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Updated: 3 days 8 hours ago

USPTO Announces Revised Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 12:51
WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced in a press release revised guidance for subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The USPTO also announced guidance on the application of 35 U.S.C. § 112 to computer-implemented inventions. The documents take effect Monday, January 7, 2019.   “These guidance documents aim to improve the clarity, consistency, and predictability of actions across the USPTO,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu. “The USPTO will provide training to examiners and administrative patent judges on both documents to ensure that guidance is being properly administered.”   The “2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance” makes two primary changes to how patent examiners apply the first step of the US Supreme Court’s Alice/Mayo test, which determines whether a claim is “directed to” a judicial exception.   • First, in accordance with judicial precedent and in an effort to improve certainty and reliability, the revised guidance extracts and synthesizes key concepts identified by the courts as abstract ideas to explain that the abstract idea exception includes certain groupings of subject matter: mathematical concepts, certain methods of organizing human activity, and mental processes.   • Second, the revised guidance includes a two-prong inquiry for whether a claim is “directed to” a judicial exception. In the first prong, examiners will evaluate whether the claim recites a judicial exception and if so, proceed to the second prong. In the second prong, examiners evaluate whether the claim recites additional elements that integrate the identified judicial exception into a practical application. If a claim both recites a judicial exception and fails to integrate that exception into a practical application, then the claim is “directed to” a judicial exception. In such a case, further analysis pursuant to the second step of the Alice/Mayo test is required.   The “Examining Computer-Implemented Functional Claim Limitations for Compliance with 35 U.S.C. § 112” guidance emphasizes various issues with regard to § 112 analysis, specifically as it relates to computer-implemented inventions. The guidance describes proper application of means-plus-function principles under § 112(f), definiteness under § 112(b), and written description and enablement under § 112(a).   These guidance documents have been issued concurrently to ensure consistent, predictable, and correct application of these principles across the agency.   The USPTO is seeking public comment on all the issues addressed by the two guidance documents. Additionally, we invite the public to submit suggestions to address future guidance supplements as part of their comments. Please submit written comments on these issues to sends e-mail) on or before March 8, 2019.     
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SSAC2 Review: Final Report Available

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:21
LOS ANGELES – Analysis Group, the independent examiner performing the second Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC2) Review, has published its final report according to ICANN. The final report includes an assessment of the SSAC, and 22 findings and 30 recommendations for improving its operations. The findings and recommendations broadly fall under the following topic areas: The effectiveness of the SSAC, and the timing with which the SSAC's advice is provided and acted upon. The relationship and interconnectedness between the SSAC and both other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees and the broader ICANN community, including on issues of transparency. The existing membership and structure of the SSAC. The implementation state of the SSAC's prior review. Analysis Group considered public comments on the draft final report, as well as comments from the public webinar and any other relevant feedback it received throughout the course of the review for inclusion in the final report. Next Steps In the coming months, the SSAC Review Work Party (RWP) will prepare a feasibility assessment and initial implementation plan (FAIIP) based on the final report. This document will include an analysis of recommendations in the final report for usability and prioritization, provisional budget implications, anticipated resources, and a proposed implementation timeline. Analysis Group and the RWP will then present the final report and the FAIIP to the ICANN Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC). Following the presentation, the OEC will make a recommendation to the Board on next steps, including implementation of recommendations. Background An independent review of the SSAC is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws and is part of ICANN's commitment to its own evolution, improvement, accountability and transparency. Analysis Group was selected to perform the review and began its work in February 2018. The purpose of the SSAC Review, according to the Bylaws, is to determine "(i) whether [the SSAC] has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness and (iii) whether is accountable to its constituencies, stakeholder groups, organizations and other stakeholders." The review also includes an assessment of the implementation state of the SSAC's prior review.    
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NextGen@ICANN Application Round for ICANN65 Is Now Open

