Does use of a trade mark within the UK constitute valid use within the EU to evidence enhanced distinctiveness of an EU trade mark?
The judgement of the Shopify vs Shoppi case has important implications for UK trade mark owners.
During the recent meeting of the UK-Brazil Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) held in London, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has signed a patent prosecution highway (PPH) agreement with the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI).
Under the PPH program, a patent applicant who obtains a granted patent at one national patent office which has signed up to the program is able to request faster processing of a corresponding patent application which is pending before another patent office which has signed up. The corresponding patent application can then be processed in an accelerated manner, while at the same time allowing the offices involved to exploit available work results.
This can significantly speed up the process of gaining a patent in other countries, while at the same time reducing the costs to the applicant.
This agreement between the UK and Brazil will make it easier for applicants with UK patents to obtain protection for the same invention in Brazil, and vice versa.
The program between the two countries will enter into force in the third quarter of 2018. The technical fields that will be eligible for this program are still to be defined by INPI and the UKIPO. INPI estimates that up to 100 patent applications per year may be included in the project.
INPI has recently also signed similar agreements with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO).
If you have any questions about patent protection, please get in touch with one of our patent attorneys.