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LimeGreenIP News

Three Cyberspace Courts now online and open for business

On 9 August and 28 September 2018, the new Cyberspace Courts in Beijing and Guangzhou were officially opened. These new specialised courts, along with their equivalent one that was formed in Hangzhou in August 2017, are meant to tackle the quickly swelling stream of internet-related court procedures in China. The establishment of these specialised courts is an encouraging step for the Chinese internet sector as well as for IP owners: it promises a more flexible procedure, less bureaucracy in obtaining evidence and higher quality judgments, handed down by specialist judges.


The establishment of the two new cyberspace courts fits in with the government’s policy of encouraging and regulating China’s burgeoning e-commerce sector, and comes in the wake of the promulgation of China’s first E-Commerce Law, which will soon enter into force.

The rules on the operation of the Cyberspace Courts are enshrined in the Supreme People’s Court’s Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by the Cyberspace Courts, issued on 7 September 2018.

As to territorial jurisdiction, the cyberspace courts have cross-regional jurisdiction over all ‘cyberspace cases’ (see categories below) that have a “genuine connection” (e.g. location of contract, location of damage etc.) with respectively Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.

As to material jurisdiction, the cyberspace courts will handle a broad variety of cases mainly including:

  1. E-commerce disputes (including purchase contract disputes, product liability disputes, service contract disputes)
  2. Online copyright disputes (including the unlawful dissemination of films, music and other copyrighted works);
  3. Online defamation disputes;
  4. Domain name disputes; and
  5. Online loan contract disputes.
  6. The Higher People’s Courts have the power to further broaden these categories for the cyberspace courts within their jurisdiction.

The cyberspace courts act as Basic People’s Courts. This means that appeals against judgments from the Cyberspace Courts can be brought before the IP Courts, for IP cases such as copyright infringements, or before the Intermediate People’s Courts, for all other cases.

“…the Cyberspace Courts will make use of blockchain technology”

Procedure Continue Reading

DSM Watch: EU copyright “Value Gap” – A video guide

The European Copyright Directive seeks to strike the right balance between the remuneration received by authors and performers, and the profits made by internet platforms when they make their works accessible. This difference is known as the value gap. Our 4 minute video summary covers the following points:

  • What is it?
  • What’s the issue?
  • What about liability?
  • What’s the challenge?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Where do the European Council and Parliament stand on this?
  • Next steps?

Watch the summary here

For more information visit our DSM website www.dsmwatch.com.

Japan “Going Global”: Upcoming IP seminars in our multi-track event

We are excited to be holding the “Going Global” cross-practice, multi-track seminar again this year, 26 November in Osaka and 28 November in Tokyo. Our IP speakers will guide participants through the following issues:


  • Advanced trademark issues: What Japanese companies need to know about prosecution and enforcement in the U.S. and the EU

This year, we are delighted to present an advanced level program that will provide an in-depth review of current trends and case law impacting Japanese companies with businesses in the U.S. and the EU. The program brings together an experienced team of practitioners who have represented some of the top name brands in the world, who will walk you through the most recent developments in their respective jurisdictions. Please join us to keep abreast of the current trends and the future of developing and protecting your brands.

Click here for more details (English and Japanese)

  • Global patent updates for technology companies: Venues and issues of increasing importance for Japanese companies wishing to avoid or resolve disputes on the global stage

This year, we will share insights from our recent international and multi-jurisdictional matters (including patent-related licences, settlements and other agreements) to provide strategic advice for Japanese companies involved in patent matters. In addition to discussing recent and planned reforms to venues and patent practice, and will provide an update on key patent issues with a particular focus on standard essential patents (‘SEPs’) in the U.S., the UK, Europe, China, and Japan.

The session will be presented by an international and multi-cultural group of intellectual property partners who are qualified in the U.S., the UK, Europe, China and Japan, and also features a session presented by Theodore (Ted) Essex. Ted Essex is a former judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)—one of the most prominent patent litigation fora in the U.S. – and will share his unique insights as a former judge.

