WIPO has launched an enhanced online patent information service that will improve public access to information on patents filed and granted around the world. WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE®, which currently hosts data on more than 1.6 million international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), has been extended to include several collections of national and regional patent information. In this first phase, WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE® includes the patent data collections of eight patent offices: African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Cuba, Israel, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa and Vietnam.
Closer to home...more problems. The Risk Manager at Cipro has reportedly been suspended on a charge of "breach of confidentiality" after he supplied information to the Police involving tender rigging charges made against Cipro's Chief Information Officer. The Democratic Alliance asks: "If informants are not protected, then what is the prospect of fighting corruption in government?" Cipro's CEO lambasts the remarks as "highly unproductive and futile for a member of parliament to continue with these allegations whereby CIPRO as an organisation is being undermined and its credibility being attacked." (Politicsweb)
This unfortunate news comes just as CIPRO had managed to regain a small measure on its credibility rating with news of arrests following the Ciprogate fraud scandal reported by Afro-IP here. It will not help that respected Leadership magazine has picked up the story with this scathing comment about CIPRO when reporting over steps taken by President Zuma to deal with the corruption problem across RSA, generally:
"CIPRO has long been a den of corruption, incompetence and chaos with many cases of fraud committed at CIPRO having recently come to light. Many professionals such as lawyers who deal with it on a daily basis consider it to be something of a joke while it [CIPRO] should be above reproach as a fundamental service of vital importance to business and the protection of intellectual property rights."
On a more positive note, Afro Leo recently met with four officials in the company and close corporation name objection department for an hour to discuss the workings of the office and how it is dealing with cases of fraud. He is pleased to say that in obvious cases of fraud the expense of a formal objection under the company and close corporation names legislation is not necessary, and Cipro has undertaken to deal with these cases on an expeditious basis on being alerted to the problem. That said clients may still need to file an objection to meet deadlines in case the registration is not found to be fraudulent.