Monthly Archives: February 2017

FOI release: Series trade marks

Provides information held by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on list of series marks that are or have been registered since 1994 to date.

This information has been released by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Source: UK IPO News

FOI release: Data on trade mark applications

Provides information held by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on figures of trade marks applications, separately from applicants within and outside the UK.

This information has been released by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Source: UK IPO News

FOI release: IPO pay and conditions

Provides information held by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on the current pay rates for all junior civil service grades of IPO staff and latest pay settlement.

This information has been released by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Source: UK IPO News

FOI release: Customer satisfaction

Provides information held by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in the form of customer satisfaction surveys during 2014 – 2016.

This information has been released by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Source: UK IPO News

The What, How, Why, and Where of INTA’s Free Trade Zone Workshops


​This year, INTA has launched a series of workshops titled “Free Trade Zones: Commerce vs. Counterfeits.” Balancing the positive economic impact of free trade zones (FTZs) with the proliferation of counterfeit goods in FTZs remains an ongoing struggle. INTA’s one-day FTZ workshops are designed to bring together key stakeholders to discuss their FTZ experiences and share best practices, in an effort to work together toward a solution to effectively combat counterfeit products. Want to attend an upcoming workshop, but don’t know a lot about FTZs? We’re here to help!

What are free trade zones? FTZs take a variety of forms and can include international airports, major ports, national frontiers, or any other designated area that allows for the duty-free import of raw materials, components, sub-assemblies, semi-finished goods, or finished goods. Such items can be stored, displayed, assembled, or processed for re-export or entry into the general market of the importing country (after paying the required duties). FTZs are also called foreign trade zones or free zones. 

How many FTZs exist? The number of FTZs has increased dramatically over the last four decades and is growing rapidly. In 1975, there were only 79 FTZs worldwide, employing roughly 800,000 people. Today, there are an estimated 3,000 FTZs in 135 countries, accounting for 68 million jobs and USD 500 billion in direct trade‒related value.

Why are FTZs beneficial? FTZs attract employers, stimulate the regional economy, and promote economic growth for the host country by increasing foreign investment, employment, innovation, and technological development. Governments are increasingly promoting international trade by creating FTZs as free trading areas within their borders in regions where a minimum level of oversight occurs. 

FTZs offer a number of incentives to attract business and trade, including non-discriminatory access, streamlined customs procedures, import and export duty exemptions, and liberal foreign exchange policies. Given the considerable economic benefits, FTZs have become indispensable tools for global business.

Why are there problems with FTZs? Along with the recent global proliferation of FTZs has come increasing vulnerability to a wide range of abuses by criminal actors who have taken advantage of relaxed oversight, softened Customs controls and the lack of transparency in these zones. For example, the 2010 OECD/FATF report titled Money Laundering Vulnerabilities of Free Trade Zones delineates abuses in FTZs, including: “participation in an organized criminal group and racketeering, illicit trafficking in narcotics, fraud, smuggling and counterfeiting and piracy of products.” The very reason that FTZs are so popular—the relaxation in regulations and the loosening of the overseeing of operations—has enabled criminal networks to use the transit or transshipment of goods, through multiple, geographically diverse FTZs, for no other purpose than to disguise the nature of illicit products. 

This hijacking of FTZs not only impairs their primary function—to facilitate legitimate trade, but also creates an enormous drain on the global economy. Billions of dollars (USD) in legitimate economic activity are being crowded out, facilitating “underground economies” that deprive governments of tariffs.

What is INTA’s rationale behind organizing FTZ workshops? The movement of counterfeit goods through FTZs remains a key concern for the Association. While criminals today are choosing to sell their counterfeits online, they still need to get the goods to consumers. Although we’re seeing an increase of counterfeiters using express courier services for small consignments, the use of large shipping containers continues to play a significant role in moving counterfeit goods. 

Governments, including customs departments and the courts, need support and guidance. To address this issue, all stakeholders from across the international community must work together as an anticounterfeiting network. These FTZ workshops are designed to provide a forum for brand owners, FTZ authorities, government officials, and other key stakeholders to share their concerns and best practices, and to work together toward solutions to combat the ongoing threat of counterfeiting in FTZs.

