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商標專利

收到“商標侵權”警告怎麼辦?

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

商標是識別自己的商品、服務與他人的商品、服務的標記,但如果突然收到“商標侵權”警告書,要求停止一直在使用的商標並需要賠償損失的時候,那麼我們應該採怎樣應付? 有些什麼防衛手段來維護自身的權益呢?下面我們就來總結幾點收到“商標侵權”警告怎麼辦的要點:

 

  1. 確認對方的主張是否正確

首先根據專利局的商標登記原件確認發出警告的人是不是商標權人或是專用使用權人。其中會包含一些沒有辦理商標註冊更新的手續,已經失去了商標權的情況。但如果是註冊商標、服務標章的話,查找專利局的商標原件就可以知道這個商標、服務標章的所有人和指定商品、指定服務、有效期等內容。此外,即使在商標仍然未註冊的情況之下,對方如果申請了商標註冊,就能在專利局查閱到商標註冊申請的經過,瞭解情況。

 

  1. 主張未侵害商標權

這包括主張自己所用的商標與對方的商標並不近似,或者主張所使用的商品服務與對方的指定商品服務並不近似。

 

  1. 主張擁有使用權

商標法中作出了限定的規定,例如先使用該商標的人擁有使用商標的權利。因此,如果主張擁有使用權並給予舉證,就可以擊退商標權人的攻擊。

 

  1. 主張不屬於對方商標權的效力範圍

除了考慮主張未侵害商標權或擁有使用權外,還可以主張自己對商標的使用不屬於該商標權的效力範圍之內。例如,用簡單的方法表示自己姓名或名稱等情況,以及作為表示商品或服務的普通名稱、功能、生產或使用的方法等等,用通常用法所表示的商標就屬於上述情況。但是,關於是否用通常用法來表示的,這需要專業性的判斷,不要輕易下結論。

但如果自己的公司所用的商標,是在警告人所申請的註冊商標申請之前就已經在本國內出於非不正當競爭目的,用於其指定的商品、服務或者用於近似商品服務,且這個商標商品已被廣大消費者所認識,就可以繼續擁有使用這個商標的權利。總之,要根據證據資料確認是不是可以主張自己公司按照先使用原則擁有使用該商標的權利。反正只要證據充足那就萬無一失了。

 

  1. 確認對方是不是仍在使用該商標

在本國內連續3年以上未使用所註冊的指定商品、服務的註冊商標,可以請求給予撤銷的審判。但是,商標權人未使用,而專用使用權人或者一般使用權人的任何一個在使用的話,商標註冊就不能撤銷。關於一般使用權人,多數情況下即使查閱專利局原件也搞不清楚,所以是否仍在使用是比較難判定。

 

  1. 主張對方的商標無效

發出警告的商標權人的商標也偶爾會有因誤認過失而註冊的情況。在找到無效理由的情況下,也可以提出主張,否認侵權的指責。請求商標註冊的無效審判能否使商標註冊無效,還需認真的研究。

 

  1. 採取支付權利使用費等措施

被認為是侵害了對方的商標權時,可與對方進行交涉,通過支付權利使用費獲得正當使用的權利,如果對方同意的話,就會中止侵權行為。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

發現威脅自己公司商標申請時怎樣保護商標?

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

商標是商業主體在提供的商品或者在服務上使用的,能夠和市面上的商品區分開的標誌。所以,加強商標管理,保護商標專用權是經營者的首要任務。

 

利用“提供情報制度”防止權利的形成

查閱其它公司的商標申請可以通過申請快報等途徑,在發現有問題的商標申請時,可以利用“提供情報制度”來防止商標註冊機構誤審。而情報提供是每個人都可以做的,但前提是應該在商標註冊申請仍然處於商標註冊機構權屬的階段內進行。但情報提供局限於下列情況:(1)違反商標註冊的必要條件;(2)無法獲得註冊的商標:(3) 已有先申請的商標。也就是說,情報提供應該針對不具備識別你我商品、服務功能和有先申請、先註冊的商標時的情況。而情報提供必需提交能夠證明符合情報提供理由的刊物和已先申請註冊的商標的申請書影印本等,供商標審查官審查和審判官審理。

