Blog results - found 18
"No closer to clarity" UK's Brexit White Paper offers clues to future IP approach, but big questions remain
This week the UK government published its much-anticipated blueprint for the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union. While IP rights are specifically addressed in the White Paper, trademark practitioners will be left with several significant unanswered questions.
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.
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.
At this week’s Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting, representatives from e-commerce giant Amazon received a hostile reception from the Governmental Advisory Committee while seeking to reach a compromise over its stalled ‘.amazon’ generic top-level domain application. In a session on Monday afternoon, the company was told that it had blown an opportunity to reach a compromise and that allowing the application to proceed would open a “Pandora’s box”.
An Australian senator has led a protest, accompanied by a flock of sheep, against a trademark lawsuit initiated by Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The dispute focuses on the UGG brand of boots, with Senator Nick Xenophon arguing that the term should be protected as a geographical indication.
Major changes to Canada’s system of geographical indication (GI) rights come into force this week as a result of amendments to the country’s Trademarks Act. The range of goods eligible for GI rights will expand significantly, and compliance with the new protections will become more onerous. While playing to the advantage of famous regional producers, the reforms create risks and liabilities for many food businesses previously unaffected by GI rules.
Fairly or otherwise, India is often perceived as a jurisdiction that can tend to present more difficulty than certainty for brand owners trying to protect and exploit their IP rights there. But recent data from the country’s geographical indications (GI) registry suggests that it is pulling ahead of the pack in this particular field though it still has some way to go when it comes to foreign GIs.
This week the battle for protection for geographical indications in the ‘.wine’ and ‘.vin’ strings heated up, with the European Federation of Origin Wines threatening an ongoing campaign should the strings be delegated without mechanisms in place.
Recent reports indicate that New Zealand winemakers are seeking GI protection for their labels. As wine consumption grows in emerging markets such as China and Russia, domestic producers are increasingly concerned about potential knock-offs being passed off as premium labels. However, while the wine industry considers using GI status as a way of fending off counterfeiters, a number of commentators have expressed scepticism over its practical benefits.
Rouse has entered into a partnership with Thailand’s Biodiversity Economy Development Office and the United Nations Development Agency to launch the world’s first BioEconomy Academy. The academy will work closely with WIPO to create branding strategies for Thailand’s geographical indications, and its efforts to highlight the importance of IP could improve the domestic framework for all brands and give Thai companies a renewed focus on international markets.
Champagne has been granted an official label by the Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), one of the three organisations that can grant geographical indicator (GI) protection in China. Trademark counsel emphasize that the brand should now look to obtaining more than one form of protection, a crucial move if Champagne is to capture the growing and lucrative Chinese market. This advice also extends to others seeking GI protection in the country.
A recent study from the European Commission has attempted to measure the economic value of geographical indications (GIs). The findings suggest that GIs play an important role in the EU economy, with GI-protected products generating worldwide sales worth 54.3 billion in 2010. But can future research such as OHIM’s upcoming ‘IP Impact’ study do more to understand the whole picture when it comes to the value that GIs add?
Next month WIPO member states and interested parties will discuss a new draft instrument for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and appellations of origin. The proposals follow Antonio Campinos’ recent statement that OHIM would welcome the opportunity to oversee a non-agricultural register of GIs. However, the Europe v United States divide on GIs seems as wide as ever.
Geographical indications in the EU, and the 4.3 billion market of infringing products: an infographic
The EU Intellectual Property Office has released a new report that reveals the level of infringing goods within the European Union’s 48 billion market for products bearing geographical indications. We have created an infographic to summarise the headline findings and highlight some of the key takeaways for trademark counsel.
A new paper by a respected scholar proposes that the trademark community takes advantage of modern “smart information” and provide brand owners and consumers an alternative IP platform to differentiate products and services, based on objectively verifiable characteristics. The author of the paper hopes that an organisation such as INTA may see an opportunity in her ‘tracermark’ concept and consider establishing a proof of concept.
This week the EU Parliament voted to extend EU-wide protection of GIs to a wider array of regionally manufactured goods. While the lead MEP tells World Trademark Review that she is hopeful the changes will come into effect next year, one IP lawyer argues that there needs to be an urgent push to end the “patchwork quilt” of national versus pan-national GI rights in Europe.
In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have been completed, it has emerged that an exemption in the ISDS mechanism for tobacco products has been agreed. While a blow to plain packaging opponents, the battle over the TPP is far from over.
A panel of trademark experts have written what is claimed to be the first full-length legal and policy analysis of the IP aspects of regulatory measures affecting the packaging of certain health-related goods. Talking to World Trademark Review, a co-author of the work says that the tobacco industry’s fight against plain packaging is on the verge of defeat, and that IP associations must rethink their lobbying approach against similar measures.
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