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10 July 2018

Time for non-tobacco brands to take the threat of plain packaging more seriously

In the first of a new regular opinion column, the onward march of plain packaging is examined. In the face of seemingly unstoppable momentum, now is the time to consider whether brands will remain on the sidelines or make their voices heard.

14 June 2018

“We rely on a quilt of rights”: inside Starbucks’ trademark strategy

Insight into how the coffee chain giant manages and enforces its rights across the globe.

22 May 2018

Alibaba boasts “significant progress” in IP protection efforts; development of API urged to allow third-party takedowns

​​​​​​​Alibaba has revealed data showing a 42% decline in notice-and-takedown requests and faster processing of takedowns. While the results are positive, an expert urges Alibaba to develop an API to allow third-party takedowns.

10 May 2018

As Alibaba’s Anti-counterfeiting Alliance grows, is Amazon now the primary battleground in the war against fakes?

Alibaba Group has confirmed that membership to its Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance has climbed to over 100 brands. Exclusive survey data reveals the Chinese retail giant is still a challenge for rights holders – but respondents claim Amazon is “less and less willing to help brand owners”.

27 April 2018

New hope for 'Black Friday' offers in Germany?

The German Patent and Trademark Office has held that the trademark BLACK FRIDAY was descriptive and must therefore be kept free for use by competitors.

16 March 2018

Establishing brand presence on China’s evolving online sales platforms

This two-part series identifies the ways in which diverse online sales platforms (OSPs) may affect brands in China, as well as some of the basic commercial and legal issues that brand owners should bear in mind when creating an OSP branding strategy.

16 March 2018

Maintaining control of your brand on China’s online sales platforms

Although branding on online sales platforms remains a relatively new concept, its significance should not be overlooked. In the second part of this series, we consider how brand owners maintain can control in this evolving landscape.

08 March 2018

Battle of the polo logos: 'clean break' is safest course when amending sign in attempt to avoid infringement

In Lifestyle Equities v Santa Monica Polo Club, the High Court has held that the defendants’ one and two-horse logos infringed registrations for the BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB logo.

01 March 2018

The 10 most common mistakes in trademark portfolios – and how to avoid them

Analysing more than 30 trademark portfolios of mid-size to large multinationals carrying out business in the European Union reveals a surprising number of illogical filings, errors and gaps. The resulting checklist will support effective portfolio review.

01 March 2018

Gucci successfully opposes registration of GUCCITECH in Class 11

The IP adjudicator has upheld Guccio Gucci SpA’s opposition to the registration of the figurative mark GUCCITECH in Class 11 under Sections 8(2)(b), 8(4) and 8(7)(a) of the Trademarks Act.

01 March 2018

Has China changed? Brand owners face an evolving and uncertain legal landscape

An analysis of recent decisions illustrates an evolving desire by China’s courts to take decisive action against infringers. However, there are a number of strategies that rights holders need to implement to maximise their chances of brand protection success.

27 February 2018

Internet service provider found liable for trademark infringement: exception to safe harbour principle applied

The Beijing IP Court has found that an internet service provider was jointly and severally liable for the infringement committed on its platform. The safe harbour principle indirectly defined by Article 36 of Tort Law did not apply.

26 February 2018

Supreme Court: risk of damage to one of trademark's functions is sufficient to constitute infringement

The Supreme Court has considered whether use of a former supplier's mark on the packaging of the new supplier’s products constituted infringement. 

13 February 2018

Federal Circuit bleeps Lanham Act ban on immoral or scandalous marks

In In re: Brunetti, the Federal Circuit has reversed the TTAB's finding that the mark FUCT as used in connection with various apparel items was unregistrable under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act.

13 February 2018

America first... for now: how Chinese and European brands are closing the gap

Exclusive analysis reveals why major US brands are feeling the pressure of increased competition in the global marketplace – and how they can fight back.