Trademark-related quotes, opinions and observations from around the globe.

Etienne Sanz de Acedo

It is important for consumers to know the value of purchasing authentic goods and to understand that making informed purchasing decisions is essential to protect public safety… From cosmetics to car parts to vitamins, almost every product you can think of can be counterfeited. Counterfeit products are not just poorly made, they can be dangerous, posing negative economic, health, and safety effects on individuals and society.

International Trademark Association CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo accentuates the positives of the Power of Trademarks exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum in Virginia (March 1 2018)

A year from now all relevant IP professionals in firms and corporates will be aware of how blockchain can be used and will trust the technology enough to trust the companies that are building on the technology.

Dominik Thor, founder of the IPCHAIN Database, argues that the IP industry is on the cusp of a blockchain revolution (March 7 2018)

I applaud the USPTO for giving stakeholders an avenue to help fight fraudulent trademark applications. It is challenging enough for entrepreneurs and others to find a trademark to use for their business, without having the register cluttered with… false claims of use.

Allison Strickland Ricketts, a partner at Fross Zelnick, welcomes the US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) launch of a pilot programme to help combat improper specimens on trademark applications, with a dedicated email address ([email protected]) established for reporting fake evidence (March 7 2018)

Nehal Madhani

One option would be to modify the trademark application to require the applicant to identify the type of specimen being submitted from a preset list… This information, combined with any metadata, could help the examiner assess the authenticity of potentially improper specimens.

Nehal Madhani, CEO of AltLegal, suggests another feature the USPTO could consider in a bid to combat fake specimens (March 7 2018)

The report highlights what business has long experienced – that FTZs are routinely exploited to facilitate trade in counterfeit and pirated products, as well as smuggling and money laundering. We encourage the OECD to continue taking a leadership role in addressing transparency in FTZs, strengthening cooperation with stakeholders and encouraging the development of good practices to reduce zone vulnerabilities to illicit trade.

Jeffrey Hardy, director general of the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, reflects on a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EU Intellectual Property Office, which found that free trade zones foster the trade in counterfeits (March 15 2018)

Because of the fame of Doctor Who’s travelling time machine, the TARDIS, that – as everyone knows – is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, we’ve seen people try and adopt that term to describe their own products (for example where they think their products are small but powerful): We are a long way from TARDIS becoming generic, but we need to be careful when people want to use the term to describe a particular quality of goods.

Diane Hamer, head of business and legal affairs at BBC Worldwide, explains one of the challenges of safeguarding the Doctor Who brand (March 21 2018)

The US Patent and Trademark Office and State Bar associations should saddle LegalZoom and other non-lawyer interlopers with requirements to abide by the same ethical and consumer-safeguard rules that they force licensed lawyers to follow. Or, alternatively, the federal court should find LegalZoom guilty of anti-trust behavior, restraint of trade, unfair business practices and the unauthorized practice of law.

LegalForce founder Raj Abhyanker’s blog piece explaining why he has initiated legal action against LegalZoom alleging that its non-attorney trademark filing service regularly requires its non-attorney specialists to “provide unlawful and sometimes faulty legal advice” (March 22 2018)

LegalZoom follows all legal requirements and applicable ethical regulations in conducting its business. Not surprisingly, LegalForce has, one by one, now dismissed seven of the nine defendants that made up its tinfoil hat conspiracy. We are confident the final two will fall away soon. It’s frustrating that one lawyer with an axe to grind can launch a frivolous lawsuit that will require LegalZoom to incur significant defense costs.

Kenneth Friedman, vice president, legal and government affairs and managing counsel for LegalZoom, hits back over Abhyanker’s allegations (March 23 2018)

The restructuring not only strengthens the creation, protection, and application of intellectual property, it also becomes a signal for China to speed up its march towards being an innovative country.

Spring Chang and Bohan Li of Chang Tsi & Partners reflect on the announcement that China’s patent and trademark offices will merge (April 3 2018)

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