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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.

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?

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.

09 March 2010

University granted significant leverage for exploitation of letter combination

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a decision of the TTAB refusing registration of the University of South Carolina’s SC design mark and granting summary judgment in favour of the University of Southern California. The TTAB had also denied a counterclaim cancellation action attempting to cancel the University of Southern California’s registration for its standard character SC mark.

05 March 2010

Missing actual marketplace realities in confusion surveys can be fatal

In THOIP v The Walt Disney Company, the District Court for the Southern District of New York has excluded the confusion survey of plaintiff THOIP on the grounds that it did not recreate marketplace realities. The court's lengthy opinion provides a primer on the elements to consider in developing viable likelihood of confusion surveys.

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.

19 February 2010

US brand owners reject ‘loser pays’ option

Members of the INTA enforcement committee have told WTR that a ’loser pays’ trademark litigation system would not work in the United States.

16 February 2010

Trademark monsters: tackling Lanham Act bullies

As a US senator proposes a new study to investigate trademark bullies, WTR considers whether the Lanham Act needs updating.

16 February 2010

Brand owner input to Special 301 review due today

Brand owners planning on submitting comments to the United States Trade Representative regarding the Special 301 review process must do so today if they wish to testify at a public hearing.

12 February 2010

United States pins hopes on ACTA to drive reform

An official working with the United States Trade Representative has told WTR that the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should address US trading partners' "areas for improvement".

11 February 2010

US Customs calls for more input from brand owners

US Customs has urged brand owners to help improve border protection by becoming more involved in the process.

03 February 2010

Apple and Fujitsu staying quiet over IPAD trademark dispute

Despite widespread speculation, Apple and Fujitsu are remaining silent over the potential dispute concerning the IPAD trademark. However, it has emerged that Apple owns no major web domain containing the name of its new product.

02 February 2010

Trademark bullies to come under scrutiny

The USPTO will examine the extent to which US businesses are harmed by trademark owners’ overly aggressive litigation tactics, if a US senator's proposed study gets the green light.

02 February 2010

Kappos announces USPTO $2.3 billion budget request

David Kappos, the director of the USPTO, has revealed President Obama's $2.322 billion fiscal year 2011 budget request for his agency.

18 January 2010

USTR invites brand owners to Special 301 hearings

The US government is, for the first time, seeking input from brand owners at public hearings as part of the annual Special 301 review process.