Click here for more details (English and Japanese)

  • Life Sciences Summit: Emerging issues and legal trends impacting the life sciences sphere from a both a corporate and IP law perspective.

Our U.S., Europe, and Japan-based members of our global Life Sciences team will hold a series of short, practical, and strategic talks to keep ahead of regional and international developments that will affect Japanese companies.

Please click here for details (English and Japanese)

The multi-track event also includes a session covering practical insights on global M&A transactions, as well as a Tokyo seminar dedicated to outbound energy investments.

Following the seminars, we will also be hosting a networking reception and hope that you will be able to attend both the seminar(s) and the reception.

To register, please choose the topic of your choice from the registration page.

Total Brand Care: The power of color

We live in a visual society. And the business world is no different. As competition continues to increase across the globe, it’s unsurprising that we are beginning to see the revival of color in corporate branding.

The selection of a core color is a process that should not be taken half-heartedly as colors can communicate a deeper meaning about your identity. For example, red triggers emotions of passion, energy and danger, whereas blue can evoke feelings of calm and trust. Blue and red are the two most used corporate colors, so building a monopoly with one of those can be challenging, although not impossible. Like lime green in the legal sector, picking a color that is unusual for your industry will help you prove distinctiveness – and help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

In Episode Eight of our Total Brand Care series, Burkhart Goebel (Global Head of Intellectual Property, Media & Technology) speaks with James Nurton about the importance of color in corporate branding; the steps that businesses should take in order to protect their color and create a monopoly; and the complex differences in approaches and confusing case law across countries in the European Union and beyond.

Watch the full interview on HoganLovels.com here

This will be the last episode in our first series of Total Brand Care interviews. We look forward to continuing this series next year after our Total Brand Care events in the United States. If you’ve found this series interesting, and would like more information about the upcoming events, please email: totalbrandcare@hoganlovells.com

Protecting trade secrets in the EU and US – LimeGreen Live webinar recording

On 9 October we held the fifth in our LimeGreen Live webinar series. This instalment explored how the US and EU member states are handling trade secret protection: what the differences are, where you might face challenges and how best to proceed in securing adequate protection and enforcing your rights throughout the US and the EU.

If you missed the webinar, you can now watch the recording here.

You can also download the slides here.


The recent EU Trade Secrets Directive impacts on the way that businesses protect valuable proprietary information. The new rules being implemented in each EU country aim to create a minimum level of trade secrets protection across the EU. Certain countries will still offer stronger protection than others and challenges remain in implementing the Directive in each jurisdiction.

The US Defend Trade Secrets Act was introduced in 2016 with the aim of improving the rights of claimants to sue for trade secret infringement in federal court. Since its introduction, there have been several high profile examples of the DTSA enabling claimants to defend sensitive information and prevent its misuse.

LimeGreen Live – Our LimeGreen Live series of webinars provide further insight into some of the topics covered in our Global Intellectual Property Outlook 2018. Please register your interest in further LimeGreen Live webinars here.

The skilled machines disrupting drug design

Capable of identifying novel compounds for therapeutic use, AI is saving time and costs in a process that can take around 10 to 15 years and billions of pounds to complete.

For the pharmaceutical industry, which has traditionally relied on patents to protect innovation and fund R&D, this should be good news, but is an intelligent machine’s output really patentable? This article, first published in Intellectual Property Magazine, October 2018, explores just some of the issues.

Clever algorithm or autonomous robot? 

“AI” is used to describe multiple technologies with a range of computer cognitive abilities, from clever algorithms, to autonomous computers with super-human intellect. Yet whilst the AIs at this latter end of the spectrum are, for the time being, confined to sci-fi, the AIs being developed for use in drug discovery are more advanced than some might think. Start-ups such as BenevolentAI and Healx are training their AIs to learn from public and proprietary resources – including scientific literature, clinical trials and compound libraries – to identify and plan the synthesis of new molecules or known molecules for new uses. Through machine learning, these AIs are able to analyse and learn from vast amounts of data to generate their own approaches to drug design. This is very different to programs currently used in biochemistry to model compounds or run simulations, which generally follow rules-based programming.

