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24 February 2009

Chinese sham glam: innocuous innovation or mark-owner menace?

Amid all the wilful counterfeiting in China comes the new craze of shanzhai: consumers buying comically poor reproductions of famous brands in a competition to find the worst imitation. Meanwhile, mark owners are analyzing each instance to see if it is all a joke – or dangerous infringement.

23 February 2009

IP rights awareness in Hong Kong hits all-time high

Public awareness of IP rights has reached record levels in Hong Kong, according to a survey commissioned by the Intellectual Property Department.

20 February 2009

Japanese prefectures stamp out ‘trademark takeovers’ in China

Japanese prefectures have applied to register their names as trademarks in China to stop third parties using the marks to sell local products, a practice known as ‘trademark takeovers’.

19 February 2009

CTM applications plummet as recession grips trademark practices

New statistics from OHIM reveal a huge drop in the number of CTM applications in the fourth quarter of 2008.

18 February 2009

USPTO on the defensive after error triggers litigation

The USPTO has moved to quash any suggestion that its systems are faulty after a blunder arising from its online search facility and human error led to litigation.

17 February 2009

Pharma merger promises sweeping IP shake-up

In-house counsel at merging pharma businesses Wyeth and Pfizer face an uncertain future when the new entity looks to slash costs and increase efficiency. But, as WTR has discovered, the drugs companies have other problems to consider: from opportunistic counterfeiting to merging two very different IP teams.

16 February 2009

Jones Day settles highly controversial trademark dispute

Jones Day has reached a settlement with BlockShopper in its trademark dispute over the real estate company’s use of web links to the law firm’s website.

13 February 2009

Recession hits bank brands by $218 billion

The value of the of the top 500 banking brands has dived by $218 billion, according to the 2009 Brand Finance Top 500 Global Banking Brands report.

12 February 2009

Global experts disagree in dilution debate

Leading trademark experts yesterday called attention to the global “puzzlement” over anti-dilution laws.

11 February 2009

Confused reaction to “opaque” smell-alike opinion

Observers have reacted to the long-awaited opinion of the advocate general of the ECJ in L’Oréal v Bellure with confusion and some consternation.

10 February 2009

Obama transparency in conflict with ACTA secrecy

Leading US think tanks are relying on President Obama’s commitment to transparency in their legal challenge to the secrecy surrounding the negotiations over the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

10 February 2009

Trademark protection for intelligent designs

Last year, adidas won $300 million in damages in its famous trademark infringement case against Payless. The award was later reduced and now both sides have appealed, prolonging a lively debate over dilution of a famous mark and the extent to which the question of confusion can bleed into legitimate third-party designs. WTR spoke to corporate counsel at adidas, Asics and K-Swiss to hear how they build their cases.

09 February 2009

Setback for Budvar in GI battle with Budweiser

The attempts of Budejovický Budvar to enforce geographical indication protection for its BUD mark in Austria have been hit following an opinion from the ECJ’s advocate general.

05 February 2009

US law firms threatened by pharma merger

The Pfizer-Wyeth merger could have a damaging impact on law firms, a well-known US IP practitioner has warned.

04 February 2009

OHIM embraces mark owners in administrative shake-up

OHIM has opened up its meetings to brand owners and trademark attorneys.