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08 December 2017

A warning to prepare for ‘no deal’: EUIPO issues Brexit notice as negotiations move to next stage (updated)

The UK government and the European Commission have announced that an agreement has been struck to move the Brexit negotiations on to trade discussions.

31 October 2017

USPTO seeks greater cooperation with the Department of Justice in fight against fraudulent solicitation scammers

USPTO Commissioner Mary Boney Denison has expanded on the office’s proactive efforts to clamp down on fraudulent and misleading trademark solicitation campaigns.

12 October 2017

With the prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK government should have unilateral trademark provisions on standby

We look at why it is crucial for the United Kingdom to formulate an approach to EU trademarks in the event of a 'hard' Brexit.

05 June 2017

As UK election day looms, trademark lawyers prepare for change while political parties barely give intellectual property a glance

After one of the more divisive election campaigns in recent history, the UK electorate heads to the polls this Thursday. While social policies and national security have jostled with Brexit as the most important issue for voters, two new studies demonstrate that the UK’s move to leave the European Union remains a key concern for rights holders around the world. However, while some are adapting their filing strategies in preparation, many remain “perplexed” about what to do.

12 May 2017

UKIPO slammed for "not doing anything proactive to defend existing trademark owners" following Gleissner filing spree

A number of small business owners have contacted World Trademark Review to criticise the UK Intellectual Property Office’s (UKIPO) handling of trademark applications filed by entities related to entrepreneur and serial trademark filer Michael Gleissner. One stinging critique, from the owner of IT support firm Purple Computing, questions why the UKIPO is not providing sufficient protection for existing rights holders and claims that the duty to oppose or seek cancellation of marks is too financially burdensome for most small businesses.

18 April 2017

Apple case highlights UKIPO's strict approach in awarding costs

In this recent case before the UKIPO, the applicants had filed 68 applications to revoke Apple’s registered trademarks on the grounds of non-use. The hearing officer accepted Apple’s submissions that the applications constituted an abuse of process and that, therefore, it was entitled to off-scale costs. However, the hearing officer found that Apple’s assessment of the on-scale costs was wrong and decided to award only off-scale costs.

16 December 2016

Trademark implications of Brexit, Trump and Samsung Note 7 crisis feature in our most-read list of 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the blogs which received the most reads in the past 12 months. 

30 November 2016

Specsavers secures SHOULD’VE trademark registration; hits out at inaccurate media coverage

Eyewear giant Specsavers has successfully secured registered trademark protection on the term SHOULD’VE, a shortened version of its well-known tagline ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’. The initial application at the UK Intellectual Property Office spurred negative media reaction earlier this year, with reports claiming that it demonstrates the overreach of trademark law. However, in exclusive comments to World Trademark Review, Antony Douglass, principal IP counsel at Specsavers, has hit out at the “inaccurate commentary” surrounding the mark.

01 July 2016

Trademarks in a post-Brexit world: an infographic

It is now a week since the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union, with the past seven days characterised by market uncertainty and political upheaval. To cut through the confusion, we have put together an infographic that illustrates the potential impact the decision could have for trademark practitioners in the UK and across the world.

01 September 2015

Office improves fast-track opposition process, but flaws remain

The UK Intellectual Property Office has revealed the take-up level for its ‘fast-track’ trademark opposition process and also introduced a new costs cap to encourage further growth. However, one industry commentator argues that “serious brainstorming” is needed on how to make it a more viable option for risk-averse SMEs.

10 October 2014

Public awareness of IP crime rises, but counterfeit purchases continue

A report published today points to a growing awareness of IP crime among the UK public, with 90% of survey respondents viewing counterfeiting as morally wrong. However, this viewpoint does not necessarily influence individual purchasing decisions, illustrating the challenge ahead for the IP community.

11 September 2014

Are trademark registrations the new way for angry consumers to make a point?

Brands are well-used to disgruntled customers taking to social media to air their grievances, but consumers wielding trademark law is a less common tactic. However, one UK individual has bucked that trend and has registered a trademark in the name of the bank that is the source of his ire, with the corresponding domain name being used to air his grievances.

31 July 2014

The force is with famous trademarks in dispute over name change (updated)

(This article has been updated – the new information is italicised at the end of the article) The decision by the UK's Passport Office to reject a passport application because the applicant's signature, which reads 'L Skywalker', infringed a trademark is an unusual incident, and throws up the issue of how stringently passport examiners check trademarks.

16 June 2014

Trademark complaints rise, but this is not the start of a new era of conflict

At first glance, analysing the latest figures from the UK Intellectual Property Office suggests that trademark owners are being more combative in their efforts to protect their brands. However, the reality is that the shift – albeit limited – is heading the other way.

17 April 2014

Lawyers react to Commission recommendations on groundless threats reform

The Law Commission has published its proposals for reform of the groundless threats regime, a move which one practitioner feels will help further encourage a ‘negotiate first, sue later’ approach in UK trademark disputes.