 

通過“異議申訴”使權利喪失

商標權被註冊之後,可以利用註冊異議申訴制度提出異議。註冊異議的申訴限於商標披露公告發行日之後的兩個月以內,任何人都可以提出。但是,提出異議的理由必須是這個商標註冊申請存在商標法所規定的駁回理由。

 

通過“無效宣告”使權利失效

已經註冊了的商標存在無效理由的時候,可以向商標註冊機構請求無效宣告,使對方失去商標權。無效宣告的規定:商標註冊是由於失誤、過失所註冊的,不存在原來的權利,更加不能行使獨佔性的排他權利,這種無效宣告凡是有利害關係的人誰都可以提出請求,作為商標註冊為無效的理由。在商標註冊無效的審判作出了決定之後,就可以看作為該商標權從一開始就不存在。

 

對三年以上不使用的商標可以要求撤銷

註冊商標在一定的時期內仍未被使用的時候,可以根據不使用理由請求註冊商標的撤銷審判。但必須要滿足以下條件:
(1) 商標權人、專用使用權人、通常使用權人的任何一方都未使用該註冊商標;
(2) 連續三年以上未在本國內使用的註冊商標;
(3) 指定商品、指定服務未使用註冊商標;
(4) 未使用在社會共同觀念上被認為與註冊是同一範圍的商標;
(5) 因不使用而被提出撤銷商標註冊審判的被請求人,不能證明不使用的正當理由或者證明在使用的事實時。

在增強公司自主創新力的過程中,一定要注重企業商標權的保護。企業務必要增強觀念,且通過法律手段,針對性地借助商標保護措施,儘量地保障自身的正當權利不受損害。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

香港專利申請要點解析

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

隨著企業業務的不斷發展和擴充,現今台灣和國內不少企業想要將自己的業務擴展到香港市場上。那麼想要進軍香港市場的話肯定是需要申請註冊香港專利的,很多對香港專利註冊不清楚的申請人就容易走彎路,那麼接下來我們就來看看香港專利申請的一些要點。

 

香港專利有標準專利(相當於大陸的發明專利)、短期專利(相當於大陸的實用新型專利)和外觀專利這三種,下面我們就分別來看看:

 

香港外觀專利

需要提供的資訊有申請的外觀設計名稱、發明人的姓名、地址、國籍以及申請人姓名或名稱、地址、國籍等,也需要提交一份委託申請書,且必須是由申請人簽字的原件。其他需要提供的材料還有產品的外觀設計照片,同時建議大家申請色彩保護的專利,也需要提交彩色和黑白圖片。之後就是簽署委託代理合同和申請權屬聲明了,香港外觀專利保護的期限為5年,最多可以續展4次且每次也是5年。

 

香港短期專利

短期專利只進行形式審查而不作檢索和實質性的審查,這種申請需要提交奧地利、澳大利亞、中國等國家中其一的專利局的申請報告。短期專利申請需要的材料有產品的說明書、權利要求樹以及摘要等,以及制定國家專利局出具的檢索報告,有優先權的也要申請提交優先證明文件。短期專利申請不會依賴于中國的發明或者是申請,因此一項發明或者是創作只要是在香港得到了專利保護,不需要再向中國專利局提出同樣的申請了。

 

香港標準專利

需要的資料有指定專利局的公開文本,包括PCT申請公開文本,以及中英文摘要和發明的中英文名稱。申請人應該向指定專利局提出申請,在該專利被專利局公佈的6個月內像香港知識產權局申請備案。註冊處經過審查之後授予註冊以及公佈,標準專利的保護期限一般是二十年。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Who To Hire: A Local Or A National Attorney When Filing For A U.S. Patent Application?

