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A Brief History Of Blockchain In Trademarks

Like every other ‘overnight sensation’, a lot of work was going on with blockchain behind the scenes before it suddenly appeared in the public consciousness. The start of the shift from a possible innovation to a business reality is marked by the beginning of a flood of trademark applications for a variety of blockchain products and services. But when did it begin and who were the early movers?

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An Overview Of Blockchain Transactions

Every incoming technological revolution has its tipping point and blockchain technology is suddenly everywhere and inescapable. But what exactly is it and how does it work?

Blockchain is an internet based technology with a close relationship to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are widely held to be anonymous, however, that may not be entirely true. To transfer cryptocurrency both the originator and the recipient would need to have created an “address” for themselves. An address is just an identifier similar to a bank account number, but it’s always coupled with a secret key. The originator of a transfer needs to authorise the transfer by digitally signing the transaction (using the secret key). To perform a transfer you’d need to know the recipient’s address (the public part, never the secret one). While the addresses themselves can’t be associated with their owner and it’s easy to create thousands of addresses for yourself and make transfers between these addresses to try and obfuscate the money trail. But since ledger containing all the transactions is public, it’s always possible to follow this trail.

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Trademarks And The Global Growth of Blockchain

The use of business intelligence tools is on the rise as the challenges of doing business in the digital age grow exponentially. Undoubtedly, insights on fast moving trends, emerging and declining markets, innovations and your competitors response to them is valuable. The extent to which you can rely on gathered data and accessibility to such is variable that is, in many cases, difficult to quantify.

A study released this summer  by James Potepa and Kyle Welch at the George Washington University sought to find a measurement for innovation. Their findings included the conclusion that the trademark activity of a company correlated more strongly to the level of innovation than even patent applications or the budget granted to research and development departments. Trademark data can provide insights to power reliable business intelligence information and support decision making at a high level.

What then can we glean about the inexorable rise of the digital revolution and the coming innovation widely predicted to transform the way that we do business - Blockchain?

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Trademark Industry Insights - Material World: IPR in the Textiles Trade

What can the World of Trademarks tell us about the Fabric industry? A multitude of intellectual property rights apply to the design and production of fabrics - the development of new threads or weaves may qualify for patent protection, the artwork or designs might be covered under copyright and different aspects of both of these can be protected by a registered trademark.

Copyright protects the artistry involved in the designs and the purpose of a trademark is to identify the source of a particular fabric. Trademark registrations are classified according to the Nice Classification system - a somewhat arbitrary grouping of goods and services. Textiles (the focus of this paper) sit across Class 24 while many of the secondary products created from the fabrics will sit across other classes. Examination of the international trademark registration databases can show you some of the growth and challenges in the industry.

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Blockchain: Why The Digital Revolution REALLY Is A Revolution

Many people have trouble with the phrase ‘Digital Revolution’. Undoubtedly, technology has and will continue to make huge impacts on our everyday lives but many struggle to see how you can call that a ‘revolution’ rather than an ‘evolution’. It’s not like a group of computers are outside the Town Hall with pitchforks demanding a seat on the Council and free CPU care. Or at least, not yet. Nonetheless, there is a revolution at hand and it becomes clear when instead of looking at what the internet and blockchain are designed to do, you instead look at what they are designed to achieve.

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EU Decision Highlights Conflict Between Types Of Intellectual Property Rights

The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) offers a range of options to businesses seeking to protect their brands while promoting their products. These include word, figurative, shape and most recently, certification marks along with provisions for non-trademark registrations such as designs.. It can sometimes be difficult for brand owners to know which type or types of registration is the most suitable and on occasion, the type selected can bring your trademark into conflict with other registered trademarks, even if these are not the same type of registration as the one you are seeking.

In 2007, BMB (a Polish confectionery company) registered the design of the packaging intended as a container for sweets as a Community Design (now an EU Design). Community design rights do not have the same longevity as registered trademarks, lasting only 25 years, but the rights afforded by such a registration are still enforceable against infringement.

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8 Things To Know About The New EU Certification Marks

In late of March of this year, Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and the Council ushered in a number of changes to the European trademark registration system. The last of these changes came into force on the 1st October 2017. Amongst these is the introduction of certification trademarks to the EUIPO. While these kinds of marks are new to the EUIPO, they have been in use in many Patent Offices around the world for quite some time, including some national offices within the EU.

With increasing harmonisation of trademark systems and the globalisation of commerce, it will be important for those governing bodies and standards authorities seeking certification marks to familiarise themselves with how these new marks will work in the EU and also the differences with some of the international systems further afield.

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An Overview Of The EU Trademark Registration System

At the end of World War II, in an effort to establish a co-operative peace between countries commonly at odds, six founding countries signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957. These six countries - Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg - created the European Economic Community (EEC) also known as the 'Common Market'. The reunification of Germany in 1990 and the fall of communist regimes across Europe (amongst other political upheavals) paved the way for closer relationships between the growing number of countries working towards co-operation. 

The signing of the 'Maastricht Treaty' in November 1993 brought the European Union (EU) as we know it today into being. The creation of a 'Single Market' had 4 key aims which still form the basis of developments in the EU today - allowing the freedom of movement of goods, services, people and money between the Member States.

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Top Tips To Achieve A Successful US Trademark Registration

The pursuit of the American dream is not limited to those residing within her borders. The enduring appeal of 'making it' stateside permeates many sectors of society. It is difficult to pinpoint the source of the attraction unilaterally but one thing is for sure - it isn't easy!

This point is illustrated beautifully by the international music industry. Recording artists who have achieved massive success in their home and other countries can still struggle to achieve a modicum of that fame in the United States. Australian singer, Kylie Minogue has become a household name in many countries around the globe over a more than 25 year career. While she has achieved a substantial following in the US, achieving the top status has remained elusive.

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Amazon Offers Protection To Sellers With Trademark Registrations

On the list of additions to our lives that the online world has given us - more accessible knowledge, more educational options, faster communications et al - many of us would rank one quite highly. Next day delivery. These magical words grant us freedom from the shackles of physical locations and in-store availability. Whatever we want, we can have it....tomorrow!

But (there always seems to be a 'but'!) how do we know that the coveted product we ordered is the real deal? While much hilarity has ensued from people sharing their experiences of expectation versus reality in online shopping, it needs to be borne in mind that ultimately, they did not receive what they paid for. In some instances, that can be attributed to the selection of a wrong size or not reading the small print regarding measurements. In others, it is more sinister than that.

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