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02 May 2014

Lessons from litigation – the Ohio State/Skreened dispute and what it means for brand owners

Last week Ohio State University was victorious in a trademark dispute with Columbus-based T-shirt maker Skreened, which centred on the use of trademarks in designs uploaded by consumers. The results of this case should serve as a warning to custom manufacturers and platforms which include content provided by users in end products.

01 May 2014

Latest version of the World Trademark Review Yearbook now available online

The 2014/2015 edition of the World Trademark Review Yearbook, which provides a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction guide to trademark law, has been published. All World Trademark Review subscribers will soon receive hard copies of the book, which is also available to access online.

01 May 2014

Italy and the Philippines praised, but India remains in the USTR doghouse

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has published its 2014 Special 301 Report. While there was good news for Italy and the Philippines, which exit the Watch List, growing concerns over the IP rights protection and enforcement regimes in India are voiced.

28 April 2014

WTO plain packaging ruling expected by November

While countries such as New Zealand and Ireland remain committed to plain packaging legislation for tobacco products, Australia’s regime remains the centre of WTO scrutiny. The news that the WTO will consider five complaints together means that the question of whether Australia’s regime conflicts with international trademark protection rules will likely be ruled upon later this year.

24 April 2014

Apple iWatch rumours gather steam, and why it matters to trademark counsel

Over the past week, rumours that Apple is gearing up for a 2014 launch of the iWatch have gathered steam. Should the company’s entry into the smart watch sector have a similar impact as its iPad launch on the tablet computer market, it is a story that trademark counsel in all industries should follow.

23 April 2014

Issue 49 of World Trademark Review out now

The latest issue of World Trademark Review is now available online to subscribers. The cover story presents exclusive analysis of the Global Benchmarking Survey, which found that, while budget levels are improving for some trademark teams, for the majority the situation remains straitened, with one-fifth of respondents expecting further cuts over the next 12 months.

17 April 2014

Lawyers react to Commission recommendations on groundless threats reform

The Law Commission has published its proposals for reform of the groundless threats regime, a move which one practitioner feels will help further encourage a ‘negotiate first, sue later’ approach in UK trademark disputes.

03 March 2014

Level of gTLD notices issued to trademark holders revealed

In its latest bulletin, the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) has revealed that almost 17,500 notifications had been sent to trademark holders to date, while brand owners themselves had submitted 26,802 marks to the TMCH.

24 February 2014

China brand values surge, leading to renewed focus on valuation methods

This week, a new list of China’s most valuable brands has been generating media coverage. While comparison with other lists highlights the disparity in valuations that different methods create, it is clear that Chinese brands are going from strength to strength. And with an increased emphasis on the power of brands, the country is now playing an active role in the professionalism of the brand valuation sector itself – something which will be of benefit to all.

21 February 2014

There is still time to contribute your views to WTR’s trademark benchmarking study

There is just over a week left to participate in the sixth annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey. Conducted annually by WTR, the research project is designed to give counsel – both in-house and in private practice – the opportunity to have their say on the state of the industry, and build up a comprehensive picture of current trends and best practice.

19 February 2014

Stand-off over OHIM fees and surplus continues

This month, BusinessEurope, AIM, ECTA, ICC-BASCAP, INTA and Marques issued a joint statement on the proposed European legislative trademark package, addressing a number of areas of concern for users. On further investigation, it is clear that the debate over fee levels and allocation of the OHIM surplus shows no signs of abating.

13 February 2014

New report offers some policing pointers for trademark counsel

The Office of the United States Trade Representative’s latest Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets report, which identifies both online and physical marketplaces engaging in commercial-scale IP infringement, has been published. Designed to help the United States and foreign governments to prioritise enforcement of intellectual property rights, the report serves as useful reminder of some key physical markets that brand owners may wish to police.

07 February 2014

Top 10 legal updates for January

An ECJ ruling confirming that international trademarks that have effect in the European Union are subject to the genuine use requirements under Article 42(2) and (3) of the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) topped the list of most-read WTR Premium Updates in January, while decisions relating to Volvo, Steiff and Pinterest also featuring in the top 10.

06 February 2014

And so it begins – the first reports of gTLD cybersquatting emerge

The new era of cybersquatting appears to have begun, with reports suggesting that cybersquatters have wasted no time in grabbing brand-related domains in newly-released gTLD strings. For trademark counsel, the policing challenge is very much alive.

26 June 2014

Call for independent accountability mechanism to oversee ICANN

In a rare instance of consensus amongst the GNSO's various stakeholder groups, the leaders of the body’s committee today called for the creation of an independent accountability mechanism that “provides meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by ICANN action or inaction in contravention of an agreed upon compact with the community”.