UAE IP procedure outlined

November 27, 2015

The US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court

The legal system for handling alleged infringements in England and Wales has been compared with that of the UAE.

Legal publication Lexology interviewed two of its experts in the respective regions about the different processes, including the possibility of securing an injunction.

The overall court system for handling IP cases in the UAE is based on “statutory codes” influenced by “federal and emirate level laws and courts”, with different laws under the jurisdiction of different courts. IP laws are federal laws, which are applied at emirate level. Cases are rarely reported and are not binding on future complaints.

England and Wales is based on “common law jurisdiction”, with patents, trade marks, copyright and designs each having a statutory basis, while “some IP rights”, including passing off and confidentially information, are processed “solely by case law”.

A number of the IP laws have been harmonised at EU level, especially with regards to trade marks and designs, while the UK is part of the European Patent Convention, with its patent laws similar to those of other EU countries. Previous judgments may be binding and a “substantial body” of IP case law is available to the public.

With regard to securing an injunction, in some UAE IP cases it is possible to apply to the “Judge of Summary Matters” for an ex-parte interim injunctive relief, or precautionary measure, but courts are rarely willing to grant them so they are not often requested.

If the injunction is secured, the main claim must be filed within a specified period, usually within eight to 15 days. A permanent injunction can also be requested as part of the main claim.

In contrast, interim and permanent injunctions, also known as ‘preliminary’ and ‘final’ respectively, are common outcome for English and Welsh IP infringements. Interim applications are available without the full merits of the case being heard.

If the plaintiff can establish they have an arguable case and that monetary compensation will not cover the damage they will likely suffer, the court assesses the ‘balance of convenience’ to the parties in deciding whether or not to grant an interim injunction.

Greater emphasis is on commercial criteria than on the merits of the claim when assessing this balance, and claimants have to act quickly when they discover any infringements to preserve the right to the injunction. Permanent injunctions are granted after a full trial examining the merits of the case.

Looking at the possibility of being referred to a specialist court, the experts explained that the English High Court operates a specialist ‘list’ for patent cases, with cases referred to a judge with expertise in patent law. Judges with scientific training will look at difficult technical matters, which parties should outline in the early stages of proceedings.

The High Court does not have any such lists, but the specialist Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), formerly the Patents County Court, provides a lower-cost venue for IP disputes.

Dubai has no such courts and so IP cases are hear in general courts, with the sitting judge responsible for a wide range of cases. Key aspects of the case are commonly referred to experts.

Regarding restrictions on appeals, there is an automatic right of appeal against judgments by the Court of First Instance to the Court of Appeal in the UAE, making the proceedings effectively a re-trial, with the court appointing an expert at both stages.

The Court of Cassation offer a further right of appeal, although this is limited to points of law, and this court “does not generally allow the submission of further evidence or documents”. The lack of recoverability of costs in the UAE means almost all IP cases are appeals in this court.

In England and Wales, a party needs the permission of the court to appeal, with the trial judge able to grant permission when handing down their judgment in the first instance. Should the judge refuse leave, the party may seek permission for the Court of Appeal.

Permission for appealing first instance decisions is commonly granted, and the process for appealing judgments of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court is similar, but permission is rarely given.

Asked finally about the winning party recovering legal costs, the UAE representatives said they are not generally recoverable. A nominal sum, equivalent to a few hundred US dollars, is awarded to the successful party to contribute to their legal fees.

Nonetheless, the overall costs incurred by the parties are likely to be significantly lower than they would be in the UK. Even if the winner could recover an amount similar to that which they could recover in a UK case, their overall costs would still be lower.

The ‘user pays’ system in England and Wales means the unsuccessful party must pay the reasonable legal costs of the winner, meaning the successful party can recover around 60 to 70 percent of its legal costs.

The courts are willing to take an ‘issues-based’ view to costs assessment with discrete issues assessed on an individual basis. Overall costs can be substantial, as litigation in the region involves disclosing documentation and the cross-examination of witnesses, so a successful party may still incur significant costs despite what it recovers.

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Retailers move towards creating bespoke offers

November 27, 2015

retail60 percent of retailers are looking to develop more tailored customer-focused offers to generate business, Xerox research has found.

A further 91 percent of European retailers says that improved use of big data analytics will bring closer engagement with customers in the retail and the consumer space, with 43 percent of organisations planning on using big data to build targeted marketing offers, Retail Times reported.

41 percent said of the respondents from 70 large retail and consumer firms said they will be using big data to build better online shopping experiences.

The most important plans for big data use in the near future include providing a ‘single view’ for consumers across multiple channels, as 53 percent plan to incorporate more customer data into the call centre in the next 12 months, empowering agents to answer customer questions. Recent Xerox research found that 51 percent also want to use big data to enhance matching of merchandise across all channels, enabling clients to find the same information and offers on products whether they choose to shop in-store, online or via social networks.

