Black Lives Matter, royal branding and covid-19 responses lead WTR’s 2020 most-read list

While the top 25 stories of 2020 on the WTR platform saw covid-19 feature prominently, the pandemic did not dominate, with pieces relating to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Sussex Royal brand and new online threats generating widespread community interest.

The most-read story on WTR was an interview with the UK-based businessman behind trademark applications for BLACK LIVES MATTER and I CAN'T BREATHE. In addition to breaking the news that the applications had been filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office, we were the first media outlet to speak to the applicant. The story was subsequently picked up by numerous mainstream media outlets across the globe and was the centre of discussion on social media. On the back of anger at a perceived attempt to capitalise on a tragedy and ongoing social movement, the applications were ultimately withdrawn – a development that also appeared in the top 25 list.

Elsewhere, coronavirus-related coverage featured prominently. As well as regular live updates on the measures implemented by IP offices in response to the pandemic (number two on our list), popular pieces included reflections on beer brand Corona being catapulted into the spotlight, ongoing news relating to the INTA Annual Meeting and predictions on the long-term impact of covid-19 on trademark practice.

Before covid-19 became the story that dominated media headlines around the world, a number of outlets had been preoccupied with the decision made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step back from Royal Family duties. There was inevitably a brand dimension to that story and our coverage of a planned opposition to trademark applications made by the couple was picked up (and in one case copied almost word for word) by a range of news sites. Although mainstream outlets got a lot of the details wrong, the story illustrated once again how trademark issues can generate global and mainstream interest.

Meanwhile, content focused on community concern over USPTO rules requiring the disclosure of applicant emails, the “transformative combination” of Clarivate and CPA Global, the WTR Industry Awards shortlist and the potential brand challenges on gambling platform MysteryBrand also proved popular with our readers.

According to Google Analytics, the WTR platform experienced an 18% increase in users across 2020, compared to the previous year, reflecting continued interest in trademark and brand-related coverage at a time of economic turmoil and societal upheaval due to the covid-19 pandemic. We are hugely grateful to all our readers for their support during these challenging times.

Top 25 most-read stories of 2020

  1. BLACK LIVES MATTER and I CAN'T BREATHE trademarks filed: Manchester businessman plans charitable foundation
  2. Live updates: IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis
  3. Sony faces PS5 trademark fight in India but legal experts reject reports that it will derail console's launch
  4. Corona beer or Coronavirus? How a brand should handle potentially damaging mix-ups
  5. Sussex Royal trademark challenged: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face legal battle after receiving threat of opposition
  6. ICANN cancels Mexico meeting; Coronavirus trademarks; UpCounsel returns – news digest
  7. UK businessman withdraws trademark applications related to Black Lives Matter following backlash
  8. INTA 2020 Annual Meeting in Singapore cancelled; coronavirus outbreak forces relocation to United States
  9. Gross Domestic Failure – Banksy trademark portfolio “at risk” after registration ruled invalid
  10. Risks for Sussex Royal: unauthorised EU trademark application targets Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  11. Sussex Royal brand: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle trademark registration in doubt as Queen intervenes
  12. Global IP Awards 2020 winners revealed at celebration of IP excellence
  13. USPTO urged to halt applicant email requirement following revolt by trademark attorneys
  14. INTA CEO responds to fears over impact of coronavirus on 2020 Annual Meeting
  15. Despite controversy over claimed coronavirus cure, CORONIL may be hard to fight at the Indian registry
  16. Kasper VPN scam: YouTube urged to combat fraudulent ads featuring third-party brands
  17. A deep dive into the Tiger King trademark lawsuits (long read)
  18. WTR Industry Awards: the 2020 shortlisted teams and individuals unveiled
  19. Comedian legally changes name to Hugo Boss – important lessons for brands
  20. Cost, logistics, coronavirus: why there are fewer INTA Annual Meeting reception invites this year
  21. USPTO to re-allow PO boxes on trademark applications following privacy backlash
  22. What will the lasting effect of covid-19 be on the legal profession?
  23. Brands warned over legal issues on alleged “scam” gambling platform MysteryBrand
  24. Clarivate and CPA Global to merge; “transformative combination” will shake up IP service provider market
  25. “A very tricky position” – how the coronavirus epidemic could affect the 2020 INTA Annual Meeting

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