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The Venezuelan Patent and Trademark Office has suspended payment of official fees by foreign applicants for the foreseeable future. The situation, which has resulted in services including renewals and changes of ownership grinding to a halt for many brand owners, has been described by one local attorney as “lacking legal basis” and leaving IP owners “in limbo”.
Former OAPI head accused of wrongdoing while in office; court reverses suspensions related to anti-Madrid collective
The former director general of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI), Paulin Edou Edou, has been accused of signing his own accreditation to be an OAPI trademark agent while still in office, World Trademark Review understands. The allegation surfaced in the same week that OAPI’s High Commission of Appeal annulled a 2016 decision by Edou Edou which suspended two IP attorneys due to their suspected involvement with a group protesting OAPI’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.
The Gleissner Oppositions: investigation reveals serial trademark filer has prevailed in disputes with major brands
A major new investigation by World Trademark Review has collated data from every trademark opposition in the United Kingdom involving entrepreneur Michael Gleissner since January 2017. The information reveals that he has lost a vast majority of decisions, with a number of successful opponents giving their insights into taking on the serial trademark filer. However, he has also scored some notable victories against well-known brands.
Amazon under fire for banning sale of Google Chromecast and “fulfilling” sales of fake and copycat streaming devices
Retail giant Amazon has come in for more criticism over the sale of fakes on its platform, this time for selling and fulfilling the delivery of copycat Google Chromecast products. The denunciation comes days after one small business owner accused Amazon of being “complicit with counterfeiting” a statement that went viral and has led to increased pressure on the company to take further action to stem the sale of fakes.
USPTO goes after the fakers; experts praise initiative to combat improper specimens, call for further action
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a pilot programme to help combat improper specimens on trademark applications. The move comes in the wake of a World Trademark Review investigation which discovered numerous fake specimens by Chinese applicants, with the USPTO confirming there had been a “dramatic increase” in illegitimate filings. This initiative has been welcomed, although one expert calls for the office to go even further.
The status of geographical indications after the UK leaves the European Union next year has become a hot button issue over the past few days. At least one British newspaper has covered the topic on its front-page, with speculation that lobbyists from the United States are pushing for the UK to drop GI protection to allow the importation of “American copies” of products including Cornish pasties, Scotch Whisky and Melton Mowbray pork pies a scenario one expert tells us is not unrealistic.
Expert wonders if adidas enjoys “hyperprotection” as sportswear giant prevails in EU three stripes battle
The EU General Court has ruled that two parallel stripes on footwear infringes the 'three stripes' trademark rights of adidas. Reflecting the recognition acquired by the footwear giant’s branding, the decision also shows the power of non-traditional marks according to one IP attorney; however, another has questioned whether it is an example of a brand enjoying “hyperprotection”.
“We’re running out of good trademarks” groundbreaking study reveals 81% of common words are registered marks
A new study scrutinising the millions of marks on the US trademark register has discovered that more than 81% of the 1,000 most frequently-used words in the English language are already registered as single-word trademarks. One of the study’s authors characterises the findings as “disturbing”, warning that it could cause problems for those seeking to create brand names in the future.
Democratising trademark data: ambitious call to create non-profit to develop global e-filing standards
In an exclusive guest post for World Trademark Review, the chief executive of IP docketing technology company Alt Legal urges IP offices to work towards, and adopt, universal standards in trademark data and electronics filings. To achieve this, he is calling for the creation of a non-profit organisation tasked with promoting and developing industry best standards in relation to e-filings and trademark databases.
Logan Paul fiasco shows risk for brands on YouTube; research reveals more YouTubers seeking trademark protection
A number of recent incidents have demonstrated why rights holders must be careful when advertising on YouTube or seeking partnerships with its high-profile stars. New research from World Trademark Review also reveals that content creators on the platform many of which make millions of dollars a year in advertising, sponsorship and merchandise revenue are turning to trademark registrations to protect their channel assets.
It was reported over the weekend that fashion brand Diesel has opened a pop-up store in New York selling so-called ‘fake fakes’. The move is part of a marketing campaign dubbed ‘Go with the Fake’, aimed at encouraging consumers to “wear whatever they want”. While the campaign is creating a lot of online buzz, some have contended that it is also glorifying counterfeit goods in the process.
A recently launched trademark solicitation campaign is offering to publish trademark registrations in a private database for up to $2,800. Further investigation into this entity offers clues about how these platforms are set up and the means used to solicit payments. Meanwhile, there are renewed calls for IP offices to offer “more clarity and simplicity” in an effort to make warnings about misleading invoices more visible.
“No imminent AI apocalypse” tech expert rejects predictions of mass job losses in trademark industry
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma predicted last week that artificial intelligence (AI) “will kill many jobs”, with reports claiming that AI will trigger the fourth industrial revolution. But the founder of a legal technology company has told World Trademark Review that reports of impending mass job losses in the trademark industry due to AI are overblown. The issue is hotly contested, with some claiming that INTA must do more to prepare professionals for the rise of AI.
British prime minister Theresa May has fired a warning shot to China’s government over the need to respect the rules of international trade especially in regards to counterfeit goods. In a message published on the day she begins an official visit to China, May writes that the two countries must work together so UK businesses can be “confident that their intellectual property and rights will be fully protected”.
"Infamous troll" Michael Gleissner involved in 5% of all live contested trademark cases in United Kingdom
In a decision which one trademark attorney characterises as “good news for brand owners”, the UK Intellectual Property Office has upheld an earlier decision which dismissed entrepreneur Michael Gleissner’s attempt to register the common name ALEXANDER as a trademark. The decision includes the startling reveal that entities related to Gleissner account for 5% of all live contested trademark cases in the United Kingdom demonstrating the unprecedented volume of the millionaire’s filing activity.
Trademark practitioners are once again invited to participate in our annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey, which measures the pulse of the industry, tracks industry trends and identifies how practice is evolving to counter new threats and embrace fresh opportunities. Participation in the survey is free of charge and designed to give counsel both in-house and in private practice the opportunity to have their say on the state of the trademark industry.
K-pop superstars T-ara vow to fight for rights to their name; experts predict bitter legal battle ahead
Members from one of the most popular Korean bands in the world, T-ara, are taking legal action for rights to use the group name following a trademark application by their former management agency, MBK Entertainment. Two attorneys have told World Trademark Review that both parties have viable arguments for legitimate rights over the group name and point out that it is common practice in Korea for music agencies to own the trademark rights to band names as a tactic to ward off rival agencies from poaching talent.
IP firm announces Dublin office due to “uncertainty of Brexit” as negotiations on intellectual property begin
A UK-based IP law firm has announced it has chosen to open a new office in Dublin rather than London due to “the uncertainty of Brexit”. The move comes on the same day that it was revealed Brexit talks about IP have started, with one trademark attorney telling World Trademark Review that it still seems “very unlikely” the UK will be covered by the EU’s trademark registration system beyond the transitional period.
A new study has found that a majority of trademark practitioners rely on free search tools when clearing marks, with a further claim that this growing reliance may be the cause for a rise in infringement. The research highlights the continuing budgetary pressures faced by practitioners, the ongoing improvement of free online search tools, and the increasing need for IP services companies to differentiate themselves from ever-more-sophisticated free alternatives.
A week-long spat between Alibaba and the Office of the US Trade Representative has turned into a full-blown diplomatic issue after the Chinese government publicly questioned the credibility of the Notorious Markets List. China’s Ministry of Commerce has also claimed that the report lacks “solid evidence” to include the nine Chinese marketplaces accused of engaging in rampant IP infringement a move that appears to call into question the accounts of brand owners tackling fake goods in China.
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