24 May
2020

Filing levels recover, United Kingdom omits GIs from EU trade agreement, firms offer wellbeing 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

After an initial slump in global trademark filing levels following the coronavirus outbreak, data supplied to WTR this week reveals that numbers have started to return to normal at several major IP offices. By the beginning of May, weekly filing levels at the EUIPO, USPTO, UK Intellectual Property Office and IP Office of Singapore were higher than those for the equivalent period in 2019, with limited figures from the China National IP Administration also showing signs of recovery. Although the long-term impact of the pandemic is far from clear, and the ensuing economic crisis is likely to hit many brands hard, the recent revival in filing activity could be a positive indication of the trademark industry’s agility. (Read more)

Elsewhere this week, the UK government published its draft working text for a free trade agreement with the European Union, outlining its position on various key issues, including an entire chapter on intellectual property. However, the government’s bold decision to omit geographical indications (GIs) from the proposal has been perceived as “a veiled threat” possibly designed to curry favour with the United States. Whether the move will pay off is yet to be seen, but the United Kingdom has demonstrated that it is willing to use GIs as a bargaining chip in ongoing negotiations. (Read more)

Meanwhile, in honour of UK Mental Health Awareness Week, we took the opportunity to reflect on some of the key advice that we have received over the years on creating a better legal working environment and facilitating positive mental health among employees. With guidance from experts at Newcastle University, Kilburn & Strode, EIP, LawCare, Facebook and IP Ability, we highlighted a number of helpful steps for promoting and improving wellbeing in the workplace, starting with recognising the problem. (Read more)

Headline news

In other news, we reported on a written communication from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers seeking to draw a line under an eight-year battle over Amazon’s application for its ‘.brand’ TLD. (Read more)

With a recession looming over global markets, we spoke to experts to find out what due diligence is required before bidding in a trademark auction. (Read more)

The content creator behind the popular Atomic Shrimp YouTube channel gave his insight on the changing nature of scam emails and what major brands can do to combat this long-time foe. (Read more)

In our first news digest of the week, we looked at Hermès’ victory in a Japanese trademark opposition, a Chinese manufacturer denying that it sent counterfeit N95 masks to the United States, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition postponing all 2020 events, and much more. (Read more)

In our latest opinion piece, we noted that, while the US-China war of words over IP protection continues to grab headlines, on the ground, the momentum in Asia is positive. (Read more)

Mid-week, we reflected on INTA’s decision to conduct its 2020 Annual Meeting and Leadership Meeting as an all-virtual event in light of continuing uncertainty around the covid-19 pandemic. (Read more)

We also continued to update our live article on the changes being implemented by IP offices around the world, which this week saw extended deadlines in India and France, and new electronic services in Montenegro and Chile. (Read more)

Meanwhile, data analysis by TrademarkNow revealed that slumping economies and ongoing lockdown orders could present major opportunities for food and drink titans to recapture market share. (Read more)

Our Friday news round-up saw the IP Hall of Fame 2020 inductees revealed, the Eddie Stobart trademark being sold for £10 million, Anaqua and Clarivate teaming up, and much more. (Read more)

Finally, we ended the week delving into the WTR archive to uncover a selection of in-depth pieces focused on trademark transactions and revenue generation. (Read more)

Legal updates and international reports

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

Victoria Arnold

Author | Senior Editor, IP Editorial

[email protected]

Victoria Arnold