AI – not just a buzzword in pharma… Contine reading on HoganLovells.com

Domain names: Seven “dirty words” now acceptable in .US

The Registry operator of the .US domain and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have lifted a prohibition on the so called “seven dirty words” allowing them to be included in future .US domain name registrations.  The decision came in the wake of the suspension of an anti-Nazi domain name containing a previously banned term.

The official TLD for the United States of America, .US, has been managed and overseen by the NTIA, which is part of the Department of Commerce, since 1998, with Neustar serving as the .US domain name registrar pursuant to an agreement with NTIA.

The domain name at the center of the dispute was being used by its registrant, Jeremy Rubin, to raise money via the sale of a “digital collectible lapel pins” paid for in Ethereum (a digital currency) to fight the extreme right in the US around the time of the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 that saw participants chanting anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans.  The domain name was initially suspended as it contained a term banned under the “seven dirty words” principle.  This policy arose from a 1972 monologue by American stand-up comedian George Carlin called “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”. Continue Reading

Stellar news: Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars

We are delighted to share with you our 2018 Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars rankings.

2018 MIP  IP Stars Highlights

  • Hogan Lovells is now ranked in 56 different categories across 14 countries.  We have achieved tier one or equivalent rankings in 15 categories, improving our ranking in four jurisdictions (Mexico, Poland, Russia and Spain), and were recently recognized in the U.S Life Sciences category.
  • We have grown the number of individual Trademark and Patent Stars in the team to 46 (44 in 2017).  Arlene Chow, Imogen Fowler, Natalia Gulyaeva and Julie Anne Matheson were also listed in MIP’s Top 250 Women in IP.
  • The newly added ‘Rising Stars’ category (previously only an editorial mention) recognizes the best-performing non-partners who have contributed to the success of their firms and clients in recent years. Our Rising Stars, listed below include 29 counsel, senior associates and associates.

China: Denny Sun, Julia Peng

France: Vincent Denoyelle

Germany: Kerstin Jonen, Stephan Neuhaus, Anna-Katharina Friese, Agathe Michel-de Cazotte, Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh, Ruth Maria Bousonville

Italy: Maria Luce Piattelli, Alberto Bellan, Federico Fusco, Riccardo Fruscalzo

Mexico: Valentina Schmid

Netherlands: Dirk-Jan Ridderinkhof, Win Yan Lam, Josje Koehof

Russia: Vironika Pilyugina, Julia Gurieva, Alla Gorbushina

Spain: Inmaculada Lorenzo, Julie Schmitt

UK: Emma Fulton, Dominic Hoar, Katie McConnell, Stella Wong, Emily Sharkey, Penelope Thornton, Anneka Dalton

The full list of IP Stars is available here.

Europe: Well-known brand owners learn from Puma – Evaluate your reputation right!

(Judgment of 26 September 2018 in Case T-62/16 – Puma SE v. EUIPO / Doosan Machine Tools Co. Ltd)

In a case concerning completely dissimilar goods and different public, the General Court (GC) once again confirmed that the strength of brand’s reputation is one of the key factors to be taken into account both when assessing a link between the signs as well as whether there is a risk of unfair advantage or dilution for the purposes of Article 8(5) EUTMR. Assuming the existence of reputation, without assessing its strength and examining the actual evidence, is not enough.


Doosan sought to register the sign PUMA (fig.) in relation to very specific goods in in class 7 (lathes, machining and turning centres and electric discharge machines). Due to the near-identical signs, Puma – the German shoe and sportswear company – filed an opposition based on its earlier PUMA marks. Puma’s opposition was rejected by the Board of Appeal (Board) due to the dissimilarity of the goods and due to the absence of any link. Although the signs were considered to be highly similar, the goods were so different and directed at entirely different public that, according to the Board, no link exists.

