Market Insight

Updates from an international team of correspondents who report on recent developments in trademark law and practice in their home jurisdictions, as well as strategic issues and those relating to brand protection, portfolio management and value creation.

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USA

13 JANUARY 2022

Nike and Converse reach settlement with former employee in custom-shoe case

An ex-Nike employee has reached a settlement with the shoe giant over his practice of customising genuine branded shoes to produce trademark-melding creations. Intriguingly, the proposed judgment indicates that the defendant may continue his customisation services – although only pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

16 DECEMBER 2021

Federal Circuit reverses TTAB decision on MONEY MART cancellation

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held that a registrant does not have priority to a specific service that it was second to offer, simply because it was the first to offer a different specific service that is a species of a genus that covers both specific services.

09 DECEMBER 2021

Novel cryptocurrency ‘JRR Token’ ruled to be infringing

An attempted fantasy parody defence of a domain name associated with a cryptocurrency coin clearly derivative of The Lord of the Rings series showcases why defences based on parody are exceedingly weak in this commercial context and why would-be users of others’ marks should seek licensing arrangements rather than simply use and hope for the best.

02 DECEMBER 2021

USPTO finally implements the Trademark Modernisation Act

This long-awaited legislation will provide a more efficient, less expensive system for clearing out fraudulent registrations within the trademark database, promoting transparency and opportunity for legitimate businesses looking to protect their brand.

11 NOVEMBER 2021

Established US engineering firm loses out in bizarre cybersquatting case

A venerable Minnesota company has been left without remedy after a finding upheld the rights of a Chinese resident to operate a pornography website under its company name. The case emphasises why changes to the UDRP cannot come soon enough.

04 NOVEMBER 2021

TTAB ponder trademarks that reference fictional places

The TTAB has reversed the USPTO’s refusal to register the word mark REPUBLIC OF LONDON, finding that it was not “primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive” of the identified items – ‘the Republic of London’ not being an actual location.

21 OCTOBER 2021

Brand issues set to take centre stage at ICANN 72 meeting

ICANN’s 2021 Annual Meeting is due to take place completely online and will cover topics from the intersection between domain names and brands, and how should ICANN hold future gatherings.

14 OCTOBER 2021

New decision analyses GDPR obligations in TTAB discovery proceedings

A recent decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on standard protective order modification demonstrates the fine line between data disclosure and data confidentiality, as well as how far the privacy provisions of the EU GDPR can apply to US proceedings.

07 OCTOBER 2021

Anticipation mounts as clock ticks down to release of Trademark Modernisation Act rules

With just a month to go before the final rules for the Trademark Modernisation Act are published, there is much industry focus on the new regime – including a panel discussion featuring big names from the USPTO.

30 SEPTEMBER 2021

Third Circuit vacates $10.6 million trademark infringement award

A recent opinion from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals shines a welcome spotlight on several standards to be applied by trial courts, including disgorgement of profits and laches defences in trademark infringement cases.

23 SEPTEMBER 2021

Texas social media bill may speed resolution of trademark complaints

A bill due to take effect in December could have a big impact on online trademark enforcement by introducing a 48-hour response time for complaints relating to content posted by users who reside in, do business in, or share or receive content on a social media platform in the state of Texas.

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