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Seminar11

IntellectualPropertyandConfidentialInformation

IntellectualPropertyIncludes:
Copyrights
Patents
TradeMarksand
RegisteredDesigns

Copyright
CopyrightisgovernedbytheCopyrightAct(allsections
referredtointhispartarewithreferencetotheCopyrightAct).
Copyrightprotectstheformofexpressionofideasandnotthe
ideasthemselves.
Copyrightisautomatic ie:neednotberegistered.(Query:to
enjoyprotectionmusttherebeasymbol?)
However,forcopyrighttoexistcertainpreconditionsmustbe
satisfiedsuchas:
(a) Itmustbeaauthorsworkorsubjectmatterotherthana
workand
(b) Theremustbeaconnectionbetweentheauthororthework
itself,andSingapore(whatifthereisnoconnection eg:a
songwasrecordedintheUSandyoudownloadeditfrom
theInternet?).

AuthorsWorks
ToqualifyasAuthorsWorks,theworkmust
beoriginal(ie:whether,skill,labour or
judgmentwasexercisedinthecreation).
AuthorsWorksincludes:
LiteraryWorks(note:meaningofLiterary).
MusicalWorks
ArtisticWorks

SubjectMatterOtherThanWorks
SubjectMatterOtherThanWorks(alsoknownas
entrepreneurialworks)includes:
SoundRecordings
CinematographFilms
TelevisionandSoundBroadcasts
PublishedEditionsofWorks
DiscussionQuestion:Whenaradiostation
broadcastsasongfromaCDonradio,whatarethe
copyrightsinvolved?

WhoHasCopyright?
Generallytheauthor/entrepreneur.
Exceptionsinclude(section30):
Copyrightcreatedinthecourseofemploymentbelongstothe
employerunlessthepartiesagreeotherwise.
Copyrightinphotographs/drawingsbelongstothecommissionerof
theworkandnotthepersonwhotookormadetheworkunlessthe
partiesagreeotherwise.
DiscussionQuestion:doesalecturerorhisuniversityhavethe
copyrightinthepowerpointslidescreatedbyalecturer?

Copyright HowLongDoesitLast?
Generally
ForAuthorsWorks Lifeplus70years.
ForSoundRecordings/CinematographFilms 70years
afteritwasfirstpublished.
ForBroadcasts 50yearsfromthetimeitwasfirst
broadcast.
ForPublishedEditionsofWorks 25yearsfrom
publication.
DiscussionQuestion:Canyouphotocopythewholeof
the20th editionofabookwhichcontainsa
Shakespearesplay?

RightsConferredbyCopyright
Theexacttypeofrightsconferredbycopyright,dependsonthetype
ofwork.
Forinstance,forliterary/musicalwork,rightincludes(section26):
Righttoreproduceworkinamaterialform
Publishwork
Performworkinpublic
Communicateworkinpublic
DiscussionQuestion:basedontheaboveparagraph,ifyouwritea
novel,whatrightswouldcopyrightconferonyou?
Note:copyrightisanitemofpropertywhichcanbeassignedor
licensed.Eg:whodoyouthinkhasthecopyrightinyourtextbook
theauthororthepublisher?

CopyrightInfringement
Whenapersonwithouttheconsentofthe
copyrightownerdoesanyoftheactsthatonlythe
copyrightownercando therewillbean
infringement(section31).
Inrelationtoreproduction howmuchmustbe
copied?(Eg:woulditmakeadifferencewhether
youcopiedonelineofabookor15pagesofa
book)?

Some Defences toCopyrightInfringement


GenerallyStated
Innocence?
Attributionofsource?
Impliedlicence?
Fairdealingforanypurposeincludingresearchor
study(note:ifforresearchorstudy andnotmore
than10%oftheedition[pages/bytes]or1chapter
iscopied thatisdeemedtobefair).
Eg:ifalecturerhasincorporatedcopiesof
newspaperorinternetarticlesonpowerpoint
slidesforthepurposesofteachinginthe
classroom isthatfairdealing?
Fairdealingforthepurposesofreportingcurrent
events.

