INTA Annual Meeting announcement, Coronavirus communications, EU filing data, US Modernisation Act, 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

With more countries going into lockdown this week, we continued our coverage of the overwhelming effect that the coronavirus crisis is having on global marketplaces, brand owners, law firms and IP offices. In one opinion column, we outlined the steps that firms are – and should be – taking to protect employees while still delivering on client needs. Until recently, firms were reticent to talk about the impact of the virus on their operations, but things have changed, and in the past few days Baker McKenzie, HGF, Reddie & Grose and Trevisan & Cuonzo, among others, have shared  their latest communications. (Read more here.) Meanwhile, IP offices around the world have issued additional statements. After the EUIPO postponed all meetings and the Hong Kong registry started conducting body temperature checks on visitors last week, the latest developments include the UK Intellectual Property Office extending deadlines for those affected by the virus, while the Italian Patent and Trademark Office has suspended its telephone assistance service to allow call centre operators to set up remote workstations from home. (Read more here.) To round off the week, we reported on the breaking news that INTA has rescheduled its 2020 Annual Meeting and will now be holding it in November in the United States, with more details due "in the coming days". (Read more here,)

Elsewhere, we took a deep dive into EU filing data. After a new report by the EUIPO uncovered a 36.2% rise in registered Community designs over the past decade, we took a closer look at the countries and brands behind the numbers, highlighting a significant boom in applications from China in particular. (Read more here.) Moreover, a guest post from Fovea IP CEO Patrice Vekemans helped to unpick his company’s highly anticipated Top 25 Trademark Attorney Firms in the EU 2019 list, which reveals the most active firms over the past year and various key trends. (Read more here.) Meanwhile, the number of trademark applications covering Class 9 (software and computers) filed at the EUIPO and the USPTO has nearly doubled since 2009, with each office reporting growth of over 80%. With Samsung and LG Electronics the top two applicants in both jurisdictions, we asked whether Class 9 could be at risk of being overwhelmed by advances in technology. (Read more here.)

Across the Atlantic, bipartisan, bicameral legislation that aims to combat fraudulent filings has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The Trademark Modernisation Act seeks to provide for third-party submissions of evidence relating to a trademark application, establish expungement and ex parte proceedings relating to the validity of a mark and empower examiners to gather evidence during examinations. However, one legal expert warned that it has the potential to cost brand owners significant time and money. (Read more here.)

Headline news

On Monday, we brought you the key takeaways from the most recent WTR events, with expert advice on budget management, proving return on investment on enforcement spend, responding to reputational crisis and facilitating diversity and inclusion in the trademark industry. (Read more here.)

Since the Italian government approved a draft bill aimed at regulating ambush marketing earlier this year, Cesare Galli, founding partner of IP Law Galli, explained why the proposal does not go far enough. (Read more here.)

INTA postponing its 2020 New York Conference, introducing the Women’s LeadershIP initiative, Michael Gleissner facing another defeat and the Redskins mascot retiring all featured in our Tuesday news digest. (Read more here.)

With three of US President Donald Trump’s EU trademarks partially revoked by the EUIPO, we outlined the failings of the defence and the key lessons on evidence of use. (Read more here.)

The fight against fakes was at the top of our agenda on Wednesday. After Joy Belmonte, mayor of Quezon City, vociferously opposed the alleged distribution of over 1,000 fake trainers to local athletes, we praised her actions to bolster the work of anti-counterfeiting agencies. (Read more here.)

However, when it comes to online enforcement, a new study on the prevalence of illicit sales on the dark web has revealed that the shutdown of darknet marketplaces has actually “had positive marketing consequences” for buyers of counterfeit goods. (Read more here.)

Finally, the Friday news round-up brought to light the lawyers decrying ‘dumb’ and ‘gross’ coronavirus vaccine trademarks, the USPTO’s response to the WIPO director general election, UK police seizing over £7 million in suspected fake goods and the Indian tech company suing Microsoft over its WINDOWS AZURE marks. (Read more here.)

Legal updates and international reports

Plus, we published 10 legal updates and three international reports examining key trademark decisions and developments from around the globe:

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