The trademark stories that shaped 2021

Last year was a busy one on the WTR platform. As well as launching quarterly, in-depth Special Reports, we continued our Trademark Elite panels survey project, which assembles the views of industry leaders into a quarterly report that provides insight into trends and outlooks. Internal data produced by our parent company Law Business Research shows that during the year we posted 1,627 pieces of content, with readers coming from every corner of the world. The coming 12 months promises to be just as busy (stay tuned for some big announcements), but we kick off the New Year with a list of the most-read pieces in 2021.

Below we present the top five editorial pieces from each month in descending order of reads.


  1. Trump’s Patriot Party: prior trademarks could be “significant hurdle” to new political venture
  2. Proud Boys™ – far-right group's trademark could face cancellation, legal experts claim
  3. Apple wrestles ‘most valuable brand’ crown from Amazon as diversification drives growth
  4. Revealed: Andrei Iancu's email to USPTO staff on the day the US Capitol was stormed
  5. Trademark committee created to help USPTO combat fraudulent applications without burdening domestic filers


  1. PROUD BOYS trademark owner surrenders registration weeks after Capitol riot
  2. Clubhouse spat as $1 billion social network labelled a “bully” over app takedowns
  3. Trademark Terminal: concern grows over mysterious low-cost trademark filing entities
  4. USPTO users targeted in massive fraud and money laundering case in Pakistan
  5. INTA announces 2021 Annual Meeting date, with hybrid event in Houston planned


  1. “I will never give up” – Filipino small business owner on legal battle with Duke and Duchess of Sussex
  2. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in bitter Archewell trademark dispute in Philippines
  3. USPTO set to introduce ID verification requirement to fight fraud and protect trademark register
  4. Gleissner trademark auction to go ahead: brand owners given chance to buy millionaire's Latvian marks
  5. Alibaba releases 2020 IP protection statistics as engagement with anti-counterfeiting alliance grows


  1. Privacy alarm as applicant passport details published by China National Intellectual Property Administration
  2. INTA Annual Meeting goes virtual as concerns over delegate safety and company travel restrictions continue
  3. European Super League: a competition based on brand, not on-field success
  4. We have a problem – influencers endorsing counterfeits (op-ed)
  5. There’s no day like World IP Day to prove US innovation is a priority: op-ed


  1. “The death knell for his portfolio” – Banksy loses another trademark in bitter IP dispute
  2. FC Barcelona and Man Utd are brand champions – the football clubs and players with the largest trademark portfolios revealed
  3. “Money flushed down the toilet” – customers decry low-cost agency Trademark Plus
  4. Innovation at the Ecuador Institute of IP: spotlight on non-core tools and services
  5. Fraud concern as hundreds of applicant passport numbers discoverable online, including TMview


  1. “National exhaustion is off the agenda” – reaction as UK government opens consultation on post-Brexit regime
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub is a reminder of the power of personality and how sponsor-player relationships are changing for good
  3. Someone needs to step up to tackle spurious trademark filing platforms, but who will take the initiative?
  4. “This is a huge deal” – Filipino brand owner speaks out after securing trademark linked to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  5. “This is a case about intention”: Banksy’s trademark troubles continue as EUIPO invalidates four more marks


  1. Scammed out of $150,000: allegations of fraud, threats and USPTO impersonation
  2. “An unwanted milestone” – alarm as USPTO backlog approaches 1 million trademarks
  3. “A positive step towards efficiency” – Delhi High Court creates dedicated IP Division
  4. “Set an example for other developing nations” – new call for plain packaging in India
  5. Why the US Trademark Modernisation Act is a game changer for IP protection


  1. Brand Lionel Messi: the IP implications of the footballer’s FC Barcelona departure
  2. Raise a glass to Treasury Wine Estates: WTR’s 2021 Asia-Pacific Team of the Year
  3. USPTO seeks federal trademark registration to help tackle “growing problem” of filing scams
  4. LEGO Group named WTR’s Latin America Team of the Year
  5. MTN Nigeria named WTR’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year


  1. Marvel always possessed the ‘House of Ideas’, but it had to learn how to unleash its IP
  2. Why Washington Football Team should stick with temporary name
  3. “A quantum leap forward for Fiji brand protection” – praise for first new Trademarks Act in 90 years
  4. Provenance and heritage in the European Union: why we should preserve products of origin (guest op-ed)
  5. Trademark Terminal pauses filing operation, as evidence suggests USPTO cracks down


  1. President Biden announces pick for next USPTO director; trademark policy to take backseat in hearings
  2. US trademark filing activity is on the decline: is it indicative of a dwindling economy?
  3. A danger to millions: why counterfeiting should be included among crimes against humanity
  4. Amazon reaches settlement with influencers, will donate payments to INTA
  5. A “spectacular outcome” for H&M as Dutch Supreme Court rules in decades-long dispute with adidas


  1. Philippines businessman plans Archewell launch in US, vows to block Duke and Duchess of Sussex
  2. From Singapore to Washington DC: INTA announces 2022 Annual Meeting plans
  3. “Disgusting fraud” – USPTO targets Trademark Terminal operator Abtach with scathing show-cause order
  4. “Enormous momentum” – global spread of plain packaging revealed in new report
  5. ‘Banksy of trademarks’ retires: after numerous high-profile disputes, vows no more filings


  1. USPTO issues advice to fraud victims with suspended trademark applications
  2. Dealing with the backlog: USPTO trademark commissioner expands on application surge
  3. A digital revolution in Uganda: trademark e-filing launches following EUIPO cooperation
  4. And Just Like That and Peloton: from legal questions to genius marketing move
  5. Corsearch investigates ‘suspicious activity’; some services taken offline as precautionary measure

As we head into 2022, I’d just like to send a heartfelt thanks to all our subscribers for their support and trust. Throughout 2022 we will do all we can to continue to justify it by focusing on presenting the analysis, data, and insight that truly matters to brand professionals.

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