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04 November 2013

Time to identify 2013’s trademark heroes

World Trademark Review is pleased to announce that the nomination process for the WTR Industry Awards 2014 is now open. The awards are divided into geographical, industry and individual categories, with two new categories introduced for one year only.

31 October 2013

Richemont ruling against TradeKey is a victory for all brand owners

Pakistan-based online B2B trading platform TradeKey has been found liable for contributory trademark counterfeiting by a California federal court in a case brought by Swiss luxury brand owner Richemont. The court’s decision – which includes a permanent injunction against TradeKey – illustrates how brand owners can hold overseas-based e-commerce sites accountable for selling fake goods.

25 October 2013

Brand owner prevails in first ever URS decision

Details have emerged of the first example of the Uniform Rapid Suspension in action, with Facebook successful in its effort to suspend the ‘’ domain name. While a straightforward decision for the examiner, the news rounds off a significant week for the expanded gTLD environment.

24 October 2013

Why Hong Kong’s parody consultation could impact trademark enforcement

Hong Kong is currently undertaking a public consultation exercise regarding the treatment of parody in its copyright regime. That process involves soliciting the views of interested stakeholders and then drawing up a proposal that strikes an ideal balance between copyright protection and freedom of expression. Brand owners are advised to keep an eye out, as any potential parody-related developments could be used as an additional weapon against trademark infringers, if the circumstances are right.

10 October 2013

Versace and M.I.A. copy the copycats: a viable anti-counterfeiting strategy?

Versace is to launch a range of products inspired by knock-off versions of the Italian company’s designs. While the fashion house is keen to portray the collection as highlighting the issue of counterfeits, it waits to be seen whether the impact on anti-counterfeiting efforts proves to be positive or negative.

27 September 2013

With launches looming, gTLD applicants expand on their plans

For a long time, gTLD applicants have kept their cards close to their chest, with application documents providing the sole clue as to their intentions. Over the past week, applicants have been more forthcoming about their motivations for applying and how they will position their new online offerings.

25 September 2013

NZ winemakers consider GI protection but commentators identify significant challenges

Recent reports indicate that New Zealand winemakers are seeking GI protection for their labels. As wine consumption grows in emerging markets such as China and Russia, domestic producers are increasingly concerned about potential knock-offs being passed off as premium labels. However, while the wine industry considers using GI status as a way of fending off counterfeiters, a number of commentators have expressed scepticism over its practical benefits.

13 September 2013

Lessons in brand protection from college football’s biggest name

Last week WTR outlined commercialisation strategies for personal brands in light of soccer star Gareth Bale’s world record transfer to Real Madrid. For companies wanting to establish commercial relationships with sport personalities, the key is to establish relationships as early as possible. Yet when it comes to student athletes in the US, additional barriers exist. College football sensation Johnny Manziel is at the center of several trademark infringement lawsuits which highlight the difficulties facing student athletes and the brands wishing to work with them.

09 September 2013

UK IPO-funded police unit to commence IP enforcement activities

This week sees the launch of a new UK police unit targeting IP crime, funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office and co-ordinated by the City of London police. Key to success will be its relationship with trademark owners.

29 January 2013

Despite rise of social media giants, local picture remains critical to policing strategies

The shift from local social media usage to a Facebook-Twitter-Google+ oligopoly may seem to be positive news for brand owners in terms of their ability to focus online policing efforts on a smaller universe of sites, but the local perspective remains critical.

23 January 2013

Acer’s acquired trademarks drop millions in book value – but does it matter long-term?

Taiwanese personal computer manufacturer Acer stated yesterday that it would book a NT$3.5 billion (US$120.6 million) impairment charge relating to trademark rights, including marks it acquired from its takeovers of Gateway, Packard Bell and E-TEN. The world’s fourth-largest PC vendor has seen a negative impact on its stock price as a result. But from a wider perspective, is it really such a big deal that the book value of the acquired trademark rights has depreciated?

08 January 2013

The evolution of China’s brand builders

New research identifies the most valuable Chinese brands, providing an insight into how innovation is being driven by consumer demand. Crucially, the push to establish market-leading brands should provide a boost to the country’s IP system.

05 December 2012

Brand protection counsel talk cost control strategies

Budget squeezes remain a fact of life for many anti-counterfeiting professionals, a situation that is unlikely to change overnight. This week, at an INTA conference, brand protection counsel outlined how their companies approach budgeting for anti-counterfeiting activities.

29 November 2012

ICANN board committee gives green light to Red Cross and IOC second-level protections

The ICANN board’s New gTLD Program Committee has approved two resolutions designed to provide additional trademark protections to certain non-governmental organisations and intergovernmental organisations. The new measures would afford the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement and the International Olympic Committee with the second-level protections they have been striving for.

12 March 2013

Lessons in rebranding: how Livestrong will live on

Cancer survivors’ charity Livestrong recently adopted a new logo as part of efforts to renew its brand identity in the wake of the doping scandal surrounding founder and former patron Lance Armstrong. The circumstances surrounding the rebrand offer some valuable lessons for trademark counsel with regards to brand management when celebrity associations go awry.