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23 May 2014

China’s Trademark Office braces itself for difficulties as application levels surge

The latest figures released by China’s Trademark Office reveal that applications levels jumped by 14.15% in 2013, with more than 1.8 million trademark applications received. Reflecting on the figures, Zhang Mao, minister at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, highlighted the unprecedented difficulties facing the office.

27 March 2014

How Singapore’s PTO is harnessing art to take pro-IP message to the masses

This week World Trademark Review was the first media outlet to receive a sneak preview of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s (IPOS) new service centre, which opens next month and is designed to serve both IP novices and experts. To attract the former, it has placed an emphasis on artistic creation and will use art installations, band performances and photography exhibits to entice the public to learn more.

03 March 2014

Trademarks registry revamps its online platform

With India now a member of the Madrid Protocol, it is imperative for the Trademark Office to clear its backlog and speed up its digitisation drive. The office has recently taken several steps to improve its functioning - in particular, it has improved its web portal by introducing several new services for the benefit of brand owners and practitioners.

28 January 2014

IP regime to see major changes in 2014

This year the IP Court is expected to acquire more importance with the merging of the Supreme Commercial Court into the Supreme Court. In addition, the next amendments to the IP Law, which should make the law more favourable to rights holders, are expected this spring. Finally, the expansion of the Customs Union - with Armenia and Kyrgyzstan due to join - will affect the Russian IP landscape.

29 October 2013

KIPO issues new plan for improving quality of examinations

The Korean Intellectual Property Office has announced a plan for improving the quality of trademark and design examinations, in order to support the marketing efforts of businesses and enhance the competitiveness of companies through innovative brand and design creation. Among other things, KIPO plans to ease its strict examination standards regarding the distinctiveness of trademarks.

24 October 2013

SAIC releases statistics on free-riding

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce’s campaign against free-riding, which aims to crack down on companies free-riding on well-known trademarks in the food and general merchandise industries, has been prolonged until November 2013. Analysis of statistics released by SAIC shows that the counterfeiting of well-known trademarks is the main form of free-riding.

03 October 2013

Consumer attitudes towards counterfeits in Hong Kong slowly changing

Although new research indicates that 73% of respondents in Hong Kong have purchased counterfeit products, more positive for brand owners is that the percentage that would do so again is dropping for certain industries. The findings provide practical takeaways for brand owners in other jurisdictions in terms of changing consumer attitudes towards fake goods.

19 September 2013

Supreme People's Procuratorate statistics reveal growth in IP rights crimes

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate has released statistics on IP rights-related crimes for the first half year of 2013. The statistics show a year-on-year growth in IP rights crimes, with trademark-related crimes accounting for 80% of the total number of cases. However, procuratorates across the country have processed a substantial number of criminal cases during the past five years.

10 July 2013

India’s franchising industry could be worth $50 billion by 2017

A recent report estimates that the $13.4 billion Indian franchising industry could grow almost fourfold by 2017. The findings suggest vast opportunities for brand owners to take a stake in the country’s booming consumer market – but trademark counsel will have to be vigilant to ensure that brands are protected when entering into franchise relationships.

08 June 2013

India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol may result in serious confusion, warn trademark counsel

Set to accede to the Madrid Protocol on July 8, trademark counsel point out that India’s ratification could result in marketplace chaos due to an overlooked provision in the legal framework. International brand-owners that plan to apply for trademark registration are counseled to specify a jurisdiction in their applications to avoid potential confusion.

25 April 2013

A brewing storm for heritage brands Down Under?

Microbrewery Thunder Road Brewing argued for the cancellation of a number of trademarks held by Foster’s-owned Carlton & United Brewers during a hearing before the Australian trademarks registrar last week. The outcome of the case could have significant implications for owners of heritage brands in the country.

24 April 2013

A question of trust – the need to engage consumers in Indonesia

The Jakarta Globe recently reported on the flood of foreign brands into Indonesia. As trademark owners start looking closely at this booming Southeast Asian nation, they can’t underestimate the importance of consumer outreach.

21 February 2013

Trademarks Office initiates special project to clear backlog

Close on the heels of a drive to clear oppositions which have been settled by the parties, the Controller General of Trademarks has initiated a new project to clear the backlog of requests pending before the Trademarks Registry relating to post-registration changes. This ambitious project aims to clear all requests filed up to December 31 2012.

06 December 2012

Trademark squatting: light at the end of the tunnel?

Trademark squatting has long been an issue for overseas trademark owners but, recently, the Chinese judiciary has openly acknowledged the problem. On December 3 2012 the Beijing Number 1 Intermediate People's Court held a press conference to report on its study into "the cause and characteristics of, and judicial response to, trademark squatting". At the same time, the court delivered judgment in six cases against trademark squatters.

22 June 2012

Measures taken to streamline functioning of Trademarks Registry

The controller general of patents, designs and trademarks has issued a series of notices to ensure the smooth functioning of the various departments of the Trademarks Registry and the prompt disposal of pending cases. Several teams have been set up in order to clear the backlog in the main sections of the registry.