17 May
2020

Covid-19 survey results, future of trademark practice, Facebook leadership advice, 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.

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Top stories

This week we published the results of our exclusive survey examining the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on in-house and private trademark practices. We asked practitioners around the world to discuss how the crisis has affected their day-to-day work, how they have responded to the various brand protection challenges being raised, and what they expect the lasting effect to be on their practice as a whole. Unsurprisingly, the responses have revealed an industry upended, with professionals facing significant salary cuts, increased infringement and the spectre of budgets being slashed. However, there are some positives, including opportunities to build stronger client relationships and the hope that measures implemented now – including remote working and digital processes – could become industry norms in the future. (Read more)

In response to the survey, we convened a small panel of trademark experts to dig deeper into the changes that are likely to unfold in the medium to longer term. An insightful videocall saw panellists discuss the effects of remote working and how these are likely to change law firm attitudes towards office space and overheads in future. Long term, the expectation is that firms will retain elements of revised home working processes and fee calculations, but it is generally hoped that, as soon as it is safe to travel again, social aspects of life in the trademark industry will return to the old ways. (Read more)

In the meantime, Mike Yaghmai, head of brands and marketing legal at Facebook, revealed how his department has responded to the ‘new normal’ of remote working and offered five key tips for those managing teams through the current climate. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, he explained that by focusing on understanding what is important to individual members, being empathetic, honest and vulnerable, and reaching out to wider networks for advice, trademark leaders will be better equipped to support their colleagues and take care of themselves in the process. (Read more)

Headline news

Elsewhere this week, we published two instalments in our regular series on marketplaces around the globe that are reportedly notorious for being counterfeit havens. After reviewing the counterfeit hotspots in Egypt that brand owners should have on their radar (read more), we revisited India for an update on anti-counterfeiting efforts in the country. (Read more)

On Monday, Gabriela Salinas, global managing director of the Brand Finance Institute, explained how companies can manage and mitigate brand risks while protecting value during a pandemic. (Read more)

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property’s new online platform, Daren Tang’s appointment as WIPO director general, an INTA mental health webcast and Puma’s rejected Olympics mark all featured in Tuesday’s news round-up. (Read more)

In our second guest piece of the week, Kimiya Shams, legal counsel at tech company DEVIALET, reflected on the enforcement challenges raised by deepfakes. (Read more)

On Wednesday we sat down with Gilead’s Gretchen Stroud to discuss the ongoing fight against fake pharmaceuticals and how the company protected its brands assets when remdesivir hit the headlines as a potential treatment for covid-19. (Read more)

Among the latest coronavirus measures implemented by national IP authorities, we reported on a number of re-openings, including at the Icelandic, Austrian and Malaysian IP offices. (Read more)

Meanwhile, we reflected on the key takeaways of the webinar “Brand Transition: Do rebrands add or destroy value after M&A?”, which suggest that rebranding after an M&A during a recession can be better for long-term brand value than in times of economic growth. (Read more)

On Friday, we asked what the Virgin Media and O2 deal reveals about the branding struggles of telecoms providers, with companies failing to build customer loyalty amid the constant risk of market disruption. (Read more)

We also reported on the US Supreme Court decision in Lucky Brand Dungarees v Marcel Fashion Group – the dispute centring on the issue of whether res judicata in the form of claim preclusion can also apply to defences. (Read more)

Our end-of-the-week news digest included St Andrews Links Trust losing the rights to the name St Andrews, Hard Rock International acquiring the rights to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and notorious trademark filer Michael Gleissner donating a significant sum to two cities in the Philippines. (Read more)

Finally, Saturday’s “From the WTR archive” climbed back into the ring with heavyweights Apple, Bacardi, Cisco, Michael Jordan, Pernod Ricard and Samsung to reflect on some of the most high-profile brand battles to feature on WTR over the past 17 years. (Read more)

Legal updates and international reports

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

Victoria Arnold

Author | Senior Editor, IP Editorial

[email protected]

Victoria Arnold