Newsletter November 2021

The AIPPI Japanese Group's journal "A.I.P.P.I." latest issue (Vol 46, No.5) is available to all AIPPI members.

The Japanese Group is pleased to inform you that the latest issue (Vol 46, No.5) of the Japanese Group's Journal "A.I.P.P.I." is now available to all AIPPI members. You can view the contents page for this issue below.

Please sign in to the “Membership Portal” on the AIPPI website and visit “Member Offers” to read the current edition of the journal.

Since 1965, the Japanese Group has been publishing its bimonthly journal "A.I.P.P.I." in English for the purpose of disseminating information on the Japanese intellectual property system to foreign countries.

AIPPI members can read the entire issue online (not available for download or print). We hope that many AIPPI members around the world will find it interesting.

Back issues are also available to read in the Members Area of the AIPPI website.


UK Court of Appeal rules on registrability of patents with an AI system named as the inventor: Thaler v Comptroller-General.

By Toby Bond of Bird & Bird, London, UK.

The UK’s Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Thaler v Comptroller-General [2021] EWCA Civ 1374 on 21 September 2021 (link). The dispute relates to the registrability of a patent applied for by Dr Thaler, who has pursued similar registrations around the world, in respect of inventions said to be devised by DABUS, an AI owned by Dr Thaler that he describes as a “creativity machine”. The three Court of Appeal judges agreed that only humans can be inventors under the UK’s Patents Act. However, the three judges disagreed as to the consequences for Dr Thaler’s patent applications.

In essence, Lord Justice Birss considered that the requirement to name an inventor was an administrative exercise, and that the IPO should not reject an application for failure to name a proper inventor. Lord Justice Arnold and Lady Justice Laing disagreed with Birss LJ. They concluded that the applications ought to be refused if the application failed to name an inventor, and also where no mechanism was apparent by which the right in the invention had been transferred from the named inventor to the applicant.

Update of Japanese Patent Law in 2021.

By Hirohito Katsunuma of Katsunuma International Patent Office, Tokyo, Japan.

In 2020, there were 288,472 domestic patent applications (-6.33% on the previous year) filed in Japan and 50,559 PCT applications (-4.07% on the previous year) filed from Japan. The number of domestic patent applications decreased for 8 consecutive years. The number of PCT applications from Japan had increased from 2014 onward but dropped in 2020.

However, the total number of direct foreign patent applications from Japan and PCT national phase applications entering foreign countries from Japan had increased for 3 consecutive years, reaching 208,444 in 2019.

These data suggest that Japanese patent applications have shifted their emphasis from domestic patent applications to overseas patent applications, although they have been affected by the coronavirus COVID-19.

Triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of electronic means and economic activities have dramatically changed. To address the changes, the “Law for Partial Revision of the Patent Act and other Acts, etc.” was proclaimed on May 21, 2021, in Japan.

Some notable revisions to the Patent Act are introduced below.


Serbian Court Issues Important Decision on Fake Car Parts.

By Mihajlo Zatezalo, of PETOSEVIC Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

On July 19, 2021, the Commercial Court in Belgrade issued a first-instance decision stating that the import and sale of car parts visually identical to those protected by industrial design registrations valid in Serbia constituted industrial design infringement. This is the first ruling of its kind in Serbian practice and is therefore significant because it is likely to influence future decisions related to counterfeit car parts.

France adopts a repair clause for the automotive sector.

By Tougane Loumeau, Co-reporter of the French Group of AIPPI, Lawyer at Gide, Paris, France.

After a few unsuccessful attempts, France has finally adopted a measure aimed at liberalising the automotive spare parts sector by creating new exceptions to intellectual property law. The new provisions are due to enter into force on 1 January 2023.


Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions: Appreciation or Appropriation? An IP Perspective.

What constitutes Cultural Appreciation, and what is Cultural Appropriation? What are the dividing factors of drawing an inspiration and exploiting age-old cultural heritage? In the advent of numerous cases of Cultural Appropriation flooding newspapers and social media, discerning how to navigate this tricky landscape will be vital in both protecting the interests of indigenous cultures and safeguarding oneself from the court of public opinion.




The United Arab Emirates confirms membership of the Madrid Protocol.

Click here for this story and others from the October 2021 AIPPI UAE newsletter.


AIPPI at the 4th CIIE

By invitation of the co-hosts, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), and CNIPA, the president of AIPPI, Luiz Henrique do Amaral, delivered a speech on IP protection and business environment optimization by video at the IP sub-forum of the Hongqiao International Economic Forum of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) on November 5, 2021 in Shanghai.

A new Francophone IP blog!

By Laurence Loumes, of Plasseraud IP.

The new French blog BLIP (standing for BLog on IP) has been launched. It is the result of a collaboration between the French AIPPI group and the CEIPI (International study center in IP in Strasbourg). The blog is intended for a large audience, ranging from professionals to passionate or simply curious readers.

At present the blog is structured into three main categories:

(1) Artistic and literary property (covering trademarks, copyright and designs)

(2) Industrial property (covering patents), and

(3) Emerging technologies and data (covering AI or GDPR for example)


Sign up at to receive the latest articles (in French!).

The European Patent Court is coming….I promise.

By Laurence Loumes, of Plasseraud IP.

On October 11, the French AIPPI Group presented a webinar on the European Patent Court. Mr. Pierre Véron, a historical figure in the French patent litigation landscape, commented on the long awaited (and soon to be implemented!) Unified Patent Court. It is currently not possible to litigate a European patent at a European level (meaning a decision with unitary effect in European countries for which the patent has been validated). Instead, the European patent has to be litigated country by country.

The Unified Patent Court aims to rectify this situation by providing a single patent court covering 24 EU member states. This project has been in the pipeline for decades and it seems that we are finally seeing it coming together. The latest major issues include: an appeal made in Germany which delayed the ratification, and Brexit.

While the European patent can cover non-EU countries, the Unified Patent Court is restricted to EU member states only. As a result, the UK can’t be part of the UPC any longer. Now that Germany is in good standing for ratifying the agreement on a Unified Patent Court, the question remains of the structural implementation, especially after Brexit: where will be the courts located now that London is out of the picture?

AIPPI Paraguay's Webinar

On November 15, 2021 the Paraguayan Group of AIPPI, together with Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI) and the Paraguayan Association of Intellectual Property Agents (APAPI) organized a webinar called, “Discussion on the Modification of Trademark and Industrial Models and Design Laws”.

The participants learned about DINAPI’s suggestions for modification of the IP laws mentioned. The speakers were Berta Davalos, Industrial Property Director and Maria Cristina Acosta from DINAPI, Hugo Mersan, Partner of MERSAN Abogados and President of the Paraguayan Group of AIPPI, and Elba Britez de Ortiz, Partner from PSTBN Abogados. The event was moderated by Matias Noetinger, Noetinger & Armando Abogados and Sharin Pablo, JJ Roca & Asociados. Click here to see the flyer.

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