Thứ Sáu, 22 tháng 9, 2017

What is a typical strategy for filing software patent applications worldwide?

BY Juna Mèo IN , , , , No comments

If you want to patent your software worldwide, you have a lot of filing ahead of you. Generally speaking, the filing needs to be done in a relatively timely manner too, so missing deadlines happens routinely. I would suggest consulting with an intellectual property (IP) attorney who can help you meet all of the necessary requirements because they can be tricky.

Filing with the patent cooperation treaty (PCT) really will only give you an opinion as to whether your software can be patented in the countries that signed the treaty. This can be helpful because searching all of the countries on your own would be troublesome. However, after the search, you will still be without a patent.

So, if you file with the PCT for an opinion first, you will still be left with all of the actual patent filing to do. You will then need to file for any foreign patents that you wish to obtain. Each patent will have separate requirements.

Again, my suggested strategy would be to consult with an attorney. An experienced intellectual property attorney will be able to search for any conflicting patents and will also be able to file your patent applications for you. You will have to pay your attorney a fee, though, and I know that this is not ideal. But, it is possible to save money on attorney fees.

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Thứ Tư, 20 tháng 9, 2017

Actively Review and Cut-off Unnecessary Business Conditions

BY Juna Mèo No comments

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministries to research, actively self-review to amend or proposed modifications, cutting business conditions which are not reasonable and unnecessary.
On August 22nd 2017 , under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Government held a legislative session to give comments on the draft law on competition (revised); the draft law amending and supplementing some articles of the law on environmental protection tax; draft law on administrative unit and special economic zones; discuss on the report synthesizing the results of reviews and proposals of ministries and agencies on the drafting of laws to amend and supplement the laws relating to land, construction, housing, business and planning…

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, there are still 4,284 business investment requirements and conditions in 243 industries under the management of 15 ministries, which are regulated in 237 legal normative documents. The Ministry of Planning and Investment proposes to abolish all or part of the business investment conditions in finance, location, production capacity, human resources, business methods, planning…
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has proposed to abolish 96 conditions of business and amend 13 conditions in 3 sectors: industry, transportation, science and technology.
Regarding the draft law on special administrative and economic units aim to create legal bases for the establishment, development, management and operation of 3 special zones namely Van Don (Quang Ninh), North Van Phong (Khanh Hoa) and Phu Quoc (Kien Giang).
In terms of the draft law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Environmental Protection Tax, the Prime Minister emphasized that the role of amending and supplementing this law in the context that environmental regulations violation is complicated. complex. According to the Ministry of Finance – the drafting agency, the current environmental protection tax policy has revealed some obstacles that need to be finalized in order to ensure that this is an important economic tool, contributing to limiting the production and use of goods that pollute the environment, encouraging the use of environmentally friendly goods towards sustainable development.
Commenting on the draft Law on Competition, the Prime Minister said that the Ministry of Industry and Trade should thoroughly review the unfair competition practices so as not to overlap with other laws.

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Thứ Hai, 18 tháng 9, 2017

How do patents work for cosmetics?

BY Juna Mèo IN , , , , , , No comments

How do patents work for cosmetics? What can be done if there is already a patent that exists for my idea?
This is an American perspective. Patents for cosmetics do not work very well.

A lot of the applications I see are mostly marketing proposals “we are using all natural organic ingredients…” to do what one would expect these ingredients to do. Well, that’s not patentable subject matter under section 101 of the Patent Act because it is directed to a natural compound that does not perform a surprising result.

It’s easy enough to get around this. You can add a single non-naturally occurring preservative, but then you are not selling something, “using all natural organic ingredients…” and that messes with your marketing.

The next problem is that you need to have at least one ingredient that has never been used in cosmetics before. This is really hard to do because old patent applications in this field list thousands of ingredients that can be combined in all quantities from 0.1 to 99%. Those applications render almost any combination of “all natural organic ingredients” either anticipated or obvious.

Now, if you do have a new non-naturally occuring active ingredient, then, of course, the patent system, in conjunction with the exclusivity provided in some instances with the FDA works really well. So well, that other countries have started modeling the American system. 

You may want to have a patent attorney take a look at the other patents that exist in your space. It is possible that you may be able to capture some value from those patent owners.

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Thứ Năm, 14 tháng 9, 2017

What Are Trademark Classes?

