Blog results - found 94
‘Michaeled’ bags, ‘Okly’ sunglasses; how counterfeiters are using "brand codewords" to get around marketplace filters
Sellers of counterfeits and imitation products on various online marketplaces are adopting brand-based keywords to avoid being caught by search filters implemented to identify and remove listings for fake goods. While the use of keywords is an extra hurdle that brand owners must overcome when enforcing against counterfeits, it also demonstrates the extra effort that sellers must now go to due to additional rights protection mechanisms being implemented by e-commerce platforms.
Groundbreaking study suggests trademark count, rather than patent count, is a better predictor of innovation
A new study has benchmarked the most common innovation proxies and concluded that the size of a company’s trademark portfolio is a more consistent indicator of innovation than patent count or R&D expenditure. The result adds to the evidence that trademarks hold value beyond simple exclusivity and recognition, with one academic telling World Trademark Review that it may indicate that these rights “are actually undervalued”.
A number of platforms have attempted to enable the sale of registered trademarks, but so far none have succeeded in making it a mainstream practice. However, according to the CEO of the largest trademark marketplace in the world, that could be set to change as practitioners at large companies “wake up” to the potentially lucrative opportunities of selling unused marks.
A new research paper by an academic at the University of North Carolina School of Law has proposed that rights holders conceptualise trademarks “as a frontier for social entrepreneurship”. The research finds that in an environment of increasing political and media distrust, brands could fill that void and provide consumers with “authenticity and enduring values”, but must also weigh up the risks of taking certain divisive positions.
New data has revealed that technology giant LG was the most prolific filer of trademark applications at the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2016, with entertainment conglomerates CBS, Time Warner and Disney just behind. Meanwhile, Apple which had the most trademarks of any major tech company a few years ago filed less than 70 marks last year, leading one industry commentator to ask: “Hey Apple, why aren’t you filing trademark applications?”
INTA pledges to investigate complaints over grand finale overcrowding and attendees being refused entry
The International Trademark Association (INTA) has told World Trademark Review that it will be following up on complaints made by members following Wednesday evening’s grand finale of the INTA Annual Meeting. The confirmation came after a number of members voiced concerns about overcrowding, with one delegate reporting that her guests were refused entry to the gala despite paying for guest tickets.
Last night the WTR Industry Awards celebrated another year of excellence in corporate trademark practice. While we are in the awards mood, we thought we should recognise the standout moments and individuals from this year’s Annual Meeting.
The 2017 Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey has revealed mixed fortunes for corporate trademark departments. While one-third reported budget increases over the past year, one-quarter have faced the harsh reality of reduced funding. At the same time, online infringement is increasing, leading many to make hard choices when prioritising their enforcement efforts. We take a look at this, and other findings from our exclusive survey, in our latest infographic.
Cyberpunk legend expresses concern over controversial trademark: "I wish someone from CD Projekt Red would contact me"
There has been an outcry over trademark applications for the term CYBERPUNK filed by video game developer CD Projekt Red. While much of the negative sentiment has been put to rest after the company released an open letter expanding on the marks, some concern remains including from Bruce Bethke, who originally coined the term ‘cyberpunk’ in 1980.
In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, the CEO of the International Trademark Association (INTA) speaks about its increased activity in the anti-counterfeiting arena, and expands on current and future activities in this regard. He also notes that partnerships are being sought with other IP and non-IP organisations, but only when there is “mutual respect” between the parties.
Professor slams ‘pro plain packaging for alcohol’ media reports, calls for more research into warning labels
A new study which looks at the effectiveness of warning labels on alcoholic products has slammed media reports claiming that it is advocating for plain packaging. Talking to World Trademark Review, Matthew Field, a professor of psychology at the University of Liverpool, claims the study has been ‘misrepresented’ by the media and voiced doubt that plain packaging would ever be implemented on alcoholic or sugary products.
Exercise tracking technology company Fitbit has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey business which sells discontinued and refurbished products to consumers. In the suit, Fitbit claims the defendant sold ‘counterfeit’ and ‘non-genuine’ versions of Fitbit products a claim staunchly denied, with a representative telling World Trademark Review that Fitbit is engaging in “litigious scare tactics” in response to a lawsuit it had filed a month previously.
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.
Eyewear giant Specsavers has successfully secured registered trademark protection on the term SHOULD’VE, a shortened version of its well-known tagline ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’. The initial application at the UK Intellectual Property Office spurred negative media reaction earlier this year, with reports claiming that it demonstrates the overreach of trademark law. However, in exclusive comments to World Trademark Review, Antony Douglass, principal IP counsel at Specsavers, has hit out at the “inaccurate commentary” surrounding the mark.
The African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) held its first annual Brand Awards recently, in which cash prizes and trademark filing vouchers were given to local brands judged to be distinctive. Talking to World Trademark Review, OAPI’s director of legal affairs and cooperation, Maurice Batanga, says that the initiative has proved effective and encourages other IP offices to consider a similar approach to promote innovative use of trademarks.
“I’m the Banksy of trademarks” millionaire applicant of NASTY WOMAN regards cease-and-desist from Beyoncé as “great marketing”
Self-proclaimed millionaire Mike Lin, who garnered a significant net worth as an early employee at LinkedIn, has a trove of politically charged trademark applications that have gathered much media attention. In an exclusive discussion, Lin compares himself to street artist Banksy and reveals that he has received oppositions (so far) from parties including Beyoncé Knowles, Kobe Bryant and Disney.
Do corporate trademark lawyers have a “cultural problem”? Debate rages on how commercially-minded counsel should be
Last week’s World Trademark Review event in New York, Managing the Trademark Asset Lifecycle 2016, spurred many debates throughout the day. Arguably the most passionate focused on the claim that there is a “cultural problem” among in-house legal departments, and the question of whether making money from trademarks should be front-of-mind for those working in the modern corporate IP environment.
Online communities of so-called ‘alt right’ internet users have developed code words to hide bigoted slurs on social media in a bid to avoid perceived censorship. The code uses high-profile brand names, including Google, Yahoo and Skype, to substitute for offensive words to describe ethnic groups including African Americans, Mexicans and Jews. World Trademark Review has spoken to experts about what the affected brand owners can do but in terms of legal remedies, the options appear to be limited.
IP industry maverick Erich Spangenberg, once dubbed the “most notorious patent troll in America”, has told World Trademark Review about the “opportunity” he now sees in trademarks, and to expect Marathon Patent Group to make future investments in the space. His comments follow a recent ‘David versus Goliath’ trademark opposition spat that he advised on, which resulted in a “rare” worldwide co-existence agreement.
Our latest podcast looks at an EU trademark dispute that has slipped somewhat under the radar in recent months. Specifically, it focuses on a dispute surrounding the protection of the Rubik’s Cube shape as a 3D trademark, and the potential implications should that mark be struck down. We talked to two key figures in the case to explore the legal and the business perspectives. Both had strong views on why this case matters for all IP owners.
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