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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.
After a year-long consultation, the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has concluded that brand owners should not be able to seek civil injunctions against ‘copycat packaging’ because there could be “unintended consequences” in changing the status quo. The British Brands Group has described the decision as “bad for shoppers, bad for brands and bad for fair competition”.
The difficulty that brands in the adult sector have in obtaining and enforcing trademark protection is one of the unspoken issues of the trademark world, with one leading IP attorney telling World Trademark Review about some of the challenges he has faced representing clients in this space. He also called on other stakeholders, including law firms, to up their efforts to protect brands in this sector.
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.
OHIM has released its latest study into the economic cost of IP infringement in various sectors, this time focused on sports goods. To mark this, World Trademark Review has reviewed the studies published to date and compiled an infographic that highlights the combined cost of counterfeiting in the EU.
As the poll numbers of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump continue to rise, so too do the number of trademark filings using his name. Trump’s lawyer has confirmed to World Trademark Review that there has been a recent uptick in infringement, but reveals they are adopting an “aggressive” stance - whether it is to those infringers with a negative intent or to genuine Trump supporters.
The WTR Premium Daily email will be taking a summer break over August, with the full blog and Premium Daily email service for subscribers recommencing on Tuesday September 1. In the meantime, we take a look back at the most-read articles and legal updates in the first seven months of 2015 on World Trademark Review.
A growing number of large casino companies are threatening small video game developers with legal action over alleged trademark infringement, a New York lawyer has told World Trademark Review. Ryan Morrison, who runs a firm that specialises in representing independent games companies, claims this has been caused by a trademark classification system that is not keeping pace with the development of new technology.
It was 10 years ago last month that Apple updated its iTunes software to support podcasts natively. Today, up to 75 million people a month listen to podcasts on iTunes, with the advertising revenue generated by the medium also on the rise. However, despite swift growth, the sector appears to be lagging behind in terms of brand protection and registered trademark rights.
China’s customs agency has released a report into its IP enforcement efforts during 2014. The data reveals that the number of detained shipments is growing significantly year-on-year, and underlines the importance of engaging with customs authorities in the world’s biggest exporter. We have studied the figures and created an infographic that presents the key findings.
When a trademark owner is perceived to act in a heavy-handed way, any resulting backlash is reported with relish by the mainstream media. However, the reverse rarely gets the coverage it deserves. This week, US production company Funimation directly engaged with the fan art community in a bid to explain how and why it has to police its marks. Its message was broadly welcomed by its target audience, many of whom have become allies in spreading the message.
China’s customs agency has released a summary of its IP enforcement efforts during the year 2014, and the report contains plenty of interesting data on the shape and scale of customs seizures affecting brand owners. Analysis of the numbers reveals the importance of engaging with customs authorities in the world’s biggest exporter.
Committing an embarrassing faux pas in full view of the cameras’ glare at a major film festival is a nightmare scenario for any film star. Unfortunately that was the fate of Chinese actress Tiffany Tang, also known as Tang Yan, at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival. Her case shows that even celebrities paying big bucks to fashion consultants are at risk of being fooled by China’s sophisticated knock-off industry.
The Eurovision Song Contest, launched in 1956, has become one of most recognisable event brands in the world. With this enduring popularity comes a whole host of IP challenges that the event’s producer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), has to contend with. However, unlike the very strict enforcement approach taken by organisers of major sporting events, the EBU’s IP department tells World Trademark Review that it sometimes “deliberately tolerates infringements”.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacating the jury’s damages awards against Samsung products that were found liable for trade dress dilution may be grabbing mainstream media headlines, but it is the affirmation of design patent damages that practitioners will find more significant.
An analyst report into online marketplace Etsy has issued a stark warning about the large proportion of potentially infringing items being sold on the site, causing the company’s stock to plummet. While sending a clear signal to trademark counsel that they need to ensure the platform is in their policing plans, the positive takeaway is the hesitancy investors exhibit when faced with sites that sell allegedly infringing items.
The in-house counsel who heads up YouTube's trademark and anti-counterfeiting policies has told WTR that finding the correct balance between alleviating brand owner concerns and protecting the free speech of its users is a challenge, although she notes that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive.
With the INTA Annual Meeting concluding with last night’s gala in the Gaslamp Quarter, and many trademark counsel preparing to leave San Diego after five days of meetings, learning and receptions, World Trademark Review would like to wish all delegates a safe journey home.
Following European ‘trilogue’ discussions yesterday, the European Parliament, Council and Commission have announced a provisional agreement on the European trademark package, meaning that the reforms are a significant step closer to being realised. While many aspects have been welcomed by user associations, the lack of detail on crucial aspects means that the ‘thumbs up’ remains a tentative one.
World Trademark Review is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2015 WTR Industry Awards. Amongst the corporate teams featured on this year’s shortlist are those from adidas, Apple, BMW, Cencosud, Chanel, eBay, FIFA, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, Intel, Jaguar Land Rover, Kate Spade & Company, L'Oréal, Microsoft, Nike, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Twitter and Yum! Brands.
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