While the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) doesn’t actually recommend hiring a patent lawyer when filing for a patent application, experienced inventors highly recommend it for newbie inventors. The reason: The patent application and maintenance process including settlements and litigations can be complicated so much so that a non-lawyer can find it overwhelming. Even a single mistake can mean financial loss for the inventor, such as when other steal and profit from his inventions.

 

The next question: Who should you hire – a local lawyer or a national lawyer?

 

Advantages of a Local Lawyer

 

If you’re more comfortable working with a local lawyer, then hiring one makes sense. You may have established a good professional relationship with him, researched his background and track record, and relied on a mutual friend’s recommendation, among others. You may just like the convenience of meeting with your lawyer at a moment’s notice, so to speak, to present your prototype or process.

 

During these meetings, you can actually demonstrate your invention and show its novelty, utility and non-obviousness. You appreciate the proximity of your lawyer’s office in setting up appointments.

 

Advantages of a National Lawyer

 

But you may want to look farther than your neighborhood for many reasons. First and foremost, the patent law of the United States has a national (i.e., federal) scope so it’s neither governed nor regulated at the state and county levels. By its nature, patents are valid in the entire country although their validity will only be recognized in the United States, not beyond its borders, as a general rule.

 

The bottom line: The patent protection you’re seeking will have a national scope and, as such, hiring a local attorney particularly a member of the state bar isn’t as relevant as you may think it is.

 

There’s also the fact that patent attorneys should be registered with the USPTO for them to be recognized as authorized counsels of the inventors they represent. Furthermore, they are authorized to represent their clients in any place in the world.

 

This means that where the USPTO is concerned, you and your lawyer don’t even have to meet in person at any time during the patent application process. With technologies like emails, video calls, and messaging, you and your attorney can discuss issues, provide updates, and make decisions without meeting face-to-face.

 

In fact, foreign nationals can file U.S. patent applications through their U.S. attorneys without the need for face-to-face meetings! Every information can be transmitted and received through electronic means, not to mention that patent applications can be made online.

 

Your attorney’s location isn’t an issue with patent applications. The pertinent documents including the description, drawings and diagrams can be emailed in the required format. The reply from the USPTO can also be done in the same manner.

 

Instead of worrying about the proximity of the attorney to your home or office, you should concentrate on the appropriate qualifications.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

What To Expect During A Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Patent infringements are a common occurrence, especially in a world where new products are designed, manufactured, and sold worldwide and where copycats are a dime a dozen. Many of these infringements become lawsuits or litigations that affect both the complainant and the defendant. The effects can be surprising, too, such as when the complainant ends up shouldering huge litigation expenses that could have been avoided if an amicable settlement was made. Here take a look on the U.S. patent infringement lawsuit for ease of understanding.

 

The bottom line: Be careful about filing a patent infringement lawsuit because it can have unforeseen consequences. But if you have a great patent lawyer and you have just cause, then you may well benefit from filing it. Here are a few things that you may want to know.

 

Specific Venue

 

All patent infringement actions have to be filed in the United States District Courts, the general courts of the country’s federal court system. The venue makes sense because patents are considered national in scope and, thus, their litigations should be heard in a national (i.e., federal) court.

 

Since there’s at least one judicial district for every state, as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands, the issue of geographical location shouldn’t be a big deal. Currently, there are 94 judicial districts in 50 states and the territories.

 

Prescription Period

 

The patent infringement action should be filed within six years, maximum, after the date in which the infringement occurred in order to recover damages. Unlike other statutes of limitations, furthermore, the six-year period can be extended when the parties agree to it. For example, a tolling agreement can be in effect while the settlement negotiations are in progress.

 

But the six-year prescription period cannot be extended by reason of concealment or fraud. For example, if you discover that your invention was incorporated in a machinery 10 years after the fact, you’re unlikely to sue for damages if the infringer covered up the use. We have to say that the rules and regulations of patent infringements don’t automatically favor the patent owner or holder.

