Concerns grow over applicant passport safety; Banksy loses ‘monkey sign’ mark; stretched budgets hit corporate-law firm relationships; 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.

The Long Read

This year’s Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey reveals how stretched budgets at in-house trademark departments have hit law firm relationships – and how the covid-19 pandemic has shaped corporate brand strategies for most IP professionals. Read more

Monday 17 May

We presented seven takeaways from a recent study by the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, which found that 11% of conversations over social media focused on physical products could relate to counterfeit goods. Read more

Concerns have been growing over the operations of long-running low-cost IP agency Trademark Plus, with clients accusing the company of being a “scam” and experts telling WTR that the USPTO should investigate potentially problematic trademark entities. Read more


Tuesday 18 May

Tuesday’s news round-up saw the USPTO propose a number of new rules, social media app Clubhouse being sued by an Arizona sports networking site, video game company Atari filing suit against art marketplace, Ralph Lauren agreeing to sell the Club Monaco brand, and much more. Read more

We spoke to local IP practitioners about the delays to the grand opening of Myanmar’s new trademark registration scheme due to ongoing political unrest in the country. Read more

Exclusive research from WTR revealed that Manchester United has the largest football brand portfolio in the world, with Lionel Messi boasting the most significant number of registrations for a single player. Read more


Wednesday 19 May

The EUIPO and the China National IP Administration announced that 32 million Chinese trademarks have been added to the TMview database. Read more

Nixon Peabody diversity and inclusion director Rekha Chiruvolu explained why a concise mission statement with a clear message from leadership is vital to creating a truly inclusive organisation. Read more

As another trademark owned by street artist Banksy is declared invalid by the EUIPO, the attorney for the opposing party told us that “the real nail in the coffin” that led to the decision was “the public comments of Banksy and his lawyer”. Read more


Thursday 20 May

A research specialist at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners raised concerns as nearly 400 applicant passport numbers were published by IP offices around the world, including on the EUIPO TMview search platform. Read more

IP offices in Chile and Taiwan released new updates in relation to their covid-19 measures, while the USPTO launched a pilot programme that will see the TTAB expedite the review and issuance of ex parte appeal decisions for applications examined under the Covid-19 Prioritised Trademark Examination Programme. Read more

This month’s WTR Brand Elite project found overall indices up four points in April – reaching their highest point to date – LG Electronics jumping a whopping 38 points on the back of the best quarterly results in the company’s history. Read more


Friday 21 May

We explored the reintroduction of the US SHOP SAFE Act, which aims to mandate anti-counterfeiting best practices for online platforms. Read more

Among the stories covered in Friday’s news digest, the Chilean Senate has approved the Madrid Protocol, the UK Intellectual Property Office has published its new corporate plan; Anaqua has acquired Actio IP, a Californian brand incubator start-up has secured $70 million in funding, and much more. Read more

WTR data analysis examined how China’s political disputes with trade partners have affected trademark filings, both at home and abroad. Read more


Saturday 22 May

In our latest Saturday opinion column, we scrutinised Facebook’s latest Intellectual Property Transparency Report, which was published the day before legislators reintroduced the SHOP SAFE Act. Read more

WTR Special Report: The rise of mass filers and register clutter

Last month we launched the first of our new WTR Special Reports, focusing on the rise of mass filers and their impact on the trademark ecosystem. Scrutinising the data behind the filing activities of Michael Gleissner, Ikuhiro Ueda and Chinese entities, we explored the real-world effects of these on brand protection and how rights holders and registries can mitigate their impact. Read more

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content