Blog results - found 86
The Debian Project, which oversees the development and distribution of free and open source operating system Debian, has released a new trademark policy which enables third parties to use its trademarks freely for commercial purposes. While such a laissez-faire approach could be seen as risky, it also presents an opportunity for some non-profit organisations, such as open source projects, to create additional value from their brands.
Last week the Python Software Foundation (PSF) a non-profit organisation which manages licensing of the open source Python programming language revealed its intention to oppose an application for the Community trademark PYTHON made by British company Our Holdings, based on its own claim on the term. While open source communities are oftentimes perceived to stand in opposition to more traditional forms of IP protection, PSF’s move shows the importance that brand can play in open source models.
Taiwanese personal computer manufacturer Acer stated yesterday that it would book a NT$3.5 billion (US$120.6 million) impairment charge relating to trademark rights, including marks it acquired from its takeovers of Gateway, Packard Bell and E-TEN. The world’s fourth-largest PC vendor has seen a negative impact on its stock price as a result. But from a wider perspective, is it really such a big deal that the book value of the acquired trademark rights has depreciated?
Last week it was reported that Chinese personal computer manufacturer Lenovo is planning to reorganise its product offering into two distinct brands with one aimed at home users shopping at the more affordable end of the spectrum and a separate identity for high-end business consumers. The goal is to gain a larger global market share. For brand owners, a number of lessons can be learned from such two-pronged marketing strategies.
A number of rights holders are adopting tactics favoured by rogue websites in order to educate consumers about counterfeits, using the very tools abused by infringers to fight back. The strategy was highlighted by Google, which outlined its own cat-and-mouse game with sites selling fakes. The observations were made at the INTA Advanced Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies conference in Istanbul, Turkey.
Budget squeezes remain a fact of life for many anti-counterfeiting professionals, a situation that is unlikely to change overnight. This week, at an INTA conference, brand protection counsel outlined how their companies approach budgeting for anti-counterfeiting activities.
New research suggests that consumers searching the internet for genuine products at bargain prices are just as likely to end up buying counterfeits as those which intentionally seek out fakes.
Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Google+, Amazon is set to rollout its own ‘brand pages’ service. The Amazon Pages initiative will expand the company’s online retailing focus by providing a third-party platform for brand owners to market their own products and might also explain some of the company’s applications to run new gTLDs. WTR examines the key issues that trademark counsel should consider.
ICANN looks set to modify its own proposals for the operation of the Trademark Clearinghouse for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and adopt key aspects of alternative plans drawn up by stakeholders. The compromise will allow the internet governance body and its stakeholders to press ahead with implementing the Trademark Clearinghouse.
Last week, WTR reported on the landmark settlement that ended the long-running keyword dispute between Google and Rosetta Stone. Research released in the week leading up to the settlement underlines the value that keywords create for Google and the challenge of mind-boggling proportions that they pose for trademark counsel.
Recently there have been signs that regulatory authorities in India were considering the prohibition of brand names for pharmaceutical products; while elsewhere, the march towards plain packaging for tobacco products continues with warnings that such legislation could creep into other sectors. Being forced into defending the very concept of trademarks is a headache that counsel can do without but there is a need to educate the public on the benefits of trademarks.
Market analysts highlighted evolving and future trends in licensing at this week’s Brand Licensing Europe 2012 event, offering some valuable pointers for trademark counsel not least the need to prepare for an upswing in online-related work.
Last week, Louis Vuitton exhibited a new line of clothing that lacks the company’s iconic logo. This may partly be in response to changing consumer pattterns for luxury goods in China, where some well-to-do consumers are eschewing larger high-end brands in favour of smaller and less well-known boutique designers. But the decision to go logoless is not one to be taken lightly.
As Australia awaits the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products and other jurisdictions discuss similar proposals, efforts continue to fight plain packaging requirements. And while the prospect of uniform, unbranded packaging is having an impact on investor confidence, one market analyst believes that the cases for tobacco trademark protection under the WTO treaties and BIT “are very strong”.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group’s latest report on phishing trends during the first quarter of 2012 has found that, while brand owners have become increasingly vigilant in their defence against the problem, the perpetrators have likewise grown more sophisticated. WTR considers what brand owners can do to combat this ever more complex problem.
A cease-and-desist letter from the trademark team at Jack Daniel’s has caused quite a stir after it was publicised online yesterday. But for once it was not another frenzy over so-called ‘trademark bullying’ that had attracted the attention of media outlets. Instead, the Tennessee whiskey brand’s amicable approach to enforcement has drawn plaudits from online commentators. Jack Daniel’s chief trademark counsel has told WTR why the team decided to adopt this strategy.
In a press statement released last week, Anti Copying In Design (ACID) gave details of a dispute between UK independent designer Rachael Taylor and retail chain Marks & Spencer, which had allegedly copied Taylor’s designs on some of its own fashion lines. After cease-and-desist letters failed to produce results, Taylor took to social media to express her allegations and Marks & Spencer immediately pulled the products in question. Is social media becoming seen as a more powerful and cost-effective enforcement tool for SMEs than the law?
A video purporting to show an event organised by Shell in celebration of the expansion of its Arctic drilling operations surfaced online recently. Though it may appear genuine, the video is in fact the handiwork of a group of anti-consumerism activists. The spoof or parody of corporate communications for political or satirical effect is known as ‘culture jamming’ or ‘subvertising’. As a company which has encountered this activity in the past, Chevron is well placed to offer advice on how to respond to the threat.
Earlier this month a $22 million counterfeiting ring was smashed by French police and Hermès, the luxury brand whose products were being faked by the gang. According to reports, two Hermès employees were dismissed in connection with the investigation, with a number of other current employees also suspected of involvement. Such ‘insider counterfeiting’ is a problem for many brands but there are some positive learnings to be taken from Hermès’ response.
A number of Australian supermarket chains have sought to expand their offerings of cheaper private label or ‘own-brand’ products in response to increased demand due to the recession. While a familiar challenge to many international brand owners, Australian retailers have been warned by one industry heavyweight that there is a limit to how far they can go.
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