Amazon, Brexit, Christian Louboutin, Gleissner, WHOIS: our 2018 most-read list

With the year drawing to a close, and the WTR Daily email service about to take a short break, it’s time to take a look back at the stories which received the most reads over the past 12 months. Our top 20 list serves as a reminder of the big challenges trademark counsel faced in 2018. In a number of instances they will continue to cause headaches in 2019 too.

The news that Amazon had overtaken both Apple and Google to sit atop of the latest version of the Brand Finance Global 500 quickly established itself as our most read story of 2018. Amazon’s brand value rise was attributed to a number of factors but its diversified approach to both online and bricks and mortar offerings was identified as setting it up for sustained success (David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commenting: “The strength and value of the Amazon brand gives it stakeholder permission to extend relentlessly into new sectors and geographies. All evidence suggests that the amazing Amazon brand is going to continue growing indefinitely and exponentially”).

Two of the biggest challenges of 2018 featured prominently in the top 20 list – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its impact on rights holders’ access to WHOIS data, and Brexit. The activities of serial trademark filer Michael Gleissner also continued to be of interest to trademark owners, the entrepreneur’s involvement in 5% of all live contested trademark cases in the United Kingdom grabbing our readers’ attention. Elsewhere, coverage of a dispute involving football club Dulwich Hamlet, Christian Louboutin’s red soles victory and the spat between LegalForce and other online filing engines proved popular.

Some of these big issues (I’m talking about you Brexit, GDPR and WHOIS) will continue to be keenly followed long into 2019. However, as another busy year in the trademark world nears an end, it is time for the WTR Daily email service to take a short break, with full service resuming on January 2. In the meantime, where big stories break we will cover them. We also have a series of pieces that will be published over the holiday season – so do keep coming back to the online platform. For now, though, it seems like a natural time to wish all our readers a happy festive period.

The 20 most-read WTR blogs published in 2018 (as of 7 December) were:

  1. Amazon overtakes Apple and Google to be named world’s most valuable brand
  2. Sound the alarm bells: WHOIS blackout “likely” following GDPR enforcement date in May
  3. K-pop superstars T-ara vow to fight for rights to their name; experts predict bitter legal battle ahead
  4. Amazon under fire for banning sale of Google Chromecast and “fulfilling” sales of fake and copycat streaming devices
  5. ICANN releases new WHOIS specification plan as GDPR countdown nears zero
  6. A critical test for ICANN: ensuring GDPR compliance while preserving access to WHOIS
  7. "Infamous troll" Michael Gleissner involved in 5% of all live contested trademark cases in United Kingdom
  8. “We’re running out of good trademarks” – groundbreaking study reveals 81% of common words are registered marks
  9. WTR Industry Awards 2018: winning trademark teams and individuals announced
  10. Diesel’s ‘Go with the Fake’ campaign goes viral; does it undermine the value of authentic products?
  11. “There’s a new sheriff in town”: LegalForce founder reveals motivation behind lawsuits against competitors
  12. Christian Louboutin declares red soles victory as European court hands down long-awaited decision
  13. Is the Brexit fog lifting? UKIPO confirms plan for “free” conversion of EU trademarks to UK register
  14. Massive British American Tobacco deal sets new record and demonstrates the potent power of brands
  15. IP firm announces Dublin office due to “uncertainty of Brexit” as negotiations on intellectual property begin
  16. “A registration doesn’t necessarily trump earlier use”: takeaways from Dulwich Hamlet’s trademark dispute
  17. The world’s leading corporate trademark professionals revealed
  18. “We might not be needed anymore”: research reveals law firm fears for the future
  19. More information about Gleissner trademark activity emerges as business owner voices frustration
  20. “WHOIS as we know it could go dark”: assessing ICANN’s proposed GDPR compliance models

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