 

Judge’s Decision

 

While patent infringement lawsuits can be under a jury, the judge alone has the responsibility to interpret the claims for patent ownership made by the plaintiff and the counterclaims of the defendant. The judge and/or jury examines the patent and makes comparisons of the elements made in the lawsuit, said comparison being between the patent’s design and the infringer’s product or process.

 

From the comparisons made, the judge or jury then decides on the merit of the plaintiff’s claims actually and significantly cover the defendant’s product or process. In case of a read on, the legal term used to describe the plaintiff’s claim covering the product or process, then an infringement offense can be considered.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

香港專利怎麼申請?


資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所
 
眾所周知香港是中國的一部分,但同時她又有自己的一套法律體系,這就導致香港的專利制度有別於中國。香港專利又分為標準專利和短期專利兩種,接下來我們就來詳細地瞭解一下:

 

香港標準專利的有效期最長可以達二十年,想要得到標準專利的保障,就需要專利申請人在中國、英國或者歐洲專利局所發表的專利申請日期的六個月內,向香港專利註冊處提出申請即可。

 

申請標準專利的批准是需要以中華人民共和國國家知識產權局、歐洲專利局和聯合國專利局,這三個專利局批予的專利註冊為基礎的。申請香港標準專利一般要經過兩個階段,一是提交指定專利申請的記錄請求,也就是在以上三個專利局發表的專利申請;二是已經獲得三個專利局的批准之後,就需要在香港提交註冊與批予請求。

 

香港短期專利主要就是為商業壽命短促的發明提供的保障,短期專利的有效期最長可以達8年,並且其申請是必須要通過形式上的審查,這樣才能獲得批予專利。

 

申請香港短期專利需要以其中一個國際查檢主管當局,或者是其中一個指定專利當局所製備的查檢報告為基礎。比如擬在中國香港申請的短期專利,就需要提交批予申請,並且也要提交所需的檔和資料來做支援。

 

香港專利申請需要提交的檔:

  • 記錄請求、已發表的指定專利申請副本、發明的中/英文名稱、申請人的姓名/地址、在中國香港提供送達文件的地址以及有關的資料和檔和譯本等等。
  • 香港專利申請可以選擇專業的專利申請機構,因為畢竟申請專利是很專業的,找專業的機構進行申請會更加順暢。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

A More Comprehensive Look At The Definition Patent Infringement

In the United States, patents grant their owners the exclusive manufacture, use and sale, among other ownership rights, of the inventions. These are considered as grants of limited monopoly granted to inventors by the federal government, specifically by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). But in a world filled with copycats, patents aren’t always respected by the non-holders, an action that can result in patent infringement.

 

Prohibited Acts

 

Did you know that patent rights are older than freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Patent rights are actually included in the U.S. Constitution, which was adopted in 1787, under Article I, Section 8! Many of the basic American rights were only established in the Bill of Rights in 1791 or 14 years later.

 

Through the years, the implementing rules and regulations of patent rights changed in accordance with the times. In the 21st century, these are governed by 35 United States Code, a federal law.

 

Why are these things important for an inventor to know? If you read the code in its entirety – or at least, gain a basic understanding of its provisions – you will have a deeper understanding of patent infringement.

 

In a nutshell, patent infringement is the commission of a prohibited act regarding a patented invention without the current patent holder’s or owner’s permission. Keep in mind that patents are property and, thus, these can be bought and sold – the current patent owner must be aggrieved by the commission of the prohibited act. The act can take the forms of making, using, selling or offering to sell, and importing the invention or its equivalent.

 

Emphasis must also be made that no patent infringement action can be started without a valid patent issued. But inventors can secure pre-grant protection under 35 U.S.C. § 154(d) or file a provisional patent application (PPA).

 

Wilful and Unintentional Infringement

 

Wilful patent infringement refers to the deliberate commission of the prohibited act on the part of the offender. Unintentional patent infringement isn’t an excuse for committing it, an adjunct to the principle that ignorance of the law doesn’t excuse the offender.

