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Analysis of amendments to China’s trademark law, following seven years of deliberations, topped the top-10 list of most-read WTR Premium Updates in September. The updates, available only to subscribers, provide daily case law bulletins from across the globe.
WTR has previously tackled the advantages and pitfalls of working with celebrities in product endorsement deals. Last month we considered the celebrity perspective, following footballer Gareth Bale’s record-breaking transfer to Spanish La Liga side Real Madrid. WTR’s readers were intrigued by the question ‘how best to manage a brand like Bale?’, the story topping the league of most-read blogs in September.
The proposed changes to the EU trademark system have taken another step forward with publication of the European Parliament Rapporteur’s recommendations on amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) and the recasting of the Trademarks Directive (2008/95/EC). As well as suggesting a number of key changes, the documents outline potential new areas of responsibility for the ‘European Union Intellectual Property Agency’.
This week sees the launch of a new UK police unit targeting IP crime, funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office and co-ordinated by the City of London police. Key to success will be its relationship with trademark owners.
Late last week, the standing committee of the National People's Congress approved amendments to the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China. The move is the latest development in the continued expansion of China’s IP landscape and this week sees the launch of a new guide tackling the protection and commercialisation of IP rights in this important jurisdiction.
In issue 43, WTR predicted the people and events most likely to shape the trademark world in the next 18 months with ‘IP czar’ Victoria Espinel one of the names singled out to watch. Strike one for WTR then, as it has emerged that Espinel left the role this month, with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’ Howard Shelanski taking up the hot-seat until a new coordinator is named.
An article published by the Council on Foreign Relations has suggested that efforts to push China to change its approach to IP law are not worth the political and diplomatic capital the United States is spending on it. For those battling piracy, the key question is how likely a change in stance actually is.
ICANN’s Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services has proposed a WHOIS overhaul and is calling for comment on its ‘paradigm-shifting’ plans. Designed to fix a broken system, its report aims to balance privacy and enforcement concerns and, if implemented, would impact on brand owners’ online enforcement efforts.
Following a White House communication outlining ways to tackle ‘patent trolls’, a call has been made for judges to shift the cost burden of litigation abuse from the defendant to the plaintiff. Could such an approach also be adopted in cases of trademark bullying?
This week a legal challenge, and its subsequent withdrawal, against a fan-run website dedicated to hazelnut chocolate spread Nutella has been generating media headlines. With the cease and desist letter in question being labelled a ‘routine defence procedure’, the incident highlights the need to carefully weigh enforcement strategies on a case-by-case basis.
The issue of trademark bullying remains divisive and the USPTO has written to WTR to respond to criticism of follow-up activities to the Department of Commerce’s report on litigation tactics. The split in opinions illustrates the continued challenge in creating a coherent industry stance on bullying.
A number of themes have been apparent throughout the sessions at this week’s Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy. Alongside the need for consumer engagement in the fight against piracy, the link growing between transnational organised crime and counterfeiting was a central discussion point. But does the current environment allow brand owners, legislators and enforcement authorities to work together effectively to fight the transnational threat?
Antonio Tajani, vice president of the European Commission responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, and Commissioner Michel Barnier have launched a new campaign to highlight the dangers of buying fake goods. While wholly positive, another compelling argument against counterfeit trade still struggles to gain traction.
WTR is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2013 WTR Industry Awards. While the teams span both the globe and the industries that make up today’s corporate environment, if there is one common trait that all the nominees share, it is the value they are adding to their respective organisations.
This week the Trademark Clearinghouse opened for business. While trademark owners consider their strategies, the list of gTLD applications subject to legal rights objections has grown with applications from such brands as Coach, Merck and Amazon under scrutiny. Elsewhere though, there was good news for Amazon as it prepares for the expanded online space.
An agreement between INTERPOL and 29 pharmaceutical companies, announced yesterday, will lead to the establishment of a new 4.5 million programme to combat fake medicines. The deal also demonstrates the advantages of pooling resources to work collaboratively with authorities against shared threats.
On Friday the Combating Counterfeit Products Act (Bill C-56) was introduced in Canada, its aim being to “protect Canadian consumers, Canadian manufacturers and retailers as well as the Canadian economy from the health and economic threats presented by counterfeit goods”. However, will comparisons with ACTA result in difficult passage for the act?
In a decision that could speed up the infringement proceedings process, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has ruled that ‘third party’ under Article 9(1) of the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) includes the owner of a later CTM.
The shift from local social media usage to a Facebook-Twitter-Google+ oligopoly may seem to be positive news for brand owners in terms of their ability to focus online policing efforts on a smaller universe of sites, but the local perspective remains critical.
When Facebook invited journalists to “come see what we're building”, it sparked a week of speculation about what was to be unveiled by the social media giant. While the prospect of a full search engine to rival Google didn’t come to pass, the new Graph Search function is still a feature that trademark counsel should monitor.
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