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With new innovations emerging in anti-counterfeiting and authentication, especially surrounding security methods being developed to combat the counterfeit threat of 3D printing, a natural question to ask is where this leaves the humble hologram. We talk to commentators about the future of holography.
Over the past 18 months, a number of technological innovations placing the fight against counterfeiting in the hands of brands and consumers have hit the market. Such developments are wholly positive, but building consumer take-up is likely to be a long-term game.
The entire world was in a state of shock, disbelief and sadness last Thursday at the news that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 had been shot out of the sky over war torn fields in Ukraine. Some individuals, though, saw the tragedy as something else entirely: an opportunity to register trademarks.
We take a look at the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) second Illicit Trade Report, which revealed that Nike and Apple are the world's most counterfeited brands, and offer a big-picture look at counterfeiting trends across the globe.
The anxiety that 3D printing could lead to a new front in the war against counterfeiting and trademark infringement has increased exponentially this year, and new innovations could ease those worries but there is still much to be done.
The Wimbledon Tennis Championship kicked off this week, and compared to the continuing World Cup in Brazil and the previous Olympics event in London, trademark policing around the event appears to be significantly lower key.
The second edition of the GIPC International IP Index, conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce, provides a snapshot of 25 countries’ IP environments and is targeted at policy makers. While an interesting read, there are no real surprises in the country rankings. However, the document does provide clues as to the governments that may come under renewed political pressure to improve their trademark regimes.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged four individuals for their alleged roles in piracy groups engaged in the illegal distribution of copies of copyrighted Android mobile device applications, the first time it has charged members of a mobile device app piracy group. It is positive that the DOJ is alive to potential infringement in this arena, but the problem is not a new one and the sheer scope of app infringement is set to rocket.
As trademark counsel know, the value of a strong brand, built up over time and the subject of goodwill, can be a key asset when communicating to users and customers. Reflecting this, users have spoken against proposals to change the name of OHIM with MARQUES warning that scammers may also capitalise on the resulting confusion.
Strategies for the creation of effective public-private partnerships were the focus of today’s morning sessions at INTA’s ‘Hot TM topics in the MEASA region’ conference in Dubai, with both brand owner and government views represented. Focusing specifically on the ways that brand owners can better work with public institutions to fight counterfeiting, the key messages were to ‘stop the blame culture’ and engage potential public partners through positive messaging.
A decision by the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic may result in the UK’s largest luxury-goods maker, Burberry, losing the exclusive rights to its iconic tartan, known as the ‘Haymarket Check’, in China. However, the brand is not out of moves yet.
Damrong Maslae and his brother Damras are two independent Thai coffee vendors who have recently become caught up in what has been labelled a ‘David vs Goliath’ battle after their company Starbung was sued by Starbucks for trademark infringement. While the case has now been settled, it highlights the difficulties facing trademark counsel who are concerned that certain enforcement actions could lead to negative publicity.
This week sees the launch of a new UK police unit targeting IP crime, funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office and co-ordinated by the City of London police. Key to success will be its relationship with trademark owners.
During February and March this year, WTR conducted its fifth annual Global Benchmarking Survey. Two notable trends are the increased focus on policing the web in the face of a social media explosion and the challenges posed by regional online marketplaces.
News from India last week suggested that IKEA’s plans to open its first stores in the country could be hampered by issues surrounding its trademarks. Retailers about to enter the Indian market in light of the country’s relaxation of foreign direct investment rules should make sure their trademark rights are secure.
Much has been written about the growing anti-IP sentiment amongst consumers with demonstrations over ACTA and the outcry in the United States over anti-piracy legislation the most high-profile illustration of public discontent. A new study of Canadian consumers purports to reflect a very different picture so are Canadians more IP-friendly by nature or is the picture similar elsewhere, with the naysayers merely shouting louder than the supporters?
The volume and value of counterfeit goods seized by EU Customs continues to rise, according to figures released by the European Commission this week. 115 million products were seized in 2011 (up from 103 million in 2010) and the value of the goods increased from 1.1 billion in 2010 to 1.3 billion last year. However, discrepancies in accounting methods and differing levels of seizures mean that it can only give a snapshot of the problem of worldwide counterfeiting.
Enforcement of trademarks rights was a major talking point at a conference organized by Hong Kong University, focusing on IP protection for luxury brands. While a number of brand owners provided insights into their anti-counterfeiting strategies, an alternative view was provided by a number of academics, who warned that in many cases trademark enforcement has gone too far.
While Marques is often thought of as a European organization, it necessarily has an international outlook, and last week the association held its first ever meeting in China. Representatives from some of the country’s physical and online markets had their say about the counterfeiting issue, and attempts to clamp down on illicit trade.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has returned to the headlines, as Switzerland delays signing and a senior European Union politician openly doubts that it will be ratified. However, further scrutiny by signatories should not be seen as a sign of the agreement’s likely demise.
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