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:20
LOS ANGELES – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that it has launched the application round for those interested in participating at the ICANN65 Meeting in Marrakech through the NextGen Program. According to ICANN, the Meeting will take place June 24 - 27, 2019. The application round will remain opened until January 11, 2019. Successful candidates will be announced on the ICANN website on February 8, 2019.   
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Abu-Ghazaleh Chairs Meetings of the Arab Intellectual Property Mediation and Arbitration Society

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:42
Special to AG-IP News Agency AMMAN - HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh chaired the meeting of Board of Directors and extraordinary General Assembly of the Arab Intellectual Property Mediation and Arbitration Society (AIPMAS). Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh welcomed members of the Board of Directors who represent a number of institutions in the Arab countries, stressing the importance of maximizing the value of trademarks. Furthermore, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh called on the Society to expand the provision of training courses that it provides for various institutions in the Arab countries, underlining the possibility of contracting with training or educational institutions to hold training courses for school and university students to enhance awareness about intellectual property, in view of its importance mainly with the increasing number of inventions and innovations in the Knowledge Age. In addition, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh urged the Society to collaborate with the 'Famous Arab Trademarks Network' and the Web Development and Design Department at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization to join forces in building a database of famous Arabic trademarks, and to prepare a questionnaire tailored to all sectors of the community in order to collect their opinions and information about the most famous Arab trademarks.  Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh launched the “Famous Arab Trademarks Network” initiative, assigning Mr. Mu'tasem Dmour as head of this initiative whose mission and vision are directed to enhancing the value of Arab trademarks and highlighting their importance in the world. During the meeting, Ms. Majd Khaddash, manager of the Society, briefed the attendees on the activities conducted by the Society for the year 2017-2018, including cooperation with a number of government entities and organizations such as Sudan Customs, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the National Agricultural Research Center as well as the International Group Consultation Academy. Meanwhile, the Society’s agenda was approved by the attendees, in addition to reviewing the audit report prepared by the auditor (AlFaysal Audit Group) for the fiscal year ending on 31/12/2017 and making the decision of reappointing the same auditor for next year. It’s worth mentioning  that the Arab Intellectual Property Mediation and Arbitration Society, established in 1987, aims at enhancing the intellectual property system in Jordan, enhancing skills and building capabilities and knowledge of those working in this field, in addition to highlighting the efforts conducted by the Mediation and Arbitration Center, affiliate to the Society, which works on resolving intellectual property disputes by international arbitrators in accordance with international laws and regulations.  
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INTA Adopts Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 11:01
NEW YORK, NY - The International Trademark Association (INTA) Board of Directors recently approved a resolution adopting general guidelines on a range of issues related to the examination of applications for industrial designs. According to INTA, the Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs are intended to serve as a reference document for Industrial Property Offices and are meant to reflect various international systems in an effort to harmonize design law practice.    “These new guidelines will allow INTA to comment on the administration of designs by Industrial Property Offices and to assist Offices to set up and implement their practices and procedures,” said INTA President Tish Berard. “INTA has been focusing on design rights themselves, independent of their impact on trademark law and practice. The examination guidelines are instrumental for the Association to continue advocating for the protection of this intellectual property right.”   The guidelines are divided into sections, including filings, requirements, and elements of design applications, the examination procedure, and post-registration acts.   The Designs Committee’s Design Law and Practice Subcommittee drafted the guidelines, building on the work carried out by the Committee during the previous term. Subcommittee Member Michael Hawkins, of Noerr Alicante IP, S.L, Alicante, Spain, presented them to the Board for approval at its November 2018 meeting. In drafting the guidelines, subcommittee members researched and reviewed global trends in design examination, and incorporated best practices and input based on the expertise of INTA’s members.    “Fostering harmonization and convergence of practices is at the heart of INTA’s mission. Written in a jurisdictional neutral way, the Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs will work as a tool in the implementation of that harmonization goal, allowing the Association to continue contributing to a more consistent and certain legal environment,” said Robert Katz, of Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., Washington D.C., and Chair of the Designs Committee.   In 2016, INTA added design rights to its mission to support trademarks and related intellectual property, and established the Designs Committee to develop INTA’s design rights policy.    In November 2017, the INTA Board approved a resolution to adopt the Model Design Law Guidelines which provide a set of standards for design laws to enable the Association to comment on proposals by jurisdictions looking to implement a design law for the first time or to amend existing design laws. The Designs Committee and the Association have used the Model Design Law Guidelines in responding to a number of consultations relating to design laws worldwide.   According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators report released this month, in 2017, an estimated 945,100 industrial design applications containing 1.24 million designs were filed worldwide, and the total number of industrial design regulations in force worldwide grew by five percent to 3.75 million.   INTA’s Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs as well as the Model Design Law Guidelines can be found at      
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Abu-Ghazaleh Elected to IPEMED and Attends Paris Meeting