As an association, INTA is continuing to try and work to protect FTZs from illicit trade. The Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC) is the largest committee within the Association, with 270 members worldwide. The ACC is instrumental in helping to organize member events and in drafting anticounterfeiting resources for members, as follows: 

With a successful event previously held in Hong Kong, INTA is eager to present the upcoming FTZ workshops. Join us for the following Free Trade Zone: Commerce vs. Counterfeits Workshops to learn more: 

For more information about Free Trade Zones, read ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) report titled Controlling the Zone: Balancing facilitation and control to combat illicit trade in the world’s Free Trade Zones and watch INTA’s video on the expansion of the Panama Canal

Category: Programs
Published: 2/28/2017 6:13 AM
BlogTag: Free Trade Zones; Anticounterfeiting; Counterfeit; Counterfeiting; Anticounterfeiting Committee

Source: TM NEWS

Arbitrators exceeding their powers – three courts reverse

Arbitrator ignored limitations in cba

The cba between CenterPoint Energy and the Gas Workers sets forth several offenses which provide “absolute causes” for discharge and limit an arbitrator to the question of whether the employee, in fact, committed the offense. 

An employee was dismissed for allegedly “falsifying time sheets and neglect of duty,” both of which are among the “absolute cause” offenses. The dispute about the dismissal was submitted to arbitrator Richard Miller for resolution. In his award, Arbitrator Miller found that the Company had established that grievant had engaged in the conduct alleged on some, but not all, of the dates in question. Nevertheless, he concluded that the Company did not have just cause for the dismissal. Rejecting the Company’s reliance on the “absolute cause” language, the Arbitrator concluded that he was still free to modify the discipline.  He held:

To interpret Article 26 in any other manner would violate all of the basic notions fairness and due process firmly established in the history of industrial relations and implicit in Article 26, which also includes a just cause standard for discipline and discharge.

Arbitrator  Miller converted the discipline to a suspension without back pay and ordered the grievant’s reinstatement.

CenterPoint sought to vacate the award, claiming that the arbitrator exceeded his authority by ignoring the explicit language of the contract. The District Court agreed. It found:

The Arbitrator here acted outside the scope of his authority by disregarding the plain language of the CBA.

This provision clearly and unambiguously limits the arbitrator’s authority to determining whether an employee is guilty of the facts constituting any of the four absolute causes. Once the arbitrator makes that determination, the arbitrator’s authority ceases and he can no longer fashion a remedy he believes is appropriate given the circumstances. 

Accordingly the Court vacated the award.

Arbitrator altered the charges against  a teacher and then found charge unsupported

  The NJ Supreme Court in Bound Brook Bd of Education v. Ciripompa overturned an award of Arbitrator Michael J. Pecklers in a teacher tenure proceeding. 

 Two counts of tenure charges had been brought against the teacher for unbecoming conduct. The first related to claims that the teacher had used his employer issued laptop to send nude pictures of himself and to solicit similar pictures from women on the internet. Count II alleged that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct towards female staff members and made comments about their dress and physical appearence. The tenure charges were submitted to Arbitrator Pecklers for resolution. Arbitrator Pecklers found that the Board proved the allegations of Count I. With regard to Count II,  he noted that while the Count did not specifically allege sexual harassment, in light of the evidence this was the substance of the allegation. He then considered the evidence in light of the NJ Supreme Court’s decision in Lehmann v. Toys ‘R’ Us, Inc, a case interpreting the NJ Law Against Discrimination, and found that the evidence did not support a finding of a hostile work environment.  In view of his findings regarding Count I and his dismissal of Count II the arbitrator converted the dismissal to a 120 days suspension. 

On the School District’s appeal, the case was ultimately appealed to the N.J. Supreme Court.  Describing the issue before it, the Court wrote:

 In this case we determine whether an arbitrator exceeded his authority by applying the standard for proving a hostile-work-environment, sexual-harassment claim in a law against discrimination (LAD) case to a claim of unbecoming conduct in a tenured teacher disciplinary hearing. We find that he did.