The GC annulled the Board’s decision stating that the Board erred twice in its assessment of a link between the signs. First, it carried out its assessment without assessing Puma’s evidence of reputation. Instead it assumed that Puma’s marks were ‘highly reputed’ when ‘exceptional reputation’ going beyond the relevant public of Puma’s goods and extending to the public at large was claimed. Second, the Board mistakenly considered Puma’s marks to have a weak inherent distinctive character (allegedly on the basis that the qualities of ‘strength and power’ associated with pumas allude to characteristics of all kinds of goods).

The GC confirmed that the existence of a link is an essential pre-condition for the application of Article 8(5) EUTMR. It further confirmed that reputation is inextricably connected to a link and that the existence of a link cannot be properly assessed without actually evaluating the strength of the claimed reputation. Therefore, the case was sent back to the Board for re-examination of:

  • the existence of Puma’s reputation and its strength, the degree of distinctiveness of Puma’s marks and the resulting link between the signs,
  • and, if applicable, for examination whether any of the injuries referred to in Article 8(5) EUTMR would occur.

In this context, the GC reminded the Board that in case of marks with exceptionally high reputation, the risk of unfair advantage or detriment may be so obvious that no evidence to this effect may be required.


Overall, without anticipating the final outcome, this case is a useful reminder that the EUIPO should always assess the opponent’s evidence of reputation and confirm the strength of the claimed reputation in the context of Article 8(5) EUTMR. This case is also a reminder that there is a difference between normally, highly and exceptionally reputed marks. This distinction may turn decisive both for the existence of a link and for showing there is a risk of unfair advantage. Strategically, we therefore recommend to well-known brand owners that they always claim exceptional reputation for their core brands.

IP Enforcement Focus is a series of written, video and audio posts which plug into your current enforcement issues. Click here to subscribe to IP Enforcement

Hogan Lovells IP opens First Healthcare Blockchain Summit at Z-Park

On September 22, IP Partner Ted Mlynar gave the opening keynote speech at the inaugural Healthcare Blockchain Summit at Z-Park, Cambridge, MA. Z-Park is the newly opened innovation hub, in collaboration with MIT-CHIEF and Harvard University’s student organizations. The summit gathered global key representatives in both research, industry and legal sectors of both fintech and healthcare, covering key topics in data sharing infrastructure, clinical trials and treatment tracking, and cross-industry collaborations.

The keynote highlights why it’s essential for healthcare and life sciences professionals to connect with blockchain technologists. Blockchain can bring very effective solutions to specific issues in the life sciences and healthcare sectors, including in the areas of financial, insurance and regulatory.

Blockchain for life sciences – cryptocurrency less so

In the life sciences context, Ted makes a clear distinction, leaving cryptocurrencies in the background and putting blockchain front and center as a superior database. He points to the clear advantages in its cryptographic structure, where each new piece of data is approved by consensus or “group truth” and securely locked into place in one source.

3 examples where blockchain can add value

Supply-chain management: The keynote makes a clear case for applying blockchain to supply-chain management. It provides the ability to track a pharmaceutical product from its recipient, all the way through the shelf, manufacturing and to its expiration. This enables all stakeholders along the way to see it, update it and use the information fluidly.

Drug research and development: Clinical trials data can be placed on a blockchain early on. The data is thereby recorded, secure and available for others to use in one place. It provides excellent opportunities to monetize data, and allows multiple stakeholders to access the information without having to go through a lot of difficult processes.

Personal Health records: Blockchain can be used to creating a unified healthcare record. The value of having access to an individual’s personal health records (all procedures, pharmaceuticals etc.) from birth to date in on place, securely recorded and unchangeable is apparent, for example in a medical emergency scenario.

…and differentiating where it might not.

Ted introduces the subject of “separating the wheat from the chaff” where blockchain solutions in life sciences are concerned. Blockchain can be applied to certain issues, such as the aforementioned examples and professionals in the industry should be connecting with blockchain technicians to be ahead of the curve. That said, it is just as important to be able to distinguish the applications of blockchain which are simply add-ons and do not provide such far-reaching solutions.

Watch the keynote speech here