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29 November 2010

OHIM creates 10 new posts, enters anti-counterfeiting arena

OHIM's new president has announced the creation of 10 new posts and the provision of extra money as his office plans to take on enforcement activity in 2011. The declaration was made as António Campinos, who took office last month, gave his first address to OHIM's newly reformed Administrative Board.

09 November 2010

WIPO modernisation inspires opportunistic IP fraudsters

WIPO has admitted that potentially infringing use of its name and logo has increased since its corporate rebrand earlier this year. The frequency of scams and fraud committed against Madrid system users has reached a plateau, but potentially infringing websites are still live and trademark owners are still receiving fraudulent invoices.

08 November 2010

National offices outline cooperation fund hopes and dreams

Last month, OHIM wrote to Community trademark (CTM) owners to detail progress with the cooperation fund projects, naming the latest projects to have gained approval. These include such cornerstones of the cooperation initiative as databases for seniority and similar goods and services. WTR asked the most needy offices which projects will be of most use to them - and here are their answers.

28 October 2010

MEPs slam national offices over challenge to the CTM system

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for the internal market and services, has waded into the genuine use debate, sending a stern warning to national offices challenging the Community trademark (CTM) system.

28 October 2010

Renewal split demands “difficult” legislation, de Boer warns

Wubbo de Boer has stated that national offices will need to justify the receipt of Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) funds under the 50% renewal split arrangement, arguing that it is not enough for the agency to warrant paying out money on the basis that it had to “bribe” national offices to agree to changes under the September 2008 compromise solution.

28 October 2010

Don’t believe all you read – fakes are not fine

Media coverage of a recent British Journal of Criminology article focused on claims that it encouraged the purchase of fake luxury goods and suggested that counterfeits benefit both consumers and brand owners. However, the author notes that the headlines were deceiving and wants industry to assist in ongoing research

26 October 2010

CTM users appraise Campinos' commitment to anti-counterfeiting

The challenges at the top of OHIM are many, but it seems that Antonio Campinos is getting off to a good start. That's the feeling from anecdotal evidence collected by WTR since Campinos' first speech last Friday. However, while Community trademark (CTM) owners are happy with his promise of commitment to their needs, the call for detail on the office's proposed involvement in anti-counterfeiting activities will only get louder if not answered soon.

22 October 2010

New OHIM president unveils bold anti-counterfeiting ambitions

Three weeks into his new role, OHIM president António Campinos has given the first insight into his vision for the agency. While an emphasis on quality and engagement with all stakeholders were the key themes, the most interesting contrast with his predecessor came when discussing OHIM’s potential role in enforcement activities.

18 October 2010

Cyber terrorists attack tech-savvy trademark office

Just as the USPTO received its two millionth electronic trademark application, proving the demand for high-tech registries, one of the finest IP offices in the world has fallen to its knees at the hands of copyright reform campaigners. Operation Payback, which attacks what it calls "the reign of extreme pro-copyright" organisations, this weekend denied trademark owners access to the online services of the UK IPO. The news comes on the day that the UK government reveals that cyber attacks are among the greatest threat to the United Kingdom.

18 October 2010

Will the USPTO be able to identify the trademark bullies?

Seven months ago President Obama gave the green light to a study into mark owners' litigation tactics, with commentators wondering whether it would be able to reach any concrete conclusions on the emotive issue of trademark bullying. While the answer has moved a step closer following a request for comments on the issue, it is crucial that large brand owners engage with the consultation period to ensure any recommendations are based on a wide spectrum of views.

05 October 2010

Disaffected Madrid users can now expect a reply from WIPO

WIPO has launched a new Customer Service Centre to improve its responsiveness to all stakeholders. Building on other recent enhancements, the initiative could represent a sea change in the organisation's interaction with Madrid users, who have felt ignored for years.

23 September 2010

WIPO opens global IP law database, but watch for errors

WIPO has launched what it describes as a "one-stop search facility" which compiles for the first time online all the national IP laws and treaties of WIPO, WTO and UN member states. WIPO Lex looks to be a valuable tool, but one early user has already spotted the inclusion of an abandoned law.

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?

20 September 2010

OHIM president signs off with a warning for national trademark offices

With just over a week until he hands over the OHIM presidency, rather than go quietly into the night Wubbo de Boer has made clear his personal views on how the organisation should structure the renewal fee split and balance the budget. As expected, the interests of users were high on the agenda, with a warning to national offices that the receipt of OHIM funds needs to be justified.

09 September 2010

USPTO: trademarks will get as good a data deal as patents

The USPTO this week announced its attractive and valuable Data Visualization Center, which displays for attorneys live statistics about the performance of the office. While patent attorneys cheered the initiative, trademark lawyers could have been forgiven for feeling left out. But they will soon be able to join in too: the USPTO has told WTR of plans to extend the service to the trademark side of its business.