Blog results - found 21
Hundreds of companies are planning to secure their ‘.brand’ top-level domain (TLD). That is one thing becoming clear since the ICANN board approved the expansion of the domain name space last month. After three years of contentious policy development, if that fact is a surprise to trademark counsel, they may be shocked to learn that their peers are already heavily involved in the application process. And we’re not talking only about consumer brands: sources report that companies from the oil and gas, manufacturing, and construction sectors will apply too. As a result, competition for the attention of brands that are planning to apply for a new gTLD is hotting up.
People who manage brands need a new vocabulary, according to one senior brands expert. Using the language of accountants to describe brand function and value is “a bit Stockholm Syndrome”, said Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group. In a lecture that had much to teach trademark counsel, Sutherland claimed: “Acquiring the language of your abusers is an absurdly apologetic way to treat a central business function.”
Peter Dengate Thrush divides the ICANN community: while many see him as the kind of strong-minded ringleader a multi-stakeholder policy development process requires, others slam him for skipping the concerns of trademark owners and governments in order to hand the domain name industry a liberalised marketplace. This week, Dengate Thrush came to the end of his term as ICANN’s chairman during an extraordinary ICANN meeting in Singapore at which the new gTLD progrmme was approved. WTR spoke to him about the contentious policy development process and how the IP community can continue to work within the multi-stakeholder model.
The hottest topic in trademarks, according to WTR readers, is the ‘.xxx’ top-level domain. For the second month running, a story on this topic has been the most popular on WTR’s website. May’s top piece was especially intriguing for brand owners, because we revealed exactly how much it will cost to participate in the ‘.xxx’ brand-blocking sunrise.
It’s not often that a consortium of tech companies band together to fight a trademark registration. It’s even less often that they talk about it. But now that the dispute over APP STORE has gone global, the spat offers a fascinating insight into how Microsoft talks about intellectual property, and how Apple does not.
Not every one of the 8,600 delegates at this year’s INTA annual meeting has attended the sessions, but they can be very useful indeed. Yesterday’s workshop on online tools for trademark management and enforcement was extremely popular, with people standing at the back and along the sides of the large room in which it was held.
Last night, WTR celebrated the best in-house trademark counsel in the industry at the fifth annual Industry Awards ceremony. Among those honoured were teams from Apple, Coca-Cola, FIFA and Google, which brought almost the entire trademark team to the event.
Nearly two-thirds of in-house counsel are struggling with low or only medium corporate awareness for the importance of trademarks, WTR’s most recent Global Benchmarking Survey has found. The research also uncovered some of the most common reasons why this stumbling block remains.
WTR’s annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey 2011, giving both in-house and private practice trademark counsel the opportunity to comment on the state of the industry is soon to close.
One person inspired a great deal of debate among the trademark community this month - not the director of the US Patents and Trademarks Office or the chief trademark counsel at Google, but a politician from Alaska. Sarah Palin’s application to register her name as a trademark was February’s most discussed trademark story, and WTR’s opinion-led piece on the matter came top of our own table.
The UK government is said to be hard at work searching for the link between trademarks and innovation. In researching the growing debate around this topic, WTR has spoken with the chief economist at the USPTO and former and current chief IP counsel at Nokia, TomTom and Microsoft, some of the world's most innovative companies. But, when asked for comment on this, an official in Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said he couldn’t help.
Staunching the flood of counterfeits for sale on eBay can so easily drown an in-house trademark team that the task is often outsourced to an external service provider. Handbag designer Coach appears to have handed this job to Gibney Anthony and Flaherty, which sent an aggressive cease-and-desist letter to Gina Kim to stop her selling a single, second-hand Coach item online. The bag was authentic, not counterfeit, and Kim was so offended that she has sued Coach for, among other things, misrepresentation of trademark infringement.
The biggest news to the trademark community in January came not from the courts but from within, as INTA launched its controversial new professional networking platform. Three blog posts published in WTR Daily on this topic made it into the top 10 most-read stories for the month. Notably, a post about the criticism of the system came further up the chart than the one about its launch.
The outcry over INTA’s new professional network’s user agreement was “a bit of a surprise”, the association has told WTR. Members of the trademark community have assembled on a LinkedIn discussion to express concern over the terms of service, especially those concerning content ownership. Reacting to the uproar, INTA said: “The terms and conditions stated in our user agreement can be found in a similar fashion on all major social networking sites, including LinkedIn.”
Just days after launching an online networking platform dedicated to the trademark community, INTA is under fire for canning its popular email discussion service TM Topics.
INTA is hoping to host leading trademark discussion and encourage increased strategic networking on its new website. Trademark professionals already rely on INTA as a nexus for the community in the real world through committee memberships and regular meetings. Will members connect with each other through INTA's website too?
While WTR sparks to life a forthcoming feature on zombie brands, IP attorneys in the United States are considering this terrifying tale of trademark enforcement: a successful Pennsylvanian Hallowe'en experience is suing a not-for-profit competitor in Maryland for trademark infringement. They both use the mark FIELD OF SCREAMS.
Of course, the answer might be: "a firm somewhere in between". Or probably: "it depends". Or even: "it doesn't matter - the expertise of the individual is what counts”. After all, the market for trademark legal services is deeply complex, with clients requiring specific legal expertise and broad business strategy at the same time. Not content with asking the question, WTR has set about identifying the brightest individuals and the strongest firms from around the world, those who can boast the attributes clients demand - and we want your help.
Last night, WTR celebrated the best in-house trademark counsel in the industry at the fourth annual Industry Awards ceremony. Among those honoured were teams from Apple, Nokia, L'Oréal and MasterCard.
The unofficial theme of this year’s INTA annual meeting is change. This theme may have taken two years to filter down to trademarks from a certain election campaign but boy has it arrived.
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