The Court determined that the Arbitrator erred in essentially modifying the allegations in Count II from unbecoming conduct to sexual harassment, noting 

Here, the arbitrator erroneously faulted the Board for failing to prove a charge that it did not bring. The arbitrator erred in his reliance on Lehmann because he imposed a different and inappropriate standard of proof on the Board to sustain its unbecoming conduct in the presence of students claim. The arbitrator “imperfectly executed” his power by misinterpreting the intentions of the Board so significantly as to impose a sexual harassment analysis, when such an analysis was wholly ill-suited in this context

The Court ordered the dispute remanded to a different arbitrator to decide the question of whether the teacher committed unbecoming conduct and the appropriate penalty if he did so. 

Arbitrator improperly ordered University to award tenure

The District Court of Appeal in Florida found that an arbitrator erred in ordering Florida Atlantic University to award tenure to a professor. The arbitrator found that the University relied on improper criteria in its decision to deny tenure and ordered the school to follow the established criteria and  grant the professor’s application for promotion and tenure. A lower court  found that the arbitrator exceeded his authority in awarding tenure, but ordered the school to provide grievant with an additional year of employment during which she could reapply for tenure. The Court of Appeal in Nash v. Florida Atlantic University found both the arbitrator and the lower court erred.  It held:

…the arbitrator exceeded his authority in directing the University to grant Nash a promotion and tenure. Although the parties stipulated that the arbitrator would determine “the appropriate remedy” for a breach of the CBA, the parties did not expressly place before the arbitrator the issue of whether Nash should have been granted promotion and tenure. Rather, the issue was whether the University had violated the CBA’s procedure for determining an application for tenure and promotion. It is clear to us that once the arbitrator found the University violated the procedure by not relying on established criteria, “the appropriate remedy” was for the arbitrator to direct the University to review Nash’s application using the correct criteria.

The court also rejected the lower court’s order of an additional year of employment, concluding that the lower court should have directed the University to review grievant’s application using the correct criteria. 

Source: ADR

Mediation advocacy: best practice in preparation and openings

Plotting your moves and strategy prior to a mediation is critical: “Don’t plan so much that you’re trapped by it,” warns one mediator, “but if you want to go from no settlement to settlement at a figure which is acceptable, without a plan of how to get there, you won’t. If you don’t think it through everything will be a surprise.”

One should, as far as possible, anticipate the other side’s moves; have a clear idea of what points the other side are going to home in on, and plan a response.

“You have to think: what are we going to say when the mediator comes in and asks about issue A?” offers one mediator. If it’s a money case, you need to plan how early you want to start talking about money. “It’s something that the parties have considerable control over,” says one mediator. “You have to pick your moment. Can you browbeat the other side? Will you get a better settlement by drawing the process out into the early hours? You need a plan, even if it’s a wholly imperfect plan, which it will be,” he says.

Source: JAMS ADR

3 themes shaping the UK mediation market

Taken from a presentation at the inauguration of Oxford University’s ADR Society

I’ve picked three broad themes to discuss this evening as we think about ADR in the UK market. In doing so, I hope to reflect on the purpose of ADR, its importance to society in general and the importance of continued support for ADR from those of you with less grey hair than me.

My first theme is the proliferation and growth in ADR; my second is generational change and its effect on the practice of mediation; finally I’m going to offer some thoughts on competition: that is, competition between individuals and, as importantly, competition between ADR processes.

1. Proliferation 

Let me start, then, with proliferation. The story of the last decade in mediation circles, I believe, has been one of growth. Not simply in absolute numbers, but in the extraordinary spread and diversity of contexts in which mediation is currently used.

Source: JAMS ADR

News story: Illicit IPTV streaming devices: call for views

The use of Internet Protocol television (IPTV) boxes to access illegal content appears to have increased in recent months.

A range of legislation applies to both the sale and use of these devices, but broadcasters and content owners have expressed concerns. They believe that the legal framework does not provide the right tools to tackle the growing threat.

The government is keen to understand where further action might be necessary to address this problem. The IPO is therefore seeking views from those with knowledge and experience in dealing with IPTV boxes.

Please support your views with evidence that is clear, verifiable and able to be peer-reviewed. The IPO has published a Guide to Evidence for Policy, setting out its approach in this area.

Please send your views to the following email address:
by 7 April 2017

Source: UK IPO News