3 May
2020

€1 trillion estimated brand value loss, covid-19 impact on firms, Amazon’s Notorious Markets upset, 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.

Do you have five minutes to share your perspective on how coronavirus measures are affecting your trademark practice? Let us know in our short snap survey.

Top stories

Brand Finance recently estimated that €1 trillion in value could be lost across the world’s most valuable brands as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. However, in a webinar this week, representatives from the company outlined various steps that brand owners can take now to lessen the blow. One tip is to continue to invest in advertising, but this will naturally depend on resources. With most companies falling into one of three categories – thriving, striving or surviving – canny communication and wise investment will be more important than ever, and following the consultancy’s five-pronged approach could help. (Read more)

Moving from brands to their representatives, we reached out to a number of international law firms to gauge the impact that the pandemic has had – and is likely to have – on trademark teams and workloads. With media coverage centring on job losses, salary cuts and revenue drops, firms are under unprecedented financial pressure. But trademark teams seem to be adapting well to remote set-ups, embracing new technologies and aiming for business as usual. That said, a long-term overhaul of office working is unlikely, and while a drop in preparatory work and an uptick in contentious could be on the cards, the global pandemic is unlike any recession before – meaning that long-term effects on practices remain unclear. (Read more)

Away from covid-19, Amazon hit the headlines this week after five of its platforms were added to the Office of the US Trade Representative’s annual Notorious Markets report. With lengthy criticisms of various aspects of Amazon’s Canadian, French, German, Indian and UK platforms, the report raises concern over misleading seller information and a “lengthy and burdensome” counterfeit removal process. But within hours of its release, Amazon hit back, describing the report as advancing a “personal vendetta” of the Trump administration. “We are an active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit, and we call on lawmakers to increase funding and resources for law enforcement agencies so we can hold the real criminals accountable,” argued a company spokesperson. (Read more)

Headline news

As IP offices continue to react to global upheaval, this week, the EUIPO, USPTO, Canadian IP Office and IP Office of Singapore extended more deadlines, while IP Australia issued a streamlined process for extension requests. (Read more)

A recent study has highlighted the necessity of engaging all functions in a business’s brand protection efforts. We reflected on the ways in which IP practitioners can ensure buy-in – and from whom. (Read more)

Next month, WTR will be hosting two can’t-miss free webinars tackling critical issues in the online enforcement and strategy space. For details on “COVID-19 puts spotlight on domain strategy” and “Winning the fight against fakes through collaboration”, see here.

In our Tuesday news digest, we looked at a cruise line filing a trademark application for sanitary masks, INTA opening up nominations for the Tomorrow’s Leader Award, a covid-19 opportunist’s “genius” plan unravelling, and much more. (Read more)

On Wednesday, we revealed that Michael Gleissner attorney Jonathan Grant Morton has overtaken LegalForce as the leading representative of trademark filings at the USPTO this year, according to new data. (Read more)

We also sat down with the newly elected Chartered Institute of Trademark Attorneys president, Richard Goddard, to discuss the organisation’s strategic direction for his two-year tenure, the spectre of Brexit and how the institute is adapting to current conditions. (Read more)

The ongoing court battle between telecoms giant Sky and US software company SkyKick saw the English High Court partially invalidate trademarks owned by Sky this week, in a ruling which legal experts warned could open up a new line of attack for defendants against brand owners. (Read more)

On Thursday, CompuMark’s Robert Reading and Statton Hammock took a deep dive into the trademark and domain name data surrounding bioplastics, and found a market that is still very much up for grabs. (Read more)

In an exclusive interview, Trademarkia founder Raj Abhyanker revealed that he is stepping back from the trademark world to develop civil engagement technology solutions – taking a final swipe at an industry that he says rejects innovation. (Read more)

Star Wars hashtag controversy, Puma and Nike sparring over FOOTWARE, EU geographical indications protections denounced, and much more featured in Friday’s news round-up. (Read more)

With Spotify proving itself to be an essential service to users practising social distancing, we took a closer look at the music streaming service’s IP portfolio and long-term innovation goals. (Read more)

In the latest edition of “From the WTR archive”, we presented a selection of pieces focused on lobbying – highlighting how brand professionals can effect change on trademark issues. (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