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22 September 2010

Canada's police force sounds ready to give up on IP enforcement

Read Canada's newly published report on the extent of the counterfeiting problem and you would think that the Canadian police are so overwhelmed by fakes that they are about to give up the fight. In fact, the police might just be throwing a political football to the government as a way of asking for help – but is this call for help going to fall on deaf ears?

07 September 2010

Google investigation must consider trademarks and AdWords

The news that Google is being investigated on antitrust concerns is perhaps not surprising, but the fact that regulators may study Google's keywords policies certainly is. However, the possibility that it will consider the impact of AdWords policies – set to change in Europe next week – is why trademark owners should watch this investigation unfold.

02 September 2010

Is the tide turning in the controversy over what to do about counterfeits?

On Monday, UK brand owners and law enforcement officers raided a counterfeit market at a racecourse, seizing hundreds of fake goods. On Tuesday, they opened the newspaper to a report entitled "Fake goods are fine, says EU study". This is a somewhat stretchy interpretation of the research. But its author has nevertheless angered the IP community.

25 August 2010

OHIM - the year in review

It has been a busy year in Alicante. While efforts to tackle the backlog of opposition files and long processing times continued, the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) also launched TMview, unveiled and implemented the initial framework within which national offices and users can apply for support from the 50 million OHIM Cooperation Fund, found itself proposed for potential anti-counterfeiting responsibilities and appointed a new president (the latter resulting in questions over the selection process after just one name was forwarded for consideration by the European Council).

25 August 2010

Peter Dengate Thrush: the internet’s ringleader

On the cusp of the new generic top-level domain application period, ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush tells WTR that the trademark community may have delayed the process enough and that the board may be ready to force it into submission.

25 August 2010

Policy matters: trademarks in the real world

Trademark law is not practised in a bubble. Smart trademark counsel know that their team must dovetail with other departments in order to meet the company’s strategic objectives. They also understand that beyond the registration certificates lies a world where brands brighten up store shelves and billboards. The in-house trademark counsel is a nexus not just between internal teams, but also with the outside world. It is thus vital that trademarks are viewed in their wider commercial and political context.

20 July 2010

Your last chance to delay the gTLD trademark time bomb (probably)

Trademark owners concerned that the forthcoming expansion of the gTLD space will leave their rights open to infringement are rapidly running out of time. ICANN will soon close the latest round of comments - expected by many observers to be the last for a draft applicant guidebook (DAG).

16 July 2010

"Dialogue" alone won't purge auction sites of counterfeits

For auction sites, the removal of items from their listings dents their business models. The likes of eBay and Amazon Marketplace are publicly in agreement with brand owners that the deletion of fake goods from auction sites is in everyone's best interests. While this position is welcomed by brand owners, a way through the issue is more elusive than cybersquatters' WHOIS data.

14 July 2010

New police report reveals enforcement trends

The Chilean police force specialized in IP crimes has published a report covering the period from June 2009 to May 2010. Among other things, the report states that the number of actions for the enforcement of trademark and other IP rights has increased consistently.

14 July 2010

Political machinations threaten core mission of EU trademarks office

The European Union can be a very peculiar place. As readers of this blog will know, the community may soon add enforcement and anti-counterfeiting to the remit of its financially successful trademark registry, OHIM. For many, it is a strange proposal, and OHIM president Wubbo de Boer has now echoed trademark owners' fears that the idea may be underpinned by political and financial motivations.

08 July 2010

New trade name for Armenian brandy approved

The Armenian government has approved the name Arbun as the new trade name for Armenian brandy. The labels on bottles of Armenian brandy will bear the words 'Brandy' and 'Arbun' for a period of five years from the coming into force of the government's decision. Armenian brandy used to be marketed under the name Armenian cognac.

07 July 2010

Talking trademarks at the USPTO

In an exclusive interview with WTR, David Kappos, director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), explains how the Trademarks Next Generation project is being approached and takes issue with the suggestion that trademarks are not receiving the attention they deserve from the agency.

07 July 2010

Kurian hits out at rumours over reorganization of Indian IPO

The controller general of the Indian Intellectual Property Office (IPO), P H Kurian, has moved to quash rumours that the trademark function is set to be removed from the jurisdiction of the IPO.

07 July 2010

Global view

WTR presents a round-up of news from around the globe

07 July 2010

Full review of IP laws mooted in US

Victoria Espinel, the US IP enforcement coordinator, has unveiled the administration’s first joint strategic plan to combat IP theft. The strategy contains more than 30 concrete recommendations to fulfil the promise of helping and listening to “victims” (clarified as rights holders) of IP infringement, as well as raising the prospect of a full review of IP laws.