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With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becoming enforceable on May 25 2018, all eyes are on its potential impact on rights holders’ access to accurate and reliable WHOIS data. One industry expert warns of the “absurd” policies that could result from incorrect analysis of the regulations adding that cybercriminals “anywhere in the world” could soon become the biggest fans of GDPR.
The USPTO has filed a petition for a rehearing en banc in In re: Brunetti, a decision it contends “invalidates a century-old provision of federal trademark law that renders trademarks containing ‘scandalous’ and ‘immoral’ matter ineligible for the benefits of federal registration”. The bid to maintain a ban on scandalous marks is one that practitioners will keenly follow. However, one legal expert told us that the government faces an “uphill battle” to reverse the Federal Circuit’s ruling.
Jones Day has been named the strongest law firm brand in the United States for the second year running. According to the Acritas US Law Firm Brand Index 2018, Jones Day extended its lead in the table, while second place Skadden strengthened its brand over the past year. Bubbling below the surface, though, is the rising threat to traditional law firms from alternative legal service brands.
Subscribers and regular visitors to worldtrademarkreview.com will notice significant changes to the website from February 8. In a bid to ensure that the latest trademark market intelligence and business critical insights are delivered in the most efficient and accessible way possible, we have re-engineered the platform to offer an optimum user experience, drawing on a revamped navigation structure and a range of new features.
Online and media criticism of a Ram Trucks ad aired during this week’s Super Bowl broadcast continues to rumble on. For its part, parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has stood its ground, noting that the King Estate had given approval of its use of a Martin Luther King Jr sermon. The key question from a brand perspective is whether holding ground in the face of a social media storm is the right approach or whether appeasing critics is the better option.
Singapore opens plain packaging consultation; hits out at “misleading” use of branding by tobacco companies
Singapore’s Ministry of Health has opened a public consultation on proposals to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco products alongside enlarged graphic health warnings. The document firmly dismisses legal and trade-related arguments against plain packaging, and should be of concern to rights holders seeking to prevent the expansion of brand restrictions.
Amazon has supplanted Google as the world’s most valuable brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 rankings. With Apple, Samsung and Facebook rounding out the top five, technology brands dominate the top of the list. However, it is the continued rise of Chinese brands on the international scene that should be noted.
LegalForce calls on USPTO to tackle Chinese firms “practicing illegally” allegations and threats revealed
Raj Abhyanker, founder and shareholder in LegalForce RAPC Worldwide the firm behind online filing engine Trademarkia has sent a grievance complaint to the US Patent and Trademark Office centred on Chinese IP law firms “practicing illegally” in the United States. Speaking exclusively to World Trademark Review, he expands on his allegations and the threats he received from one China-based filer.
Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in China have reported improved confidence in China’s economy, with a third planning to increase investment in the country. While sentiment towards the IP environment has also improved mirroring the experience of those on the ground the escalation of the war of words over IP and trade, fuelled by US President Donald Trump's tough rhetoric, could skew perceptions back towards the negative.
On World Trademark Review we have previously reported on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its potential impact on rights holders’ access to accurate and reliable WHOIS data. In this guest blog, Brian J Winterfeldt, principal of the Winterfeldt IP Group and president of ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency, analyses the proposed models for compliance - one of which would effectively result in the WHOIS database as we know it today going dark.
The Internet Commerce Association has published a document making a series of recommended reforms for the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The statement takes aim at the management of the process by existing providers, as well as the conduct of some panellists arguing that the emphasis on recruiting from the trademark bar is leading to imbalance in the system. In response, a World Intellectual Property Office spokesperson characterised this focus on the UDRP as “remarkable”, adding that it “betrays a clear misunderstanding of the actual mechanics of impartial and efficient ADR case management”.
In November, the 2018 rankings tables for the World Trademark Review 1000 The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals were exclusively released to subscribers. Today we are pleased to announce that the full version is now available online. Free to view, it analyses the local trademark legal services markets in 70 jurisdictions worldwide, profiling the firms and individuals singled out as leaders in their respective fields.
We have previously reported on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its potential impact on rights holders’ access to WHOIS data. In this guest blog, Brian J Winterfeldt, president of the The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN's) Intellectual Property Constituency, expands on the potential threat and why it is important for brand owners to engage at ICANN to ensure that GDPR compliance does not become an excuse to shut off access to WHOIS data.
"INTA can serve as the connector": new president on the association’s expanded anti-counterfeiting role
Last week INTA officially announced the election of Tish Berard as its 2018 president and chair of the board of directors. In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, she expands on the co-ordination role the association can play in the global fight against counterfeiting and the need for trademark professionals to embrace change in all of its guises.
“Now we can step on the gas”: Corsearch CEO reveals future plans after private equity deal completion
On January 5 Corsearch announced the closure of its sale to Audax Private Equity. The latest in a series of high-profile acquisitions of trademark solutions companies, the move has resulted in a newly independent entity. In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, Corsearch President and Chief Executive Officer Tobias Hartmann has revealed the company’s product and growth plans.
In November we reported that the decade-long downward trend in US trademark litigation actions showed no sign of correction. The latest tracker data from Lex Machina confirms that the slump continued in 2017, with the 3,782 cases filed representing a nine-year low. With competition for the litigation dollar intensifying, the data also reveals the firms which are leading the representation rankings.
Bodies representing IP solicitors, barristers and chartered trademark and patent attorneys have teamed up to urge the UK government to address key IP concerns related to Brexit urgently. While limiting its list to five key areas of concern, the document warns that a multi-year transitional period will likely be required to reach a suitable solution.
Just days after California started legally selling recreational marijuana, the Trump administration has signalled a U-turn on the federal marijuana enforcement policy, bringing it into conflict with a number of states. Experts tell World Trademark Review that the move also creates further uncertainty about the prospects for brands in the sector.
“There’s a new sheriff in town”: LegalForce founder reveals motivation behind lawsuits against competitors
LegalForce RAPC Worldwide, the firm behind Trademarkia, has initiated a number of lawsuits against competitor online trademark filings portals, with shareholder Raj Abhyanker telling World Trademark Review that “this is just the start”. With more litigation filings expected, he contends that the regulation he adheres to as a law firm is restricting his ability to operate on a level playing field with some competitors. As such, he argues that his end goal is a resolution that benefits the entire legal trademark profession.
A law firm commissioned by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to explore the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation on publicly available WHOIS data has recommended a temporary ‘layered access’ solution be adopted. While this will buy time to engage in further talks with authorities on the future of WHOIS, it notes that such a layered approach is problematic for rights holders seeking to process data to investigate IP infringements. In short, the protection of trademark rights looks set to become more burdensome.
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