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Sustainability is a critical component of brand value in Asia and Chinese companies are falling behind
Asian Correspondent announced the release of the inaugural edition of its CSR50 Index last week, with the new ranking intended to highlight the “environmentally-conscious companies” that have done the most to “promote sustainable practice within the Asia region” in the past year.
The Indian parliament is likely to enact strict regulations governing celebrity endorsements during its budget session beginning later this month, as the debate surrounding the potential impact of the new rules on brand owners’ businesses heats up.
China’s top court has handed down its eagerly anticipated ruling in one of the country’s most high-profile trademark cases to date. While it is a partially positive result for former professional basketball player Michael Jordan, commentators note that it is too early to adjudge its wider effect.
Merchandise produced in anticipation of a Cleveland Indians victory in the US baseball World Series will be destroyed rather than donated to communities in poorer countries, in a break with what has become standard procedure for US sports associations. While Major League Baseball (MLB) seem to have cited trademark and reputation issues as the reason, the new direction could negatively impact on the MLB brand and those of its teams.
Procter & Gamble appears to be intensifying its enforcement efforts in relation to its key product brands, as it tackles another alleged violation of IP rights covering its Head & Shoulders haircare line.
Trademark squatting remains a major problem for brand owners in China. But recent court cases indicate that counsel are calling on merchandising rights as a new strategy for combating bad-faith filings in the country.
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.
One of the arguments made against the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products is that the absence of branding would exacerbate the problem of counterfeiting, with potentially unsafe products becoming more accessible. As Malaysia lays the groundwork for a plain packaging regime, a recent poll of Malaysian consumers would seem to support that concern.
“Bargaining power is tilting in favour of Chinese licensees” as country’s appetite for top brands continues to grow
A feature in the current issue of World Trademark Review explores China’s trademark licensing landscape and charts its development over recent years. Traditionally, rights holders proved hesitant to exploit the potential of this huge market, which was long seen as fraught with risk and difficulty. But today, licensing into China is a lucrative industry and Chinese licensees are far more sophisticated when it comes to doing deals.
Filings expected to plummet as Japanese companies streamline portfolios and focus on utilisation of existing rights
The Japan Patent Office recently published an overview of its 2015 IP activity survey findings. Highlighting trends in trademark strategy among Japanese organisations, the survey suggests that brand owners in the country are becoming increasingly selective when it comes to filing applications and are seeking ways to extract added value from their portfolios. Such a trend could have a direct impact on law firm revenues and strategies.
After vanishing from shopping precincts in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month due to bankruptcy, consumer electronics retailer Dick Smith has been reborn as an online-only store thanks to the successful sale of its IP assets. The fall and rise of this household-name brand shows that the open market can present rich opportunities for both those looking to monetise trademark rights and those looking to acquire proven brands. However, there are also significant risks.
As has been widely reported in recent months, the wheels appear to have fallen off of China’s economic juggernaut (or at least to have picked up a few punctures). As might be expected, the slowdown is leading to a tightening of consumer purse strings, particularly when it comes products and services sold in higher price brackets including, notably, luxury goods. For brands, the concern will be that buyers now turn to fake alternatives.
Allegations that McDonald’s restaurants have been charging customers in some of New Zealand’s poorest areas more than those in wealthier districts have highlighted the challenge facing franchisors when trying to control brand messaging.
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 recent study highlights how social media has rapidly increased in importance to the United States’ biggest brand owners in recent years. That can only mean one thing for trademark counsel...
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