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Inzign, a Singaporean medical device manufacturer was sued by American software company, Siemens Industry Software, after an Inzign employee installed an unauthorised version of Siemen’s NX software on an unused workplace laptop. The employee had used the CAD/CAM/CAE software on several occasions. The unauthorised use was discovered by Siemens through a built-in automatic reporting function in its software. Siemens then offered to allow Inzign to “legalise” the infringement by paying a license fee of SGD 79,587 (approximately USD 60,000) which the latter rejected.


In its suit, Siemens claimed SGD 259,511 (approximately USD 193,000) in damages as it contended that Inzign was directly and vicariously liable for copyright infringement.


The High Court found that while Inzign was careless in its management of the laptop and its supervision of its employees, it was not directly liable for copyright infringement as it had no knowledge of the infringing no practical control over the employee’s action. However, the Court did find Inzign vicariously liable for the acts of its employee, as there was a sufficient connection between their employment relationship and the infringing acts.


The Court also found the damages claimed by Siemens to be excessive and instead calculated the damages as SGD 30,574 (around USD 23,000) based on the licence fees that Inzign would have paid Siemens.


While the topic of copyright infringement and piracy policy may not sound like the most exciting subject matter for your next team building exercise, it is a crucial that businesses provide proper training and education to employees in order to avoid a potentially expensive infringement law suit.

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  • Writer's pictureThe Gordian Team

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Did you know the word "Frappuccino" is a registered trademark in Malaysia?!


Here are some words we use everyday that you may not know are actually registered trademarks!


FRAPPUCCINO

Starbucks Corporation introduced the range of ice-blended drinks in 1995, and in the same year, they registered the word "Frappuccino" in Malaysia for coffee and various other drinks. So, the next time you're having an orange mocha frappuccino while you're sorting through some issues, raise your plastic cup in honour of the twin-tailed siren!



THERMOS


Malaysia wasn't even around when THERMOS LLC registered its trademark here in 1948!











VELCRO

Another oldie but goodie, fastening your school shoes would have been a lot harder without this miracle invention whose trademark is registered in Malaysia since 1961










JETSKI

A trademark of KAWASAKI JUKOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA. So technically, if it's not made by KAWASAKI, it ain't a JETSKI! Too bad though, cause the lyrics "wet me like a Jet Ski" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it if you have to say "personal water craft" instead.




JACUZZI

A registered trademark of JACUZZI INC in Malaysia since 1987. So remember the next time your friend tells you his/her deepest most haram fantasies involving Henry Cavill and a jacuzzi, you must set him/her straight! It's a hot tub, unless it's actually made by Jacuzzi Inc




FRISBEE

First of all, it's a chakram! And second, it's definitely not a frisbee! Unless Xena is a spokesperson for WHAM-O HOLDING LIMITED, who's the actual owner of the registered trademark "FRISBEE".

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Twitter has recently won a legal battle to stop Singaporean tech start-up, VV Technology, from registering a bird logo that Twitter believes is too similar to its own.


VV Technology applied to register its logo of a yellow hummingbird in mid-flight on 10 September 2018 for various IT and software services. VV’s trademark application was opposed by Twitter on 24 September 2019 as the social-media giant believes VV’s trademark to be too similar to its own and will likely confuse the consumers. Convinced by Twitter’s arguments, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) refused to register VV’s trademark. Unhappy with IPOS’s decisions, VV appealed to the High Court


On 23 November 2022 the High Court dismissed VV’s appeal. In coming to its decision, the court held that there exists a likelihood of confusion as the two logos are similar enough that consumers may think that VV’s logo is simply a new iteration or modification of Twitter’s logo. While the court believed that Twitter’s strong reputation would reduce the risk of direct confusion to a certain extent, however, since many tech companies are providing their services at low or no cost, this means that consumers “will likely give an average level of attention during the procuring process, making it ripe for indirect confusion”.


While V V Technology may not be successful in their registering their logo in Singapore, they were able to register the same logo in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.


Is someone using a brand that is similar to yours? Are you planning to start a new gig but not sure if you're stepping on someone's toes with your new brand? Why not talk to us? We're here to help!

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