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The US Supreme Court decided last week to take on a case that could have wide-ranging implications for brand owners in the country. Supreme Court justices have agreed to hear printer manufacturer Lexmark’s appeal against an earlier ruling that it had engaged in false advertising by claiming that a company which manufactures components for refurbished printer cartridges had infringed on its patents.
Billabong saw its share price plunge to a record low today after negotiations with two potential buyers failed. But while the company faces an uncertain future, its trademark team is taking the lead on creating corporate value.
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.
Software company Fortres Grand’s claim that a fictional product appearing in Warner Bros film The Dark Knight Rises infringes on its trademark rights has been dismissed by a Northern District of Indiana court. However, the potential problem of fictional product names that are the same or similar to real-life brand names could arise for any trademark owner and the dispute offers a number of takeaways.
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?
Last night WTR celebrated the sterling work carried out by in-house counsel. While we are in the awards mood, we thought it apt to also recognise the successes that make the INTA Annual Meeting, well, the INTA Annual Meeting. And perhaps a few of the best ‘fails’
Colombia, Mexico and New Zealand acceded to the Madrid system in the 12 months that have passed since last year’s INTA meeting in Washington DC. WTR spoke to the heads of the three countries’ IP offices to find out how the change has impacted on trademark practice.
The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has expanded on its plans to measure the economic impact of IP in Europe research which could play a critical role in reversing negative public opinion on IP.
There are rumoured to be as many as 12,000 attendees at this year’s INTA and each one of them is certain to have a packed schedule. WTR sat down with Gretchen Testerman, senior corporate counsel at CenturyLink, to find out what an average day-in-the-life of an in-house counsel at INTA is like.
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.
Two reports were released this week which underline the global extent of counterfeiting and its links to other criminal activities. Trademark counsel may not be surprised by the findings of the reports, but they can play a crucial role in getting the message to the wider public.
One clear trend highlighted by respondents to this years Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey (the full results of which will be available to WTR subscribers in the upcoming issue) is a growing propensity for the carrying out of trademark portfolio valuations. The question for corporate counsel is whether this trend will continue and, crucially, will it strengthen board understanding of brand power.
During February and March this year, WTR conducted its fifth annual Global Benchmarking Survey. Two notable trends are the increased focus on policing the web in the face of a social media explosion and the challenges posed by regional online marketplaces.
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.
A recent study from the European Commission has attempted to measure the economic value of geographical indications (GIs). The findings suggest that GIs play an important role in the EU economy, with GI-protected products generating worldwide sales worth 54.3 billion in 2010. But can future research such as OHIM’s upcoming ‘IP Impact’ study do more to understand the whole picture when it comes to the value that GIs add?
A recent report from IDC has found that a significant quantity of new computer hardware bought by consumers is pre-loaded with counterfeit software. The findings highlight how a seemingly secure and legitimate supply chain can be breached by counterfeiters without the knowledge of brand owners and their business partners. So what can trademark counsel do to police this unseen menace?
Cancer survivors’ charity Livestrong recently adopted a new logo as part of efforts to renew its brand identity in the wake of the doping scandal surrounding founder and former patron Lance Armstrong. The circumstances surrounding the rebrand offer some valuable lessons for trademark counsel with regards to brand management when celebrity associations go awry.
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