Corona beer-coronavirus mix-up, David Gooder announced USPTO commissioner for trademarks, Gleissner launches brand consultancy firm, 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.

Top stories

The coronavirus has continued to dominate headlines around the world this week, and with the Business Insider reporting a 2,300% rise in Google searches relating to Corona beer since the outbreak, WTR considered the potentially damaging effects that an unforeseen association with a virus – and the ensuing online parodies – can have on a brand. (Read more here.) The pandemic has also raised fears about the INTA 2020 Annual Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Singapore in April. With the second highest number of confirmed cases outside China, some practitioners have called for the event to be relocated, but INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo told WTR on Thursday that, as of this week, the meeting is “definitely taking place in Singapore”. (Read more here.)

Following the announcement on Wednesday that David Gooder will be taking over as the USPTO commissioner for trademarks, we ran through some of the popular figure’s credentials, which include a stint as chief trademark counsel at Brown-Forman Corporation and former managing director and chief trademark counsel at Jack Daniel’s Properties. No stranger to the spotlight, it was in this latter role that Gooder found himself at the centre of media attention for sending what has been described as the “most polite cease and desist letter ever”. (Read more here.)

In more mid-week news, we revealed that Michael Gleissner – whose prolific filing activity WTR has reported on extensively – appears to have launched a brand consultancy firm called N-Cubator. In the latest escapade involving the so-called ‘trademark troll’, the self-proclaimed “up-and-coming launch platform” claims to have access to “a large portfolio of trademarks and domain names”, which can help Asian companies expand into western markets. Recapping on Gleissner’s track record, we asked what this latest move could suggest about his plans for the future. (Read more here.)

Headline news

In an exclusive one-to-one, former CEO of Ford Global Technologies Bill Coughlin spoke to WTR about his recent appointment as the first-ever CEO at Harness Dickey and why an increasing number of firms are creating new CEO roles for individuals regardless of their legal experience. (Read more here.)

Continuing our regular series on marketplaces around the world that are reportedly notorious for being counterfeit havens, WTR headed to India, where we gained key insight from the first-hand experience of an IP enforcement partner on the ground. (Read more here.)

In our Tuesday news digest, we reported on the mammoth crack down on counterfeit goods surrounding this year’s Super Bowl, South Korean pop band BTS’s recent IP win, the Cypriot government re-securing HALLOUMI and Erik M Pelton’s most creative move yet in the fight against fake trademark invoices. (Read more here.)

With hearings taking place this week for the shrinking pool of WIPO director general candidates, we spoke to an IP expert who is concerned that media coverage has focused too much on politics and not nearly enough on who is actually right for the job. (Read more here.)

On Wednesday we reminded readers that there is not long left to participate in WTR’s annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey. All participants in the short survey will be entered into a draw to win one of five free places at their choice of upcoming WTR event. (Read more here.)

According to this year’s US Chamber of Commerce International IP Index, the United States has come out not only as the clear winner, but also as the global benchmark against which all other countries seem to be measured. We took a closer look at the US-centric methodology and the key takeaways of the report, which provide insight into the fracture lines between EU and US policy, as well as current sentiment towards China’s trade efforts. (Read more here.)

On Friday, we took a deep data dive into the highs and lows of Amazon’s IP filing activity, after the tech giant was ranked the world’s most valuable brand by Brand Finance for the third consecutive year. (Read more here.)

Finally, in our latest round-up, we reported on a new study that has reignited the debate surrounding the controversial Washington Redskins name, a wooden box that could “solve the counterfeit sneaker crisis” and the latest EUIPO data revealing significant improvements in waste reduction. (Read more here.) 

Legal updates and international reports

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

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