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23 July 2013

The statistics showing that social media is taking centre stage for trademark counsel at big brands

A recent study highlights how social media has rapidly increased in importance to the United States’ biggest brand owners in recent years. That can only mean one thing for trademark counsel...

02 July 2013

US urged to ‘ease up’ over IP piracy in China

An article published by the Council on Foreign Relations has suggested that efforts to push China to change its approach to IP law are not worth the political and diplomatic capital the United States is spending on it. For those battling piracy, the key question is how likely a change in stance actually is.

21 June 2013

New US study into the economic impact of IP due in December

The Executive Office of the President of the United States released its 2013 strategic plan for IP enforcement yesterday. Following the release last year of the US Department of Commerce study into the impact of IP-intensive industries, the White House promises a regular, annual report into the economic benefits of IP and calls for enhanced public engagement on the issues of counterfeiting and piracy.

18 June 2013

Opinions split over New York bill to tackle counterfeit demand

Proposals to make the knowing purchase of counterfeit goods a criminal offence have been the subject of debate by New York council's Public Safety Committee – with opinions split over the best way to tackle demand for fake goods.

06 June 2013

Following the trolls: could judges lead anti-trademark bullying efforts?

Following a White House communication outlining ways to tackle ‘patent trolls’, a call has been made for judges to shift the cost burden of litigation abuse from the defendant to the plaintiff. Could such an approach also be adopted in cases of trademark bullying?

20 May 2013

USPTO responds to trademark bullying report criticism

The issue of trademark bullying remains divisive and the USPTO has written to WTR to respond to criticism of follow-up activities to the Department of Commerce’s report on litigation tactics. The split in opinions illustrates the continued challenge in creating a coherent industry stance on bullying.

04 December 2012

USPTO sets out the trademark challenges facing Kappos’ successor

Last week, WTR reported on the news that David Kappos, Director of the USPTO, is to step down from his post next month. While no official announcement has yet been issued, this week saw the release of the agency’s performance and accountability report for fiscal year 2012, which identified some of the challenges awaiting his successor.

27 November 2012

Kappos to exit USPTO, agency looks to the future

David Kappos, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO, is to leave the office by the end of January 2013. The reasons for his decision, which came to light last night, are sketchy at present – Kappos informed staff by email of his decision to leave the office but, at the time of writing, no official statement has been released by the agency. All eyes will now be on possible replacements – and the impact he or she may have for trademark practitioners.

09 October 2012

It’s not easy being green as USPTO takes tougher line on eco-friendly claims

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised its guidelines on marketing environmentally friendly products and services. While the FTC rulebook will help the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to combat applicants attempting to mislead consumers, brand owners with genuine green claims will also have to be mindful of the shift in examination practice.

26 September 2012

US election shifts debate on intellectual property

With the United States’ presidential election fast approaching, intellectual property is becoming a major campaign focus for both incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The past 12 months have seen intellectual property protection become a mainstream political issue after the outcry over online piracy legislation. However, while the latter demonstrated resistance to stronger IP laws, the current focus takes a different stance, with intellectual property theft by Chinese companies in the political crosshairs.

17 September 2012

Trademark or patent practitioners - which are made of the stronger moral stuff?

Data revealed at last week’s Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, gave some interesting food for thought regarding the moral fibre of a minority of IP professionals – and trademark practitioners in particular.

10 July 2012

Politics and trademarks – the continuing story

It seems like the worlds of politics and intellectual property have clashed on an almost weekly basis in 2012 and this week the trend continued – taking time out from his own trademark battle, President Obama signed into law an act that strengthens the penalties for trafficking in counterfeit drugs. Meanwhile, over the road from the White House, the House Foreign Affairs Committee launched an investigation into allegations that WIPO supplied computers and other sensitive technology to Iran and North Korea.

18 May 2012

Online piracy debate shifts to new battleground

With PROTECT IP and SOPA seemingly vanquished and ACTA facing new obstacles, the debate over IP protection and online freedom shows no sign of abating, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership shaping up as the next battleground.

15 May 2012

Pernod Ricard goes on the offensive after Supreme Court blow

No sooner had the US Supreme Court refused to review the decision of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia which prevented the renewal of Pernod Ricard’s HAVANA CLUB trademark registration in the United States, than the multinational drinks company came out fighting – unveiling a new brand for its Cuban-produced rum.

25 April 2012

Information sharing boost for US Customs and trademark owners

Victoria Espinel, US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, has announced that US Customs & Border Protection is now free to share information with trademark owners as part of its efforts to identify potentially infringing products.