Africa & Middle East

Counterfeit hotspots in South Africa that brand owners must be aware of

In the latest instalment in our regular series on marketplaces around the globe that are reportedly notorious for being counterfeit havens, we head to South Africa.

Counterfeit hotspots in South Africa that brand owners must be aware of
Emerging threats and trends in online brand protection; share your insights
2 Jun 2021

Emerging threats and trends in online brand protection; share your insights

WTR is asking readers to share their experience of the online brand protection environment in the past 12 months, in an effort to identify how practice is evolving in response to emerging threats.

How covid-19 has hit anti-counterfeiting in Africa and what brand owners can do to fight back
27 May 2021

How covid-19 has hit anti-counterfeiting in Africa and what brand owners can do to fight back

The Long Read: The pandemic and related effects of lockdown have had a big impact on the continent’s IP ecosystem. Vanessa Ferguson at Von Seidels runs through some of the most significant upheavals and sets out what rights holders should do to safeguard their brands.

Latest

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16 Jun 2021

Israeli court decides that Schweppes drink imported from Ukraine does not infringe SCHWEPPES mark

An Israeli district court has held that, despite the different sources of origin of the goods, a Schweppes drink imported from Ukraine did not infringe the trademark SCHWEPPES, owned by an Israeli drinks manufacturer. Read more

14 Jun 2021

Court upholds Nivea Men passing-off claim

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Beiersdorf, finding that a shower gel product, Connie Men, passed off the long-established brand Nivea Men. The case is unusual in that one judge issued a robust dissenting judgment. Read more

10 Jun 2021

Amended trademark regulations come into force: key points highlighted

Uganda's Trademarks (Amendment) Regulations No 9/2021, which came into effect on 14 May 2021, has brought about some welcome changes to the provisions of the Trademark Regulations 2012. Read more

10 Jun 2021

Latest amendments to Uganda’s Trademark Regulations come into effect

Everything brand owners need to know about the recent changes to Ugandan trademark legislation. Read more

Anti-Counterfeiting

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14 May 2021

Qatar Airways decries VisitQatar.com; Donuts launches anti-phishing tool; INTA to hold free legal clinic – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at brands risking a boycott for poor ad placement, new plans for the Victoria’s Secret brand, and much more. Read more

11 May 2021

Procedures and strategies for anti-counterfeiting: Israel

It is possible, although not mandatory, for rights holders to file a complaint while recording their registered trademarks with Customs. Read more

7 May 2021

The Gambia joins Banjul Protocol; UGG dispute latest; Venezuelan IPO reduces fees – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Nextbite adding more celebrity virtual brands to its portfolio, Native American tribes including tribal insignias in the USPTO's database for free, and much more. Read more

30 Apr 2021

Walmart takes on Kanye West; EUIPO extends presence in Africa; Crayola teams up with Build-A-Bear – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the USPTO seeking innovation medal nominations, the McCarthy Institute heading to Arizona, delivery apps changing the branding game, and much more. Read more

Brand management

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24 May 2021

Amazon, Apple and Facebook teams top the list as world’s leading corporate trademark professionals revealed

Released today, the fifth edition of WTR 300: The World’s Leading Corporate Trademark Professionals identifies the individuals deemed to be the leading lights of the corporate trademark world. Read more

23 Apr 2021

Chile to allow non-traditional trademarks; Spanish government pledges IP commitment; GRILLOUMI dispute – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Chinese officials obtaining registered trademarks for the entire South China Sea, Dubai Customs recycling 134,000 counterfeit items, and much more. Read more

20 Apr 2021

European Super League may cost clubs €2.5 billion brand value; Cuthbert the Caterpillar returns; Barbie and Zara partner – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at academics and a university duking it out over trademark bullying accusations, Lids partnering with Designer Brands, and much more. Read more

18 Mar 2021

Estee Lauder and Walt Disney big performers as WTR Brand Elite stocks continue upward momentum

The WTR Brand Elite project tracks how a defined set of brand-focused companies with industry-leading trademark teams perform against stock market indices. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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4 May 2021

Covid, GIs, China, Philippines, UAE – five big takeaways from USTR’s 2021 Special 301

The Office of the US Trade Representative has published its 2021 Special 301 Report, the first to be released under the Biden administration. Read more

3 May 2021

Legislative changes and key decisions from the Middle East and Africa region analysed

Each quarter we will be running a series of pieces presenting recent Legal Updates that you may have missed. For our next instalment we turn our attention to the Middle East and Africa. Read more

8 Apr 2021

New company law and recognition of well-known marks - what you need to know

Although Nigeria’s trademark law does not protect unregistered well-known trademarks against similar or identical company names, the owners of such marks may be able to rely on Section 852(1)(d) of the new Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020. Read more

25 Mar 2021

Decaux v Decaux: High Court affirms legal protection of well-known marks

The Tanzanian High Court has confirmed, for the first time, that the legal protection afforded to well-known marks by far overrides the protection obtained through a mere registration under the Companies Act. Read more

Government/Policy

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8 Jun 2021

Push for the protection and promotion of GIs in Nigeria

Nigeria still relies on crude oil as its main export and economic driver. However, it is believed that, with a strategic IP legislation on GIs, non-oil exports could be better harnessed to achieve economic diversification. Read more

17 May 2021

The Gambia accedes to the Banjul Protocol – key points and concerns

Just under a year since the accession of Mozambique, The Gambia has also acceded to the Banjul Protocol, bringing the total membership up to 12 countries. However, it is currently doubtful whether ARIPO registrations would be enforceable in the country. Read more

25 Mar 2021

Staffing concerns and digital downgrades – Nigerian IP Office faces challenges in modernisation effort

Talking to WTR, a local trademark expert claims the Nigerian IP Office’s recently-launched new website has had key features removed and that ongoing staffing problems are impacting the registry’s administrative duties. Read more

2 Mar 2021

IP Hall of Fame nominations open; USPTO reflects on future of designs; Philip Morris prevails in Korea – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Mr Potato Head going gender neutral, Beyond Meat signing new licensing deals, Pink Lady owner defending its trademark, and much more Read more

Law Firms

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26 Jan 2021

New ARIPO director ‘vision for future’; AAFA counterfeit liability call; Boohoo buys Debenhams – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Nike taking a kick at counterfeit footwear manufacturers, USPTO reopening a comment period on state sovereign immunity, ICANN inviting leadership applications, and much more. Read more

29 Dec 2020

Trademarks during covid: exclusive insights from law firm experts in Africa

WTR presents insights on how the events of 2020 shaped the trademark practice of Karien Postma and Kay Rickelman at pan-African law firm Spoor & Fisher. Read more

22 Dec 2020

Trademarks during the year of covid: exclusive insights from law firm experts in England and Israel

WTR presents exclusive insights on how the events of 2020 shaped the trademark practice of Chris McLeod from Elkington and Fife and Ronit Barzik-Soffer from Reinhold Cohn Group. Read more

14 Dec 2020

Who are the innovators of the trademark industry? Nominate and have your say

WTR is seeking nominations to recognise the innovators in the trademark industry as part of a new project – and it will only take a couple of minutes to do so. Read more

IP Offices

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29 Mar 2021

Covid-19’s impact and amended Trademark Regulations - what you need to know

This update provides a brief overview of the effects of the covid-19 pandemic in Uganda and gives a peek into the recently amended Trademark (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Read more

24 Mar 2021

Renewal of overdue trademarks in Kenya - an update

As part of the Kenya Industrial Property Institute’s initiative to rid its Trademarks Register of all unwanted registrations, three special journals containing trademarks that were not timeously renewed have now been published. Read more

14 Jan 2021

The digitalisation of trademark records in Nigeria: urgent need for action

While an online filing platform was introduced at the Trademark Registry in 2012, all other stages of processing applications are still conducted manually - and the problems linked to these manual processes only became more pronounced during the recent lockdown. Read more

4 Jan 2021

Navigating the Kenya trademark landscape: what the future holds after recent developments

The Intellectual Property Bill 2020 is only the latest in a series of developments that rights holders need to know about when building their brands in Kenya. Read more

Online

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30 Nov 2020

Ranked: the IP offices with the most accessible web platforms

New data from WTR identifies the national IP offices with websites that are most accessible for users, including those with vision or motor impairment. Read more

19 Nov 2020

Inclusion in the IP profession; removing formalities requirements; UKIPO on Brexit – INTA 2020 update

As the INTA 2020 Annual Meeting draws to a close, WTR presents observations from the numerous sessions that have taken place over the past few days. Read more

18 Nov 2020

The verdict on virtual exhibits at the 2020 INTA Annual Meeting

With the 2020 INTA Annual Meeting in full swing, WTR speaks with exhibitors at the virtual event to see how their experience compares with previous years and what changes they would like to see at future digital conferences. Read more

9 Oct 2020

Dispelling counterfeit myths, prioritising budgets, navigating political conflicts – WTR Connect week one takeaways

We present highlights and learnings from the first week of WTR Connect, including how to prioritise enforcement budgets, fight fakes on Weixin and navigate brands through turbulent political times. Read more

Portfolio Management

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16 Mar 2021

Registration of HILDA device mark limited due to conflict with well-known BARILLA mark

In mixed news for Italian pasta manufacturer Barilla, the Israel Trademark Office has found that the stylised mark HILDA was confusingly similar to the well-known BARILLA mark, but only if used in the same red-and-white colour combination. Read more

4 Mar 2021

Madagascar: the air of mystery extends to trademarks

Obtaining a trademark registration can be very difficult and expensive in Madagascar, as demonstrated by a recent case. Read more

2 Mar 2021

Nigeria’s Trademark Opposition Tribunal finally set in motion

The long-awaited Trademark Opposition Tribunal - which was announced as far back as June 2019 by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment - has finally been commissioned. Read more

27 Nov 2020

If it looks like a whisky, then it must be a whisky

This judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa should reassure traders in the alcoholic beverages market of the strong protection afforded to them in instances of flagrant unlawful competition. Read more

Trademark law

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25 Nov 2020

The two laws set to shake up the Kenyan IP system in 2021

The latest legislative reforms in a series of ongoing improvements to the national IP regime offer welcome news for rights holders in Kenya. Read more

15 Oct 2020

Innovation at WIPO: spotlight on alternative dispute resolution at IP offices

An exclusive guest post on how WIPO has been working with global IP offices to promote the advantages of alternative dispute resolution services. Read more

23 Sep 2020

Money saving tips, Asia top filers, UDRP review: WTR’s autumn edition now available

In a bumper edition we present budget management tips, reveal the top law firm and corporate filers in key jurisdictions across Asia, analyse the findings of our survey on non-legal trademark services, and much more. Read more

21 Jul 2020

“The death of trademark” – study finds that AI could adversely affect brand usage

A new research paper has looked at how improvements in AI could affect trademark doctrine – with the academic behind the study claiming that “trademarks may become less important in the future”. Read more