What brands need to know about the trademark activity of Michael Gleissner
- WTR has reported on the activities of Michael Gleissner since 2016
- The operations continue, with brand owners warned to be aware of it
- Exclusive infographic looks at what rights holders need to know
For the past three years, WTR has reported extensively on the massive trademark filing operation of multimillionaire businessman Michael Gleissner. For those not fully aware of this activity, we have put together an infographic that illustrates the potential impact for brands.
As well as the below infographic, we have also collated links to WTR articles that reveal the sheer scope of Gleissner’s filing activity since 2016 (listed below the infographic). They include multi-week exclusive investigations where we tracked and compiled thousands of trademark applications, domain names and company names into searchable databases. These resources can be used by rights holder to identify if their brands are at potential risk – and our reporting has subsequently been used as evidence in over 30 legal challenges across multiple jurisdictions.
If you are at this year's INTA Annual Meeting in Boston, we have the Gleissner Files database available to analyse or search – visit stand 918/920 in the exhibition hall to find out more.
View the infographic below (or click here to view it in full size), and below it is a list of the WTR articles referenced in chronological order:
Below are articles referenced in the infographic, including noting when they include searchable databases:
- August 2016: Our first report on the scope of Gleissner’s mysterious filing activity;
- April 2017: An insider related to one of Gleissner’s companies reveals an unusual business strategy involving the ‘farming’ of brands;
- May 2017: Faced with challenging Gleissner marks, a number of small business owners contacted WTR to criticise the UK Intellectual Property Office’s handling of the applications;
- August 2017: It was revealed that a website found imitating the EU Intellectual Property Office’s TMview platform was owned by Gleissner;
- November 2017: First major investigation, The Gleissner Files, which tracked over 5,000 domain names and 4,400 trademarks across 38 jurisdictions (includes searchable database);
- January 2018: More business owners contacted WTR and urge more action against Gleissner’s actions, including claims of legal costs not being paid;
- January 2018; Later that month, we revealed that Gleissner was involved in 5% of all live contested trademark cases in the United Kingdom, with one attorney saying he was “misusing the trademark registration system”;
- March 2018: Another major investigation, The Gleissner Oppositions, looking at trademark opposition in the UK involving the multi-millionaire, revealing he had scored wins against major brands;
- March 2018: A couple of weeks later, a business owner and their representing attorney offered detailed advice about challenging Gleissner trademarks;
- April 2018: In Canada, a rise in “suspicious” trademark applications was revealed to be nearly all related to the multimillionaire;
- July 2018: In an opposition decision at the UKIPO against the Trump organisation, Gleissner was slammed by the hearing officer for a “flagrant degree of cynicism”;
- January 2019: Another major investigation revealed that the filing operation continues, with one IP office telling us about the difficulty of managing the quantity of applications (includes two searchable databases);
- April 2019: In an opposition appeal, the UKIPO intervened and warned that Gleissner’s activity risks bringing the entire trademark system into disrepute;
- May 2019: It was revealed that Gleissner companies owe 37% of all unpaid costs at the UKIPO since 2018 in nearly 30 separate UK legal cases.
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