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“We’re running out of good trademarks” groundbreaking study reveals 81% of common words are registered marks
A new study scrutinising the millions of marks on the US trademark register has discovered that more than 81% of the 1,000 most frequently-used words in the English language are already registered as single-word trademarks. One of the study’s authors characterises the findings as “disturbing”, warning that it could cause problems for those seeking to create brand names in the future.
Democratising trademark data: ambitious call to create non-profit to develop global e-filing standards
In an exclusive guest post for World Trademark Review, the chief executive of IP docketing technology company Alt Legal urges IP offices to work towards, and adopt, universal standards in trademark data and electronics filings. To achieve this, he is calling for the creation of a non-profit organisation tasked with promoting and developing industry best standards in relation to e-filings and trademark databases.
Logan Paul fiasco shows risk for brands on YouTube; research reveals more YouTubers seeking trademark protection
A number of recent incidents have demonstrated why rights holders must be careful when advertising on YouTube or seeking partnerships with its high-profile stars. New research from World Trademark Review also reveals that content creators on the platform many of which make millions of dollars a year in advertising, sponsorship and merchandise revenue are turning to trademark registrations to protect their channel assets.
It was reported over the weekend that fashion brand Diesel has opened a pop-up store in New York selling so-called ‘fake fakes’. The move is part of a marketing campaign dubbed ‘Go with the Fake’, aimed at encouraging consumers to “wear whatever they want”. While the campaign is creating a lot of online buzz, some have contended that it is also glorifying counterfeit goods in the process.
A recently launched trademark solicitation campaign is offering to publish trademark registrations in a private database for up to $2,800. Further investigation into this entity offers clues about how these platforms are set up and the means used to solicit payments. Meanwhile, there are renewed calls for IP offices to offer “more clarity and simplicity” in an effort to make warnings about misleading invoices more visible.
“No imminent AI apocalypse” tech expert rejects predictions of mass job losses in trademark industry
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma predicted last week that artificial intelligence (AI) “will kill many jobs”, with reports claiming that AI will trigger the fourth industrial revolution. But the founder of a legal technology company has told World Trademark Review that reports of impending mass job losses in the trademark industry due to AI are overblown. The issue is hotly contested, with some claiming that INTA must do more to prepare professionals for the rise of AI.
British prime minister Theresa May has fired a warning shot to China’s government over the need to respect the rules of international trade especially in regards to counterfeit goods. In a message published on the day she begins an official visit to China, May writes that the two countries must work together so UK businesses can be “confident that their intellectual property and rights will be fully protected”.
"Infamous troll" Michael Gleissner involved in 5% of all live contested trademark cases in United Kingdom
In a decision which one trademark attorney characterises as “good news for brand owners”, the UK Intellectual Property Office has upheld an earlier decision which dismissed entrepreneur Michael Gleissner’s attempt to register the common name ALEXANDER as a trademark. The decision includes the startling reveal that entities related to Gleissner account for 5% of all live contested trademark cases in the United Kingdom demonstrating the unprecedented volume of the millionaire’s filing activity.
Trademark practitioners are once again invited to participate in our annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey, which measures the pulse of the industry, tracks industry trends and identifies how practice is evolving to counter new threats and embrace fresh opportunities. Participation in the survey is free of charge and designed to give counsel both in-house and in private practice the opportunity to have their say on the state of the trademark industry.
K-pop superstars T-ara vow to fight for rights to their name; experts predict bitter legal battle ahead
Members from one of the most popular Korean bands in the world, T-ara, are taking legal action for rights to use the group name following a trademark application by their former management agency, MBK Entertainment. Two attorneys have told World Trademark Review that both parties have viable arguments for legitimate rights over the group name and point out that it is common practice in Korea for music agencies to own the trademark rights to band names as a tactic to ward off rival agencies from poaching talent.
IP firm announces Dublin office due to “uncertainty of Brexit” as negotiations on intellectual property begin
A UK-based IP law firm has announced it has chosen to open a new office in Dublin rather than London due to “the uncertainty of Brexit”. The move comes on the same day that it was revealed Brexit talks about IP have started, with one trademark attorney telling World Trademark Review that it still seems “very unlikely” the UK will be covered by the EU’s trademark registration system beyond the transitional period.
A new study has found that a majority of trademark practitioners rely on free search tools when clearing marks, with a further claim that this growing reliance may be the cause for a rise in infringement. The research highlights the continuing budgetary pressures faced by practitioners, the ongoing improvement of free online search tools, and the increasing need for IP services companies to differentiate themselves from ever-more-sophisticated free alternatives.
A week-long spat between Alibaba and the Office of the US Trade Representative has turned into a full-blown diplomatic issue after the Chinese government publicly questioned the credibility of the Notorious Markets List. China’s Ministry of Commerce has also claimed that the report lacks “solid evidence” to include the nine Chinese marketplaces accused of engaging in rampant IP infringement a move that appears to call into question the accounts of brand owners tackling fake goods in China.
Alibaba on the offensive: warns brands not to trust Notorious Markets List, undecided on future cooperation
Alibaba Group continues to talk tough in the wake of its online marketplace Taobao remaining on the Office of the US Trade Representative’s latest Notorious Markets List. Talking to World Trademark Review, an Alibaba spokesperson claims that brand owners should no longer trust the list and revealed that the company may not submit evidence for future reports.
The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has released the latest edition of its annual Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, in which it highlights marketplaces that it claims facilitate substantial intellectual property infringement. Alibaba Group's Taobao remains on the list, and in response, Alibaba has labelled itself “a scapegoat for the USTR to win points in a highly-politicised environment” and claims that it "not only met but dramatically exceeded" last year's recommendations.
New figures show that the US Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) received over 440,000 new trademark applications in 2017, a rise of more than 13% year on year. Writing for World Trademark Review, USPTO Trademark Commissioner Mary Boney Denison has promised that a “substantial number” of examiners would be hired in 2018 to ensure that the office can handle the increase in application volume effectively.
IP technology company LawPanel has called on national trademark offices to develop software tools that open up data to third-party developers. In comments to World Trademark Review, the company’s chief financial officer claims that through the introduction of application programming interface-driven architecture, such innovation could “fundamentally change the working life of trademark attorneys”. However, he acknowledges that the challenge will be to convince all stakeholders to embrace such change and foresees an opportunity for the International Trademark Association to facilitate the process.
Business owners have spoken to World Trademark Review about their anger and confusion over the mysterious trademark activity of entrepreneur Michael Gleissner. One, who recently prevailed against Gleissner in a 16-month trademark dispute, claims that he has yet to be paid legal costs and calls on IP offices to address “malicious action against legitimate trademarks” urgently.
New research has examined how religious signs are increasingly used in trade, and revealed how misappropriation by nefarious sellers can be harmful to the identity and preservation of religious cultures. To that end, the study’s author tells World Trademark Review that governments “should do more” to protect religious signs and that religious organisations must engage in commercial activities in order to fight back against misappropriation.
Continuing our rundown of the trademark personalities of 2017, we look at the final selection of figures that have had a profound impact on the industry this year. Be it those who have influenced public dialogue or caused significant disruption (for good or bad), we have chosen the personalities both individuals and entities that we feel have defined the trademark news agenda in the last 12 months.
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