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Legislation was tabled last week in the US House of Representatives calling for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), following a week in which over 100 elected officials declared their support for dismantling the organisation. It sparked a reminder that the agency plays a crucial role in the fight against counterfeits, with a leading trademark lawyer describing the calls for ICE’s complete abolition as “short-sighted”, warning that such a move would damage brand rights enforcement as well as other positive functions it serves.
More evidence of the economic benefits of trademark ownership has emerged, with new research from the US Patent and Trademark Office revealing that registered trademark protection helps companies to grow, employ more people and innovate. Along with a slew of similar research findings to surface in recent months, the study reinforces efforts to communicate the benefits of trademark rights; not only to businesses, but to consumers and policy-makers.
Demise of Chief Wahoo shows how challenging Redskins brand was “successful legal failure”, expert claims
It has been announced that the Cleveland Indians baseball team will remove the controversial Chief Wahoo logo from its uniform next year. A prominent IP lawyer has told World Trademark Review that the move may have happened only because of the high-profile legal challenge against the Washington Redskins brand, claiming that it helped to create the shift in attitudes which led to the Ohio team’s branding shift.
A jury in a US federal court has rejected claims that the COMIC-CON trademark has become generic, ruling that a Utah-based comic convention’s name infringes the mark owned by San Diego Comic-Con. Although the dispute has been billed as a major test case for questions surrounding genericide, one legal commentator suggests that it will have more of an “atmospheric” than precedential effect.
EU/US disagreements highlighted as USPTO rejects inclusion of intellectual property in Hague Convention
The US Patent and Trademark Office has used the recent quarterly meeting of its Trademark Public Advisory Committee to announce its opposition to the inclusion of IP law in the proposed Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments. The newly-announced position brings the office into conflict with the European Union on an issue which is proving to be divisive in the IP community.
“Super classy” Netflix cease-and-desist letter shows how to boost goodwill while tackling infringement
A cease-and-desist letter sent by Netflix to a bar that was using its trademark without permission has drawn effusive praise from online media outlets. The streaming service adopted a good-humoured approach and, in doing so, has shown how large brands can avoid accusations of trademark bullying when enforcing their rights.
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