing a Technology Transfer Project” that could help address some of the important process management problems faced by managers of technology transfer projects and avoid common errors that they tend to make, through an overview of technology transfer and some important existing models of technology transfer.
For more information on technology transfer, see also the following links: Exchanging Value - Negotiating Technology Licensing Agreements - A Training Manual; Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property Rights and University-Industry Partnerships: The Experience of China, India, Japan, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand; Developing University-Industry Technology Transfer; and, Technology Transfer Principle & Strategy

Patent Backed Securitization: Blueprint for a New Asset Class

This article, written by David Edwards, explores the current state of the IP backed securitization industry with particular emphasis on the patent backed market, and presents a strategy and framework for companies, investors, and finance professionals to promote, develop, and profit from the growth in patent backed finance, predicting that the next several years will likely see the creation of a new class of asset backed securities with intellectual property (IP)-chiefly patents, as the underlying asset. 

FOTHCOMING EVENTS

7th INSME Annual Meeting on “ Competitiveness, Culture and Cross-Border Co-operation: Assisting SMEs to Grow, Innovate and Reach International Markets,”  May 23 -26, 2011, Helsinki, Finland

WIPO Training of Trainers Program on Intellectual Property and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, June 13-17, 2011, Maputo, Mozambique

WIPO Workshop for Mediators, May 30-31, 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

The significant time and cost that can be associated with court proceedings are increasingly causing parties to look for alternative ways of settling their disputes.  Mediation is an extension of direct negotiations between the parties to a dispute, conducted with the aid of a neutral intermediary, the mediator.  It is the preferred mode of dispute resolution in many of the most important markets of Asia, as well as an increasingly popular method of dispute settlement in the United States of America and in Europe.  As an international resource center in the area of intellectual property mediation and arbitration, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center will offer a Workshop for Mediators in IP Disputes on Monday, May 30 and Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at the headquarters of WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland.  The Workshop is held in English and is designed for lawyers, business executives, patent and trademark specialists and others who wish to become familiar with the mediation process and receive training as mediators.  Taught by Professor Robert H. Mnookin of Harvard Law School and Professor Gary J. Friedman of the Center for Mediation in Law of Mill Valley, California, the program is based on simulated intellectual property mediation exercises. 
For more information of the Workshop, see here.

PAST EVENTS

WIPO Regional Training of Trainers Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Support Institutions, March 7-10, 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka

NOTE:

The SMEs Division welcomes voluntary contributions of articles, case studies, news items, useful links and relevant information concerning forthcoming events of interest to entrepreneurs and SMEs for inclusion in future issues of this newsletter; contributions may be sent by email to sme@wipo.int.

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The past issues of this newsletter, since August 2001, may be accessed here.

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