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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.
Health insurance giant reveals why cybersecurity response planning is critical to retain brand value after hack
A legal representative from one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States has claimed that it is “no longer if, but when” a company will face a hacking incident. At INTA's Digital World Conference, Heather C Steinmeyer, managing associate general counsel at Anthem Inc, went on to reveal that responding to a cyber-breach effectively is the only way to ensure brand value is not significantly affected long term.
Last week’s International Trademark Association Digital World Conference featured many discussions focused on the digital single market that the European Union is looking to implement. While issues around copyright have spurred the most IP-related concerns from brand owners during the ongoing negotiations, one speaker suggested that the "natural result of the European project" will be a future move to a single European system of trademarks and patents with national registered rights eventually faded out.
Brand owners and shipping firms sign “historic declaration” to fight counterfeits; reaction suggests this is just the start
Representatives from a number of global shipping companies, logistics firms, anti-counterfeiting organisations and multinational brand owners signed a declaration of intent last week aimed at preventing the maritime transportation of counterfeit goods. While described as “historic” by those involved, commentators say success will require a line-up of projects to curb the billions of dollars of counterfeit goods being shipped around the world.
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.
Breakthrough in fight against trademark solicitations? Lessons from New Zealand’s $600,000 refund success
The constant flood of trademark solicitation scams has been a blight to the IP community for a number of years now. But a recent success in New Zealand has led to over NZ$600,000 in refunds being paid to affected parties. Expert commentators are hopeful that this positive outcome could be repeated in other jurisdictions and may serve as a deterrent to other trademark solicitation operators.
The Brazilian government has confirmed that it intends to join the international trademark system by mid-2018. While the country’s move towards the Madrid Protocol will be seen as positive by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, one expert argues that the country’s trademark office is far from ready even claiming that its progress could be stifled as a result of Madrid.
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.
Following an investigation by World Trademark Review, leading crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has been labelled “a treasure trove of product designs for would-be counterfeiters and copycats” by a brand protection expert. The investigation found that countless popular crowdfunding projects are being copied and sold on major online marketplaces often before the legitimate product is available to buy.
The plain packaging juggernaut rumbles onwards, with recent announcements that Sri Lanka and Turkey plan to implement new legislation imminently. Indeed, a new study confirms that the World Health Organisation’s push for plain packaging is “gaining momentum around the globe” but there has been criticism over the organisation’s lobbying priorities, including a recent campaign to introduce the measure in Syria.
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.
The US electorate is about to head to the polls to vote in the next president. The race has tightened in recent days and both the Republican and Democratic candidates appear to have a realistic path to victory. As election fever peaks, World Trademark Review asks IP experts how a President Hillary Clinton or a President Donald Trump could shape the trademark landscape in the years to come.
“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.
‘Lawyers have got to start filing electronically if not, it’ll cost you’: USPTO explains sharp rise in trademark fees
The US Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark commissioner, Mary Boney Denison, has spoken to World Trademark Review about the recent decision to sharply raise trademark filing fees submitted non-electronically. While acknowledging that some lawyers still prefer to file on paper, she reveals that those filings are made at a loss to the office. Furthermore, she gave an update on the radical proposed changes to clear up the US trademark register.
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.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted its latest National Trademark Expo over the weekend, a major event designed to promote a positive trademark message to the general public. World Trademark Review was on the ground and spoke to many attendees about the challenges and opportunities of trademark outreach programmes including USPTO trademark commissioner Mary Boney Denison, who revealed that early discussions are underway about hosting similar events in or around the USPTO’s four remote offices.
YouTuber pushes FixTheFakes campaign to highlight issue of copycat channels; urges ‘crowdsourced reporting’
Popular YouTube user Thinknoodles, who has over 1.7 million subscribers, has spoken out over the perceived inadequacy of brand protection measures available for YouTube channels, hitting out at this week’s decision to modify the site's ‘verified’ tick. He contends that the most popular channels face a significant challenge in tackling copycat accounts, and that a crowdsourced effort may streamline this burdensome process.
This has been arguably the most difficult month in Samsung’s history, with the South Korean tech giant left reeling from worldwide reports of battery failures and fires caused by its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device. A crisis expert suggests that its “speed over diligence” response to the situation was dire, putting “the entire brand” in the court of public opinion and it could have a long way to go to restore trust among consumers.
A panel of trademark experts have written what is claimed to be the first full-length legal and policy analysis of the IP aspects of regulatory measures affecting the packaging of certain health-related goods. Talking to World Trademark Review, a co-author of the work says that the tobacco industry’s fight against plain packaging is on the verge of defeat, and that IP associations must rethink their lobbying approach against similar measures.
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.
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