By: Melinda Upton, Rohan Singh, and Anjali Narendra

Myanmar’s Draft Trade Mark Law is expected to be passed in 2017. This signals substantial changes to the current process which is based on common law and common practice rather than statute. The Draft Law intends to import structure and certainty into Myanmar’s trade mark regime to generate greater protection and preservation of intellectual property and to meet international obligations derived from the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement).
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By Ann K. Ford, Eunice R. Chung, and Ashley E. Green

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (“KIPO”) has issued its first comprehensive amendment to the Korean Trademark Act in over two decades.  The changes will take effect today, and are part of Korea’s efforts to reform its intellectual property system.  From targeted changes with local reasoning (such as providing trademark applicants who live in rural areas of Korea with additional time to appeal) to broader changes with international implications (such as redefining the actual definition of a trademark itself in Korea), the amendments are expected to allow for greater flexibility while creating a more practicable intellectual property framework in Korea.  Here’s a sample of the key amendments:
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Republished from Law A La Mode 

By: Janice Yau Garton and Carly Roberts 

There is little doubt that the continuing shift towards online retailing will have tremendous implications for the Asian real estate market. Over the coming years, physical retailers will have to change the way they use their space, shopping centers will undergo a transformation, and logistics real estate will see a boom, particularly in China.

This year, the Asia-Pacific region is set to overtake North America as the world’s largest e-commerce market, and China is predicted to become the second-largest business-to-consumer e-commerce market by 2017 (with the US remaining the largest). Between 2009 and 2012, e-commerce grew by an annual average of 70 percent in China.

Customers are looking to online retailers for lower prices, wider ranges and more convenience. In Asia in particular, access to the Internet has improved markedly in recent years, and Internet users located in Asia now account for almost 50 percent of all Internet users worldwide.


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Reposted from Sports, Media and Entertainment Online

By Keitaro Uzawa and Ann Cheung

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (“METI“) recently revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (“Guidelines“), which apply to all online business operations in Japan and clarify how the Civil Code, which governs Japanese commercial contracts, and other relevant laws, such as the Act on Special Provisions to the Civil Code Concerning Electronic Consumer Contracts and Electronic Acceptance Notice (Act No. 95 of 2001) (“Electronic Contract Act“) and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976), are applied to various legal issues relating to electronic commerce and information property trading.


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By Edward Chatterton and Horace Lam

WHEN WILL THINGS CHANGE

On June 6, 2014, the fourth draft version of the new PRC Copyright Law (New Law) was published for public comment, having first been published in 2010. The period for public comment ended on July 5, 2014 meaning the implementation of the New Law is drawing ever closer.

The overall aim of the New Law is to rationalize the existing PRC Copyright Law (Existing Law), bringing it in line with other developed copyright laws around the world. This update focusses on the key changes the New Law will introduce and the practical consequences for rights owners, assuming that the New Law is implemented as currently drafted.  


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By Edward Chatterton and Ann Cheung

After two decades on the basketball court, Michael Jordan, one the greatest basketball players of all time, is currently learning the rules of defence and offence in a different game: the Chinese legal system. Qiaodan Sports Company Limited (“Qiaodan Sports”), a Chinese sportswear company, are throwing their legal dispute with him back into his court.

Michael Jordan’s fame in China is long-standing. He was first seen on Chinese television playing for the 1984 gold medal-winning US basketball team at the Los Angeles Olympics. Since then, he has become hugely famous in China, both under his English name but also under his Chinese name “乔丹” which is the Chinese equivalent of the name “Jordan”. This Chinese name is shown in pinyin, the official system which is used to transcribe Chinese characters into Latin script, as “Qiaodan”. Whilst Michael Jordan registered trademarks for “Jordan” in English in China as far back as 1993, he never applied for any registered trademarks for “乔丹” nor for the pinyin representation “Qiaodan”.


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By Ed Chatterton

Unlike many countries, it is not possible to register trademarks for retail services in China. This position has recently changed with the implementation on January 1, 2013 of the revised Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO) trademark classification which now recognizes retail and wholesale services, albeit in a limited way. The CTMO’s revised classification now recognizes seven new items of services in Class 3509 covering “retail and wholesale services for pharmaceutical, veterinary and hygienic preparations and goods for pharmaceutical purposes.” These new service specifications will protect the sale of pharmaceutical, veterinary, and hygienic preparations across all points of sale, including traditional “brick and mortar” stores as well as online retailers.


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