12 Apr
2020

Cloud-based platforms, home workouts and service providers under lockdown, brands’ and WIPO’s response to coronavirus, WTR Spring 2020, and much more

Everything we covered on WTR over the past seven days – and all you need to know from the world of trademarks to set yourself up for the start of another busy week.

Top stories

In this week’s coverage related to the coronavirus pandemic, we considered the effects that international lockdowns are having on people around the world. With a record number of lawyers moving into remote working set-ups, the need for practical and efficient platform solutions is higher than ever. We spoke with Terry Dohrmann, chief risk officer at Litify, on why law firms should put their misconceptions about security risks aside and embrace cloud platforms. (Read more) Stay-at-home guidelines have also thrown traditional teaching methods into disarray, with growing numbers of parents forced into the role of home schooling their children. As the demand for online education programmes skyrockets, we examined trademark activity in the sector over the past few years, with a jump in Class 41 applications undoubtedly on the horizon. (Read more) In addition, virtual workout platforms are seeing unprecedented growth in numbers of subscribers, with gyms and fitness instructors scrambling to adjust to the new normal. We considered the filing activity of brands such as Peloton, SoulCycle and Beachbody, to determine how companies can deliver in light of changing consumer needs. (Read more)

Trademark service providers are also upping their game to assist customers at this crucial time. With legal tech start-up Sortify.tm offering free access to its Attorney Productivity Suite for the next three months, we spoke to CEO Claire Foogo to find out how the company is funding the move and revealed the ways in which TrademarkNow, AltLegal and Clarivate are all taking similar steps to support users. (Read more)

We also reflected on the results of a recent survey, which has found that brands’ responses to the emergency are significantly affecting consumer trust and will continue to have a huge impact on the likelihood of purchases in the future. With 90% of respondents agreeing that brands must do everything in their power to protect the wellbeing of employees, and one-third of respondents already convincing people to boycott companies that have not acted appropriately, we reviewed the steps that various brands are taking to help those in need – and the big hitters that are coming under fire. (Read more)

Elsewhere, WIPO director general Francis Gurry has sought to abate fears over the organisation’s ability to handle the impact of the crisis – noting that WIPO has been increasing its liquid assets by “deliberate policy” to ensure that it is in a position to deal with situations like the current pandemic. (Read more) And as always, we have continued to update our live feed on the changes being implemented to relieve pressures and aid users at IP offices around the world. (Read more)

Headline news

We published the Spring 2020 edition of WTR this week – offering guidance on managing finite filing budgets, the looming brand value crisis, Intel’s take on diversity, the latest litigation tips, wellbeing considerations and much more. (Read more)

In a series of spin-off articles, we revealed that the IP Office of Singapore has been ranked as the most innovative IP office in the world for the first time, emphasising how boundary-pushing tools and services – especially in the digital space – are helping users in even the most difficult circumstances. (Read more)

We also examined why an increasing number of rights holders are considering trademark insurance, but remain unable to obtain bespoke policies, homing in on WTR’s chat with IP experts at Willis Towers Watson, who provided a helpful checklist of key questions for those assessing risk and exposure. (Read more)

Meanwhile, H&A’s Guillermo Alcaraz explained why pharmaceutical and sports brand owners are among those staking a claim in Argentina’s emerging cannabis market, but progress so far has been slow. (Read more)

In addition, politicians and practitioners from China to Europe shared their tried and tested methods on how best to lobby for proactive change in the IP profession. (Read more)

Outside the magazine, we reported that after a decade-long dispute, the China Supreme People’s Court has invalidated two trademarks imitating New Balance’s signature N mark. In a significant victory against copycats, the company’s IP counsel described the decision as “a powerful weapon” for all brand owners. (Read more)

Our mid-week news round-up considered Harry and Meghan’s latest ARCHEWELL filings, a sharp fall in US trademark applications, Supermac’s victory over Supermax, and the expansion of the International Anti-counterfeiting Coalition-Amazon programme allowing participants to access counterfeit sales data. (Read more)

In the latest instalment of our regular series on marketplaces around the world that are reportedly notorious for being counterfeit havens, WTR headed to arguably the world’s main focal point for fake goods: China. (Read more)

INTA’s coronavirus donation drive, IP Australia being added to TMview, WIPO revealing its top corporate filers, Finland joining DesignClass, a change in Syrian trademark fees, and much more featured in the Friday news digest. (Read more)

On Saturday, we took a look back over the past four years of WTR’s exclusive investigations into the unusual behaviour of serial trademark and domain name filer Michael Gleissner, in part three of the ‘From the WTR archive’ series. (Read more)

Legal updates and international reports

Plus, we published eight legal updates and five international reports examining key trademark decisions and developments from around the globe:

Victoria Arnold

Author | Senior Editor, IP Editorial

[email protected]

Victoria Arnold