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:30
Special to AG-IP News Agency PARIS/AMMAN - The Board of Directors of IPEMED, the Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute, held its meeting on the 29th of November 2018 in Paris in the presence of the newly elected board members, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh and Elizabeth Guigou. The board meeting approved the budget for 2019 and the action plan including inter-French-Arab economic cooperation. The major decision of the board was the endorsement of establishment of the foundation « La Vertical-AME » an organisation to boost the integration of the Africa Mediterranean Europe Axis. The name of the foundation was chosen as the signal of the interaction between the three regions through a straight vertical line extending from South Africa to Finland. A meeting dedicated to « La Verticale- AME » approved the choice of Brussels as the legal domicile of the foundation. The Launch meeting will be held in Brussels at a future date to be coordinated with the European Union after completion of the legal establishment formalities. The invitees will be from the three regions equally and the Founders meeting will then elect its governance board and its executive directors.  
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TAG-Legal Contributes to Issuing World Bank?s Doing Business 2019 Report

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:29
Special to AG-IP News Agency AMMAN – Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Legal (TAG-Legal) contributed to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019 Report, as one of its international partners for the 12th consecutive year. The World Bank published the report at the end of October 2018, documenting 314 business reforms in 128 economies. Deema Abu-Zulekha, Quality Control Manager at TAG-Legal, explained that the company contributed to the report by issuing an average of 2-3 questionnaires distributed to its offices in 18 countries around the globe. She added that the questionnaires, comprising most Arab countries and many Asian and African countries, were compiled by 27 legal advisors from the company. Throughout measurement, analysis, and comparison of all government procedures, the report discloses the results by using 10 indicators related to business, including ease of doing business, obtaining construction licenses, electricity network and credit, in addition to enforcing contracts and protecting investors, focusing on the comparison between legal and organizational procedures, and the reform steps set in legislations for improving the investment environment in each economy. According to the report, the UAE topped the Arab countries in terms of ease of doing business, standing in 11th position globally.  
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NextGen@ICANN Application Round for ICANN65 Is Now Open

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:20
LOS ANGELES – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced in a press release that it launched the application round for those interested in participating at the ICANN65 Meeting in Marrakech through the NextGen Program. The Meeting will take place June 24-27, 2019. The application round will remain opened until January 11, 2019. Successful candidates will be announced on the ICANN website on February 8, 2019.   
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Nomination Period Opens for ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 17:56
LOS ANGELES - ICANN announced in a press release the opening of the nomination period for ICANN's Multi-stakeholder Ethos Award. Launched in 2014 at ICANN50 in London, the Multi-stakeholder Ethos Award recognizes ICANN participants who have deeply invested in consensus-based solutions, acknowledging the importance of ICANN's multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, and contributed in a substantive way to the higher interests of ICANN's organization and its community. The ideal recipient(s) will have served in roles in multiple ICANN working groups or committees and collaborated with more than one Supporting Organization and/or Advisory Committee in a significant capacity. Candidates for the award will demonstrate at least five years of participation in the ICANN Community. Candidates will be evaluated by a panel of community members appointed by the Chairs of each Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees using a merit-based point system evaluated against three criteria: 1. Demonstrated ability to work across community lines with both familiar and unfamiliar ICANN Stakeholders with the aim of consensus building and collaboration that substantiate ICANN's multi-stakeholder model; 2. Facilitator of dialogue and open discussion in a fair and collegial manner, through the spirit of collaboration as shown through empathy and demonstrating a sincere desire to engage with people from other backgrounds, cultures, and interests; and 3. Demonstrated additional devotional factors exhibited by time spent supporting ICANN's multi-stakeholder model and its overall effectiveness through volunteer service via working groups or committees  
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Technical Study Group on Access to Non-Public Registration Data Begins Work

