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

We call for further development of our laws and regulations, stricter law enforcement and harsher punishments to strengthen the efforts to combat counterfeiting. Counterfeiters are our arch-enemy and we will stop at nothing to fight them. The criminalisation of drunk driving once delivered a clear message to society that violators will have to face serious consequences for their actions. Such a message served as a deterrent. We hope our society can reach a consensus to collectively increase the resources and efforts towards combating counterfeiting to no lesser extent than was done with drunk driving. To stamp out counterfeiting in China, all of us should play our part.

An Alibaba statement calls on China to introduce tougher counterfeiting laws and penalties (February 27 2017)

As it stands, all the trademarks that have so far been filed through the system are yet to be processed because of the absence of the implementing regulations to guide the department on what needs to be done. The promulgation of these regulations is, therefore, an issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency to give the department the relevant powers and directions on how to handle the trademark applications coming through the Madrid System.

The Chronicle reports the acknowledgement of Zimbabwe’s vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, that “the full operationalisation of the Madrid Protocol has been hampered by the absence of implementing regulations” (March 4 2017)

We should not advertise, propagate or encourage the unnecessary ingestion of calories. There should be some way of regulating the desire to get more calories… Colourful wrapping of high-energy foods of course makes you buy more and, once you have it in your fridge, it’s in front of you every time you open the fridge and ultimately you’re going to eat it – and eat too much.

Wolfram Schultz, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and co-winner of the Lundbeck Foundation’s Brain Prize, makes the case for plain packaging for high-calorie foods (March 6 2017)

We observe a troubling tendency for rights protection mechanisms at ICANN to disregard the delicate balance that domestic trademark law strikes between the business interests of trademark owners and the free expression rights of their competitors and the general public. We are concerned that the expansive protections recently demanded by trademark owners are inconsistent with basic propositions of trademark law.

A letter, co-signed by 21 law professors and practitioners, hits out at the “expansive protections” demanded by trademark owners in the expanded online environment (March 10 2017)

Brian Winterfeldt

The rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) were developed to incorporate existing trademark legal norms. The RPMs are a limited set of remedies and do not create any new standalone rights for trademark owners. In fact, the RPMs have been quite costly for trademark owners to use and the remedies have not adequately prevented ongoing cybersquatting, fraud and abuse in the new gTLDs. Regardless, the RPMs trademark owners rely upon, including the TMCH and the sunrise period, are absolutely essential to protect trademark owners’ key marks before the harm occurs.

Brian J Winterfeldt, co-head of the global brand management and internet practice at Mayer Brown, responds to the letter (March 13 2017)

Oran Arif

We have brand books for all our products and it is a marketing-led product. That is what we use to build our knowledge of the brands, but it is also an opportunity to get involved in the brand’s evolution. Rather than a separate ‘dos and don’ts’ legal document, if you have a brand document that encompasses everything, when it goes to local teams they have all the information they need.

Speaking at the Managing the Trademark Asset Lifecycle Europe (MTAL) conference in Munich, Oran Arif, in-house solicitor, marketing properties, Mars Incorporated, explains how the legal and marketing teams collaborate to ensure brand consistency (March 23 2017)

Sometimes a brand will be sold for a few thousand euros as the company didn’t recognise the value or have a system in place that provides the information you need to value it. It is the role of the IP specialist to build this system.

Speaking at MTAL, Maximim Gourcy, legal IP manager in the plastics division at DS Smith, argues that trademark counsel stand at the epicentre of the financial development of brands, but need to create datasets to assist financial colleagues (March 23 2017)

Overall, we see that support for IP rights is high among EU citizens, but we also see that more needs to be done to help young people in particular understand the importance of IP to our economy and society.

The EU Intellectual Property Office executive director, António Campinos, reflects on research showing that while 97% of EU citizens agree that it is important that IP rights are respected, 15% of those aged between 15 and 24 admit to deliberately buying fakes (March 24 2017)

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