Tim Lince

As 2016 draws to a close, and the World Trademark Review Daily email service prepares to take a short break, it’s time to take a look back at the blogs which received the most reads in the past 12 months. Our list includes the brand value hit of Samsung’s Note 7 crisis, Alibaba’s spat with Chinese ecommerce rival JD.com and trademark applications attempting to commercialise the Panama Papers, Brexit and the once-popular ‘meme’ Be Like Bill.

Perhaps demonstrating the closer ties that the trademark department must now have with the PR function, many of our most-read articles this year looked at reactions to crisis situations. Samsung’s perceived lax response to the Galaxy Note 7 crisis was our most read blog of the year, and is seen as a standout example of how PR missteps can negatively damage brand perception. Furthermore, trademark-related public relations gaffes from companies including Sony, Alibaba and internet security company Comodo also featured highly.

Unsurprisingly, the trademark perspective on various legal and political developments featured heavily too. Our guide to the European trademark package was widely shared across the trademark community, for example. Two articles on the trademark implications of Brexit are on the list, and our coverage on what a Donald Trump administration could mean for the IP world was one of our most viewed tweets of the year.

For many, 2016 cannot end soon enough. For others, it has been a year of success and overcoming the odds. However you feel about the various upheavals that have occurred in 2016, there is little doubt that it has created an unpredictable – some would say uncertain – future. Whatever happens, World Trademark Review will be there to study future developments and trends through the crucial trademark lens.

For now, however, the WTR Daily email service is now on a break until January 3. As stories break, we will post the odd blog in the meantime but it seems like a natural time to wish all our readers a happy holiday season.

The 25 most-read World Trademark Review blogs in 2016 were:

 1. Samsung committed the “cardinal sin of crisis management” – now trust in its entire brand is at risk (13 October)

 2. Leading e-sports team Fnatic: it is “imperative” that the industry takes trademarks seriously (8 March)

 3. JD.com CEO mocks Alibaba’s “new found belief in protecting IP” in fiery WTR-exclusive op-ed (19 May)

 4. Comodo spat shows importance of effective PR around trademark strategies (28 June)

 5. The European trademark package: what’s changing; when and how to prepare (8 January)

 6. Creator of viral sensation ‘Be like Bill’ “shocked” by trademark application; pledges “aggressive” enforcement (27 January)

 7. Mystery over entertainment tycoon’s web of trademarks, domains and company names (23 August)

 8. Lessons from the José Mourinho trademark tussle with Chelsea (26 May)

 9. Status quo or uncertainty? The trademark implications of a Brexit vote (13 June)

 10. Trademark application filed for 'The Panama Papers'; applicant reveals ambitious plans (12 April)

 11. “As inauthentic as their cheap handbags”: Alibaba faces backlash following ‘fakes are better than originals’ claim (15 June)

 12. Evolution of the fakers: how counterfeiters are fighting back against marketplace takedowns (16 September)

 13. Alibaba talks up anti-counterfeiting credentials at IACC conference; opinion remains split (20 May)

 14. Specsavers secures SHOULD’VE trademark registration; hits out at inaccurate media coverage (30 November)

 15. The ‘.brand’ state of play; on the rise, but mainstream adoption still some way off (12 July)

 16. Domain experts on the slow start for new gTLDs, and what may turn the tide (18 January)

 17. Aggressive trademark litigant decries ‘trademark troll’ label; warns major brands not to ignore cease-and-desists (26 July)

 18. “This is how you screw up your reputation”: Sony trademark fallout highlights challenge of online backlashes (20 January)

 19. Major international brands and law firms being targeted by trademark applicants in Cuba (7 April)

 20. Groundbreaking study suggests plain packaging for food could increase consumption (11 January)

 21. A new generation of IP-aware YouTubers? Online video creators urged to embrace positives of brand protection (19 July)

 22. Barcelona and Neymar top football trademark rankings; high-flying Leicester need to shore up their defence (7 July)

 23. “Don’t panic”: call for calm as Brexit vote creates uncertainty over future scope of trademark protection (24 June)

 24. Outcry as India’s trademark office reveals mass abandonment of applications (4 April)

 25. Four firms and a funeral service: the battle over the ‘Norton Rose Fulbright’ brand in China (26 January)

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The 10 most-read World Trademark Review legal updates in 2016 were:

 1. Filing a trademark application requires good faith (17 February)

 2. Court provides clarity on Google AdWords and use ‘as a trademark’ (12 May)

 3. Practical implications of EU trademark reforms (14 January)

 4. EU General Court confirms ‘chain of priority’ is unlawful (3 August)

 5. Three-dimensional image cannot normally serve as EU trademark (22 April)

 6. Opposition based on conceptual similarity fails (25 April)

 7. Adidas succeeds in three-stripe opposition case (21 March)

 8. Proving genuine use of an earlier EU trademark (29 July)

 9. Parody trumps confusion and dilution – again (5 February)

 10. Glaxo’s colour mark invalidated after high bar set by the courts (20 September)

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The top 10 tweets, by impressions, on our Twitter account (@WTRmagazine) in 2016 were:

 1. ‘It looks like the UK has voted for #Brexit; our analysis of what that means for trademarks’ (24 June)

 2. ‘Since 2010, trademark applications for #hashtags have, on average, doubled every year’ (24 May)

 3. ‘General Court delivers blow to Coca-Cola in battle to register bottle design’ (25 February)

 4. ‘Heard of PewDiePie, H3H3 Productions or The Fine Bros? A look at IP protection on YouTube’ (21 July)

 5. ‘Registrant of the BREXIT trademark has not ruled out enforcing the mark from today’ (24 June)

 6. ‘A second trademark for PANAMA PAPERS, this time at the EU IPO, has been filed’ (12 April)

 7. ‘New trademark solicitation scam discovered: users call for urgent action’ (7 July)

 8. ‘We're not sure some law firms will find the DotSucks candy very sweet…’ (22 May)

 9. ‘Football legend David Beckham maintains an individual trademark portfolio of 97 marks’ (8 July)

 10. ‘A new era of President Trump? Find out what a Trump administration could mean for trademark owners’ (9 November)

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