1. Nike Takes Legal Action Against New Balance and Skechers for Alleged Patent Infringement on Flyknit Technology

Nike has initiated legal proceedings against New Balance and Skechers, alleging patent infringement related to its Flyknit technology. The lawsuits claim that New Balance’s products, including the Fresh Foam and FuelCell lines, and Skechers’ Ultra Flex and Glide Step brands, violate Nike’s patented technology. This legal action mirrors previous cases involving Adidas, Puma, and Lululemon. Nike’s Flyknit technology, used in various sports shoes, creates lightweight uppers with specific support, stretch, and breathability. Despite the protection provided by the patent, both New Balance and Skechers are accused of incorporating Flyknit technology without authorization. Nike seeks unspecified monetary damages and a permanent injunction against further patent infringement by both companies. In response, New Balance acknowledged competitors’ intellectual property rights but contested Nike’s exclusive ownership claims in traditional footwear manufacturing methods. The complaint against New Balance is filed in a Massachusetts federal court, while the lawsuit against Skechers is in Los Angeles.

2. Spotify Announces Cease of Operations in Uruguay Due to Copyright Law Amendments

In response to amendments in Uruguay’s copyright laws, digital music giant Spotify has declared its imminent cessation of operations in the country. The decision follows the passage of the 2023 Rendición de Cuentas bill, incorporating Article 285, which introduces the right to “fair and equitable remuneration” for various stakeholders in the music industry. Spotify expressed concerns over potential double payments for the same music, deeming it unsustainable for their business. The service will be phased out from January 1, 2024, with a complete cessation in Uruguay by February. Industry observers speculate on the move’s broader implications, suggesting it may serve as a message to larger markets like the EU and the UK grappling with similar legislative considerations.

3. Singapore Court Resolves Prosecco Dispute: Recognizes It as Both Plant Variety and Geographical Indication

In a recent ruling, the Singapore Court of Appeal addressed the ongoing dispute between Australia and the European Union over the protection of the sparkling wine ‘Prosecco.’ The court, in Prosecco v Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated [2023] SGCA 37, deliberated on the registration of ‘Prosecco’ as a Geographical Indication (GI) in Singapore. The case involved a novel argument questioning whether ‘Prosecco’ should be considered a plant variety name. Despite opposition from Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated, the court held that ‘Prosecco’ could be both a plant variety name and a GI, paving the way for its registration in Singapore.

4. Cambodia Explores Innovation in Palm Juice Products through Collaboration with Korean Experts

Suon Vichea, advisor to the Ministry of Commerce and head of the secretariat of the National Intellectual Property Management Committee, has joined forces with Korean experts to transform palm juice into candies, beverages, and snacks. In a meeting with the Korea Innovation Promotion Association (KIPA), international beekeeping experts, and specialists from the Office of Geographic Markets, Commodities, and Trade Information, Vichea expressed gratitude for the identification of two geographical indications—Kampot pepper and Mondulkiri wild honey. The collaboration aims to leverage contemporary technology and enhance the reputation of Cambodia’s geographical brands. Vichea has urged further exploration of Kampong Speu palm sugar, seeking KIPA’s assistance in processing it into innovative products. Korean Intellectual Property Organization (KIPO) representatives will assess the geographical indications, with plans to implement the project in 2025 pending approval.

5. South Korea Unveils National Copyright Museum to Educate on Creative Rights

In a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Copyright Commission, South Korea inaugurated the National Copyright Museum in Jinju, South Gyeongsang. The government-run museum aims to provide interactive experiences for young Koreans, enhancing their understanding of copyright-related matters. Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Yu In-chon emphasized the museum’s role in safeguarding creators’ rights as a fundamental aspect of advancing culture, arts, and content industries. The museum features an immersive journey into the creative process on its first floor, highlighting potential copyright challenges across various domains. The second level serves as an educational hub, offering activities and insights into exhibitions. Amazon, a dance crew affiliated with 1Million Dance Studio, performed at the opening, emphasizing the importance of choreography in K-pop and advocating for copyright protection.

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