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22 March 2010

Obama green lights US trademark study

Last week President Obama signed into law a new US trademark act that contains the provision for a study into mark owners' litigation tactics. But the big question is: will the study uncover anything that mark owners don't already know?

22 March 2010

Europe expects clarification on Google keywords issue

Practitioners are awaiting the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union on whether Google's business model of selling adverts based on trademark terms constitutes infringement.

16 March 2010

President Obama draws a line in the sand over ACTA negotiations

The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) controversy shows no signs of abating, with President Obama stating that the United States will “aggressively protect our intellectual property”. The remarks came after the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for transparency in the ACTA negotiations, arguing that discussions should be limited to the existing European IP rights enforcement system against counterfeiting.

15 March 2010

When enforcement steps over the legal line

The counterfeiting problem in Latin America poses significant challenges for trademark owners and the tide of illicit trade – particularly in the sportswear and sporting goods sector - is set to increase with the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games heading to the region. But is there a risk that some brand owners that are new to the region will base their anti-counterfeiting strategies on damaging misconceptions?

11 March 2010

European Parliament hits out at lack of ACTA transparency

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for transparency in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations, warning that data protection and the privacy rights of citizens must be safeguarded, while ruling out the introduction of a ‘three strikes’ policy on online copyright infringement.

10 March 2010

Addressing the patent backlog critical to the efficient running of the USPTO

WTR ventured into the patent world today to attend the launch of new research into the economic cost of patent backlogs. The study presented a bleak picture with regard to the global backlog of patent applications, yet efforts to address the problem should be closely followed by trademark professionals.

05 March 2010

Warning sounded over European trademarks

The Danish Patent and Trademark Office today became the latest national office to comment on the recent Onel decision, suggesting a middle ground needs to be found to ensure the continued functioning of the European trademark system.

04 March 2010

Leaked document highlights split over CTM fee overpayments

While OHIM's administrative board and budget committee were meeting to outline their plans for the OHIM cooperation fund, an equally intriguing subplot was being played out online with regards the organization’s recent proposals to redistribute funds from the Community trademark fee surplus back to the brand owners who had previously overpaid.

03 March 2010

National offices urged to embrace the OHIM windfall

OHIM's administrative board and budget committee has set out the framework within which national IP offices and users can apply for support from the €50m cooperation fund - and now national offices need to seize the opportunity offered.

02 March 2010

Who is watching the new top trademarks list as closely as brand owners?

The Colombian government’s decision to give the top 100 brand owners on the Globally Protected Marks List (GPML), administered by Deloitte and Belgian law firm Laga, the chance to obtain their space in the '.co' domain for free caught the eye of many brand owners. However, they are not the only interested parties following the developments in Colombia.

01 March 2010

Does the domain community understand the true cost of trademark protection?

The battle lines have been drawn, with domainers on one side and brand owners on the other, following the release of a study predicting that new gTLDs will result in only 316 cases of cybersquatting per year, at an average cost of $0.10 per registered trademark worldwide.

26 February 2010

US efforts to create a national IP enforcement strategy stepped up

Victoria Espinel, the new White House IP enforcement coordinator, has issued a notice inviting public input into the creation of an effective national IP enforcement strategy.

25 February 2010

Time for brand owners to talk to auction sites?

At a time when many brand owners are looking at strategies to counter counterfeit goods being sold on online auction sites, Frederick Mostert, chief IP and lead counsel for Richemont International, has urged brand owners to engage in negotiations with online auction sites, rather than rushing to litigate. Mostert asserts that this process has enabled his company to achieve the same results at a fraction of the cost.

24 February 2010

Hungarian Patent Office intensifies debate over genuine use of CTMs

The Hungarian Patent Office has rejected a trademark opposition on the grounds that the complainant “provided proof of genuine use of the invoked Community trademark only in one member state”. The ruling follows the stance taken in ONEL.

22 February 2010

Mark owners urged to comment in "final" gTLD consultation

Trademark owners have been given what may be their last opportunity to comment on proposed rights protection mechanisms in the new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) space, even though the measures will not be finalized before gTLD applicants may have to publish their intentions.