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02 April 2012

IPEC outlines anti-piracy successes while legislation stalemate continues

Victoria Espinel, US IP enforcement coordinator, has issued the 2011 Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement. While progress is clearly being made in the fight against counterfeiting, stalled legislation to combat online piracy remains on the agenda.

25 January 2012

Obama’s State of the Union address makes tackling counterfeits a priority

President Obama placed the fight against counterfeit goods firmly on the political agenda last night, using his State of the Union address in Washington DC to outline plans for a trade enforcement unit.

13 January 2012

US scores piracy victory in Spain, domestic picture gets ever more complex

While the United States have reportedly played an active role in the passage of Spain’s new anti-piracy legislation, the picture on the domestic front has got even more complicated, with the OPEN Act joining PROTECT-IP and SOPA on the legislative agenda.

07 December 2011

Congress attempts to upgrade border remedies and criminal penalties against counterfeits

Three new anti-counterfeiting bills were introduced in the US Congress in November 2011. These are the Protect American Innovation Act 2011, the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act (the AGREE Act) and the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act 2011. This demonstrates the US Congress’ commitment to crack down on the importation of counterfeit goods, including counterfeit drugs.

18 October 2011

Legislation paves way for increased information sharing from Customs

Amendments to the proposed Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act are set to ease restrictions on the pre-seizure sharing of information regarding potential counterfeit goods by Customs. But could more be done to strengthen the sharing of information between Customs and rights holders?

27 September 2011

Web hosting entity and its owner found liable for contributory trademark infringement

In Louis Vuitton Malletier SA v Akanoc Solutions Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a unanimous opinion, has upheld the jury verdict against Akanoc Solutions Inc and its owner for contributory trademark infringement for hosting websites of Chinese companies selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton goods.

13 September 2011

US government targets supply chain counterfeiters

The successful prosecution of a man described as “a veritable poster boy for the world counterfeiting network” demonstrates both the US government’s determination to prevent counterfeit goods from entering its supply chain and the need to ensure effective systems are in place to counter this threat. The deadline for public comments on this problem closes on Friday.

12 July 2011

Could the US PROTECT-IP Act really stifle online business and innovation?

A group of law professors has urged the US Congress to reject the PROTECT-IP Act, which was broadly welcomed by trademark owners in May. The act “may represent the biggest threat to the Internet in its history”, write the opponents, who include Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig, and trademark bloggers Eric Goldman and Rebecca Tushnet. Meanwhile, INTA has issued a statement in support of the proposed law.

28 June 2011

Fashion company awarded $164 million against online counterfeiters

Women's fashion company Tory Burch LLC has obtained a damage award of $164 million - perhaps the largest ever damage award in a fashion products counterfeiting case - against online retailers. The claims included trademark infringement, counterfeiting and cybersquatting resulting from the online offer and sale of counterfeit Tory Burch clothing and accessories under more than 200 domain names, including 'ToryBurchOutlets.com'.

18 February 2011

US government tightens grip on counterfeiters, but not without controversy

Earlier this week the US government seized 18 more domain names from websites selling counterfeit goods. The action was part of the ongoing Operation In Our Sites campaign, waged by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Popular with brand owners, the programme provokes high-level controversy – this week the US Senate reopened the debate over the bill that could make domain name seizures more commonplace.

17 February 2011

Luxury brand Coach sued over trademark enforcement tactics

Staunching the flood of counterfeits for sale on eBay can so easily drown an in-house trademark team that the task is often outsourced to an external service provider. Handbag designer Coach appears to have handed this job to Gibney Anthony and Flaherty, which sent an aggressive cease-and-desist letter to Gina Kim to stop her selling a single, second-hand Coach item online. The bag was authentic, not counterfeit, and Kim was so offended that she has sued Coach for, among other things, misrepresentation of trademark infringement.

09 February 2011

Espinel’s first-year success should win her more help from brand owners

Last week in Paris at the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, the mantra of enforcement authorities charged with protecting intellectual property appeared to be “we need more money, we need more help”. And this week along comes US IP Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel to show just how much can be done, with a little money and a little help – especially from the private sector.

01 February 2011

Keywords attract 11 million visits to fake sportswear sites

As gridiron fans limber up for the Super Bowl this weekend and sports brand owners build anti-counterfeiting strategies to fight the fake goods aimed at sports fans, new data shows that keyword ads pose a real threat to genuine goods. Over one-quarter of sponsored search results promoting sportswear are suspected of offering counterfeits, driving an estimated 11 million annual visits.

25 November 2010

US business lobby defends controversial online infringement bill

It is an insult to suggest that the proposed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act amounts to internet censorship, as has been suggested by the bill's opponents, a spokesman for the US Chamber of Commerce has told WTR.

28 October 2010

US prosecutors will take the fakes fight to organised crime, says former DoJ adviser

The US government is building solid cases against organised crime networks involved in the counterfeiting industry, a former Department of Justice IP taskforce adviser has told WTR.