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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.
In a trademark case which has attracted attention in the local media, the IP Office of the Philippines has dismissed an opposition filed by Apple against a Manila company’s attempt to register MY/PHONE. The tenor of press coverage provides yet another example of the challenges faced by a mega-company enforcing its brand against a local ‘David’.
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.
A number of media reports in recent weeks have slammed NFL club the Seattle Seahawks for its ‘aggressive’ trademark strategy. Research conducted by World Trademark Review indicates that, while the team is indeed top of the trademark pile in the NFL, the number and type of trademarks it is filing is not significantly ahead of its rivals, despite media coverage suggesting otherwise.
OHIM has announced that, since its introduction in November, a quarter of CTM applications have followed the fast-track path, with some applications published by the office just three days after receipt.
OHIM has announced that the fast-track processing of CTM applications will be available from November 24. On that day, whether choosing fast track or the regular route to publication, a change that applies to all CTM applicants will also take place.
The USPTO’s statistics for the year to date report that just 2.6% of international trademark applications (Madrid) are approved upon first action, compared to 34.1% of applications via TEAS Plus and 17% by TEAS. For applicants this creates a number of challenges, and begs the question of whether the direct route to registration is a better option.
Last night Apple announced a new iPhone model and a new product line in the form of a smartwatch device. Speculation before the event (fuelled by leaked CAD renderings, patent filings and trademark applications) meant there were few surprises. This highlights a challenge for companies how to ensure that trademark applications don’t give the game away.
World Trademark Review is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2014 WTR Industry Awards. Amongst the in-house teams featured on the shortlist are those from Amazon.com, Apple, BMW, Campbell Soup Company, China Mobile, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, Lego, Pepsico, Rovio Entertainment, Unify and Zippo Manufacturing Company.
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.
This week the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) completed the purchase of the iconic Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali brand portfolios, adding to the Marilyn Monroe brand it already owns to create one of the most valuable celebrity portfolios. While celebrity brands can be very lucrative for their owners, trademark counsel should remain vigilant to their challenges of protection and enforcement; after all iconic brands are not merely trademarks.
The Australian trademarks registrar has rejected Melbourne-based microbrewer Thunder Road Brewery’s attempt to wrest control of several heritage beer brands from Carlton & United Brewers (CUB). CUB’s success demonstrates the importance of having a trademark strategy that is fully aligned with the business’ overall commercial objectives.
India's Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion has clarified the government’s position with regard to foreign single-brand retailers’ sale of ‘sub-brands’. Brand owners expanding their presence in India after the relaxation of foreign direct investment rules should review their trademark strategies to ensure they have adequate protection in place to meet this requirement.
The research process for WTR’s annual services supplier survey, designed to build up a complete picture of the non-legal trademark services industry and how it caters to user needs, is underway. Participate now to have your say on the state of the market and tell suppliers how they can better meet your requirements.
Recent research from the Luxury Institute has shed light on the attitudes of affluent consumers towards collaborations between high-end brands. While research participants indicated that they place high value on brand partnerships, they also emphasised the risk of brand dilution. The findings reiterate the key role for trademark counsel in joining forces with third-party brands.
The most-read trademark blog on the WTR website in July focused on the ‘cronut’ an enticing cross between a croissant and a doughnut. The product has taken the US patisserie world by storm and the pastry’s growth in popularity has been so rapid that it has already been widely imitated, highlighting the need for a nimble approach to trademark protection early in product development.
A recent report estimates that the $13.4 billion Indian franchising industry could grow almost fourfold by 2017. The findings suggest vast opportunities for brand owners to take a stake in the country’s booming consumer market but trademark counsel will have to be vigilant to ensure that brands are protected when entering into franchise relationships.
License! Global magazine reports that the world’s top 150 brand licensors generated US$230 billion globally in 2012 from retail sales of licensed products, while the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association has found that North American businesses received $4.454 billion in royalties from trademark licensing last year. Such statistics can benefit trademark teams in their efforts to demonstrate corporate value but in-house counsel must also assume a leading role in brand monetisation if they are to do so.
Billabong saw its share price plunge to a record low today after negotiations with two potential buyers failed. But while the company faces an uncertain future, its trademark team is taking the lead on creating corporate value.
A third of US consumers would not purchase a branded product if they knew the brand belonged to a Chinese company, a recent survey has found. The findings underline the difficulty that Chinese brand owners face in penetrating the US market so what can be done from a trademark perspective to gain a foothold?
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