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Alibaba boasts “significant progress” in IP protection efforts; development of API urged to allow third-party takedowns
Alibaba has revealed what it describes as “significant progress” in IP protection in 2017, with data showing significantly faster processing time for takedowns and a 42% decline in notice-and-takedown requests. While the results show that the Chinese marketplace giant is confident that its efforts are garnering positive results, people we spoke to still report huge volumes of fakes with one urging Alibaba to develop an API to allow third-party takedowns.
As Alibaba’s Anti-counterfeiting Alliance grows, is Amazon now the primary battleground in the war against fakes?
Alibaba Group has confirmed that membership to its Anti-counterfeiting Alliance has climbed to over 100 brands, a significant rise from the original 30 when the initiative launched in January 2017. While brand support for Alibaba appears to be growing, exclusive survey data reveals the Chinese giant is still a significant challenge for rights holders tackling fakes but respondents also claim that Amazon is “less and less willing to help brand owners”.
The brand logos which appear the most on Instagram and Twitter posts have been revealed, with sports brands adidas and Nike leading the pack. The results, which are included in a new report by Brandwatch, are a reminder of the challenge that rights holders face in controlling their intellectual property on social networks and the need for brand protection practitioners to continually evolve their practice in the online space.
Following a wave of warning letters and proceedings against retailers which used the wording 'Black Friday' for their offers in Germany, the Patent and Trademark Office has held that the trademark BLACK FRIDAY is descriptive for goods and services in Classes 9, 35 and 41 and therefore must be kept free for use by competitors. The owner of the mark is expected to appeal.
The WTR Industry Awards 2018 which will be presented at an exclusive ceremony at the Seattle Art Museum honour leading trademark teams and individuals across a range of sectors. We reveal the shortlist.
Call for more robust online RPMs, Alibabacoin hits back and getting legal advice from a robot: news round-up
In our latest round-up, we look at a trademark infringement lawsuit involving much-loved US TV sitcom I Love Lucy, the experts calling for more robust rights protection mechanisms, how Alibabacoin is hitting back at the Alibaba lawsuit and how the Smiley trademark owner is targeting the Indian market.
Although branding on online sales platforms remains a relatively new concept, the significance of this phenomenon should not be overlooked.
China’s online sales platforms do not follow a one-size-fits-all model and companies should think carefully about how best to establish a brand’s online presence.
Plain packaging in New Zealand, JD.com in “counterfeit scandal” and WHOIS future remains uncertain: news round-up
In our latest news round-up, we look at how trademark lawyers must sometimes “take one for the team” in order to protect corporate clients, how the future of WHOIS remains uncertain, US President Donald Trump's interest in $30 billion Chinese tariffs as part of an IP theft crackdown and how New Zealand is implementing plain packaging on tobacco products.
Battle of the polo logos: 'clean break' is safest course when amending sign in attempt to avoid infringement
In Lifestyle Equities CV v Santa Monica Polo Club Limited, the High Court has held that the defendants’ one-horse logos and two-horse logo infringed the UK and EU registrations for the BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB logo, and that use of these signs amounted to passing off. The defendants’ three-horse logo was also found to infringe on the basis of dilution and unfair advantage.
Analysing more than 30 trademark portfolios of mid-size to large multinationals carrying out business in the European Union reveals a surprising number of illogical filings, errors and gaps. The resulting checklist will support effective portfolio review.
An analysis of recent decisions illustrates an evolving desire by China’s courts to take decisive action against infringers. However, there are a number of strategies that rights holders need to implement to maximise their chances of brand protection success.
The IP adjudicator has upheld Guccio Gucci SpA’s opposition to the registration of the figurative mark GUCCITECH for various kitchen and cooking appliances in Class 11 under Sections 8(2)(b), 8(4) and 8(7)(a) of the Trademarks Act. Among other things, the adjudicator found that there was a likelihood that an average consumer might assume that the applicant's goods came from a source that was economically linked to the opponent.
Internet service provider found liable for trademark infringement: exception to safe harbour principle applied
The Beijing IP Court has found that JD, an internet service provider, was jointly and severally liable for the infringement committed on its platform by Zhongshan Discovery. Discovery Communications LLC, the owner of several DISCOVERY marks in Class 41, had filed suit against JD and Zhongshan Discovery after the latter opened an online store under the name 'Official Flagship Store of Discovery Outdoors' on the online platform operated by JD.
Supreme Court: risk of damage to one of trademark's functions is sufficient to constitute infringement
In the ENSILOX case, the Supreme Court has considered whether a distribution company's use of a former supplier's trademark on the packaging of the new supplier’s products constituted trademark infringement. One of the main issues was whether one of the functions of the trademark must actually have been damaged, or whether a risk of damage is sufficient.
The United States may be putting itself first, but on a global scale its long-dominant brands are facing increasing pressure. It is not just China that is closing the gap so is Europe. If US brands are to stay on top they will have to lean into the future and figure out what to do next
In In re: Brunetti, the Federal Circuit has reversed the TTAB's holding that the mark FUCT as used in connection with various apparel items was unregistrable. The Federal Circuit’s reasoning differed somewhat from the Supreme Court’s underlying rationale in the landmark SLANTS case, and concluded that the Lanham Act’s bar on registering immoral or scandalous marks is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.
In Deichmann v EUIPO the General Court has upheld a decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of the EUIPO, finding that there had been genuine use of a figurative mark representing a cross on the side of a sports shoe. While the Cancellation Division had focused on the differences between the registration and the mark as used, the board and the court considered that these differences were negligible.
General Court's SWISSGEAR decision: a useful reminder of the legal principles surrounding Articles 7(1)(b) and (c)
In Wenger SA v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld the decision of the EUIPO to invalidate SWISSGEAR on the grounds that it lacked distinctiveness and was descriptive of a wide range of goods in Classes 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 25. It did not matter whether the descriptiveness of quality did not apply to particular goods, as the assessment under Article 7(1)(c) is based on the ability of a word to indicate the geographical origin generally with regard to all of the goods.
Amazon has supplanted Google as the world’s most valuable brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 rankings. With Apple, Samsung and Facebook rounding out the top five, technology brands dominate the top of the list. However, it is the continued rise of Chinese brands on the international scene that should be noted.
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