Trademarks lost in computer crash

Published: 2021-07-02 05:36:47
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Category: Database, Computer

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Among articles specifically related to fields of e-business and intellectual property that abound in the Internet I found one which I believe is very interesting and at the same time very indicative of possible legal issues that may arise in those fields.

This is the article from The Royal Gazette titled "Trademarks lost in computer crash". This article describes an accident which happened with the computerized Trademark Registry in Bermuda, which is an island Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Atlantic Ocean with internal self-governance. What makes Bermuda special is that it is known as one of the most important offshore financial centers of the world.

More specifically, the article in The Royal Gazette reports about the computer database crash which caused the loss of records about approximately half of the 37000 trademarks registered in Bermuda, discusses ensuing consequences of this mishap, and mentions some legal issues and troubles that arose from this apparently unexpected event.
In general, one of the accents that the article makes is on the mess that accompanied the problems with the computer hardware and the corresponding suspension of activities in the large trademark sector of Bermuda.
Interestingly, the author of the article pays attention also to the roots of the technical problem itself, and mentions facts which suggest an involvement of a human factor as one of the causes of the problem.
Now, among legal business issues raised in the article we may identify the following ones. Firstly, since for a prolonged period of time registration of new trademarks was suspended and because the whole trademark sector wholly relies upon the Trademark Registry, lawyers who represented companies with trademarks registered in the Trademark Registry in Bermuda could not be sure that their intellectual property had been protected or that no conflicting marks or infringements on property would emerge after the manual recovery of the database.
At the same time, the article draws our attention to the fact that the computer crash, while being a gross embarrassment for Government which has been promoting Bermuda as a leading centre of e-business and intellectual property, also serves as an example of what types of encumbrances e-business may encounter from time to time.
Indeed, if such an accident has happened once, it may happen as well in other countries, and as the author of the article points out that trademark sectors of for instance the United States and Britain is much larger, it is easy to imagine what mess could arise there in a similar situation.
In this way, one of the main legal issues that e-business faces is the creation of additional legal mechanisms which, of course along with the increased protection of important and private data, would ensure protection of intellectual property even during such crisises as the one that happened in Bermuda, and, importantly, endow participants involved into e-business and therefore especially susceptible to negative consequences of problems akin to the one in Bermuda with a sense of security.
On ground of this, we may conclude that legal issues affect business in direct and indirect ways. For example, the suspense of related business activities during the period of time needed for the manual restoration of the database had some concrete economic costs.
On the other hand, even though the problem with the computerized Trademark Registry in Bermuda was solved in a relatively fast manner this accident surely had struck a blow to the image of Bermuda. Indeed, the problems could, and for that matter should, have been avoided in the first place by merely paying more attention to the maintenance of the hard discs with the stored information, and by making sure that back-up systems worked properly.
And even though I think that it is unlikely that such a problem will reoccur in the future in Bermuda, I believe that the realistic solution for the Trademark Registry to make most use of this trouble is not only to strengthen their computer system, but to compensate to companies, which have trademarks registered in Bermuda and which experienced inconveniences caused by the loss of data, in both a direct way, and in an indirect manner by assuring them in an increased protection of security of their intellectual property in the future.
Breen, S. (2004). Trademarks lost in computer crash. Retrieved January 30, 2006, from

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