Craig Saunders, Director of the Analytics Resource Centre at Xerox Consulting and Analytics Services, said: “Retail and consumer organisations certainly recognise the value data-driven insights can bring to help their business work better, both from a customer experience perspective and in relation to their all-important bottom line.

“Big data has a distinct role to play in unlocking crucial insight into individual shoppers, generating information that could make or break firms in the battle for the hearts and minds of their customers.”

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US magnate buys seven percent of Xerox

November 26, 2015

Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn

US investor Carl Icahn purchased 7.13 percent of Xerox shares, after the company struggled in the third quarter.

Xerox posted revenue falls of $4.3 billion (€4 billion) for 3Q2015 compared to 3Q2014, CRN reported.

Icahn’s company, Icahn Capital, said it hopes to discuss with representatives from the OEM operational improvements and strategic alternatives, as well as the possibility of representation on the board.

79-year-old New Yorker Icahn made a bid to acquire Dell in July 2013, denouncing the company on Twitter during the takeover battle.

Dell CEO Michael Dell described him as “a bad guy” in an interview with CRN the following year. “He lies, he has no ethical boundaries, he’ll say anything, do anything, I have no time for him.”

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Single-service IT resellers dwindle

November 26, 2015

mps fleet managementAdvancements in mobility and the ‘Internet of Things’ are leading IT estates to diversify their offerings, with channels delivering multiple services and leading clients opting for a small number of trusted suppliers.

UK MPS software developer Annodata said a “broad offering and expertise” is needed from resellers if they are to succeed in the streamlined market, as it is “nonsense, not to mention inefficient”, to have one supplier for print, another for communications and another to provide IT and desktop services.

Rod Tonna-Barthet, CEO of Annodata, said:Ease of vendor management is increasingly becoming key to many organisations as they look to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

“If you can only supply one item on your clients’ shopping lists, you’ve either got to be extraordinarily good at that one thing or extraordinarily cheap. Otherwise, your business will become extinct.”

In its efforts to consolidate its offering, Annodata purchased specialist MPS provider STS in Feburary 2015.

He added: “The challenge many single-service providers now have – particularly those in the comms space – is that you’ve got to invest in the infrastructure behind the scenes to be able to deliver and employ a multi-service strategy. That’s a big investment that I suspect a lot of resellers aren’t in a position to make so I think the drive to consolidate suppliers will see many struggle over the next year.”

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LMI Solutions discusses Parts Now acquisition

November 26, 2015

parts nowPresident and CEO of the remanufacturer, Gary Willert, said that three distribution centres have already been consolidated, and hinted that there may be another acquisition in 2016.

He told ENX Magazine that the deal will give more dealers a “one-stop shop” while allowing LMI to offer its MPS customers “the best quality, not only toner cartridges, but parts, fusers, and maintenance kits”.

He added that “better quality and higher yield is critical in that environment. That’s why Parts Now is a good fit”. Willert also said that the deal offers LMI the “best recipe” for matching cartridges with individual fuser types, and that combined with the “printers we’re refurbishing [..] we’ve got the whole gamut”.

The executive hopes that with thorough testing the remanufacturer can achieve the “lowest cost per page”.

Asked about future acquisitions, Willert said that LMI is still looking for “new opportunities”, within or outside of the industry, and that “we will be doing something” in 2016. LMI previously said of the deal that it would “extend benefits enjoyed by end users through identified opportunities to enhance efficiencies and responsiveness at the dealer level”.

The remanufacturer previously acquired two US printer remanufacturers, Printersdirect and Global Printer Services,  in summer 2014.

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Consumers willing to pay more for customer service

November 25, 2015

Reception1A survey by Xerox found that the importance of the customer care experience was important to consumers of all ages, with even 40 percent of 16 to 20-year-olds prepared to pay more to “ease the support process”.

Seven in 10 of those aged over 71 would also pay more, a survey by the OEM of 6,000 consumers in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States found, Business Wire reported.

The preferred sign-up route is still face-to-face contact in a retail store, which appealed to 38 percent, as well as for set-up in the technology sector, which 25 percent opted for.

31 percent said they don’t want any form of personalisation because of privacy concerns, while half of those over 50 were uncomfortable with the way brands use their personal data. Nonetheless, 56 percent were happy with alternative methods of digital communication, with 29 percent ruling out this option and 15 percent saying they were yet to decide on the emerging technology.

Younger consumers find the concept more appealing, with 72 percent of the 16 to 20-year-old respondents open to the new form of artificial intelligence, compared to 36 percent of 71 year olds. Single-brand ecosystems are expected to predominate, with 51 percent of all respondents expecting to buy into a single brand by 2025, representing “a huge opportunity for brands to position themselves at the heart of their customers’ worlds”.

25 percent of respondents still prefer the call centre, which dominates in the United States, with 32 percent, and in France, with 27 percent. Yet 42 percent said there would be no call centres by 2025.

