Philips – managing a master brand

Philips restructured its trademark management
system just before the recession began to bite. This
now looks like a smart move, as it further streamlined
the company's protection and value extraction
processes at a critical time


Further budget cuts expected for 2010

Turmoil in the world economy
continues to affect the
trademark industry, with
organizations slashing costs in a
bid to weather the storm.

News in brief

ICANN criticized for approach to rights protection

The Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN) has come under fire
from brand owners over its
handling of the trademark
protection policy for the
expanded generic top-level
domain (gTLD) space developed
by the Implementation
Recommendation Team (IRT).

China moves to fight fraud

The protection framework in
China continues to develop with
the China Trademark Office
bringing into force the
Regulation on Issues in Relation
to Trademark Assignments.

Google wins first round in landmark European AdWords case

The advocate general of
Europe’s highest court, Luís
Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro,
has given his backing to
Google’s AdWords system,

Country correspondent


A boom in advertising over the past 10 years is reflected in the development of related legislation. However, there
is limited case law from the courts in this field due to the significant enforcement powers of regulatory bodies.


Russian advertising law is not extensive and can be ambiguous, but an analysis of recent cases reveals that
the legislation is, for the most part, interpreted intuitively.


The ECJ’s decision in the O2 Case has clarified key issues unique to Benelux. However, inconsistencies in
approach are still apparent.


In a landmark decision, the High Court of Madras has attempted to tighten the rules on comparative
advertising. However, the ruling may have opened the door to inconsistency in the interpretation of the
law in this area.


A recent high-profile marketing initiative by a Mexican pharmaceutical company appears to be a clear
example of unfair competition. This article puts the campaign in context and looks at the likely outcome
for the advertiser.


While a fully joined-up European advertising policy remains a dream, at least the Danish system has
been updated to provide comprehensive coverage. Moreover, individuals have a strong ally against unfair
advertising in the shape of the Consumer Ombudsman.


Is the online use of a third-party mark to link through to competitor products lawful? Case history in
Israel to date shows an increasing leniency towards this activity - Oren Mandler and Kfir Luzzatto analyze
the reasons why.


Advertisers must take into consideration provisions of the Consumer Code and Legislative Decree 145/2007
when devising a marketing campaign. Any breach of the rules could lead to the advertisement being
suspended and a fine.


Often the best way to make a product stand out is to compare it to competing products on the market. However,
while powerful, comparative advertising treads a fine legal line between good business and unfair competition.


Norwegian law offers several means of enforcement against unfair and comparative advertising. This article
analyzes the options available and provides an overview of recent amendments to the Marketing Control Act.


Brazil’s new fondness for comparative ads has highlighted ambiguities in the legal regime in this area.
However, there is considerably more certainty over ambush marketing: the country’s selection as host of the
2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics have already prompted bills on the subject.


Facebook is bringing in new privacy measures in response to criticism in Canada over its handling of
personal data. The new approach looks likely to have an impact on mark owners' advertising strategies.


The legislation on unfair and comparative advertising has its roots in the rules on unfair competition.
The introduction of changes to the Advertising Code in 1998 clarified the law by implementing the EU
Comparative Advertising Directive.


The sprawling legislative regime governing advertising, along with a fragmented administrative system,
means that practitioners must stay on their toes when trying to determine whether an advertisement is
permitted in Spain.


Counterfeiting perspectivesProtecting fortress Europe

While brand owners seek a common
approach to the treatment of goods in
transit, counterfeiters are using the
current rules to hide their tracks. Without
urgent attention, the tide of fake goods
could overwhelm rights holders’ defences

Trademark managementGenericide or clever marketing?

The pace of change on the Internet means
that a mark could potentially become
generic within a matter of months. But is
the use of a mark as a verb, so often the
first step to ‘genericide’ in the past, now
really such a bad thing? Is it time to allow
marks “to verb up”?

The view onlineInternet service provider liability: the devil’s in the detail

At first glance, two recent landmark US
decisions suggest a divergence in
approach to online contributory
trademark infringement. Scratch under
the surface, though, and consistency in
the application of previous rulings
becomes apparent


Sealing the deal

The co operation fund has ignited an animated
debate across the European Union. WTR asks
whether the money can harmonize Europe’s
fragmented trademark system once and for all

Judge versus jury: key tips for success

The decision on whether to try a case before a judge or
a jury is a vital part of US trademark litigation strategy.
Picking the wrong option can prove damaging

Proof of distinctiveness now a lottery in South Africa

South African trademark law has historically followed
a similar path to EU legislation. However, a recent
ruling from the Supreme Court on distinctiveness
through extensive use appears to signify a dangerous
departure from European precedent

Damage limitations

Most litigation is geared towards obtaining an
injunction, but damages are often well worth
pursuing. The challenge for rights holders is that
the requirements for obtaining an award tend to
differ in each federal circuit

India's opposition gridlock

Opposition backlogs have reached alarming levels in
India. The Intellectual Property Office’s new controller
general claims to be taking steps to rectify the
problem, but recent cases show that rules designed to
curb unnecessary delays are being abused

The future of selective distribution

Selective distribution can be vital to preserve brand
image. Competition policy is changing in Europe and
rights holders must be aware of the implications

The dangers posed by Bose

By overturning the Medinol doctrine on fraud, the
Federal Circuit has removed the threat of cancellation
hanging over many trademarks, but the decision
re-opens the door to falsely obtained registrations in
clear breach of the Trademark Law Revision Act

New insight on the pillars of US trademark practice

Prosecution and litigation are two central columns supporting the
business of protecting trademark rights in the United States. The first
of those pillars has undergone a significant change in recent months,
while the second remains as complex as ever. In this three-part special,
WTR examines and provides guidance on the latest developments at
the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the federal courts.