Sun, 12/16/2018 - 17:01
LOS ANGELES - The Technical Study Group on Access to Non-Public Registration Data (TSG-RD) began its work. The group is made up of 10 invited members with expertise in the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), distributed authentication/authorization technologies, systems architecture, design-thinking and other relevant topics. The group is coordinated by Ram Mohan, the CTO of Afilias and the former Security and Stability Advisory Committee liaison to the ICANN Board of Directors. The group will explore technical solutions for providing third parties access to non-public data via RDAP, according to ICANN. The particular technical implementation approach the group will study was described during a data protection/privacy update webinar held 8 October. That possible approach would place ICANN in the position of determining whether a third-party's query for non-public registration data ought to be approved to proceed. If approved, ICANN would ask the appropriate registry or registrar to provide the requested data to ICANN, which in turn would provide it to the third party. If ICANN does not approve the request, the query would be denied. This group's work will not interfere with community efforts to develop an RDAP profile prior to deployment of the protocol. In addition, this effort does not replace the community's policy development process. ICANN is exploring this approach to determine whether it would diminish the legal liability of contracted parties, who would provide access to non-public registration data. The TSG-RD's discussions anticipate discussing the following key issues: assessment of available tools and protocols; authentication/authorization; data transport/storage and audit; access control protocol; performance requirements; transparency and assignment of responsibility; error conditions; costs; maintenance and evolution; and governance. The group will be supported with technical input from John Crain, ICANN Chief Security, Stability and Resiliency Officer, and Francisco Arias, Senior Director of Technical Services for the Global Domains Divisions (GDD). The invited members of the TSG-RD are: • Benedict Addis • Gavin Brown • Jorge Cano • Steve Crocker • Scott Hollenbeck • Jody Kolker • Murray Kucherawy • Andy Newton • Tomofumi Okubo  
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International Trademark Association Volunteers to Give Back to New Orleans during Annual Leadership ...

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 09:21
NEW YORK — As part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility, the International Trademark Association (INTA) announced that it will be giving back to New Orleans through several volunteer initiatives during the Association’s 2018 Leadership Meeting taking place in the city from November 6 to 9. INTA members will be assisting homeless community members, supporting workforce training for youth, and educating high school students about the dangers of counterfeit goods, according to the Association. In partnership with NetWork Volunteers, a nonprofit organization that creates meaningful volunteer experiences in the Greater New Orleans area, INTA members will assist the New Orleans chapter of Volunteers for America on November 6. The members will assemble kits of hygiene products for distribution to homeless community members and will participate in beautification projects for an affordable housing community. On November 8, INTA members will support Liberty’s Kitchen, a local nonprofit that offers workforce training and access to fresh, healthy food for youth across New Orleans. They will take part in Liberty’s Kitchen’s Guest Chef Night series, featuring Chef Andrew Lu of Cavan.  Also on November 8, INTA will bring its awareness-raising program for teens—the Unreal Campaign—to Benjamin Franklin High School, a public charter school for students of high academic achievement in New Orleans. It marks the first time that Unreal Campaign volunteers will be presenting the global educational program in Louisiana.  Members of the Association’s Unreal Campaign Committee will teach students about the health, safety, and social impact of purchasing counterfeit goods and how trademarks help to ensure that consumers make the best buying decisions. The presenters also will show students fake and real goods and point out their differences.   “INTA seeks opportunities to support the communities around the world which host our events, and we couldn’t be more pleased to give back to a city that has continued to show community spirit and strength after the wrath of Hurricane Katrina,” said INTA President Tish Berard. “For our members, these volunteer efforts provide a valuable opportunity to work together for great causes and to share meaningful experiences. It’s a win for everyone.” More than 1,500 INTA members from 79 countries will be attending the meeting, which includes educational sessions on timely topics related to trademarks and brand protection, committee meetings, and networking opportunities in addition to the service events. INTA selected New Orleans to host its annual Leadership Meeting because of the city’s rich history and culture, and world-class music and food scene. Various aspects of the Big Easy will be woven into the four-day meeting, such as a leadership development session in which renowned New Orleans jazz masters Wendell Brunious and Herlin Riley will join Trombone Shorty Foundation Executive Director Bill Taylor to share leadership lessons from on and off the stage. Also inspired by the city, there will be educational sessions on branding for restaurants and music concerts, each with lessons applicable to many other industries.  
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US and Indian Business Organizations Launch Dialogue on IP Collaboration