Nancy Collins, Group President of Xerox’ High-Tech, Communications and Media group, said:  “We all know that customer satisfaction is a strong indicator of loyalty. Whether it’s more expertise from customer care agents, shorter wait times or a seamless omnichannel experience, there is a clear opportunity for brands to better use technology to build trust and treat every consumer as an individual.

“Delivering that personalised service so many consumers crave while ensuring their data will be handled carefully is an ongoing challenge. We see a great opportunity for businesses to bridge the gap and differentiate themselves with the next-gen tools such as analytics, automation and artificial intelligence that push the traditional customer care models forward.”

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HP inkjet supplies prices increase

November 25, 2015

hplogonewThe OEM has reportedly increased the prices on a number of its “small format ink cartridges, print heads, photo value packs and small format media” by an average of 5.2 percent.

Digitek reported on the price increase, effective from 1 October, which “vary by SKU (stock keeping unit)”, and said the move is part of HP’s “standard portfolio management”.

The news comes after HP Inc CEO Dion Weisler said the printer market is not expected to improve “in the near future”, with fourth-quarter results for 2015 showing printing revenue falling 14 percent year-on-year compared to 2014.

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HP Inc printer woes to continue

November 25, 2015

HP's Colour LaserJet Pro MFP M477, released in September

HP’s Colour LaserJet Pro MFP M477, released in September

CEO Dion Weisler said the printer market is not expected to improve “in the near future”, after fourth-quarter results for 2015 showed printing revenue falling 14 percent year-on-year compared to 2014.

Full year net revenue for the total Printing and Personal Systems group totalled $52.7 billion (€49.8 billion), down from the 2014 figure of $57.5 billion (€54.3 billion). 4Q2015 hardware units sales were down 17 percent for the full year, while commercial hardware fell 23 percent year-on-year, as did supplies revenue, by 10 percent.

Full year net revenue for HP Inc came in at $103.4 billion (€97.7 billion), down seven percent from the 2014 amount, while net earnings were registered at $4.6 billion (€4.3 billion), falling from the 2014 figure of 5 billion (€4.7 billion).

Weisler said the business will “constantly assess how the market evolves”, CRN reported.

He remained resolute despite the poor results: “We firmly believe in our strategy around core growth and the future as outlined in the securities analyst meeting.

“We are still the leader in large consolidating markets. We have scale, innovation, channel reach and an incredible brand. While the market is challenging now, we believe the actions we are taking now will protect the core that generates the majority of our cash flow.”

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Medifill to close down

November 25, 2015

MedifillThe France-based cartridge and components supplier was created in 1990, and traded in toners, cartridges and components for copiers and laser printers.

It also had a customer base throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Medifill was taken over by Serge and Veronique Lammerant in 2007, who developed the company’s offering to printer products and spare parts, working alongside IR Italiana Riprografia.

Serge Lammerant told The Recycler that increasing pricing competition from Asia, along with the labour costs in France and the shortage of the lifecycle of products, led to their decline. Trading of empties and bulk toners was also made “unprofitable” by the evolution of the euro/US dollar rate.

David Connett, Editor and Publisher of The Recycler, said: “It is always sad when a well-established company like Medifill decides to close their doors. But it is the evolution of a maturing and declining market, and unfortunately Medifill follow in the steps of many other companies, and won’t be the last to close their doors.

“In 1990 the industry was in its infancy, and we all learned and collaborated with each other to build a business and carve a niche in an 100-percent OEM market. If you know how to remanufacture a cartridge you could build a successful business in a growing market.

“Today the challenges are very different, and the economic situation and currency rates are all beyond the influence of small remanufacturers. The closure of Medifill is sad news indeed, and we wish everyone at the company every best wish and success for the future.”

The company has now decided to cease all operations by the end of 2015, with customers recommended to redirect their orders to IR Italiana Riprografia. Medifill’s management is currently offering the last stocks of finished products, including GPI empties and bulk toners, at discounted prices. For more details, contact: [email protected].

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OKI advises SMEs on how to streamline printing

November 24, 2015

OKI's C911The OEM has been plugging its new MFPs as “less to do with printing and more to do with workflow and productivity”, while also advising small businesses to consider MPS programmes.

The manufacturer wrote on The Telegraph website that small business owners should not have to worry about their printing solutions, although they ought to be concerned with the costs of printing.

OKI said the MFPs have “a small footprint and are totally affordable for a small business” and can be used as standard printers for mono or colour documents, while functions such as scan-to-email streamline productivity, allowing smaller enterprises to compete with bigger companies.

It also mentioned its graphic art printers which have “made it more affordable to print high-end colour”, such as business cards, stationery, flyers and brochures, saving on outsourcing costs.

OKI further mentioned that the new devices can all be purchased as part of an MPS programme, which saves money by “simplifying contracts, redesigning workflows, improving document management and minimising the need to outsource”.

The OEM recently launched the C911dn A3 colour printer, which prints at 50ppm in both colour and monochrome A4, alongside 28ppm in colour and monochrome A3.

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