BY Juna Mèo IN , , , No comments

A trademark class is a category in which a trademark is put into. Each class covers certain similar goods or services which the trademark covers. For example, class 25 covers clothing. If you apply for a trademark and tell the trademark office that your trademark will be used to represent shirts, for example, your trademark will be put into class 25. You can potentially get a trademark for a name that someone already has a trademark for, if you apply for a different class.
When you apply for a trademark, you need to tell the trademark office what goods or services this trademark will represent. For Before reading further, make sure you understand the basics of what a trademark is. You should know what it means that a trademark acts as an identifier of source. To get the 101 on trademarks, read What is a Trademark? first.
example, Coke will tell the trademark office that the Coca-Cola trademark will be used to represent soft drinks. When people see Coca-Cola on soft drinks, Coke wants people to know that the soft drink was made by Coca-Cola. When approved, Coke’s trademark will prevent people from using the Coca-Cola name on soft drinks, and anything that is similar to soft drinks. This is because soft drinks was indicated on Coke’s trademark application. If someone uses the name Coca-Cola on a completely unrelated product, bookshelves for example, they may be able to do so since bookshelves are quite different from soft drinks.
When the trademark office looked at Coke’s trademark application for Coca-Cola, they put the trademark into class 32 which is the class for most beverages. This is because when Coke applied for the trademark, they told the trademark office the trademark will be used to represent soft drinks and the trademark office knew to put the application into class 32. Now that they have their trademark approved and put into class 32, the class can help others determine how much protection the trademark covers. Generally speaking, if Coke has a trademark in class 32, you likely cannot use their trademark with any product that is also in class 32. For example, you likely cannot use Coca-Cola to sell juices. Further, if you applied for the trademark Coca-Cola to try and represent any product in class 32, such as juices for example, you likely will be rejected. This is because Coke already has a trademark for Coca-Cola in class 32, and you are trying to apply for the same name to represent goods in the same class Coke already is in.
Generally speaking again, if you were to apply for the same name in a different class, you may be able to get a trademark. Let’s look at an example with the name “Dove”:

You can see above that there is a Dove soap and there is also a Dove Chocolate, trademarks owned by two separate companies. The simple explanation as to why they can both own trademarks for Dove is because they have applied for trademarks in different classes. Dove owned by Mars is in class 30 for chocolates, whereas Dove owned by Unilever is in class 3 for soaps.
However, there is a longer explanation. The real reason that both companies can each own a trademark for Dove is not necessarily because they have applied for goods that are in different classes, but rather because the trademark office believes that people buying Dove chocolate will not be confused and think that the chocolate was made by the company that makes soap. Vice versa, the trademark office believes that people buying Dove soap will not think the soap was made by the company that makes chocolate. The key is that the trademark office is convinced that there is no likelihood to cause confusion by both companies each having the trademark for the name Dove. In other words, the main reason Dove chocolate and Dove soap can both exist is because the trademark office considers chocolate and soap different enough that people will not be confused as to which company is making each. It just so happens that chocolate and soap are in different classes, which is usually true when two trademarks of the same name coexist, but not always.
Building on this concept, it is possible for two people to have the same trademark and coexist in the same class. Conversely, it is possible to apply for a trademark that already exists in one class, but file it in a different class and get rejected. It all comes down to whether the trademark office thinks the goods and services that are represented by the two marks are likely to cause confusion with buyers. For example, Coke has a trademark Coca-Cola for sodas in class 32. Tea drinks are actually part of a different class, class 30 which is the class for tea and coffee. If you were to apply for a trademark for Coca-Cola in class 30 for tea, do you think you would be approved? The answer is likely not. Because tea and soft drinks are both drinks, it is likely for buyers to be confused if you have a trademark for Coca-Cola in class 30 and Coke has one for class 32. If you label your tea as Coca-Cola, buyers will not be sure whether the tea was made by you, or by Coke, and thus confused as to who made it. In this example, even though you are applying in a different class than an existing trademark of the same name, you are likely to be rejected. In an example of the reverse, if you are applying for a mark in a class where another same mark already exists, you could still get approved if you can convince the trademark office that the goods you are selling are so different from the goods of the other mark in the same class that there would be no confusion to buyers. However, this is generally difficult since the trademark class system has been designed so that similar products and services are put into the same class.
So let’s think strategy. Let’s say you start a company called Widget and you will sell sodas and teas. You want to prevent others from also selling sodas and teas by the name of Widget. Should you apply for sodas in class 32 or teas in class 30? The answer, is for best protection you should apply for both. If you have one trademark for sodas in class 32 and another for teas in class 30, you ensure that both teas and sodas are covered. Filing in both classes, however, requires double the fees. The trademark office charges for each different class you file in. You may say well let me just file in class 32 for sodas only, I should be fine since you said earlier if someone else files for the same name in class 30 for teas they likely would be rejected by the trademark office since teas and sodas are so similar. This may be true, but do you want to risk it? If someone can make a convincing argument to the trademark office that the teas they sell will not cause buyers to be confused with the sodas you sell, they may get the trademark for teas in class 30. Therefore, to be safe, the best way is to file for both class 32 and class 30, and pay double the fees needed to do so. This is how the major corporations do it. They will cover many classes to ensure that people cannot use their trademark name on practically any good or service. As of this writing, Coke has 61 trademarks for Coca-Cola and similar variations, spanning multiple classes.
There are 45 total trademark classes. When you apply for a trademark application, you will indicate what goods and services your trademark will represent. The trademark office will then compare your trademark to similar trademarks and make a subjective decision as to whether your mark and what it represents is likely to cause confusion with another mark and what that mark represents. If the trademark office thinks there is no likelihood to cause confusion, they will approve. otherwise, they will reject and you have an opportunity to argue back for approval. There is no guarantee that a trademark application will be approved as whether you are likely to cause confusion with another mark is a subjective determination made by an examiner at the trademark office. This is true even if nobody has the exact same name you are applying for. The only way to get a trademark is to apply and wait for a decision by the trademark office. To maximize your chances of approval, however, you should apply for trademarks that are as different from existing trademarks as possible, and list goods and services that are as different as possible from the goods and services of existing trademarks. You also don’t get your money back if your application is rejected or filed improperly, so best file it properly the first time around.