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 17:32
NEW DELHI – The US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in partnership with the US Chamber’s US-India Business Council, announced that it has launched a new dialogue around a solutions-driven approach to intellectual property (IP) policy, innovation, and inclusive growth. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, the dialogue brings together leaders from the US and Indian government and the Indo-US business community in New Delhi.  The “IP Dialogue: Opportunities for US-India Collaboration,” an initiative on IP-led innovation, brought together experts from India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and Indian Patent Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office, along with thought leaders from MSD India, IBM India, Tata Consultancy Services, Network18, University of California, Jindal Global Law School, Gujarat National Law University, University of Southern Illinois, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan Attorneys, and India Council on Competitiveness, among others. The discussions included a focus on joint opportunities and challenges related to the whole spectrum of IP, including patent filing, regulatory landscape, copyright and infringement, technology transfer, and enforcement. “Competitiveness, going forward, is rooted in IP-led innovation. India has an opportunity to get ahead and form that the basis on which it can drive domestic growth and be an engine for global economic growth. If India succeeds in becoming a leader in the global knowledge economy, US industries will also benefit. We can both contribute to the success and benefit from the success,” said Patrick Kilbride, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center. The Dialogue aims to identify solutions, exchange best practices, and share technical knowledge and expertise. The event included a workshop where experts from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), industry representatives, and legal experts, exchanged artificial intelligence and nanotechnology best practices with the Indian Patent Office.  “The US-India relationship has significant geo-economic and geo-political significance and our levels of exchange continue to be on an upward trajectory,” added Nisha Biswal, president of the US Chamber’s US-India Business Council. An approach by both governments and industries to focus on solutions and create a dialogue around best practices can lead to win-win situations for the US and India. After all, India and the United States are both innovation economies. It is, therefore, in both of our interests to collaborate on ways to protect those innovations.” Together, experts from both countries developed a stronger understanding of uniform IP frameworks and how to create solutions in a collaborative way. The Dialogue recommendations will be shared with both governments to deepen strategic cooperation on IP policy.     
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High-Level Conference on Respect for Intellectual Property Opens in South Africa

