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08 July 2013

European IP organisations step up pressure over plain packaging ahead of vote

On Wednesday the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee will vote on the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Tobacco Products Directive. Prior to the vote, five IP associations have teamed up to speak out in support of trademarks.

03 July 2013

The value of patriotism – can brands benefit?

With the July 4 holiday looming, a study into what customers perceive as the most patriotic US brands is well-timed to generate media headlines. With WTR also a sucker for a good hook, we have taken a look at the list and asked how brands can tap into such an abstract value.

02 July 2013

US urged to ‘ease up’ over IP piracy in China

An article published by the Council on Foreign Relations has suggested that efforts to push China to change its approach to IP law are not worth the political and diplomatic capital the United States is spending on it. For those battling piracy, the key question is how likely a change in stance actually is.

26 June 2013

The $230 billion-plus value of licensing can be a positive message for the boardroom

License! Global magazine reports that the world’s top 150 brand licensors generated US$230 billion globally in 2012 from retail sales of licensed products, while the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association has found that North American businesses received $4.454 billion in royalties from trademark licensing last year. Such statistics can benefit trademark teams in their efforts to demonstrate corporate value – but in-house counsel must also assume a leading role in brand monetisation if they are to do so.

24 June 2013

Hurdles ahead for European trademark proposals

Proposed changes to the European trademark framework were recently launched to much fanfare. As trademark practitioners digest the proposals, attention naturally turns to the likely timeframe for change. However, delegates at the ECTA annual conference were told that there are still hurdles to overcome – not least achieving consensus over the “serious disagreement” on “important aspects of the package” from some member states.

21 June 2013

New US study into the economic impact of IP due in December

The Executive Office of the President of the United States released its 2013 strategic plan for IP enforcement yesterday. Following the release last year of the US Department of Commerce study into the impact of IP-intensive industries, the White House promises a regular, annual report into the economic benefits of IP and calls for enhanced public engagement on the issues of counterfeiting and piracy.

07 June 2013

The scores on the TMCH doors: level of trademark owner engagement revealed

Deloitte has revealed the number of trademark owners and agents currently registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse. The news comes in the week that ICANN published the first responses to the recent GAC advice on the gTLD programme and L'Oréal became the latest company to withdraw a ‘.brand’ application.

04 June 2013

Billabong brand and book values plummet; but trademarks team is adding value

Billabong saw its share price plunge to a record low today after negotiations with two potential buyers failed. But while the company faces an uncertain future, its trademark team is taking the lead on creating corporate value.

03 June 2013

Top 10 trademark stories for May

Last month’s list of the most-read WTR blogs is dominated by dispatches from Dallas, from where we were reporting on the INTA Annual Meeting – six of the top 10 stories were sourced from the event in Texas. WTR prides itself on bringing readers the latest news, insights and analysis of developments in the trademark world, and topping this month’s list was a blog that truly answered the pressing questions of the day - such as ‘which Dallas reception offered the best nibbles?’, ‘what was the most overused Texas cliché?’ and ‘what was the most bizarre sight at a law firm party?’.

28 May 2013

Making the case for in-house counsel – a lesson in luxury

Speaking at the inaugural Luxury Law Summit, Barbara Kolsun, general counsel at Stuart Weitzman, outlined the business case for in-house counsel. While speaking from a general counsel perspective, her arguments are also applicable to trademark counsel - and demonstrate both the strategic and economic value of in-house teams.

09 January 2014

Was “lazy” Australian accent really the key to fashion designer’s trademark victory?

It has been reported by several media outlets that the key to fashion designer Stella McCartney’s victory in a trademark dispute against a Chatswood-based cosmetics company – and subsidiary of Melilea International – was that the mark would cause confusion when said in a “lazy” Australian accent. While this is perhaps a novel argument, according to one commentator it is a bit of a red herring.

08 January 2014

INTA reveals future direction, and the battles that lie ahead

INTA has published its 2014-2017 strategic plan, which sets out its core goals for the next four years. The document suggests a more outward-looking focus for the association when compared to the previous strategic plan, with consumer benefit to be central to its activities in the trademark world.

07 January 2014

Following the scent to brand differentiation is not without difficulties

Major fashion labels such as H&M, Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo are among a list of global brands using 'olfactive logos' in an attempt to heighten consumer connections, increase revenue and enhance brand loyalty. While research shows that scents can be more memorable than other stimuli and therefore a clear choice for branding, there are still significant obstacles for brands to overcome before they utilise these non-traditional trademarks.

13 December 2013

Top trademark news stories of 2013

As 2013 draws to a close and the WTR Daily email service prepares to take a short break, it’s a natural time to look back at the WTR blogs which received the most reads over the past 12 months. Barring a late surge by other blogs, there was a clear winner in the ‘most read’ stakes.

10 December 2013

Infringement of pharmaceutical trademarks is not what the doctor ordered

Kitson, a Los Angeles boutique, has found itself in the crosshairs of a pharmaceutical giant for using a trademarked prescription drug name, Vicodin, on its clothing designs. This case raises interesting questions on whether the parody or commentary of a registered trademark can triumph over a brand owner’s duty to act on public health grounds against alleged infringers.