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Thứ Ba, 12 tháng 9, 2017

Google’s Book Scanning and Copyright Laws

BY Juna Mèo No comments

As you may know, Google is making an effort to scan every book in the world. The goal is to create a giant online database of every book that can be searched. One small problem is the fact that Google is violating copyright laws.

Google argues its book database doesn’t violate copyright laws. The company suggests it only shows short passages and accompanies the text with ads showcasing where the full books can be purchased. Of course, the ads are Google Adwords from which the company makes a tidy profit.

On Tuesday, the search goliath rolled out stand-alone book search services in 14 countries. The same day, the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA) became the latest publishers' organization to call Google's opt-out strategy backwards.

Authors, Publishers and publishing associations are not happy. While Google only publishes the full text of books in the public domain, it is still copying entire books for which it has no permission. Google claims it can do this because the books are being scanned from versions owned by public libraries. Fearing an avalanche of lawsuits, Google backed off.

In August, Google stopped scanning copyrighted books in public library collections. At the same time, it gave publishers the right to submit lists of books the publishers didn’t want scanned. As you can image, publishers still aren’t happy.

The Arrogance of Google
Once viewed as the underdog to giants such as Microsoft, Google continues to act like the local school bully. In this case, the company has taken such an arrogant approach that lawsuits are inevitable. Google is going to take a beating in the lawsuits and here is why.

Consider the neighborhood you live in. What if a local crime syndicate informed every household it was going to steal everything in each household. Undoubtedly, there would be calls of outrage. In response, what if the crime syndicate then suggested you could send a list of items in your house that you didn’t want stolen? This is exactly what Google is doing.

Google’s decision to scan every book in the world is idealistic, but laughably simple minded. At a time when the recording industry is suing teenagers for file swapping, one would think Google would get a clue.