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 19:27
SANDTON, South Africa - Hundreds of experts from across the globe are charting a course toward increased respect for intellectual property (IP) and a better understanding of how cooperation amplifies the role of IP in widespread development according to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Respect for IP – Growing from the Tip of Africa Conference fosters policy dialogue and serves as an incubator of ideas for some 400 participants from some 70 countries, including government ministers, policymakers, judges and senior enforcement officials, as well as representatives from international governmental and non-governmental organizations and businesses. The objectives: What can be done to overcome an incomplete public understanding of intellectual property? How can cooperation – both at the national and international level – ensure that the benefits of IP as a tool for development are fully realized, while countering IP infringements in an effective and balanced way? The conference is co-organized by South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the  WIPO, together with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is taking place from October 23-25, 2018 in Sandton, South Africa. In remarks for the Conference, Adv. Rory Voller, Commissioner, CIPC said: “The objectives of this conference are fully aligned with the current priorities of South Africa. In this context, CIPC plays a key role in stimulating innovation and creativity and in reducing regulatory burden, especially as it affects small businesses. Weaving respect for IP into the fibre of the South African society would greatly contribute to the desired economic development.” Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO, said: “International cooperation is vital in promoting respect at the national and local levels. That’s why the World Intellectual Property Organization is proud to co-host this International Conference Respect for IP – Growing from the Tip of Africa. The international intellectual property system can only realize its fundamental rationale of stimulating creativity and innovation, and hence drive development, in an environment that nurtures respect for IP. Building such respect is a common objective of WIPO Member States and international cooperation in this area is one of the Organization’s strategic goals.” Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, WTO, said: “The international trading system and the IP system are vitally important for economic and social welfare, and form integral elements of national and regional development strategies. In times when the world is more interconnected than ever and global value chains have assumed such an important place in development strategies, joint and multidisciplinary efforts are essential to take advantage of the opportunities provided by international trade. We therefore see this conference as an ideal opportunity to foster collaboration among stakeholders in order to deal with current challenges of adequately and effectively protecting and enforcing IP rights.” Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, WCO, said: “This Conference provides an ideal platform for sharing views and ideas as well as improving understanding, at the political and policy-making level, of the serious consequences of counterfeiting and piracy and the challenges faced by rights holders and enforcement authorities when fighting IP infringements.  In many countries, effective IP protection by Customs and other law enforcement agencies still requires more efficient procedures, greater awareness and political support.” Mr. Jürgen Stock, Secretary General, INTERPOL, said: “Illicit markets continue to grow, generating millions in profits for the criminal groups which endanger the health and safety of citizens worldwide. It is only through a coordinated global effort, involving all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, that we can hope to stop this potentially lethal tide. This conference is an excellent opportunity to forge such partnerships and jointly address and combat the problem of counterfeiting and piracy.” By bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, the Conference will create opportunities for collaborations and strengthen existing partnerships to build respect for IP. Discussions will cover a broad spectrum of topics linked to the overarching theme– from the economic value of IP and its public interest rationale to specific challenges facing different actors involved in IP enforcement and options for their effective handling. Topics include: • Session 1 – The Value of IP for Economic Growth, Small Businesses, Investment, Job Creation and Development • Session 2 – Placing the Public Interest at the Heart of IP Enforcement • Session 3 – IP as a Priority for a Safer World • Session 4 – Respect for IP Through Collaborative Enforcement • Session 5 – Trade in a Borderless World: The Contribution of IP Rights to Development • Session 6 – Regional Alliances: Agents of Growth and Champions of Effective IP Systems • Session 7 – Reconciling Territoriality in Cross border IP Disputes • Session 8 – Harnessing the Potential of Multilateralism: Capacity Building Through Intergovernmental Actors  
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INTA?s Middle East and Africa Conference to Focus on Implementing Effective IP Strategies in ...

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 19:26
NEW YORK, New York — The International Trademark Association (INTA) announced in a press release that it will host its 2018 Middle East and Africa Conference: Innovation, Investment, and IP in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from December 10 to 11, with a focus on the need to protect intellectual property (IP) to support innovation and economic growth in these developing regions. As brand owners increasingly look to expand into the Middle East and Africa, the conference will explore the opportunities and challenges of attracting investment into the regions, how innovation is reshaping the economy, and the importance of a thorough IP strategy for effective protection and enforcement in these regions.  “It is an exciting time for brand owners seeking to establish a presence or gain traction in this part of the world. With that, it is critical to understand how to move forward strategically from an IP perspective,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “Attendees will have a valuable opportunity at this conference to gain practical knowledge as well as to engage in robust discussions with their colleagues.”  Trademark experts and government officials speaking at the 2018 Middle East and Africa Conference will cover topics that include the impact innovation is having in reshaping the economies in the Middle East and Africa, the balance between the benefits of free trade zones (FTZs) to promote economic growth and the potential exploitation by counterfeiters in FTZs, data protection and privacy, balancing IP rights and regulatory restrictions, and strategies to tackle online counterfeiting.  Exemplifying what technology and innovation can do in our daily lives, the conference’s keynote speaker will be Michael Haddad, a professional athlete, world record holder, environmental advocate, and social entrepreneur. He will relay his inspirational story of how he turned “disability into a distinctive ability” after a spinal cord injury at a young age left him paralyzed from the chest down.  The conference is designed for brand owners, in-house counsel of all levels, law firm practitioners, government officials, trademark professionals, brand protection managers, business development experts, and investors.  
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ICANN Releases its Final Africa Strategic Plan

