The Canadian Trademarks Office has released a first draft of proposed regulations to support new trademark legislation in the country. These establish a framework for blending common regulations under the Madrid Agreement with existing Canadian regulations, in an effort to give equal treatment to Madrid Protocol and domestic applications.

Cayman Islands

New IP laws entered into effect in the Cayman Islands on August 1 2017, including the Trademarks Law 2016 and the Trademarks Regulations 2017. This system introduces local registration – previously mark owners could only obtain local rights based on an extension of either a UK (including via the Madrid system) or an EU trademark. The Cayman Islands will now institute formal and substantive examination and opposition procedures.


The recently introduced Measures for Oral Hearing for Trademark Review Cases – issued by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China – provide detailed requirements and procedures for conducting oral hearings during trademark review cases handled by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB). Among the 21 articles are measures providing that the TRAB may conduct oral hearings at the request of parties or based on its own understanding of the facts; the deadline for filing an application for an oral hearing is 30 days after the applicant receives a copy of the opponent’s defensive arguments.


CPA Global has announced that it is investing in Korean IP services provider Markpro, which provides trademark and patent renewal services and access to IP software, and focuses primarily on the management of portfolios owned by Korean and Chinese companies. The specific terms of the investment have not been disclosed.


The Trademarks Registry of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) has announced that all new trademark applications filed at the OAPI Registry must conform with the latest (11th) edition of the Nice Classification system on the registration of trademarks.


The regulations for Legislative Decree 1075 – which simplifies administrative procedures before the National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property – have now been approved. The provisions state that where a trademark application does not contain the requirements set out in Article 52 of the law, the Documentary Processing Unit should ask the applicant to fulfil these within 60 business days and withhold a file number or filing date until this is done. If the applicant fails to meet the requirements by this deadline the application shall be deemed not filed.

United States

The number of US trademark litigation suits filed in 2016 was 3,587 – the lowest since 2001. Data from Lex Machina suggests that as a result of this, the Central District of California and the Southern District of New York – the courts with the most trademark cases over the past decade – registered 10-year lows in such matters. The top five courts for trademark actions last year were the Central District of California (14% of overall trademark cases), the Southern District of Florida (10%), the Northern District of Illinois (7%), the Southern District of New York (7%) and the Northern District of California (4%).

United States

A new study by academics at George Washington University has benchmarked the most common innovation proxies, concluding that the size of a company’s trademark portfolio is a more consistent indicator of innovation than patent count or R&D expenditure. It observes: “Trademarks represent an innovation measure much less covered in [other IP studies] literature, yet they have potential to capture innovation distinct from patents. [The results show that] trademarks are positively and significantly associated with innovation.”

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