United States of America

“We have to figure out how to recruit more lawyers of colour”: what US practices can do to better support minority-owned businesses

A huge proportion of Black business owners are missing out on the vital tools they need to launch themselves into the market – reduced rates and pro bono advice are one way to help, but do they go far enough?

“We have to figure out how to recruit more lawyers of colour”: what US practices can do to better support minority-owned businesses
Fighting the enemy within: how to lessen the risk of internal counterfeiting
17 Sep 2020

Fighting the enemy within: how to lessen the risk of internal counterfeiting

Ex-employees from both Louis Vuitton and Hermès have been put on trial in recent weeks for their complicity in counterfeit handbag rings.

Podcasting’s “breakout year” provides an opportunity for the trademark industry
16 Sep 2020

Podcasting’s “breakout year” provides an opportunity for the trademark industry

As acquisitions and exclusivity deals become an increasingly common sight in the podcast industry, the need for strong brands is paramount – and that’s where trademark professionals can help.

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16 Sep 2020

As US trademark application levels bounce back stronger, litigation filings continue to plummet

Andrei Iancu, director of the USPTO, has identified a V-shaped recovery in trademark applications after a drop earlier this year. However, litigation filings are continuing their downward spiral. Read more

16 Sep 2020

CBP seizure of ‘counterfeit’ AirPods shows the value of configuration marks

Despite OnePlus’s products being ostensibly genuine products, CBP would not release them, showing the potential value of registering configuration marks. Read more

15 Sep 2020

Apple seizure controversy; USPTO launches innovation council; McDonald’s versus Hungry Jack’s – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a counterfeit crackdown in Guangzhou, Oracle seemingly prevailing in bid for TikTok, branded product labels being used to spread awareness of social causes, and much more. Read more

11 Sep 2020

President Trump may have reduced the United States’ soft power, but the nation’s brands are holding the fort

Professor Joseph Nye, the originator of the ‘soft power’ concept, explains how Trump's presidency has affected the United States' position. Read more

Anti-Counterfeiting

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8 Sep 2020

Trump trademark approved in Argentina; Beijing IP Court update; Gucci ‘fake not’ collection – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at outrage over a WWE order about names and likenesses, Bumble announcing plans to go public, how counterfeiting remains a problem on Taobao, and much more. Read more

4 Sep 2020

The TikTok brand has gone global, which is a great feat, but now it faces a reckoning in the US

The video-sharing app is a highly attractive brand for its resonance with the Gen-Z demographic, but its relationship with China and status as a social media giant will create risks for whoever takes it on. Read more

28 Aug 2020

Aggressive enforcement and broad filings: exclusive interview with Discovery’s in-house counsel

In an in-depth interview, David Modzeleski explains how Discovery Inc’s IP strategy is just as creative as the company’s TV show creation teams. Read more

20 Aug 2020

Going toe to toe with Crocs’s copycat market: exclusive interview with Heike Bhonsle

WTR sits down with Bhonsle to discuss how she keeps 'love them or hate them' brand Crocs's counterfeit and prosecution needs in step. Read more

Brand management

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10 Sep 2020

What Facebook’s political ad policy change tells us about brand-led action, and whether it can be resisted

While the rules are not as radical as many pressure groups hoped for, there are questions as to whether the move is self-interest driven or 'capitulating'. Read more

8 Sep 2020

Controlling Black Lives Matter: the battle to trademark a movement

A WTR investigation finds over 50 attempts to register Black Lives Matter brands in 2020 so far, with one activist telling us that legal protection is necessary “so that people can't profit from it who haven't shed blood for this movement”. Read more

4 Sep 2020

Queen Elizabeth II prevails in trademark dispute; Big Mac versus Big Jack; Kraft Heinz licensing – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a warning to act on counterfeit goods before it’s too late, Lord & Taylor filing for bankruptcy, IP Australia updating its trademark classifications, and much more. Read more

3 Sep 2020

Comparative aspects of trademark dilution between the United States and China

A trademark anti-dilution system protects famous trademarks against blurring, tarnishment or degradation. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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8 Sep 2020

Diamonds to dust? Too many factual disputes preclude summary judgment in Tiffany v Costco

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has vacated a district court’s summary judgment grant in favour of Tiffany because factual disputes existed around whether Costco’s use of the word ‘Tiffany’ was merely descriptive of a particular ring setting. Read more

26 Aug 2020

The NAKED truth about trademark cancellation: only harm, no proprietary interest required

This decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit serves as a reminder that something less than a proprietary interest is required in order to challenge a trademark registration. Read more

19 Aug 2020

Legal experts react to appeal court’s $21 million damages decision in Tiffany v Costco

The decision highlights the importance of controlling a trademark’s use in the marketplace. WTR spoke to legal experts for brand takeaways. Read more

14 Aug 2020

Ben & Jerry’s gets political; Brazil to decide on iPhone mark; another Amazon anti-counterfeiting measure – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property looking to regulate its IP industry, Instagram’s new Reels brand facing a trademark lawsuit, and much more. Read more

Government/Policy

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3 Sep 2020

Sino-US Economic and Trade Agreement: IP and the pharma industry

The Economic and Trade Agreement between China and the United States was signed on 15 January 2020. Read more

11 Aug 2020

Apple versus Prepear; IP Australia teams up with National Rugby League; ‘China quit India’ campaign launched – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at WhatsApp and Google being used by scammers to dupe consumers, ICANN heads to Kuala Lumpur, Lao joins TMclass, and much more. Read more

