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"INTA can serve as the connector": new president on the association’s expanded anti-counterfeiting role
Last week INTA officially announced the election of Tish Berard as its 2018 president and chair of the board of directors. In an exclusive interview with World Trademark Review, she expands on the co-ordination role the association can play in the global fight against counterfeiting and the need for trademark professionals to embrace change in all of its guises.
With 2017 in the rear-view mirror, the latest edition of World Trademark Review identifies 25 trademark industry developments and trends that you should be mindful of in the months and years ahead.
Google’s rising brand value, Gleissner’s filing drive, and Netflix’s “super classy” letter: our 2017 most-read list
With 2017 drawing to a close, and the World Trademark Review Daily email service taking a short break, it’s time to take a look back at the stories which received the most reads from the past year. Our list includes the news that Google had wrestled the ‘Most valuable brand’ crown from Apple, analysis of a groundbreaking study that suggested trademark count is a better predictor of corporate innovation that patent numbers, and coverage of the savvy enforcement strategies being adopted by major brands.
European Commission unveils plans for IP Market Watch List, a major new tool in the fight against fakes
The European Commission has presented a series of measures designed to ensure that IP rights are better protected, in a bid to spur innovation and creativity in EU-based companies. The package of initiatives includes plans for a watch list similar to the Office of the US Trade Representative's Notorious Markets List, providing brand owners with a new tool for pressuring physical and online actors to do more to fight the trade in counterfeits around the world.
Trading Standards versus Facebook: fakes on social media in the spotlight as issue rises up UK policy agenda
To coincide with the buying frenzy surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a report in the Sunday Times this weekend states that “the biggest investigation in Britain into fake goods on social media has identified tens of thousands of listings for counterfeit products on Facebook”. The article has been picked up by numerous outlets and comes at a time when counterfeiting on social media is rising up the UK policy agenda.
Alibaba has announced the ban of listings offering car airbag components on two of its cross-border e-commerce platforms, a move welcomed by the Automotive Anti-counterfeiting Council. The development echoes the automotive industry’s zero-tolerance approach to fake parts that endanger the safety of consumers and provides the e-commerce giant with another high-profile endorsement as it awaits the publication of this year’s Office of the US Trade Representative's Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets.
Previous Alibaba critic has positive words as e-commerce giant seeks removal of Taobao from notorious markets list
The public comments received by the US Trade Representative (USTR) in the run-up to this year’s Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets have been published, with Alibaba contending that none of its platforms engage in or facilitate counterfeiting. The USTR will make the final decision on whether any of its sites make the list, but the e-commerce giant will be heartened by the comments of a previously critical brand association, which expresses a more positive understanding of the challenges Alibaba faces.
Major initiative launches to combat illicit trade, aims to unite anti-counterfeiting and supply chain innovators
A new private sector initiative, the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, was unveiled this week with a mandate to “stop the significant and growing economic and social damages caused by illicit trade”. Director General Jeffrey P Hardy told World Trademark Review that anti-counterfeiting efforts will be just one work stream, with the organisation aiming to foster a cross-sectorial effort against illicit trade in all of its guises.
Costco to appeal latest ruling in Tiffany dispute; claims case isn't about “common understanding” of counterfeiting
A US District Court judge has found that Tiffany & Co is entitled to recover $11.1 million in lost profit (plus interest), as well as $8.25 million in punitive damages, from Costco over the sale of counterfeit Tiffany rings. In response, the wholesale giant has pledged to appeal, contending that the case is not about counterfeiting “in the common understanding of that word”.
The WTR Premium Daily email will be taking a summer break over August, with the full intelligence and daily email service for subscribers recommencing on Monday September 4. As we head into our break, here’s a look at the most popular articles and legal updates we have published over the past 12 months with coverage of a call for an improved YouTube takedown process just beating the news that Google has become the world’s most valuable brand to top place.
As critics label Alibaba’s anti-counterfeit efforts a “drop in the bucket”, details emerge of brand alliance progress
Last week Alibaba announced success in a civil suit against a pet food vendor indicted for selling counterfeit cat food on Taobao. While the company highlights the action as an example of its crackdown on counterfeits, one industry commentator has labelled such actions as “window dressing” and called on the e-commerce giant to do more. Against this backdrop, World Trademark Review has obtained information about ongoing discussions between Alibaba and a group of brands on future enforcement efforts.
New research from Hogan Lovells has revealed that 94% of in-house counsel have encountered misuse of their company’s trademarks online, with North American brands the hardest hit. Those from the Asia-Pacific region appear least affected by online infringement. However, it appears that this is because they are less likely to look for it, meaning that the true level of infringement is likely even higher.
US hit hardest by ICT counterfeits; estimated 24% of video game consoles shipped internationally are fake
New research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed that counterfeit information and communication technology (ICT) products account for 6.5% of overall ICT trade, with almost 43% of seized counterfeits infringing the IP rights of US companies. Worryingly for those tasked with protecting brands in the sector, the OECD estimates that almost a quarter of video game consoles and controllers shipped internationally are fakes.
New research conducted by the EUIPO and International Telecommunication Union has revealed that an estimated 45.3 billion ($52 billion) in revenue is lost annually to counterfeit trade in smartphones. Alarmingly for those in the sector, over a third of this revenue is lost in one country, China.
Corporate and law firm professionals are being invited to participate in the ninth annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey, which measures the pulse of the industry, tracks industry trends and identifies how trademark practice is evolving to counter new threats and exploit new opportunities. Participation in the survey is free of charge and designed to give counsel both in-house and in private practice the opportunity to have their say on the state of the industry.
New research from The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse has revealed the extent of identity squatting targeting this year’s presidential election candidates, as well as members of the US Congress and Senate.
A recent report has highlighted the prevalence of SMiShing (SMS phishing) attacks, with a third of consumers reporting that they had received messages trying to trick them into disclosing personal information. Patrick M Flaherty, assistant general counsel, marketing, IP and digital media law and policy, at Verizon, tells World Trademark Review that text phishing is on the up, but imparts some practical pointers for brand owners seeking to combat such fraud.
World Trademark Review is inviting nominations for an extensive new research project designed to identify and profile the world’s leading in-house trademark professionals. Act now to ensure that the industry’s leading lights are recognised for the invaluable work they undertake.
While still in its nascent stages, the success of Pokémon GO has provided a glimpse into the potential of augmented reality (AR) and if the technology goes truly mainstream, there will be a direct impact on the work of trademark counsel. A new study from Perkins Coie and virtual reality proponent Upload takes a look at industry expectations for AR and virtual reality.
World Trademark Review is pleased to announce that it will be hosting Brand Protection Greater China, a new high-level event for brand protection professionals, in Shanghai on December 7 2016.
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