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Continuing our rundown of the trademark personalities of 2017, we look at the final selection of figures that have had a profound impact on the industry this year. Be it those who have influenced public dialogue or caused significant disruption (for good or bad), we have chosen the personalities both individuals and entities that we feel have defined the trademark news agenda in the last 12 months.
International applications at an all-time high as Asia and Africa experience sharp rise in trademark filings (Blog)
The World Intellectual Property Organisation has released its latest report into global IP activity, revealing a significant rise in trademark filing activity. Most of the growth can be attributed to China’s continued domination of trademark filings, with both Asia and Africa accounting for a majority of the rise. World Trademark Review takes a deep dive into the data to uncover some of the key trademark trends.
As the year draws to a close, World Trademark Review has decided to take a look back and identify the trademark personalities that have had a significant impact in 2017. Be it those who dominated the news agenda, influenced public dialogue or raised the profile of trademarks (for good or bad), a whole host of personalities both individuals and entities have hit the headlines this year.
A warning to prepare for ‘no deal’: EUIPO issues Brexit notice as negotiations move to next stage (updated) (Blog)
The UK government and the European Commission have announced that an agreement has been struck to move the Brexit negotiations on to trade discussions. The move, heralded as “hard won” after months of uncertainty, comes in a week when the EU Intellectual Property Office issued a notice clarifying the result of a ‘no deal’ scenario a move that one expert says should be seen as a “warning”.
The African Intellectual Property Office (OAPI) has launched a new programme in an ongoing effort to introduce and expand geographical indications (GIs) across its 17 member states. This is the first major project from OAPI’s new director general and could represent a significant step forward in the ability to register GIs in Africa.
“We need to be a true not-for-profit”: INTA to expand corporate social responsibility as CEO gets political (Blog)
The International Trademark Association (INTA) has vowed to expand its corporate social responsibility activities and better communicate examples of its ethical conduct to address members' misconceptions. The announcement came at the launch of INTA’s latest conference in Berlin, with CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo highlighting the need for corporations and the association itself to adapt to the global backdrop of climate change, a major water crisis and large-scale population displacement.
A well-loved Canadian pastry company got entangled in a PR crisis this week over accusations of perceived trademark enforcement overreach. While the marketing team gave a canny response on social media which appears to have quelled most of the outcry, evidence suggests that the negative impact could have a lasting effect on the brand. It is another reminder of the risks of trademark enforcement and how practitioners must tread carefully in the age of social media.
Fighting fakes over the festive period: anti-counterfeiting activity steps up as shopping season begins (Blog)
With Christmas less than a month away and Black Friday and Cyber Monday having kick-started the online shopping season, government agencies and associated organisations have stepped up their anti-counterfeiting messaging and enforcement efforts. Leading this push was yesterday’s announcement of the results of a joint action against websites selling counterfeit products facilitated by Europol and Interpol a move that saw a dramatic increase in seized domain names compared to previous years.
With Black Friday in full swing, exclusive research reveals brand protection gaps in new gTLDs (Blog)
While consumers enjoy the low prices offered on Black Friday, the sales period is a significant challenge for trademark practitioners especially for protecting shoppers from online scams. Exclusive research looks at how well-known fashion and retail brands have utilised (or not) key new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including ‘.blackfriday’ and ‘.shop’. We find that few brands are taking advantage of new gTLDs for marketing purposes and, unsurprisingly, numerous examples of cybersquatting and unusual examples of brand hijackings.
Boycotts, backlashes and Russian bots: Keurig crisis highlights challenge for brands in politically partisan times (Blog)
It has been a particularly tumultuous week for coffee maker Keurig, with the hashtag BoycottKeurig trending on social media following the company’s public declaration that it was pulling advertising linked to a right-wing news pundit. As one expert tells us, the week’s events highlight the challenge that brands face at a time when partisan tensions are at an all-time high.
US trademark filings from China soar, but law firms struggle to capitalise amid warnings of suspicious activity (Blog)
New data obtained by World Trademark Review has revealed a startling increase in trademark applications at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that originate in China. Despite this influx of new filings, our investigation highlights how new Chinese applicants are bypassing traditional law firms, with smaller organisations responsible for thousands of applications. The USPTO’s trademark commissioner also notes a “dramatic increase” in illegitimate Chinese filings this year with urgent calls for the office to take action against this “pervasive” problem.
