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22 September 2010

Canada's police force sounds ready to give up on IP enforcement

Read Canada's newly published report on the extent of the counterfeiting problem and you would think that the Canadian police are so overwhelmed by fakes that they are about to give up the fight. In fact, the police might just be throwing a political football to the government as a way of asking for help – but is this call for help going to fall on deaf ears?

21 September 2010

Does Yahoo!'s keyword squashing mean trademark owners pay more?

Yahoo!'s chief economist has revealed that the company's search engine injects more competition into a keywords auction by "handicapping" bidders who are more likely to win. In many cases, this could inflate the cost of key trademark terms.

20 September 2010

OHIM president signs off with a warning for national trademark offices

With just over a week until he hands over the OHIM presidency, rather than go quietly into the night Wubbo de Boer has made clear his personal views on how the organisation should structure the renewal fee split and balance the budget. As expected, the interests of users were high on the agenda, with a warning to national offices that the receipt of OHIM funds needs to be justified.

16 September 2010

Bloodthirsty trademark protection services see dollar signs in social media

Trademark conference exhibition halls have become gladiatorial arenas in which non-legal trademark service providers battle each other with plasma screens and soft furnishings. This situation is the natural result of a pervasive internet, which invites innovative business models around the challenges trademark owners face daily. The new battleground is social network usernames, which could become as burdensome as domain names.

15 September 2010

In .CO's multimillion-dollar world, trademarks and domain names can be friends

Now that auction sales of domain names in the '.co' space have surpassed $1 million, some estimates expect the Colombian registry to collect first-year revenues topping $10 million. Having passed 500,000 registrations, is the '.co' launch a breakthrough in the relationship between domain names and trademarks?

14 September 2010

Google picks a fight in Europe as brand owners prepare for the worst

Google has rejected calls to work more closely with brand owners and today liberalises its AdWords programme in Europe. The new rules, which allow advertisers to include third-party trademark terms in ad text, have been "strongly criticised" by trademark owner groups.

13 September 2010

Oracle challenges Euro-defences, foresees cheaper enforcement

US computer hardware manufacturer Oracle has told WTR it is "confident that both its position on the facts and its arguments on the law will be upheld" in its opposition of parallel importers' reliance on so-called ‘Euro-defences’. Success would reduce a parallel importer's ability to avoid summary judgment by raising a Euro-defence and save other brand owners the expense of going to trial.

09 September 2010

USPTO: trademarks will get as good a data deal as patents

The USPTO this week announced its attractive and valuable Data Visualization Center, which displays for attorneys live statistics about the performance of the office. While patent attorneys cheered the initiative, trademark lawyers could have been forgiven for feeling left out. But they will soon be able to join in too: the USPTO has told WTR of plans to extend the service to the trademark side of its business.

09 September 2010

Ping and Apple strike trademark deal: what other brand owners can learn

Gadget-happy media channels have reported how Apple secured an agreement with golf club maker Ping before launching its new iTunes service, which uses the PING word mark. But the story is not Apple's at all. This is a tale of how an admired brand owner spotted an opportunity to extend its name beyond a finite audience using its famous house mark.

07 September 2010

Google investigation must consider trademarks and AdWords

The news that Google is being investigated on antitrust concerns is perhaps not surprising, but the fact that regulators may study Google's keywords policies certainly is. However, the possibility that it will consider the impact of AdWords policies – set to change in Europe next week – is why trademark owners should watch this investigation unfold.

06 September 2010

OHIM governance overhaul could prompt political punch-up

The European Union is a rich political ecosystem for associations of trademark owners and users. At the centre: Alicante, where an elite group of supranational associations enjoy observer status on OHIM's Administrative Board and Budget Committee. With this status now under review, a shake-up could be imminent.

03 September 2010

Revealed: how new domain registries are preparing to protect trademarks

It will take many long years before the trademark community ever starts to feel comfortable in the domain name world. The impending launch of infinite new gTLDs will only prolong this problem. But companies intending to apply to run new gTLD registries have told WTR that they are keen to offer rights protection mechanisms and will learn from the recent successful re-launch of the '.co' ccTLD.

02 September 2010

Is the tide turning in the controversy over what to do about counterfeits?

On Monday, UK brand owners and law enforcement officers raided a counterfeit market at a racecourse, seizing hundreds of fake goods. On Tuesday, they opened the newspaper to a report entitled "Fake goods are fine, says EU study". This is a somewhat stretchy interpretation of the research. But its author has nevertheless angered the IP community.

31 August 2010

WTR survey to reveal corporate strategy on new gTLDs

WTR has launched a survey to find out exactly how brand owners are preparing for the introduction of new gTLDs. Our coverage of this topic has often acted as a lightning rod for the opinions of outspoken brand owners and internet experts: this survey will build on this by collecting responses from the widest base consulted so far on this topic. The research is supported by INTA, MARQUES, ECTA, CSC, CT Corsearch, NetNames, Com Laude and several associations of marketing professionals.

05 August 2010

Google bulldozes through trademarks in Europe (thanks to the ECJ)

Immediately after the ECJ published its controversial Google AdWords judgment earlier this year, WTR asked whether there were any compelling reasons for Google to come to the table and work with trademark owners. Now we know the answer is a firm no - Google has announced it will expand its trademark policy in Europe, allowing advertisers to use trademark terms as keywords.