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Last year was another busy one in terms of trademark strategy news, and the world’s largest and fastest-developing regional market was often at the centre of it all. World Trademark Review presents a retrospective on some of the key trademark and brand management developments in Asia-Pacific jurisdictions during 2016.
Foxconn’s $3.5 billion acquisition of a majority stake in Sharp, which was completed last month, marked what is presumably the largest foreign takeover of a Japanese company yet. And with the Taiwanese outfit’s installation of one of its own team as CEO, Sharp’s brand strategy appears to be heading in a new direction.
At the start of this month, the Australian government began to implement a new set of standards for ‘country of origin’ labelling for food products sold in the country. Brand owners should take the time to familiarise themselves with the new system, as it could have an impact on their trademark filing and management strategies.
Experts highlighted opportunities and trends in brand licensing in the fashion industry during a session at this week’s Brand Licensing Europe convention in London. The insights shared during the session provide some helpful brand strategy pointers for trademark counsel.
Versace is to launch a range of products inspired by knock-off versions of the Italian company’s designs. While the fashion house is keen to portray the collection as highlighting the issue of counterfeits, it waits to be seen whether the impact on anti-counterfeiting efforts proves to be positive or negative.
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.
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.
A start-up law firm in the US state of Minnesota is taking legal action against a non-profit organisation that had earlier claimed the legal practice infringed its trademark rights and accusing it of bullying. At a time when lawmakers in the state are considering the introduction of litigation to curb overreaching legislation, the dispute highlights some of the complexities surrounding this divisive topic?
A number of service providers are offering crowdsourcing solutions that allow individuals to report, document and combat counterfeiting in return for rewards. While using the eyes, ears and collective wisdom of the crowd is an innovative approach to anti-counterfeiting, it will need to be backed up by consumer education and engagement if it is to be a game changer.
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.
The ‘cronut’ a cross between a croissant and a doughnut has taken the US patisserie world by storm. The growth in popularity of the pastry 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.
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.
As the debate over plain packaging for tobacco products continues, a new medical study has found that tobacco advertising in films is waning. At the same time, screen-time for alcohol brands is on the rise, particularly in films aimed at younger audiences. Will the call for new constraints on advertising for products that harm adolescents be followed by plain packaging and other advertising restrictions in the alcoholic beverages sector?
The head of Russia’s antitrust watchdog this week called for the possible legalisation of parallel imports. While it is too early to say whether the proposals have much chance of becoming law, trademark owners should be aware of the ongoing debate surrounding grey goods in the country.
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?
A new website has been launched with the aim of providing information to businesses that feel they are victims of trademark bullying. Could 'trademarkbullying.org' develop into a platform for SMEs to voice their grievances and attract more attention to the issue?
Microbrewery Thunder Road Brewing argued for the cancellation of a number of trademarks held by Foster’s-owned Carlton & United Brewers during a hearing before the Australian trademarks registrar last week. The outcome of the case could have significant implications for owners of heritage brands in the country.
A report from the International Business Times this week highlighted the issues faced by brand owners in China as they tackle the issue of knock-offs. That combatting counterfeiters is a challenge is not news in itself. However, some companies have tried to pass the cost of counterfeiting on to their customers and have attracted heavy criticism as a result.
A feature in India’s Economic Times outlines a number of high-profile comparative advertising campaigns carried out by companies operating in the country. Trademark counsel may be surprised at the nature of the comparisons made by advertisers as well as the relatively free rein with which they appear to be able to use competitors’ products in their advertising.
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