81% of consumers believe “branding on products matters”, as Canadian scepticism of plain packaging highlighted (Blog)
New research has revealed that eight out of 10 Canadian consumers believe that “branding on products matters” because it provides information and distinguishes goods from one another. The study also suggests that Canadians are sceptical about the introduction of standardised packaging for both tobacco and marijuana products although the government’s consultation paints a different picture of public opinion on the measure.
Thousands more trademarks linked to Michael Gleissner unearthed; leading in-house lawyer calls for action (Blog)
An expanded investigation by World Trademark Review can reveal nearly 2,000 more trademarks linked to entrepreneur and serial trademark filer Michael Gleissner. The total now spans over 4,400 marks across 38 jurisdictions worldwide. As the scope of Gleissner’s extensive filing operation widens, a leading in-house lawyer has called on IP bodies to offer guidance to brand owners affected by this unprecedented activity and to consider whether any action should be taken in response.
As Marks & Clerk battles copycat site, new data uncovers prolific rise of Chinese filers at the UKIPO (Blog)
World Trademark Review has learned of a prolific filer of trademark applications at the UK Intellectual Property Office, operating under the name Champion Intellectual Property Management, which has copied the website of leading IP law firm Marks & Clerk. The discovery comes as new data reveals a UK filing spree on the part of previously unobserved Chinese entities with one expert warning that western firms are “looking in the wrong place” when seeking to attract the new wave of applications emanating from China.
The blunt approach: New Zealand attorney’s innovative strategy to trademark education following public outrage (Blog)
After public outrage over a trademark infringement dispute, a New Zealand-based attorney has penned a column claiming that New Zealanders are “unsophisticated and naive” in their attitude towards IP rights. The move is unique in its blunt tone to readers, but it may prove to be an effective approach to educating the public when misleading or hyperbolic trademark stories go viral.
IP services sales blitz continues; Corsearch to be purchased by private equity firm in $140 million cash move (Blog)
It has been announced that information services company Wolters Kluwer has agreed to sell trademark search platform Corsearch to private equity entity Audax Group in a $140 million deal. The move is the latest acquisition in a series of deals centred on IP services companies, and once again demonstrates the attractiveness that private equity firms see in IP technology.
“The Emperor is naked”: trademark attorney urges rethink on law firm litigation costs in the United Kingdom (Blog)
Trademark attorney and founder of law firm Wood IP, Aaron Wood, has written a scathing critique on the cost of IP litigation in the United Kingdom and the high fees being charged by law firms. Talking to World Trademark Review, he claims that high fees are preventing settlements and calls for businesses to push for change. However, he acknowledges that this could be difficult because the industry “behaves as if IP is in some way a higher level legal area than others”.
Samsung revealed as brand UK consumers are most loyal to; expert warns of Brexit impact on customer loyalty (Blog)
A first-of-its-kind research project has revealed the brands that UK consumers are most committed and loyal to, with technology giants Samsung and Apple topping the inaugural ranking. The research contains some surprises, however, with Coca-Cola failing to make the top 50, while also revealing that UK consumers most value heritage, quality and consistency in brands.
“Campinos brings tremendous value to the EPO” national IP offices and associations react to leadership move (Blog)
It was announced yesterday that António Campinos, executive director of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), will soon be moving from Alicante to Munich to take up the presidency of the European Patent Office (EPO). We reached out to national IP offices with the European Union, as well as some key trademark associations, for their reaction. To date, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There is also consensus on the need for his successor to provide consistency and continuity at the EUIPO.
Digital language databases more effective than dictionaries or media usage to defend against genericide: study (Blog)
A recent study has analysed the three most common forms of evidence used in genericism cases and found that corpus linguistics (ie, the use of a digital language databases) could prove to be “more beneficial” for rights holders looking to protect their brand from the threat of genericide. However, the author urges cautions over its use, saying that courts should reconsider the use of linguistic data altogether and reclaim the primary significance test in genericism cases.
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