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Problems, recurrent and new, hindering the
enforcement of rights continue to obscure the horizon
for mark owners operating in or wishing to enter the
Chinese market. However, positive developments are
brightening the landscape and should also be
A marketing background and a new focus on the
company’s master brand mean that Nortel’s head of
trademarks, Alex Brkich, is able to run a tight ship that
does not stint on the quality of service it provides.
Much is being made of the implementation in the
European Union of the IP Enforcement Directive.
But what will the directive change in practice?
It’s a story that involves royal dynasties, new world
settlers, the collapse of Eastern European communism
and a place that some say doesn’t exist. But at its
heart, the interminable dispute between brewers
Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar over the
name Budweiser is all about trademarks.
Canada is a G8 country with a distinctive trademark
system and a competitive market for legal services.
Throw in a long, heavily populated border with the
United States and you have a jurisdiction that few
rights owners can afford to ignore.
On the basis that trademark filings indicate – to some
extent – how much trademark work firms handle, we
take a look at the top 20 Canadian filers of trademark
applications and at their trademark practices.
Trademarks in Canada are administered by the
Trademarks Branch of the Canadian Intellectual
Property Office. Current challenges include dealing
with delays in the opposition procedure and assessing
the potential benefits of signing up to several major
international trademark agreements.
Each industry has its specific trademark
challenges – for fast-moving consumer
goods it is dealing with copycats.
Monitoring new legislation and dealing
with competing retailers are two key
aspects of the in-house counsel’s role in
meeting this challenge.
Trademarks are not static so it is
important that companies review their
portfolios on a regular basis. Too often
though, this does not happen. Thus, it is
imperative that a company’s trademark
assets are reviewed regularly.
Trademark owners, governments and law
enforcement agencies all claim to want to
eradicate IP crime. The problem is they
find it difficult to work together to
achieve their aims.
Accurate WHOIS information is crucial
for mark owners to identify online
infringers. However, around 5% of domain
names issued in the United States are
registered using “patently false” contact
information, making it difficult or
impossible to contact the sites’ owners.
It has been a busy period for US trademark owners. In this roundtable
discussion, four US practitioners talk through some of the major issues
to have emerged over the last few years.