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30 April 2010

Is the Special 301 Report out of date?

The Special 301 Report is starting to look tired. Not only will ACTA be a much stronger instrument in stopping the counterfeit trade, but the White House plan to fight IP theft through better stakeholder coordination sounds like a much more sensible approach to the problem.

26 April 2010

Let's hope WIPO's new logo isn't just lipstick on a gorilla

Since Francis Gurry took office as director general of WIPO 18 months ago, the IP community has been hoping for radical change at the UN body. The fruits of Gurry's long-term reform project are due to ripen. But, as WIPO unveils its new brand identity, WTR asks: does the new logo symbolize positive change at WIPO, or is it merely lipstick on a gorilla?

22 April 2010

EU study grinds to a halt, stranding CTM users

The latest victim of Eyjafjallajoekull is the study into the EU trademark system. Today was supposed to be CTM owners' chance to participate in the ongoing study into the EU trademark system, with no fewer than 15 user associations invited to Munich to meet the researchers from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) and provide further input. But now the meeting has been cancelled, users are concerned that their voices may not be heard.

21 April 2010

Now that ACTA is published, WIPO has two options

The parties negotiating ACTA have finally published a draft of the controversial treaty. As expected, one of its most fascinating provisions is that for an ACTA oversight committee, a forum that many fear would bypass WIPO.

20 April 2010

New brands in the pipeline as filings outstrip renewals

It seems that trademark practice is finally picking up again, after one of the deepest recessions in living memory. New statistics collected by WTR show that over 30% of in-house trademark counsel identified a rise in filings over the year to March 2010, compared to 20% in the previous period.

19 April 2010

Now is Gurry's chance to break ACTA silence

Several members of the European Parliament sent a bundle of leading questions to Francis Gurry last week, asking the director general of WIPO to consider the impact of ACTA. The MEPs are clearly hoping that WIPO will throw its weight behind their criticism of states' "calculated choice... not to negotiate through well-established international bodies, such as WIPO".

13 April 2010

OHIM's perplexing management strikes again, denies Council a voice over president

The race for the new president of the OHIM seems all but over. Yesterday's surprise announcement means Antonio Campinos has won so much support from OHIM's Administrative Board that only his name will be forwarded for consideration by the European Council. OHIM's rules have created a potentially sticky situation as they have led to the board giving the Council no choice: it must appoint Campinos or no one.

12 April 2010

European mark owners' tough stance on "non-transparent" national offices

As discussions over the names of those who may succeed Wubbo de Boer as president of the OHIM re-open this week, European mark owners are becoming ever louder in their request for national offices to clear up their act.

24 March 2010

USPTO turns to trademarks and consults users on IT overhaul

USPTO director David Kappos has finally turned his attention from patents to trademarks, revealing plans to offer full service electronic processing. The IT overhaul provides trademark owners with a rare opportunity to present a wish list of demands to the organization.

23 March 2010

UK brands plot world domination, impeded by red tape

UK business leaders and government wince when they hear that only four of the top 100 global brands are from the United Kingdom. The poor standing is starker still when viewed alongside the United Kingdom's rivals France (8) and Germany (11). But efforts are now afoot to improve this embarrassing situation, according to a new report into how the United Kingdom can improve its IP regime to create a warmer environment for domestic brands.

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?

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.