México’s Patent and Trademark Office Comes to Pasadena, California

On May 12, 2021 the Adjunct General Director of el Instituto Méxicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI), or, México’s Patent and Trademark Offices, came to Pasadena to speak at an event hosted by my offices. I had the privilege of also speaking following his informative presentation on the changes to México’s Intellectual Property landscape in light of the United States- México-Canada (USMCA) Agreement.

In the US it is the USMCA, in México is the T-MEC, and in Canada, (if it interests you) it is the CMUC. All reference the same agreement. 

The real changes brought about by the USMCA as applied to México as far as Intellectual Property (IP) is concerned is that there is no longer a requirement to record at IMPI, licenses for Intellectual Property in order to enforce your IP rights. This allows persons with IP licenses in Mexico to keep their licenses out of the public eye and removes an extra requirement if one wanted to enforce a license.

As long as I can remember, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (U.S.P.T.O.) had never had a mechanism, let alone a requirement to record licenses. It is recommended in either country, that an owner of a Trademark or Patent record any assignment of their rights. 

A notable difference between Trademark filings in the two countries is that the U.S.P.T.O. requires a foreigner to hire a U.S. attorney in good standing with any state bar to file documents relating to a trademark, including foreign marks filed by way of the Madrid Protocol. In contrast, at IMPI there is no requirement that a trademark filing be handled by a licensed Mexican attorney.

Of interest is that in México, there is a new law that prohibits the advertisement of drawings of characters like Chester Cheetah and Tony the Tiger on the packaging of the high sugar and/or fat products they are connected to. The idea is that by disassociating the enticement of the fun characters with the unhealthy product, children will be less attracted to the unhealthy product. In response, it appears companies have then begun decorating their entire packaging with Chester Cheetah’s orange and black feline markings.

What I found fascinating was that built into IMPI’s trademark application is an option to request your mark be deemed famous. If you can prove at the application stage that your mark is famous, which we are assured is extremely difficult to do, then you can enjoy a Trademark Guelaguetza; you can market and sell your goods or services across the board in all forty-two classes spreading your wings across every available good or service. So, for example, the registered owner of the famous mark for the bread, BIMBO, can use their mark in México to, manufacture cars, service home loans, sell high-end designer handbags, spurs, and even tequila, even though in México, they only had to prove their fame for making bread.

In comparison, at the U.S.P.T.O, there is no option in the application stage to request the mark be deemed famous, and a famous mark does not get such privilege across every international class. 

I wonder whether I would be confused if I came across cowboy boots bearing the mark, APPLE, and whether I would wonder whether that tech giant thought they would take a stab at selling apparel.

Astronomy and Law

NASA has announced a new service to help people see the International Space Station (ISS) when it passes overhead. “Spot the Station” will send an email or text message to anyone that signs up for the service.  A message will be sent a few hours before the space station is visible.

When the space station is visible — typically at dawn and dusk — it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus. “Spot the Station” users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings.

Sometimes, however, the ISS passes overhead during the day.

 

The International Space Station’s trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth’s population. The service is designed to only…

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In Avondale, AZ, All Trails Lead To Sonic

Avondale

My running problem resurfaced in Avondale, Arizona, over the New Year long weekend.  The morning after a late night playing darts in my cousin’s man cave, the bright desert sun shone through my bedroom window and I jumped out of bed, grabbed my running shoes, leashed my dog, Monty, and set off on an exploratory run.  Irrigation canals criss-crossed through the field adjacent to the neighborhood, which was still in transition from rural to urban.  Running a dirt trail alongside the larger of the canals, Monty noticed the goats and chickens corralled in people’s one-acre yards; I don’t think Monty had ever before seen either, and I marveled at the idea of hurrying home from working in a skyscraper in downtown Phoenix to milk your cow.  A large fish in the canal hurriedly swam away; and I later learned it was an algae-eater, farmed there to keep the canals free of algae.  When we cut through a dirt trail smack dab in the middle of the field, Monty took off at full speed and I completely understood why, the desert seemed endless there with field surrounding, no mountains, no clouds just this long eternal trail, and vast empty, gorgeous space, what else was there to do but run?  It was strange to come to the edge of the field and see a Sonic burger sitting there on a four-lane street.  After cutting through the cemetery, we discovered a great neighborhood that integrated the canals into the planning, each home had a small bridge constructed over the irrigation canal, allowing access to the home. I showed Monty the ducks that swam in those canals, he had never before seen a duck either, and quickly learned how exciting it was to make them fly, we chased them for blocks.  We ran six miles  and lamentably missed out on the morning preparations for supper; this year there was no meat-centered meal for New Year’s, instead, we decided to make Vietnamese Pho, a health-conscious choice for those relatives with diabetes and/or high-cholesterol.  Like Chinese food, Pho fills you up, but, the hunger sets in again in no time, so it wasn’t long after supper when we ended up at the Sonic across from the field ordering fried fat.

Space Tourism Soon To Be A Reality?

Astronomy and Law

A British space-exploration company has revealed its aim to fly the public to the moon from 2015 – providing you have £100m for a ticket.Isle of Man-based Excalibur Almaz owns a fleet of six proven aircraft that it wishes to use for crewed space missions to the moon and beyond.

In an address at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, Excalibur Almaz’s founder and chief executive officer, Art Dula, outlined the business case that underpins the project, which is based on independent research by the Futron Corporation on the economics of commercial space voyages and lunar missions.

“The lunar mission costs about $150m (£96m) a seat for the first mission”, Dula told The Engineer. “I expect prices will decline after this”.

The company intends to use a combined spacecraft – comprising an “Almaz” capsule and a “Salyut-class” spacecraft — as a transportation system to the moon, asteroids and deep space.

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Astronomy and Law

Unless there is a written agreement to the contrary, signed by both parties, a copyrighted work is owned by the author.  If the employer or the person the work was made is deemed the owner of the copyright, then it is considered a work made for hire.  It is EXTRMEMLY important for employees and consultants to understand the meaning of a “work for hire.”

Section 101 of the copyright law defines a “work made for hire” as:

  • A work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
  • A work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as
a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in…

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