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

Jack Ma

Counterfeiting is a problem that challenges all forms of distribution, whether in e-commerce or offline retail. We will continue to be relentless in our long-term commitment to protect both consumers and intellectual property rights owners, and we call on all companies in our industry to join our fight against bad actors.

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks after the company announced the appointment of Matthew Bassiur as head of global intellectual property enforcement (December 21 2015)

Most of the reactions have seemed opportunistic: headlines have become fodder for clickbait and analysis has been weak at best. Most people writing and commenting on the case have little knowledge of the history of the Lanham Act or the details of my case. For most, they wanted to compare it to the most familiar case to them, the Redskins. Our win doesn’t guarantee victory for the NFL team. It certainly may influence it; but even if it does, it is an important legal decision in its own right. The media should focus on what matters most: that another law which has been justifying the denial of rights based on race has been revoked, trademark owners are able to secure better protection for their marks and the market (rather than government) gets more control.

Simon Tam, founder of Asian-American rock band The Slants, comments on the appeal court victory in the fight to obtain a trademark registration for THE SLANTS (January 6 2016) (For more coverage and reaction, see "Federal Circuit finds disparaging marks registrable – analysis and reaction".)

Bacardi is shocked and very concerned by this unprecedented action taken by the United States government. In essence, this administration has reversed long-standing US and international public policy and law that protects against the recognition or acceptance of confiscatory actions of foreign governments… Bacardi has and will continue to pursue all the necessary legal actions to defend its position surrounding the legitimacy of Bacardi’s rights and ownership of HAVANA CLUB rum. As we have maintained all along, Bacardi is the legitimate owner of the brand.

Bacardi issues a statement in response to the news that Cubaexport had received a specific licence from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) allowing it to renew the HAVANA CLUB trademark registration in the United States (January 15 2016)

When we were unable to renew the trademark in 2006, the action was stayed. So that lawsuit is expected to resume in the coming weeks or months. We have notified the court of the change in status of the trademark and therefore the case goes back to the US courts (where we feel it rightly belongs), and they will decide it on its merits. We think that is the right outcome – it doesn’t favour one party over another and the US courts are an equitable forum that Bacardi has chosen to sue us in front of. We are back to where we were 10 years ago.

Ian FitzSimons, general counsel of Pernod Ricard, tells World Trademark Review that the decision means the company’s dispute with Bacardi over the HAVANA CLUB mark will resume with an action at the US Federal District Court in Washington that was stayed in 2006 when OFAC had prevented Cubaexport from renewing the mark (January 16 2016)

All EU agencies and bodies incorporate ‘’ into their web addresses, hence OHIM’s current main web address is ‘’. EUIPO’s web address will follow the same pattern – ‘’. However, in order to ensure that our users are as protected as possible against fraud, we have already secured ownership of a series of names across a number of EU languages in TLDs and ccTLDs, where appropriate. Unfortunately, it has not been possible for the Office to acquire every single possible name in every single possible combination, as some were registered by third parties several years ago. The Office maintains a policy of constant vigilance of these sites, to ensure that they do not engage in activity that could mislead our users

A spokesperson for the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market expands on its preparations for the name change to the EU Intellectual Property Office (January 15 2016)

Ronald van Tui

During my presidential term, I look forward to leading an INTA taskforce that will determine how best the association can support in-house trademark practitioners working for existing and prospective INTA member organisations. The in-house trademark practitioners’ job has changed significantly over recent years; it is more demanding today than it was a decade ago. The goal of the taskforce is to determine how best INTA can support its regular members so that they are effective in their jobs and careers and, at the same time, are able to enjoy their participation in INTA and make a meaningful contribution to the association and global trademark community.

Ronald van Tuij, IP trademarks director at JT International, looks ahead after being voted in as the 2016 president of the International Trademark Association (January 20 2016)

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