By Trevor Little
May 02 2012
WTR’s most read story for April centred on ambitious plans for a gTLD-driven new superbrand. However, all was not what it seemed.
The story centred on plans for a ‘.ellen’ superbrand, with analysis referring to the applicant’s childish approach and need to do more homework on trademark issues. The reason for this immature approach to trademarks became more understandable when it was revealed that the Ellen in question is in fact the young daughter of Hogan Lovells’ David Taylor and that the story was, in fact, an April Fools joke. WTR would like to thank the range of commentators that provided reaction for the story (all of whom were in on the prank).
Elsewhere, coverage of keyword decisions proved popular, with the report on Australia’s Full Federal Court decision to unanimously uphold an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission taking second spot. The commission overturned a previous decision which held that Google did not itself engage in misleading and deceptive conduct as a result of misleading advertisements or 'sponsored links' appearing on its website. A week later came the revival of Rosetta Stone’s keyword dispute with Google, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit stating that, when it came to the use of the marks in question, “a reasonable trier of fact could find that Google intended to cause confusion in that it acted with the knowledge that confusion was very likely to result from its use of the marks”.
Rounding out the top three was the announcement of this year’s WTR Industry Awards shortlist. The 2012 shortlist is filled by companies that have made a major impact on trademark practice over the past year, their efforts spanning the entire range of IP challenges facing today’s trademark professional. The winners will be announced next week.
Elsewhere, a number of the month’s most-read stories centred on the ongoing technical problems with ICANN’s new gTLDs online application system. The technical glitch, which resulted in the system being taken offline and the reveal date for new gTLDs to be delayed, is still being investigated, with the next update due next week.
The top 10 trademark news stories for April were:
1. Superbrand plans gTLD launch, but has it done its trademark homework? – April 1
2. Blow to Google in “surprising” keywords decision – April 5
3. The trailblazing corporate trademark teams revealed in awards shortlist – April 19
4. ICANN: Some gTLD application details may have been revealed due to technical glitch – April 13
5. US study identifies economic importance of trademarks – April 12
6. Are brands taking the right approach to defensive domain registrations? – April 20
7. Apple performance demonstrates the true power of brands – April 10
8. ICANN postpones gTLD reveal date, application system down again this week – April 23
9. New life breathed into Rosetta Stone keywords dispute – April 10
10. Time to digest trademark protection plans as gTLD application window delayed further – April 17
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