Spruson & Ferguson, Cullens and Fisher Adams Kelly Callinans have announced that they will combine to form one firm, operating under the Spruson & Ferguson brand from April 2018. Full integration of the three firms – which will employ a team of more than 400 staff, including 152 IP professionals, across 10 primary offices (Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney) – is expected to take place by July 2018.
Applications to the Chinese Trademark Office exceeded 5.7 million in 2017, up over 55% year on year – both record highs. According to local press outlet Xinhaunet, the majority of those applications were made online thanks to the office’s streamlined trademark process. In total, there are 14.92 million registered trademarks in the Chinese register.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to provide the basis for a global counterfeit and piracy watchlist. This will form part of the commission’s broader efforts to tackle IP-related crime across the world by identifying and monitoring the most problematic marketplaces and the actions taken by relevant authorities to fight counterfeiting and piracy. The consultation ends on March 31.
The Peruvian Trademark Office has revealed that it granted 34,213 trademark registrations during 2017. While the average number of trademark registrations approved in Peru over the last four years was around 26,000 per year, last year saw an increase of 27.3%. The office attributes this rise to its implementation of e-publications, which reduced the costs of filing a trademark application in the country.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health has launched a public consultation on proposals to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products. The consultation document reveals plans to regulate the promotional aspects of tobacco packaging (brand and product names would be displayed in a standard colour and font style), standardise tobacco packaging elements and increase the size of graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging from 50% to 75%.
Sam Gyimah has been appointed the United Kingdom’s minister for intellectual property as part of his role as a joint minister for higher education at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Education. He replaces Jo Johnson, who himself was the eighth person to hold the position in under nine years.
Trademark solutions provider Corsearch has become an independent company following the completion of its sale to Audax Private Equity. Tobias Hartmann, Corsearch’s president and CEO, commented: “We are taking an important step that will allow us to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities that exist in trademark, brand protection, and beyond… We know that our new status will help us to pave innovative new roads for our clients that will take our company to exciting new highs and allow us to bring new classes of product offerings to our industry.”
On February 5 2018 the US Senate confirmed the appointment of Andrei Iancu as the next undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the US Patent and Trademark Office. Reacting to the news, American Intellectual Property Law Association Executive Director Lisa K Jorgenson stated: “Our association appreciates the challenges Director Iancu will be facing during this critical time in the world of IP. We wish him much success and look forward to learning more about his plans regarding the office.” Iancu’s first public appearance was on February 9, when he attended a meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee.