Africa & Middle East

AfrIPI officially launches but firms urged to raise awareness of ongoing activities

The Africa Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation Project officially launched during the Africa Regional IP Organisation Diplomatic Conference in late August.

AfrIPI officially launches but firms urged to raise awareness of ongoing activities
Online marketplaces in South Africa that should be on counterfeit enforcement radars
1 Sep 2021

Online marketplaces in South Africa that should be on counterfeit enforcement radars

In the latest instalment in our regular series on digital marketplaces that brand owners should monitor as part of their global anti-counterfeiting efforts, we head to South Africa.

Mariah Carey trademark dispute; Mars Wrigley signs deal with Brand Central; Nigeria counterfeits update – news digest
31 Aug 2021

Mariah Carey trademark dispute; Mars Wrigley signs deal with Brand Central; Nigeria counterfeits update – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at China seeking comments on a new judgement standard, the Ayla trademark dispute being revived by the Ninth Circuit, the Costa Rica IP office aligning with CP6, and more.

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20 Sep 2021

New precedential judgment: offering product for sale through ‘hidden link’ is presumed unlawful

In a dispute involving Facebook, adidas and an individual who managed a Facebook group promoting branded products, the Tel-Aviv District Court has held that the offering for sale of products through a ‘hidden link’ scheme was unlawful. Read more

16 Sep 2021

Understanding the singular regulations of opposition proceedings in Cape Verde

Cape Verde does not belong to regional or international treaties, allowing for local trademark protection. However, companies often fail to realise a local trademark is necessary and are forced to claim well-known or renowned status, which usually makes the opposition proceedings more complex and expensive. Read more

24 Aug 2021

MTN Nigeria named WTR’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year

Today we are pleased to announce that the Nigerian subsidiary of telecommunications giant MTN Group is the winner of WTR’s 2021 Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year Award. Read more

23 Aug 2021

Proposals to amend IP law in Rwanda – key points highlighted

According to a report in The New Times, a draft IP law is being considered by a parliamentary committee. This update highlights the main points of interest for IP owners in the country. Read more

Anti-Counterfeiting

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6 Aug 2021

PepsiCo sells Tropicana brand; Oatly loses infringement suit; Banjul Protocol effective in The Gambia – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at OpSec Security launching an analytics tool to neutralise bad actor networks, a Scottish knitwear company winning an EUIPO appeal, and much more. Read more

14 Jun 2021

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. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

Brand management

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20 Aug 2021

CIPO examination backlog worsens; INTA files amicus brief; UKIPO changes fee process – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at interim deputy director Coke Stewart departing the USPTO, Namibia joining TMclass, Beyond Meat looking to introduce non-dairy brands, and much more. Read more

2 Jul 2021

Coca-Cola wins TTAB claim; adidas and Thom Browne clash; EUIPO breaks trademark application record – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the USPTO eliminating the handwritten signature requirement, the Finnish IP office revamping its trademark web pages, and much more. Read more

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

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

Enforcement and Litigation

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29 Jul 2021

The Banjul Protocol, Schweppes and a first-of-its-kind decision in Uganda: Legal Updates from Africa and the Middle East you may have missed

WTR’s Legal Updates are written by a select panel of over 160 leading experts who analyse the latest trademark-related developments and decisions in more than 60 jurisdictions. Read more

20 Jul 2021

High Court issues landmark decision on industrial design infringement

This is first time that the High Court of Uganda has considered the issue of the infringement of industrial design rights. Read more

13 Jul 2021

Godrej case: re-examining the jurisdiction of the Commercial Court

Twenty-one years after the Kibo Match decision, in which the Commercial Court’s jurisdiction to entertain trademark disputes was questioned for the first time, the Commercial Court has re-affirmed its competence in Godrej v Target. Read more

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

Government/Policy

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30 Jul 2021

Priority claims and IP rights in Nigeria: urgent call for action

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property has not yet been fully implemented in Nigeria, which has triggered recent calls for action by stakeholders. Read more

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

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

Law Firms

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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

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

IP Offices

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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

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

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

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

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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27 Jul 2021

Reducing refusals in Egypt: practical strategies for rights holders

A number of brand owners have run into problems when filing applications through a subsidiary or associated company in Egypt. 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

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

Trademark law

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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

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

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