ConsequencesofInfringement:CivilLiability
RemediesInclude(section119):
Damages
StatutoryDamages
AccountforProfits
Injunction
DeliveryupofInfringingCopies
Howdothesedifferfromcontractlawprinciples?

ConsequencesofInfringement:Criminal
Liability(section136)

Selling/renting
out/importing/distributing fortrade
purposesinfringingcopiesOR
Willfullyinfringing iftheextentof
infringementissignificantand/orifitis
donetogainacommercialadvantage.
Eg:ifyouboughtapiratedCDor
watchedapiratedmovieonline are
youcommittinganoffence?

Patents
PatentsaregovernedbythePatentsAct(allsectionsreferredto
inthispartarewithreferencetothePatentsAct).
Toenjoyprotection patentsmustberegistered.
Note:Singaporeusesthefirsttofileandnotfirsttoinvent
method.
Toregister(section13) thepatentmustbe:
New(mustnotformpartofthestateoftheart ie itmustnot
bedisclosedtothepublicinSingaporeorelsewhere),
InvolveanInventiveStep(ie notobvioustoapersonskilledin
theart)and
BecapableofIndustrialApplication.
Whataboutinternationalprotection?

Patents
Who has it?
For how long?
Patent infringement occurs when the infringer without the
consent of the patent holder does things which only the patent
holder is entitled to do (eg: make/use/dispose/import). Query:
How much must be copied to amount to a patent
infringement?
Remedies for infringement include: damages/account for
profits/injunction.
Defences for infringement include: for private/noncommercial
use/experimental use.
Note: there is no criminal liability for patent infringement.

Trademarks
TrademarksaregovernedbytheTrademarksAct(allsections
referredinthispartarewithreferencetotheTrademarksAct).
Undersection2 atrademarkisessentiallyanysignwhichis
capableofbeinggraphicallyrepresentedandwhichcandistinguish
yourproductsorservicesfromthatofanother:
EXAMPLESOFSIGNS:
LETTERS
WORDS
NAMES
SIGNATURES
SHAPES

Registration Sections5and6
ToenjoyprotectionundertheTrademarks
Act,thesignmustberegistered inrespect
ofoneoftheclassesofgoods/servicesunder
theTrademarksAct.
Thepersonseekingregistrationmustuseor
haveabonafideintentiontousetrademark
inrespectofthatclass.
Howlongisregistrationvalidfor?
Whataboutinternationalprotection?

SomeBarstoRegistration Section7
Ifnotdistinctive(eg:Tom) No.Butnoteexception:
itmaybecomedistinctivebecauseofalonguseor
becauseitisinastylizedform.
Ifdescriptiveofquality,purpose,geographicaloriginal
(eg:sweetforchocolate) No.Butnote:exceptions
statedabovealsoapply.

SomeBarstoRegistration Section8
Identicalmark identicalgoods/services No.
Identical/similarmark identical/similargoods/services No
ifpublicwouldbeconfused.
Identical/similarmark identical/similar/different
goods/services No if:
(a)theearliermarkiswellknowninSingaporeandthenew
markwouldindicateaconnectionbetweenthetwoandis
likelytodamagetheinterestsoftheearliertrademarkholder
or
(b)Theearliermarkiswellknowntothepublicatlargein
Singaporeandthenewmarkwouldcausedilutioninan
unfairmannerorwouldtakeunfairadvantageofthe
distinctivenessoftheearliermark.

SomeBarstoRegistration

Note:Differencebetweenwellknownin
Singaporeandwellknowntothe
publicatlargeinSingapore.
DiscussionQuestion:Cansomeregister
thenameMcDonaldsforapieceof
computergadget?

RightsofTrademarkHolder

Trademarkholdercanusethe
trademarkandauthorise othersto
useit.
Trademarkholdercanassignor
licence thetrademark.Forinstance,if
youarethefranchisor wouldyou
assignorlicence outyourtrademark
tothefranchisee?

