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29 November 2011

AG opinion in IP TRANSLATOR: OHIM’s class heading approach is wrong

Advocate General Bot has delivered an opinion in the IP TRANSLATOR case that invalidates OHIM Communication 4/03 regarding class headings. The communication, issued in 2003, supports the ‘class-heading-covers-all’ approach to registration; however the advocate general said today that this approach does not offer sufficient clarity.

14 November 2011

Talks continue, but longstanding differences present obstacle to GI consensus

Next month WIPO member states and interested parties will discuss a new draft instrument for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and appellations of origin. The proposals follow Antonio Campinos’ recent statement that OHIM would welcome the opportunity to oversee a non-agricultural register of GIs. However, the Europe v United States divide on GIs seems as wide as ever.

28 October 2011

Concerns voiced over trademark clearinghouse processes at ICANN meeting

With the ICANN community meeting in Senegal, more details have emerged about the proposed Trademark Clearinghouse – with concerns over data integrity and language capability.

25 October 2011

Paving the way for a trademark bullying clearinghouse

The USPTO’s study into trademark litigation tactics failed to shed any new light on the issue of bullying, but a public meeting has been set to discuss the potential role industry associations can play in providing legal education programs on trademark policing. At the same time, a new initiative aims to establish a trademark bullying clearinghouse. The first challenge will be defining when enforcement becomes bullying.

13 October 2011

Divide and conquer? India revisits plans to spin off the trademark office

India’s Office of the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks has asked for feedback on plans to spin off the trademarks registry in a government consultation paper launched this week. The concept was first rumoured more than a year ago and received a mixed reaction – so how will industry respond now, after a turbulent 12 months at the national office?

19 September 2011

The old and the new: OHIM president looks to the future of the European IP system

Speaking at MARQUES’ annual conference, OHIM president António Campinos expanded on the work that the agency is doing “in collaboration with national offices in the EU, and other partners, to try and make IP protection more accessible to business people and make sure that we have a joined-up system”. As well as improvements to trademark prosecution practices, his speech touched on new competencies the office could be tasked with.

26 July 2011

UK IPO report: trademarks are good, brands are bad

The findings of a study commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office to evaluate the benefits of trademark registration – that it does have a positive effect – will surprise no trademark attorney. The authors’ criticism of brand-building, however, will disappoint many.

19 July 2011

A billion-euro problem: how the EU postal network is the rising threat to brands

Fresh statistics from EU Customs confirm what many brand owners have feared for some time: consumers are buying more and more counterfeits through the mail. EU Customs claims to have seized 48,000 goods from the postal system in 2010, up by a factor of three from 15,000 the year before. Moreover, the authorities claim that seized counterfeits have broken through the billion-euro barrier, leaving brand owners wondering how the problem will be addressed.

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.

29 June 2011

USPTO’s new commissioner of trademarks sets out clear objectives

When Lynne Beresford retired from her post as US commissioner of trademarks at the end of last year, she left behind a well-oiled trademark office that was the envy of the patent profession. So how does Debbie Cohn, the new commissioner, feel about filling Beresford’s shoes? “I’m very lucky,” she told WTR recently. “Our customers seem to be very happy with our work, both in timeliness and quality. So in terms of operations, our job is to keep on going.”

15 June 2011

What connects the trademark offices of Armenia, Germany, India and the US?

New research by an Indian law firm has found that the national trademark offices of Armenia, Germany, India and the United States offer the best online services for brand owners. The trend of offices providing such services as access to their trademarks register is moving throughout the world, albeit slowly. But Armenia, Germany, India and the United States are leading the way.

10 June 2011

Did the MPI “chicken out” of addressing the genuine use CTM issue?

ECTA has expressed one of the strongest criticisms of the Max Planck Institute European trademark system study to date, saying that the institute was not brave enough to clean up the genuine use question. The barb came during ECTA’s annual conference, where rumours circulated that, before publishing their study, the MPI authors may have changed their original recommendation after learning that the Commission did not like it.

31 May 2011

Commission consults with CTM users, aims for autumn deadline

How do you look for something that you don’t know how to detect? The question over whether the CTM register has become cluttered is now at stalemate. While it was among the topics that the European Commission discussed with user groups last week in light of the publication of the European trademark study (in the very same room where the 2008 Compromise Solution was negotiated), it is not clear how on earth the Commission is expected to make sense of the issue.

25 May 2011

OHIM president explains focus on staff as agency gears up for expanded role

Antonio Campinos, president of OHIM, has told WTR that staff development is a key focus as the agency prepares to expand its range of activities. His comments were made just days before the European Commission tabled its proposal regarding the role of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.

09 May 2011

USPTO silent as attorneys pour scorn on trademark bullies study

While many trademark attorneys and academics across the United States continue to brand the study into trademark litigation tactics as “worthless”, the USPTO has said it “will not comment” on the criticism.