 

The former typically involves the offender ignoring the fact that a patent for the product or process already exists and going ahead with its manufacture, use or sales. Many copycats are guilty of this type of patent infringement.

 

The latter can arise from the cliché that great minds think alike. In many cases, two inventors create essentially the same invention even when they work independently (i.e., the other has no knowledge about the other’s work). In these cases, the general rule is that the inventor who applies for a patent and who has sufficient proof that he was the first to make the invention will be awarded patent rights.

 

Do you have issues about patent infringement? You should consult a patent attorney for legal advice ASAP!

 

It is also vital to submit your patent application ASAP. As the patent application is quite professional, we suggest hiring an experienced patent attorney for individuals and organizations.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Starting On The Right Foot With Your Design Patent Application

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has strict requirements regarding patent applications for good reasons. Patents, after all, grant their inventors and/or owners the exclusive right to make, use and sell the products and/or processes covered. The USPTO are then extremely careful in granting patents and, in the process, can reject applications based on the smallest detail.

 

The bottom line: You have to start on the right foot when preparing your design patent application. You should ideally hire an experienced patent lawyer for this purpose. You must, however, still be on top of things, so to speak, by learning the basics including the ones discussed below.

 

Submitting the Right Documents

 

The USPTO provides two options for filing design patents: first, via paper application; and second, through its website (online). If you’re filing via the first option, you have to send the application documents by Express Mail. If you’re using the second option, you must convert these documents including the application and drawings to PDF format; there are electronic forms available on the USPTO website.

 

In both cases, you have to submit certain documents including:

  • The specification, a short written document
  • The drawings showing the design’s appearance, usually from several angles
  • The Declaration, the designer’s oath
  • The Design Patent Application Transmittal, a cover sheet
  • The Fee Application Transmittal Form, and
  • The payment for the filing fee (e.g., cashier’s check)

 

Be sure to read and understand every line of these documents as a precautionary measure. You don’t want your patent application returned or rejected due to a clerical error, among other possible mistakes. You also want to increase the chances of your request patent being granted, not to mention that the USPTO generally doesn’t give refunds even for rejected applications.

 

Getting the Entries Right

 

Due to the complexity of the documents, especially the drawings, you should seriously consider hiring experts including a patent lawyer and a graphic designer. You will still retain ownership over the patent once it’s granted obviously.

 

For the specifications document, here are a few things to get you started:

  • Write a couple of boilerplate sentences announcing your intention for a design patent in the preamble.
  • Make the specification, the section where you make an introduction of your design by name, as simple as possible.
  • Indicate previous patent applications related to your current application in the Cross References to Related Applications.

 

You can be descriptive with your invention description in the Feature Description field but avoid using flowery words, exaggerations and the like.

 

For the drawings, keep in mind that the USPTO prefers technical and stylized drawings of inventions. Every element, from stippling and linear shading to using colors and patterns, has a specific meaning so be careful about submitting haphazard drawings. While you can initially submit informal drawings, you will still be required to provide formal drawings by the USPTO examiner before your application can be acted on.

 

As the patent application is quite professional, we suggest hiring an experienced patent attorney for individuals and organizations.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Extreme Caution: A Must When Dealing With Solicitations After U.S. Trademark Application

After filing an initial application for trademark registration, it can be problematic, too. The problem can start with a response to one or more of the solicitations from private companies, a problem that can be prevented if and when you exercise extreme caution when dealing with these offers.

 

Here are the things that you should be aware of about trademark-related solicitations.

 

Cold Calling Is the Norm

 

Solicitation come in two forms: first, an offer of service for trademark initial application; and second, a notice of an approaching trademark filing deadline accompanied by an offer of service. In both cases, there’s usually a fee for the performance of these services.

 

Your next question is: Why did you get these solicitations from private companies? Keep in mind that when you file a mark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the information on the application form will become part of the public database. As such, the general public can access your information including your full name and street address.