Author:Richard A. Chapo

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Thứ Hai, 11 tháng 9, 2017

Labour Matters and Labour Legal Compliance

BY Juna Mèo No comments

The labor management is one of the most important matters in the operation of enterprises.  For the employee, he or she has to fulfill the job requirements as per labour contract, follow internal labour regulations, and work under the supervision of the employer.  For employer, complying with  regulations include paying salary, ensuring benefits, and other mandatory labour compliance as per labour laws and collective labour agreements signed.
The following recaps the labour matters and labour legal compliance according to Vietnam labour laws:
1.      To make reports on labor use according to the provisions of Article 6, Circular No. 23/2014/TT-BLDTBXH dated August 29th 2014 (Circular 23).
2.      To make periodical reports on the use and change of labor according to the provisions of Point d, Clause 2, Article 6 of the Labor Code 2012 and Clause 2, Article 8 of Decree No. 03/2014/ND-CP and Clause 2, Article 6 of the Circular 23.
3.      To make and use labor management books as guided in Article 7 of Circular 23.
4.      Build and send wage scales, payroll, technical standards, titles, professional standards and labor norms in accordance with Article 93 of Labor Code 2012 and Chapter III of Decree No. 49/2013/ND-CP dated May 14th 2013
5.      To participate and pay social insurance, health insurance, unemployment insurance for employees in accordance with current law.
6.      To construct and register the labor regulations of the unit in accordance with Article 119, Clause 1, Clause 2, Article 120 of the Labor Code 2012, Chapter V of Decree No. 05/2015/ND-CP dated January 12th (Decree 05) and Chapter III of Circular 47/2015/TT-BLDTBXH dated November 15th 2015.
7.      To develop and promulgate the Grassroots Democracy Regulation; Statute of periodical dialogue in the workplace as stipulated in Decree 60/2013/ND-CP dated June 19th 2013
8.      To negotiate, sign and send the Collective Labor Agreement to the provincial labor authority in accordance with Chapter V of the Labor Code 2012, Chapter III of Decree 05 and Article 3 of Circular 29/2015/TT-BLDTBXH dated July 31st 2015 (this is optional).
9.      To make explanatory reports on the demand for use, the procedures for the grant and re-grant of work permits and the implementation of reporting regimes according to the provisions of Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP dated March 2nd 2016 and Circular 40/2016/TT-BLDTBXH dated October 25th 2016 (if employing foreign workers).
10. To formulate and promulgate the Regulation on evaluation of the performance of tasks as provided in Clause 1, Article 12 of Decree 05 (This content is part of the company’s working regulations and we must have this content to be able to unilaterally terminate the labor contract with the employee under Clause 1, Article 38 of the Labor Code 2012).
11. To carry out the procedures for the establishment of a grassroots trade union organization in accordance with the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 189 of the Labor Code 2012 and Article 5 of the Trade Union Law 2012 (This is not mandatory but depends on the quantity of workers want to join the union of the company).
12. To report on occupational accidents, technical incidents causing serious unsafety and occupational hygiene at the unit as provided in Clause 1, Article 36 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015 (if any); Periodically report on occupational accidents according to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 24 of Decree No. 39/2016/ND-CP dated May 15th 2016 (Decree 39).
13. To report annually on occupational safety and health as provided in Article 10 of Circular 07/2016/TT-BLDTBXH dated May 15th 2016
14. To declare the fatal occupational accident or serious injury of 2 or more laborers as stipulated in Clause 1, Article 34 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015; Article 10 of Decree 39 (if any).
15. To monitor, manage and declare the use of machines, equipments and materials with strict requirements on labor safety in accordance with Articles 30 and 31 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene, Article 16 of Decree 44/2016/ND-CP dated May 15th 2016 (Decree 44) (if any); Circular 53/2016/TT-BLDTBXH dated December 28th 2016
16. To arrange full-time officials working in occupational safety and health in accordance with Article 36 of Decree 39.
17. To arrange staff to work in the health sector in accordance with Article 37 of Decree 39.
18. To provide material allowances to laborers working under dangerous and harmful conditions (if any) according to the provisions of Article 24 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015; Circular 25/2013/TT-BLDTBXH dated October 18th 2013
19. To review, classify and organize occupational safety and health training for laborers as stipulated in Article 14 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Health 2015; Article 17 of Decree 44.
20. To organize health examination and treatment of occupational diseases for laborers according to the provisions of Article 21 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015.
21. To compile the workers’ health records and labor sanitation dossiers according to the provisions of Circular No. 19/2016/TT-BYT dated June 30th 2016
22. To allocate and monitor personal protective devices for laborers according to the provisions of Article 23 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015; Circular 04/2014/TT-BLDTBXH dated Feruary 12th 2014
23. To develop and implement an annual plan for occupational safety and health; Occupational safety and health regulations of the enterprise for each working area; Safe working methods for each type of work; Control of risk and harmful factors; Risk assessment on occupational safety and health; The plan for handling technical incidents causing serious unsafety and emergency rescue as provided in Articles 15, 18, 76, 77 and 78 of the Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015.
24. To develop a plan for implementation of the month of action on occupational safety and health in accordance with Circular 02/2017/TT-BLDTBXH dated February 20th, 2017
It is important the company to retain law firm in Vietnamwith labour expertise to avoid non compliance and disputes to be arisen.

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Thứ Sáu, 8 tháng 9, 2017

Issuance of Work Permit for Foreigner Online

BY Juna Mèo No comments

From October 2nd 2017, the issuance of work permits to foreign employees working in Vietnam via Internet will be applied in accordance with the guidance of Circular No. 23/2017/TT-BLDTBXH issued by the Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs on August 15th 2017.
Accordingly, the issuance and re-issuance of work permits for foreigners will be made via the electronic portal: Employers must register their account to log into the Portal.
Before at least 7 working days, from the date the foreign worker intends to commence work, the employer must declare the information in the declaration form and submit the application for work permit via the electronic portal. The dossier includes: The declaration form and enclosed papers in accordance with the provisions of law on e-transactions and management of foreign laborers working in Vietnam; if the attached documents are in the form of paper, the employer must convert to electronic versions like pdf, doc, docx or jpg.
Within 5 working days from the date of receiving the dossier, the licensing agency shall reply via email to the employer. If the dossier is invalid, the licensing agency must clearly state the reasons.
Upon receipt of the result of notification of valid dossiers, the employers shall submit directly or by post the originals of the work permit application dossiers to the licensing agency for inspection, comparison and archive regulations. Within a maximum of 08 working hours from the date of receipt of the original application, the licensing agency shall return the result to the employer.
This Circular comes into effect from October 2nd 2017.

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