Assumingthereisnoconsent someformsof
Infringement Section27
Section 27(1): Identical mark identical
goods/services.
Section
27(2):
Identical/similar
mark

similar/identical goods/services if public would be


confused.
Section 27(3): Identical/similar mark different
goods/services if the earlier mark is wellknown in
Singapore, the new mark would indicate a connection
between the two, confuse the public and is likely
cause damage to the interests of the earlier trademark
holder.

Assumingthereisnoconsent some
formsofInfringement Section55
Section 55(2): Identical/similar mark similar/identical goods/services
if there will be confusion.

Section 55(3): Identical/similar mark different goods/services


If the earlier mark is wellknown in Singapore, the new mark
would indicate a connection between the two and is likely cause
damage to the interests of the earlier trademark holder OR
If the earlier mark is wellknown to the public at large in
Singapore and the new mark would cause dilution in an unfair
manner or would take unfair advantage of the distinctiveness of
the earlier mark.
Eg: an advertisement for a posh condominium by a developer
shows a couple getting out of a posh internationally known car
has the developer breached the trademark in the logo of the
internationally known car? Does it matter whether the cars logo
is registered as a trademark in Singapore or not?

Defences forInfringement Section28

Honestuseofown
name/descriptivemarksin
relationtoindustrial/commercial
matters.
Fairuseincomparative
advertising.
Noncommercialpurposes.

ConsequencesofInfringement

CivilRemediesinclude:
Damages
StatutoryDamages
Injunctions
AccountforProfits
Deliveryupofinfringingcopies
Note:forabreachofsection55(asopposedtosection27) theinnocentpartycanonlygetan
injunction.

CriminalLiability
Counterfeiting/Importing
Keepinginpossessioninfringingcopiesfortrade
Eg:ifyouhaveafakePradabag,areyoucommittinganoffence?
DiscussionQuestion:fromwhathasbeendiscussedsofar howdoespassingoffvaryfrom
trademarks?

TortofConfidence
Thetortofconfidencemaybemadeoutif:
(a) apersonreceivesinformationwhichhasanecessary
qualityofconfidence,
(b) incircumstancesimportinganobligationofconfidenceon
thepartofthedefendantand
(c) thedefendantmakesanunauthorised useordisclosure.
Alsonotesometimesifthereisacontractbetweenthe
parties,therecouldbeanexpressorimpliedtermrelatingto
confidentiality.
Abreachontheabovegroundscouldresultin
damages/injunction,butgenerallywillnotresultincriminal
liability.

DiscussionQuestion

Thereisnorestraintoftradeclausein
thecontractofemployeeX.Justbefore
heresignstheemployertriestomakeX
signarestraintoftradeagreement.The
employeerefuses.Xthengoesanjoinsa
competitor.AdvisethecompanyandX.

PersonalData
UnderthePersonalDataProtectionAct,personaldatacannot
becollected,usedordisclosed withoutconsentoftheperson
involved.
However,therearevariousexceptionssuchasinthecaseof
newsreportingorwherethedataispublicallyavailable.
Further,thisstatutegenerallyimposesobligationson
organisations andnotindividuals.
Eg:ifabankemployeetakesdownacustomersdetailsand
passesittoherboyfriendwhoisintheinsurancefieldsothat
hecancallonthatcustomer whohasbreachedthestatute?
Abreachontheabovestatutecanresultindamages/injunction
beingimposed.Itcanalsoresultincriminalliabilitiesor
financialpenalties butincertainlimitedcircumstances.

Summary
Variousformsofintellectualpropertyareprotectedin
Singapore.
Howevertoenjoyprotection,mostformsofintellectual
propertyhavetoberegistered.
Ifapersondoeswhatonlytheintellectualpropertyholdercan
do withouthisconsent thatpersonwouldbeinfringingthat
intellectualpropertyright unlesssomedefence applies.
Therearecivilandinsomecases,criminalliabilities,forthe
infringementofintellectualpropertyrights.
Thelawalsoprotectsconfidentialinformationthroughvarious
means,breachofwhichobligationcanalsoresultinliabilities.

Reading
RCorBT Chapter14.