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 16:47
ISTANBUL – ICANN's Africa Strategy is the cornerstone of all engagement efforts in the continent. Prepared by the regional ICANN community, it serves as a roadmap for ICANN's Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) Africa team. According to ICANN, two reviews were held since the adoption of the Strategy to ensure that it was in line with the changing needs and circumstances of the African community. After a third review process that started in May 2018, the final strategy document ICANN Africa Strategy Ver 3.0 2016 – 2020 is now available, following a public comment period.  
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Request for Proposal: EBERO Services

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:58
LOS ANGELES – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced in a press release that it is seeking one or more partners to provide Emergency Back-End Registry Operator (EBERO) services. The ICANN organization's EBERO program is intended to ensure protection of registrants in the event of a registry failure. Ensuring the successful transfer of a failing generic top-level (TLD) aligns with the ICANN org's objective to support a healthy, stable, and resilient unique identifier ecosystem and is consistent with its mission and bylaws. There are currently three EBERO service providers who have partnered with the ICANN org to provide 24/7 on-call, emergency services in the event of a gTLD registry operator failure. Since the original Request for Information (RFI) in 2011, the industry has significantly matured. The ICANN org seeks to align the requirements of an EBERO service provider with its understanding of the market for emergency back-end registry support services. Additionally, as part of its procurement policy to periodically review vendor contracts, the ICANN org is conducting an open RFP. This means that in addition to prospective new providers, the existing EBERO service providers will also be required to submit proposals in order to be eligible to continue as an EBERO service provider. The primary objective of this RFP is to identify one or more providers suitable to support the ICANN org's ability to respond to and coordinate the emergency recovery of a gTLD registry. The ICANN org intends to identify one or more providers in regions where the largest number of New gTLD Program registries are currently based —Asia Pacific, European, and North American regions. Additional considerations include sharing a mutual responsibility to Internet users in their desire to ensuring the stability of the Internet.  
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The Hebrew Script Community Forms Generation Panel for Developing the Hebrew Script Root Zone LGR

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:07
LOS ANGELES – Press Release – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced in a press release the formation of the Generation Panel to develop root zone Label Generation Rules (LGR) for the Hebrew script. Following the Call for Generation Panels to Develop Root Zone Label Generation Rules, the Hebrew script community has submitted to ICANN the Proposal for Generation Panel for Hebrew Script Label Generation Ruleset for the Root Zone. The ICANN organization reviewed the proposal, including panel composition and scope, to ensure that requirements set forth in the LGR Procedure are fulfilled. In particular the criteria set forth in the Call for Generation Panels to Develop Root Zone Label Generation Rules. "On behalf of ICANN we are grateful to the Hebrew script community for volunteering to develop the Hebrew script LGR proposal for the root zone, and we are also thankful for the institutional support being provided by ISOC chapter of Israel." said Cyrus Namazi, Vice President of Global Domains Division at ICANN. With composition and work plan approved, the Hebrew script Generation Panel will start its work on the label generation rules. According to the LGR Procedure, the starting point of any Generation Panel's work is the Maximal Starting Repertoire (MSR), with its third version released on 28 March 2018. The full specification of the Generation Panel's tasks can be found in the LGR Procedure, specifically, Section B.3. Variant Rule Generation Procedure. There are currently LGR efforts underway by Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Myanmar, Neo-Brahmi, and Sinhala script-using communities. In addition, the Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, and Thai script communities have finalized their root zone LGR proposals, many of which have been integrated in the second edition of the Root Zone LGR.  
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First Root KSK Rollover Successfully Completed

