OpSec acquires MarkMonitor’s BP business; Korea’s copycat crackdown; WeChat’s USTR rebuttal; Red Cross exclusive interview; plus 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.

MONDAY 4th November

In our latest opinion piece, we consider the news that Fosun Tourism Group is purchasing the Thomas Cook brand, recently valued at £836 million, in a deal worth £11 million – arguing that the company is making a canny acquisition. Read more here.

UK family-run fashion business Bentley Clothing has prevailed against Bentley Motors in a long-running trademark dispute. Talking to WTR, the owner of Bentley Clothing speaks of the stress that the case has caused. Read more here.

A Korean government crackdown on alleged copycat brands has seen two businesses have offices shut down and product seizures in shops operating overseas. WTR consulted Korean practitioners to ascertain how foreign brands need to adapt to stay safe of the campaign. Read more here.

TUESDAY 5th November

OpSec Security and Clarivate Analytics have announced an agreement which will see OpSec acquire MarkMonitor’s brand protection, anti-piracy and anti-fraud business. The announcement came on the day Clarivate reported its third-quarter results, the company noting that the move will allow it to streamline its IP solutions offerings. Read more here.

A recent study has brought to light new research revealing that trademarks with a performance-enhancing reputation have a positive placebo effect on consumers – the author telling WTR that the findings help challenge the assumption that consumers lose when they pay extra for a high-prestige brand. Read more here.

Tencent Holdings’ general counsel has submitted a rebuttal to criticism of the company’s brand protection activities on its WeChat platform, arguing that inclusion on the Office of the US Trade Representative’s next notorious markets list would be “unwarranted”. The document sheds light on how the company is approaching anti-counterfeiting efforts. Read more here.

In our Tuesday news digest, we looked at the launch of a new pay-to-use name watching service, US government support for the ‘.amazon’ gTLD application, Imperial Tobacco warning of a court challenge to Canada’s plain packaging regime, and much more. Read more here.

WEDNESDAY 6th November

Kraft Heinz and Unilever have distanced themselves from a pornography website on which they advertised following accusations that it hosted underage and illegal content. We reported on the fallout and considered the role that trademark teams could play in advertising decision making, if so empowered. Read more here.

In the latest instalment of our series on marketplaces across the world that reportedly engage in the trade of counterfeit goods, we headed to the US state of New York – identifying markets that need to be policed and how rights holders can approach enforcement. Read more here.

THURSDAY 7th November

The Red Cross emblem embodies many of the most important qualities of globally recognised brands, yet its separate societies work independently. We sat down with Allison Leader, director, legal counsel, who explained how the American Red Cross has led the pack. Read more here.

We unveiled the programme for the fourth annual Brand Strategy China event, which will provide attendees with the latest enforcement know-how and an opportunity to exchange knowledge with domestic and international brands. Read more here.

FRIDAY 8th November

Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit is not the first time that it has expressed interest in the field of wearable technologies and health tracking. In this week’s data analysis deep dive, we explored trademark trends in the industry. Read more here.

According to the US Department of Commerce, Nepal faces “serious challenges in preventing the sale of counterfeit goods”, with claims that enforcement of IP rights violations “is sporadic at best”. We asked a local expert for practical enforcement tips and insight into the marketplaces that need to be policed. Read more here.

A record award for counterfeit-related design infringement at the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, Drake announcing a new cannabis brand partnership, Facebook’s brand refresh, and much more featured in our Friday news digest. Read more here.

Plus, we published 10 Legal Update articles, examining key trademark decisions from across the globe:

  • Keep calm and CARRY ON ping-ponging between a hearing officer and an appointed person (United Kingdom). Read more here.
  • Criminal sentence handed down for possession of infringing FC Barcelona t-shirts (Spain). Read more here.
  • TREBOL case: notoriety as a defence in non-use cancellation actions (Peru). Read more here.
  • General Court attempts to solve Rubik’s Cube puzzle (European Union). Read more here.
  • Harvard Club of Singapore fails to prevent Harvard University from registering HARVARD marks (Singapore). Read more here.
  • High Court dismisses Glaxo’s passing-off claim for competitor’s use of the colour purple (United Kingdom). Read more here.
  • General Court confirms likelihood of confusion between figurative mark NUME and word mark NUMEDERM (European Union). Read more here.
  • Patent and Market Court confirms likelihood of confusion between JOHN WHITE and JTI’s JOHN SILVER for cigarettes (Sweden). Read more here.
  • ISIPO considers ‘legitimate interests’ condition under Article 30(a) of the Trademarks Act (Iceland). Read more here.
  • Are international trademark registrations valid? (Zambia) Read more here.

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