7 Aug 2020

Arrest over fake Tokyo 2020 medals; counterfeit lemons seized; Indonesia trademark rise – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Chinese government bringing live-streaming for IP services to Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), a shipment of counterfeit belts being seized in Louisville, and much more. Read more

4 Aug 2020

“A step in the right direction”: CBP ruling on small consignments set to strengthen anti-counterfeiting toolkit

US Customs and Border Protection has issued an administrative ruling clarifying the duty-free exemption status of certain low-value shipments sent to US fulfilment centres and domestic warehouses. Read more

Law Firms

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28 Aug 2020

Economies are battered but many major offices set for record trademark numbers

As the data continues to be updated, we are able to get a better understanding of the extent of the coronavirus’ impact on the trademark ecosystem. Read more

4 Aug 2020

Research finds that most major Twitch streamers have not obtained registered trademark protection for their brands

New research from WTR reveals that some of the most popular content creators on Amazon’s streaming video platform Twitch have not sought registered trademark protection. Read more

24 Jul 2020

Redskins become Washington Football Team; Coca-Cola drops brands; Trump rally trademark – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Nestlé streamlining its portfolio, the Indian government asking e-commerce platforms to display country of origin, the new Seattle NHL team name, and much more. Read more

21 Jul 2020

WIPO launches Madrid Application Assistant; USPTO teleworking; Rouse looks to the future – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at malls and street vendors in Southeast Asia moving online, an impending deadline for Brazilian GIs, HALLOUMI facing a fresh fight in the United Kingdom, and much more. Read more

IP Offices

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31 Jul 2020

Revealed: Jonathan Morton, Nyall Engfield and Benjamin Becker are top China representatives at USPTO

A year on from the USPTO's domicile rule change, new data shows the leading China-based representatives on trademark applications at the agency. Read more

31 Jul 2020

Jeff Bezos on fake goods; Dyson counterfeiters jailed; trademarks at risk in Kenya – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at INTA’s Unreal Campaign going virtual, how counterfeiting is on the rise in India, Romania upgrading its e-filing system, and much more. Read more

29 Jul 2020

“The time is right” – call for US government to form dedicated anti-counterfeiting agency

NAM has issued a report on the scale of the counterfeits industry and proposed radical changes to the ways in which the private and public sectors combat the trade in fake goods. Read more

27 Jul 2020

Fraud, filings and fee rises – new USPTO trademark commissioner shares ongoing challenges and opportunities

The USPTO has hosted its second-ever virtual Trademark Public Advisory Committee meeting, with new trademark commissioner David Gooder revealing the “encouraging” recovery of trademark filings. Read more

Online

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2 Sep 2020

In Trump’s Twitter crosshairs: study reveals the long-lasting impact for brands

A new study reveals how the brand perception and purchasing intent of both Democrat and Republican consumers are impacted by the tweets of US President Donald Trump. Read more

21 Aug 2020

Gymshark: a brand that ticks all the boxes (including trademark strategy)

The UK fitness company has solidified its market presence among the greats with a winning social media strategy, deep commitment to consumers and a forward-thinking approach to trademark protection. Read more

4 Aug 2020

Drop shipping sites are flooding influencers with counterfeit goods: what brands should do

As even high-profile influencers such as Kylie and Kendal Jenner are caught by drop shipping scams, here are the steps that brands can take to reduce the risks. Read more

4 Aug 2020

Googles wins right to sue Google

In a dispute between the alleged owner of the GOOGLES mark and Google Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has vacated and remanded the district court’s dismissal of the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Read more

Portfolio Management

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17 Aug 2020

“There’s no evidence that plain packaging reduces smoking”: exclusive interview with British American Tobacco’s head of trademarks

Roger Evans discusses how the company has developed a unique brand strategy alongside its PRRPs and argues the negative effect plain packaging has for consumers. Read more

14 Aug 2020

How cross-collaboration helps Wells Fargo’s trademark team to repair reputational damage

Coordinating the trademark needs of any business always requires a keen sense of the inner workings of the company. WTR spoke to Wells Fargo's team on business integration. Read more

11 Aug 2020

Knock it off, knock-offs? Ninth Circuit affirms trade dress rights but not fame

In a case involving the Eames lounge chair and the Aeron ergonomic office chair, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has considered issues of functionality and fame relating to trade dress rights. Read more

29 Jul 2020

Brand changes: moving forward with an eye on the past

In this guest post, Virginia Marino, shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione, reveals the necessary steps that any brand adviser should take when faced with a brand overhaul. Read more

Trademark law

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10 Aug 2020

Trademark damages: exploring the ever-evolving global dichotomy between civil and common law

Considering the approach to damages in the United States and Colombia, civil and common law systems appear to be moving together, rather than apart, meaning that rights holders can expect more multi-faceted, holistic decisions, which attempt to right the wrong done. Read more

20 Jul 2020

Food and beverage industry the new brand restrictions battleground as calls for action escalate

The food industry is fast becoming the focus of brand restrictions, with new calls for action against unhealthy foods in the United Kingdom and concern over Mexico’s new labelling regime culminating in a missive from INTA last week. Read more

16 Jul 2020

“Worrying for brand owners” – groundbreaking study finds disparities in trademark examiner determinations

New research has found “meaningful variation” in the trademark registration rates, publication rates and speed of trademark examining attorneys at the USPTO. Read more

16 Jul 2020

A connected world: learnings from the first internationally linked trademark database

In an exclusive guest post, academics in Australia share findings from their new study into the first database that links equivalent trademarks across national offices into a single comprehensive offering. Read more

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