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Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meant changes were in the offing for the country’s Trademark Law. Specifically, the newspaper claimed that policymakers were poised to boost the amount of damages available in trademark infringement litigation. But as the days have passed, no further details have emerged and it is the latest example of the uncertainty created by the TPP.
One of the more contentious aspects of the EU’s proposed trademark reform package bubbled to the surface again last week as an unnamed Indian official reiterated the government’s concern over the issue of goods in transit. Although the criticism may be unlikely to affect the final shape of the legislation, the issue is likely to remain a sticking point in free trade negotiations and other interfaces between Europe and India.
The senior director of the Madrid Registry has revealed to World Trademark Review that he is hopeful the stipulation in the newly leaked IP chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for countries to join the Madrid Protocol will kick-start the organisation’s future push into Latin America.
China’s new Advertising Law took effect at the beginning of September, and reports have emerged that suggest Xiaomi is the first company to come under investigation. The new rules flag up several issues that brand owners should know about, and might also provide new avenues for enforcement.
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.
Donald Trump, adult domain names and the battle over the Kit Kat shape all feature in our most-read blogs
While a story focused on the latest developments in the gTLD space was the most-read World Trademark Review blog last month, the top 10 ran the full gamut of trademark-related topics, touching on the worlds of politics, law, counterfeiting, the internet and marketing.
The annual Global Innovation Index report, which launched in 2007, claims to reveal which global economies are ‘the world’s top innovators’. Reflecting on this year’s edition, one of the co-authors notes that the data demonstrates that domestic producers “increasingly rely” on brands and trademarks. However, there are some caveats related to the trademark-related metrics.
In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, Ambassador Iman Pambagyo, Indonesia’s deputy permanent representative to the WTO, has expanded on the country’s opposition to Australia’s plain packaging regime for tobacco products. He has also responded to allegations that Indonesia’s consideration of plain packaging for alcoholic products is a retaliatory move.
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has released its latest study into the economic cost of IP rights infringement, revealing that the clothing, footwear and accessories sector loses approximately 26.3 billion of revenue annually due to the presence of counterfeit products in the EU market. It is the related finding that government revenues are being hit to the tune of 8.1 billion annually that will resonate with law and policy makers.
We often write about the difficult task faced by foreign brand owners seeking to engage with Chinese e-commerce platforms in furtherance of two central goals: selling more of their products to Chinese consumers and keeping counterfeits off the market. For some companies, it may be tempting to sell directly to customers in China over the Internet. However, the Chinese government’s ambivalent policies toward outside involvement in the sector means that continued sustained engagement with third-party sites remains the most prudent course of action.
The District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has delivered another blow to the Washington Redskins, denying Pro Football Inc’s challenge to the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment and confirming that the REDSKINS marks should be removed from the USPTO’s principal register. However, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee was keen to emphasise that the team can continue to use the marks in commerce.
The trend of IP legislative reform in the Caribbean is set to continue after a new trademarks law was recently assented by the Trinidad and Tobago’s government. The development follows recent moves to update trademark legislation in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, and one commentator notes that the changes should result in more international brands seeking protection in the jurisdiction.
When we last reported on the European trademark reform, ‘provisional agreement’ on the package had been reached by the ‘trilogue’ of the European Parliament, Council and Commission. This week, the rapporteur of the reform package, Cecilia Wikström, has revealed what went on behind closed doors and acknowledged that the reforms, expected to be formally passed later this year, are not as ambitious as she had hoped.
Trade representatives from 16 Asian countries are convening in Kyoto this week for an eighth round of negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement. In the run-up to the meeting a series of leaks revealed the IP positions of four key parties to the deal (Japan, Korea, India and ASEAN), which indicate that the East Asian nations are hoping to codify tough measures against counterfeiting.
On September 1 2015 the British Virgin Islands’ new Trademarks Act 2013 and Trademarks Rules 2015 will come into effect. However, in some instances it will be advantageous for trademark owners to register marks in the jurisdiction now, rather than wait for the new regime to be implemented.
For our latest podcast, we focus on the issue of disparaging marks and speak to Simon Tam, founder of Asian American dance-rock band The Slants, and Anne Gilson LaLonde, author of Gilson on Trademarks, about the band’s efforts to secure a trademark registration for its name, and the wider implications of its battle.
The controversy over the African Intellectual Property Organisation’s recent accession to the Madrid Protocol continues to develop, with the group of agents who claim accession is illegal calling on INTA for support. However, the association has told World Trademark Review that it is not in a position to become involved in the legality of a country’s or intergovernmental organisation’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.
Philip Morris has stepped up its battle against the UK’s decision to give the green light to plain packaging for tobacco products, filing suit in the English High Court and stating that the regime would violate EU trademark law. The move comes as, according to World Trademark Review sources, the World Trade Organisation prepares to hear oral arguments in the challenges against Australia’s plain packaging regime.
The government of the Cayman Islands is drawing up a new Trademarks Bill that will introduce a local register and offer an increased ability to enforce marks. One lawyer in the region has told World Trademark Review that the new bill will finally bring the country’s IP system into the 21st century, and could halt the trend of international businesses ignoring the Caymans in their brand protection efforts.
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