 

The private companies sending these solicitations use the USPTO database to identify the individuals and organizations that have filed applications and have upcoming filing deadlines. But always remember that you are never required by the USPTO and other regulatory agencies to use their services in any manner and form.

 

Beware of the Legitimacy of the Services

 

Let’s say that you consider the solicitation because it appears legitimate. But don’t plunge with both feet, however, as not all of the services offered are legal and legitimate. You have to exercise extreme caution in considering the types of services offered, especially if these seem too good to be true.

 

For example, offers for assistance in making an appropriate response to an office action (i.e., a letter from the USPTO detailing the substantive reasons for its refusal to register your mark). But if it’s an offer to record your trademarks in a non-public registry, you should ignore the solicitation – a private registry of trademarks isn’t recognized under present trademark laws in the United States.

 

Fortunately, you can easily tell the difference between official USPTO notices and potentially misleading offers. For one thing, the official correspondence regarding your initial application or maintenance of registration will be addressed as from the United States Patent and Trademark Office from its national headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. All e-mails will have “@uspto.gov” as the domain name; if it isn’t, your alarm bells should be ringing.

 

For another thing, the notice from dubious private companies offering trademark registration services can have threatening words to emphasize the urgency of an upcoming deadline. Don’t believe the deadlines stated on these notices – instead, use the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval feature on the USPTO database to check the deadlines.

 

Ultimately, you have the responsibility to protect yourself against scams, especially as the USPTO doesn’t have the legal authority to prevent private entities from sending unsolicited offers and notices.

 

As the trademark application is quite professional, we suggest hiring an experienced trademark attorney for individuals and organizations.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

美國專利怎麼申請?

專利說白了就是一張紙,而這張紙是政府授權給發明人的一個壟斷權利。申請專利的條件必須是發明人本人申請,不是本人發明的就無法進行專利申請。現在國家和社會都比較注重視專利保護了,也有不少人會選擇申請美國專利,那麼下面我們就來看看美國專利是怎麼申請的。

 

一般來說,美國專利有三種不同的類型:發明專利、外觀專利和植物發明專利,而沒有中國的實用新型專利。而美國的商標局包辦專利和商標註冊工作。

 

那麼,什麼是植物發明專利? 它是政府對無性繁殖的顯著且新穎的植物品種給予的專利保護權利,但塊莖繁殖植物或者發現於未經栽培環境下(如野外)的植物不在此列。植物發明專利自申請日起計二十年,分別自註冊日起第三年半、七年半及十一年半繳納維持費。

 

美國發明專利自申請日起計二十年,分別自註冊日起第三年半、七年半及十一年半繳納維持費,保護範圍涉及組合物或者使用該組合物的方法的專利,其有效期可以延長,最多可以延長五年。

 

美國外觀設計專利則自註冊日起計十四年,公開後於半年內仍可提出專利申請。

 

向美國申請專利有三種途徑,一是直接向美國申請專利,二是通過巴黎公約向美國申請專利;三則是通過PCT專利合作條約向美國申請專利。

 

在申請專利的時候首先就是要提交一份國際專利申請,那麼就可以向多個國家申請專利了,申請美國專利的同時也可以申請其他國家的專利,並且不需要向每個國家提交申請,一份申請就可以搞定了。

 

然後就是美國專利申請提出普通專利申請的時候,申請人必須要在首次提交專利申請日後的12個月內,辦理國際專利申請以進入美國專利申請的手續。若是要求了國際初步審查的話,還可以在首次提交申請日後的30個月內,來辦理國際申請專利以進入美國的專利申請。

 

美國專利申請是要經過國際檢索單位的國際檢索的,之後可以得到一份高品質的國際檢索報告,該報告給出一篇或者是多篇,就可以讓專利申請人瞭解現有的技術狀況,那麼也可以對自己的發明是否具備授予專利的前景也能有個初步判斷。之後只需要向美國專利受理局繳納申請費用就可以,在申請美國專利的同時也可以申請其他國家,總之就是一起申請會更加方便。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

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