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News: World Trademark Review can exclusively reveal the formation of a new Washington DC-based IP law firm led by Brian J Winterfeldt. The firm, Winterfeldt IP Group, opens for business today and boasts almost 20 employees from outset. Winterfeldt told World Trademark Review that the move reflects a shift in the law firm landscape, with more clients turning from big law to boutiques when seeking trademark-related services.
Strongest law firm brands identified: Baker McKenzie, DLA Piper and Clifford Chance lead latest legal index (Blog)
News: In the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2017, Baker McKenzie has again been declared the strongest firm brand, extending its lead over competitors on the list. While populated by full-service law firms, those in the top-20 ranking also boast a significant level of trademark expertise.
From the EUIPO to the EPO: Campinos elected next president as race to Alicante top spot commences (Blog)
Analysis: António Campinos, executive director of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), has been elected as the next president of the European Patent Office (EPO). He will serve a five-year term from July 1 2018. Speculation is already mounting about his possible replacement in the EUIPO top spot, with a source telling World Trademark Review that his move to the EPO has been regarded as a fait accompli for some time.
Analysis: This week the Wall Street Journal reported that luxury brands are demanding a firmer commitment from Amazon to police counterfeits on the platform, with talks between the e-commerce giant and Swatch breaking down over Amazon's unwillingness to do more. While the call for increased brand protection mechanisms is persistent, for some luxury brands the decision not to utilise the platform is a wider strategic one, rather than specifically tied to anti-counterfeiting programmes.
Sheep protest over trademark dispute hits the headlines but unlikely to derail legal proceedings (Blog)
News: An Australian senator has led a protest, accompanied by a flock of sheep, against a trademark lawsuit initiated by Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The dispute focuses on the UGG brand of boots, with Senator Nick Xenophon arguing that the term should be protected as a geographical indication.
Previous Alibaba critic has positive words as e-commerce giant seeks removal of Taobao from notorious markets list (Blog)
The public comments received by the US Trade Representative (USTR) in the run-up to this year’s Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets have been published, with Alibaba contending that none of its platforms engage in or facilitate counterfeiting. The USTR will make the final decision on whether any of its sites make the list, but the e-commerce giant will be heartened by the comments of a previously critical brand association, which expresses a more positive understanding of the challenges Alibaba faces.
A number of changes are on their way for your World Trademark Review platform. The first enhancement will come next month, when we provide subscribers with an even more detailed analysis and insight of developments across the world affecting trademark owners and their advisers, as well as an exclusive first look at the WTR 1000 2018 rankings.
Commentators divided over independent USPTO proposal; doubts over whether it will gain political traction (Blog)
The House Budget Committee has published a proposal aimed at curbing excessive government spending, with an independent US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) included among its recommendations. One trademark expert told World Trademark Review that such a move would end the existing “archaic” relationship between the USPTO and the US Department of Commerce (DOC). However, the feeling on the ground in DC is that both Congress and the DOC will resist efforts to reduce their oversight of the agency.
In a new survey, almost one-half of senior marketing respondents reported that reputational problems have resulted from advertisements being placed alongside offensive or objectionable content. Crucially, one-fifth cited "trademark infringement or content piracy" as a primary concern when safeguarding brands online, opening the door to increased collaboration with their trademark colleagues.
World Trademark Review is pleased to announce that it will be hosting Brand Strategy China 2017 in Shanghai on December 7. This is a high-level knowledge-sharing event for professionals tasked with protecting the integrity and maximising the value of their brands in the region.
Brands offered “unique opportunity” to engage with Cambodian government to help shape country's IP system (Blog)
In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, the goodwill ambassador for the Cambodian Counter Counterfeit Committee, Ainsley Jong, has called on international brands to engage with the Cambodian government to help shape the country’s brand protection environment. The invitation comes at a time of booming economic growth, with more companies expected to enter the market in the coming years.
“What you see is what you get” preparing for the imminent second wave of EU reform provisions (Blog)
In just under a week, the second swathe of provisions resulting from the EU reforms package will go live. Practitioners and applicants should be aware of a number of changes not least the axing of the graphical representation requirement for EU trademarks and, with it, the introduction of the ‘multimedia mark’.
This week, Alibaba’s Anti-counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) announced the creation of a brand advisory board to facilitate greater collaboration between the e-commerce giant and AACA members on the protection of IP rights. One brand protection leader for a major international company has welcomed the development, but hopes that “truly new” approaches to anti-counterfeiting are the result, rather than extensions, of existing programmes.
World Trademark Review is now inviting nominations for its extensive annual research project, designed to identify the world’s leading corporate trademark counsel and teams. Nominate now to ensure that the important work undertaken by in-house professionals across the globe receives the recognition it deserves.
Full speaker line-up for next month’s Managing Trademark Assets conference in Chicago revealed (Blog)
The full session-by-session line-up for the upcoming Managing Trademark Assets conference is now live online. The early bird booking deadline for the event, being held in Chicago on October 17, expires tomorrow. Book now to save $100 and guarantee your place at the event, where attendees will be able to hear from and share best practice with senior experts representing organisations such as Amazon, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Thermos, Toyota, Under Armour and Wells Fargo.
Amazon calls for end to ‘.amazon’ gTLD stand-off; demands prompt action to end dispute with governments (Blog)
Amazon has called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to “immediately approve” its application for the ‘.amazon’ generic top-level domain, noting that prompt action is necessary because “there is no sovereign right under international or national law to the name ‘Amazon”’, with an Independent Review Process Panel having previously ruled that ICANN acted in a manner inconsistent with its bylaws when rejecting the company’s application. The move to end the stand-off over the string is one that all brands should monitor.
Over the past few days media reports have focused on the case of an individual seller who saw his Amazon.com store shut down over an alleged IP-related violation lodged by a bogus law firm. His call for more considered investigations of complaints highlights the challenge facing the e-commerce giant, which is also under pressure to ensure speedy takedowns when infringement occurs.
Study suggests “huge potential” for economic growth in Latin America through trademark promotion (Blog)
Trademark-intensive industries across Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru account for 18.5 million jobs and $2,390 of value per capita a year, according to research commissioned by the International Trademark Association and Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property. For those working in such industries, salary premiums of up to 25% were observed.
Major initiative launches to combat illicit trade, aims to unite anti-counterfeiting and supply chain innovators (Blog)
A new private sector initiative, the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, was unveiled this week with a mandate to “stop the significant and growing economic and social damages caused by illicit trade”. Director General Jeffrey P Hardy told World Trademark Review that anti-counterfeiting efforts will be just one work stream, with the organisation aiming to foster a cross-sectorial effort against illicit trade in all of its guises.
The EU Commission has released its position paper on the treatment of IP rights after the United Kingdom completes its exit from the European Union. While a short document, it provides an important insight into the trademarks regime that EU negotiators want to work towards. However, some aspects could prove divisive.
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