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:05
LOS ANGELES – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced in a press release that it has determined that the first-ever changing of the cryptographic key that helps protect the Domain Name System (DNS) has been completed with minimal disruption of the global Internet. It was the first time the key has been changed since it was first put in use in 2010. After evaluation of the available data, there does not appear to be a significant number of Internet end-users who have been persistently and negatively impacted by the changing of the key. The few issues that have arisen appear to have been quickly mitigated and none suggested a systemic failure that would approach the threshold (as defined by the ICANN community) to initiate a reversal of the roll. In that context, it appears the rollover to the new Key Signing Key, known as KSK 2017, has been a success. At this point, there are no indications it is necessary to back out of the rollover and ICANN will now proceed to the next step in the rollover process: revoking the old KSK, known as KSK 2010 during the next key ceremony in the first quarter of 2019. "This successful exercise of the infrastructure necessary to roll the root zone's key has demonstrated it is possible to update the key globally," said David Conrad, ICANN's Chief Technology Officer. "It also provided important insights that will help us with future key rolls," The final decision to roll the root zone Key Signing Key (KSK) was made by ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby after reviewing the outcomes of the efforts of ICANN and others, particularly in the Domain Name System (DNS) technical community. These outcomes were the result of significant global outreach efforts, in consultation with the ICANN community, and after extensive analysis of available data.  With the final approvals in place, ICANN implemented the 16 September 2018 resolution of ICANN's Board. The resolution stated that the organization should proceed with its revised plans to change or "roll" the key for the DNS root on 11 October 2018.  
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Samsung Expands Exynos and ISOCELL Brands to Include Automotive-Grade Solutions

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:03
SEOUL - Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced in a press release that it has two new automotive solution brands — Samsung Exynos Auto and Samsung ISOCELL Auto – to bring cutting-edge application processor and image sensor technology solutions to the road.  “Samsung’s new automotive brand solutions, Exynos Auto and ISOCELL Auto, bring Samsung’s market-proven technologies to automotive applications with enhanced features and durability required by the market,” said Kenny Han, vice president of Samsung’s Device Solutions Division. “With fast telecommunication, accurate sensing and powerful processing capabilities, Samsung’s Auto-branded solutions will enable new driving experiences to next-generation smart vehicles.” Samsung’s Exynos processors have been recognized for their performance and stability since its brand launched in 2011. On top of the powerful yet efficient qualities of Exynos’ mobile versions, Exynos Auto meets industry requirements for harsher environments, allowing automotive manufacturers to develop cutting-edge applications such as infotainment, advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and telematics. Processors provided by Exynos Auto are sorted into three sub-categories: Exynos Auto V series for advanced in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems; Exynos Auto A series for ADAS; and Exynos Auto T series for telematics solutions. Samsung’s ISOCELL image sensors have brought innovative imaging technologies to mobile products since 2017 and the new automotive lineup will help bring the power of sight to cars. Built on the company’s innovative pixel isolation technology, ISOCELL, the sensors provide greater visibility of the road and surroundings even in low-light environments, while enabling more precise identification of objects. This allows, for example, vehicles to perceive road conditions or potential hazards even when driving through tunnels or other high-contrast environments.   
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Call for SOs/ACs to Nominate Fellowship Program Mentors

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:02
LOS ANGELES – ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) are invited to nominate one individual each (total of 7) to serve in the capacity of mentor for the ICANN Fellowship Program. According to ICANN, mentors will serve for three (3) consecutive ICANN Public Meetings, starting with ICANN65. They are expected to provide extensive pre-meeting preparation and on-site support for their assigned fellows and to complete a survey after each meeting. Mentors are expected to follow program guidelines to help ensure consistency in the provision of capacity development opportunities for fellows. They will also play an important role in enabling and facilitating the active participation of fellows in ICANN's work. Mentors will receive travel funding support.  
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