Blog results - found 66
The status of geographical indications after the UK leaves the European Union next year has become a hot button issue over the past few days. At least one British newspaper has covered the topic on its front-page, with speculation that lobbyists from the United States are pushing for the UK to drop GI protection to allow the importation of “American copies” of products including Cornish pasties, Scotch Whisky and Melton Mowbray pork pies a scenario one expert tells us is not unrealistic.
New research has examined how religious signs are increasingly used in trade, and revealed how misappropriation by nefarious sellers can be harmful to the identity and preservation of religious cultures. To that end, the study’s author tells World Trademark Review that governments “should do more” to protect religious signs and that religious organisations must engage in commercial activities in order to fight back against misappropriation.
A well-loved Canadian pastry company got entangled in a PR crisis this week over accusations of perceived trademark enforcement overreach. While the marketing team gave a canny response on social media which appears to have quelled most of the outcry, evidence suggests that the negative impact could have a lasting effect on the brand. It is another reminder of the risks of trademark enforcement and how practitioners must tread carefully in the age of social media.
Fighting fakes over the festive period: anti-counterfeiting activity steps up as shopping season begins
With Christmas less than a month away and Black Friday and Cyber Monday having kick-started the online shopping season, government agencies and associated organisations have stepped up their anti-counterfeiting messaging and enforcement efforts. Leading this push was yesterday’s announcement of the results of a joint action against websites selling counterfeit products facilitated by Europol and Interpol a move that saw a dramatic increase in seized domain names compared to previous years.
While consumers enjoy the low prices offered on Black Friday, the sales period is a significant challenge for trademark practitioners especially for protecting shoppers from online scams. Exclusive research looks at how well-known fashion and retail brands have utilised (or not) key new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including ‘.blackfriday’ and ‘.shop’. We find that few brands are taking advantage of new gTLDs for marketing purposes and, unsurprisingly, numerous examples of cybersquatting and unusual examples of brand hijackings.
Thousands more trademarks linked to Michael Gleissner unearthed; leading in-house lawyer calls for action
An expanded investigation by World Trademark Review can reveal nearly 2,000 more trademarks linked to entrepreneur and serial trademark filer Michael Gleissner. The total now spans over 4,400 marks across 38 jurisdictions worldwide. As the scope of Gleissner’s extensive filing operation widens, a leading in-house lawyer has called on IP bodies to offer guidance to brand owners affected by this unprecedented activity and to consider whether any action should be taken in response.
Digital language databases more effective than dictionaries or media usage to defend against genericide: study
A recent study has analysed the three most common forms of evidence used in genericism cases and found that corpus linguistics (ie, the use of a digital language databases) could prove to be “more beneficial” for rights holders looking to protect their brand from the threat of genericide. However, the author urges cautions over its use, saying that courts should reconsider the use of linguistic data altogether and reclaim the primary significance test in genericism cases.
UKIP “ripping off” Premier League logo, Greece warns of fake GIs, US brands in the age of Trump: news round-up
Every Tuesday and Friday World Trademark Review presents a round-up of news, developments and insights from across the trademark sphere. In this edition, we look at the latest brand value ranking table, research into US brands in the Trump era, a darknet seller arrested on his way to a beard competition and the death of a notorious cybersquatter and “news satirist”.
Velcro’s anti-genericide song is big, bold and brash but critics question whether it will actually be effective
The legal team at Velcro Companies will be patting itself on the back today as its marketing campaign to educate the public about the proper use of its trademark went viral overnight. Response to the song has been mixed, with some commentators sceptical that it will actually lead to a change in behaviour. Nonetheless, it has raised awareness of an issue that Velcro has been grappling with for a number of years.
Groundbreaking study suggests extraterritorial application of US trademark law “burdens” rights holders
A first-of-its-kind empirical study into the territorial scope of US trademark law has concluded that much of the conventional wisdom regarding extraterritorial rights “is questionable, if not incorrect”, with its author declaring that “the current over-extension of the Lanham Act must be curbed”. Crucially, the research provides insights that could aid US brand owners in future enforcement endeavours.
Leading e-sports players must take trademark protection seriously or risk losing ownership of their gamertags
The e-sports industry is growing at a rapid pace and its most successful professional teams are starting to form effective brand protection strategies. However, two IP lawyers in the space warn that many individual players are ignoring the risks posed by the failure to protect their gamertags.
Alibaba Group has taken a hard line against users that file false or misleading IP infringement complaints, claiming that 24% of all complaints it receives are deemed “malicious” and “a drain on the group’s efforts to stamp out counterfeits”. Highlighting its strong stance on the matter, it confirmed it had barred one company from lodging complaints due to repeated misuses of its complaints platform. However, one commentator claims that the problem is of the ecommerce giant’s own making.
Trademark implications of Brexit, Trump and Samsung Note 7 crisis feature in our most-read list of 2016
As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the blogs which received the most reads in the past 12 months. Our list includes the brand value hit of Samsung’s Note 7 crisis, Alibaba’s spat with Chinese ecommerce rival JD.com and trademark applications attempting to commercialise the Panama Papers, Brexit and the once-popular ‘meme’ Be Like Bill.
Trademark filings in Kurdistan have been suspended until further notice due to “administrative and management issues” at the office, World Trademark Review understands. Those seeking to secure registrations that cover the entirety of Iraq which has had two self-autonomous trademark offices since 2011 will likely have to wait until early next year for operations to resume. The development could cause headaches for brand owners seeking to enforce rights in the region, including US president-elect Donald Trump, with a ‘Trump Fish’ restaurant recently opening in the Iraqi city of Duhok.
There have been growing calls in recent weeks for Facebook and Google to tackle content published by fake news websites. This follows accusations that both provided a platform for the sharing and promotion of misinformation during the recent US election. What is being less discussed is the responsibility that major media companies have to stop such sites specifically those that use the branding of popular news outlets as a way to add legitimacy to their hoax articles.
A coalition of international brand and trade groups has sent a letter to senior figures at Alibaba Group highlighting continued concerns around the implementation of effective anti-counterfeiting measures on its platforms. While the letter includes scathing criticisms of some of the currently available tools decrying the processing of non-good faith notices as “woeful” it offers a number of practical recommendations on how the online giant could improve.
The WTR Premium Daily email will be taking a summer break over August, with the full blog and Premium Daily email service for subscribers recommencing on Tuesday August 30. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the most popular articles and legal updates in the first seven months of 2016 on World Trademark Review.
A new generation of IP-aware YouTubers? Online video creators urged to embrace positives of brand protection
A couple of months ago, YouTube reached the milestone of 2,000 channels with over 1 million subscribers. Despite the commercial nature of many of those offerings, a significant number lack any trademark protection for their names or logos although that could change, with one expert predicting that “in a couple of years you won't be able to find popular YouTubers who don't have a trademark”.
Last week, the European Court of Justice confirmed that operators of physical marketplaces could be held liable for the sale of counterfeit and other illicit goods by market traders. While deemed a significant win for IP owners, the decision also demonstrates the effectiveness of joint-party legal actions with experts telling World Trademark Review that they strongly encourage more precedent-setting collaborations.
“Our only choice is to join forces”; Alibaba launches new anti-counterfeiting platform, urges more collaboration
Barely a week after IP experts told World Trademark Review that they want a clearer indication of the anti-counterfeiting measures that Alibaba insists it is developing, the e-commerce giant has unveiled a new IP Joint-Force System that claims to “streamline” the takedown of infringing listings with a spokesperson telling us that the launch is proof of the proactive efforts the company is taking in collaboration with brand owners.
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