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08 September 2011

What WikiLeaks cables on Apple really reveal about anti-counterfeiting in China

The surge of publicity caused by diplomatic cables published on WikiLeaks that reveal how Apple did not have an anti-counterfeiting team in China until 2008 proves the significance of the media in brand protection plans. Meanwhile, many brand owners remain reticent: Apple’s spokespeople are quoted nowhere in relation to the WikiLeaks story. But Jack Chang, the chairman of China’s Quality Brands Protection Committee, has told WTR that this is something brand owners ought not to shy away from.

07 September 2011

Bar your brand from porn and cybersquatters: pay $300 today or over $3,000 later

Today is the first day that trademark owners can apply to block valuable brand names from the forthcoming ‘.xxx’ domain name space. Mark owners participating in the 50-day sunrise period will be paying up to $300 per block. For those mark owners who take the risk and forego the sunrise, a post-launch recovery will cost $1,300, plus lawyers’ fees of up to $2,000 or more.

05 September 2011

Could OEM trade opportunities run Duracell’s batteries flat?

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has found itself in a potentially tricky trademark situation after genuine, cut-price Duracell batteries in packaging that screams ‘counterfeit’ at consumers found their way onto online marketplace The incident highlights the trademark issues that can arise when working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

01 September 2011

Exclusive WTR survey seeks your opinion on trademark service providers

As competition between trademark service providers grows, WTR is conducting an extensive, independent analysis of what buyers like you demand. Do you have 10 minutes to take a short online survey and provide us with your thoughts?

25 August 2011

Riots and rights: can adidas trademarks survive their association with criminals?

The trademark lawyers and brand managers behind adidas’ WE ARE LONDON campaign doubtless choked on their coffee as Trefoil-branded apparel appeared to outnumber bullet-proof vests in rolling news footage of the recent riots in England. That worldwide press reports dubbed adidas the riots’ unofficial sponsor will send a shiver down the spine of any brand owner. This potential brand disaster – and the recent attempts of Abercrombie & Fitch to stop reality stars wearing its brand – could teach trademark counsel a great deal.

28 July 2011

Your chance to watch XXX as INTA and domain registry talk trademarks

INTA is to host a webinar dedicated to the upcoming launch of the ‘.xxx’ top-level domain (TLD), which is causing a great deal of concern among many brand owners. While the new TLD will be operational only for commercial adult entertainment registrations, ICM Registry, the company behind ‘.xxx’ has outlined how trademark owners can block their key terms from the space for up to $300.

18 July 2011

How the '.xxx' registry is wooing brand owners

ICM Registry is apparently doing all it can to seduce brand owners into its Sunrise B trademark protection programme for the ‘.xxx’ top-level domain (TLD). Although many brand owners are very uncomfortable with the idea of connecting their trademarks with ICM’s approaching TLD, it might be their best option in the long run. ICM certainly thinks so: today it announced that the sunrise will run far longer than originally planned, in order to scoop up as many trademarks as possible.

14 July 2011

What will AB InBev do with city dialling code trademarks?

Here’s a story from the ‘innovative filing strategy’ department. Beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has confirmed the news reported in local US press that it has applied to register 15 city dialling codes as trademarks. The filings come not three months after the conglomerate acquired Goose Island microbrewery, famous in Chicago for its Urban Wheat Ale, known in the Windy City by local dialling code 312. So what can we discern from AB InBev’s apparent expansion of this brand strategy?

07 July 2011

Your .brand gTLD: hopeful registry partners go into marketing overdrive

Hundreds of companies are planning to secure their ‘.brand’ top-level domain (TLD). That is one thing becoming clear since the ICANN board approved the expansion of the domain name space last month. After three years of contentious policy development, if that fact is a surprise to trademark counsel, they may be shocked to learn that their peers are already heavily involved in the application process. And we’re not talking only about consumer brands: sources report that companies from the oil and gas, manufacturing, and construction sectors will apply too. As a result, competition for the attention of brands that are planning to apply for a new gTLD is hotting up.

06 July 2011

Chanel, adidas, UGG and others join new anti-counterfeiting scheme

Counterfeit goods proliferate on the Internet, but then so do the websites and initiatives created to fight them. It seems that almost daily, a new private or public scheme is established in countries as diverse as the United States, Uganda and China. The latest comes from UK authorities, who have attracted support from Chanel, adidas, UGG, Ray Ban, Links of London and Timberland for Brand-i, a simple online store directory that aims to re-educate consumers about safe shopping.

04 July 2011

Top 10 trademark news stories for June

With ICANN’s hotly anticipated approval of the expansion of the internet this month, new generic top-level domains have ruled the WTR charts. Our story on IKEA’s decision to scrap its plans to run a ‘.ikea’ registry based on a lack of understanding of the new regime zoomed to the top of our table of most-read articles. The news from IKEA was revealed during ECTA’s annual conference in Stockholm.

28 June 2011

Talking about brands: why numbers won’t get you anywhere

People who manage brands need a new vocabulary, according to one senior brands expert. Using the language of accountants to describe brand function and value is “a bit Stockholm Syndrome”, said Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group. In a lecture that had much to teach trademark counsel, Sutherland claimed: “Acquiring the language of your abusers is an absurdly apologetic way to treat a central business function.”

27 June 2011

Thomson CompuMark adds to questions over trademark search study

Last week, new industry research found that trademark search provider Markify offered more accurate search results than such industry stalwarts as CSC, CT Corsearch and Thomson CompuMark. The latter has contacted WTR to voice its concern over the report, highlighting the need for research parameters to be clearly constructed and communicated.

24 June 2011

Egos and principles: ICANN’s controversial chairman speaks to WTR

Peter Dengate Thrush divides the ICANN community: while many see him as the kind of strong-minded ringleader a multi-stakeholder policy development process requires, others slam him for skipping the concerns of trademark owners and governments in order to hand the domain name industry a liberalised marketplace. This week, Dengate Thrush came to the end of his term as ICANN’s chairman during an extraordinary ICANN meeting in Singapore at which the new gTLD progrmme was approved. WTR spoke to him about the contentious policy development process and how the IP community can continue to work within the multi-stakeholder model.

21 June 2011

Search rookie trounces heavyweights in study, but is the methodology flawed?

A new study has found that nascent trademark search provider Markify scores much higher than market heavyweights Thomson CompuMark, CSC and CT Corsearch in its ability to find confusingly similar marks. But doubts over the research methodology could leave mark owners confused when it comes to assessing their providers.