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07 February 2018

Ram Trucks ad backlash; will negative press translate to longer term brand value?

Criticism of a Ram Trucks ad aired during this week’s Super Bowl broadcast continues to rumble on. A key question from a brand perspective is whether holding ground in the face of a backlash is the right approach.

06 February 2018

US Senate confirms Iancu, Zimbabwe targets fakes and brands oppose Conor McGregor: news round-up

In our latest news round-up we look at how the Zimbabwe government is pledging to tackle counterfeit goods, the brands being accused of using “underhand tricks” to fool consumers, and much more.

05 January 2018

Reverse domain name hijacking leads to award of attorney fees

The Southern District of Florida has granted the award for attorney fees after PeopleNetwork decided not to pursue its oppositions against registrations for various BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE marks due to lengthy and costly proceedings. 

01 January 2018

United States: Case law shines a light on internet evidence at motion to dismiss stage

Assessing the relevance of internet evidence can be a daunting task for rights holders. However, if submitted accurately at the earliest stages, such evidence may sway infringement proceedings

24 November 2017

With Black Friday in full swing, exclusive research reveals brand protection gaps in new gTLDs

While consumers enjoy the low prices offered on Black Friday, the sales period is a significant challenge for trademark practitioners – especially for protecting shoppers from online scams. 

22 November 2017

Unexpected termination of a licence agreement proves costly

The District Court for the Southern District of Florida has entered a stipulated judgment for $1.5 million against an ex-licensee of the TECHNOMARINE trademark for federal trademark infringement and unfair competition. 

13 October 2017

Generic top level domains may not be generic

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently overturned a finding by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that the mark BOOKING.COM was generic for travel agency services in Class 39 and hotel reservation services in Class 43. The ruling could have implications for applicants seeking trademark registration for domain names comprised primarily of descriptive or generic wording.

01 August 2017

EFF highlights “trademark bullying” evasion tactics as debate over new gTLD policing heats up

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge have published a report advising domain name registrants that, in a bid to “minimise exposure to trademark bullying”, they should avoid registering domains in the new gTLD environment. While counsel may object to the ‘bullying’ label being extended to legitimate enforcement efforts, the report could have a positive payback for policing strategies.

24 July 2017

Penalty against Overstock’s false advertising affirmed on appeal

The California Court of Appeal has upheld the trial court’s ruling in the 2013 case The People v Overstock, in which the district attorney offices of a number of counties in California alleged unfair business practices and false advertising by Overstock.Com, Inc. The claims stemmed from Overstock’s comparative price advertising on its website product pages.

19 June 2017

Amazon not liable for infringement by third-party sellers

The Federal Circuit in Milo & Gabby LLC v Amazon.com, Inc has upheld a district court’s decision that Amazon was not liable for infringement by third-party sellers offering knock-off products through Amazon’s online marketplace, even where the third-party sellers use Amazon’s fulfilment services to deliver the product to the ultimate customer.

18 May 2017

Navigating changes in the internet landscape and staying ahead of the curve

The transition of the IANA functions from the US government to ICANN triggered a comprehensive review of many of ICANN’s services. While these do not have a serious impact on the everyday use of the Internet, they do have consequences for the services available to brand owners to combat counterfeiting and cybersquatting.

29 March 2017

Anti-social media: new horizons in brand-based fraud

Trademark infringement is cycling through social media at alarming rates, with infringers using these platforms to legitimise sophisticated schemes. Whether the objective relates to cybersecurity, counterfeiting, passing off, unfair competition or something else, many schemes have one component in common: the use of trademarks to secure consumer confidence.

29 March 2017

Balancing efficiency, expertise and protection: the trademark ecosystem

The number of trademark applications is rising each year as a result of the ease of reaching consumers through the Internet and the globalisation of markets. While some regions (eg, China) are registering more marks than others, this increase is a worldwide trend.

01 March 2017

United States: Could Trump rewind the transfer of the IANA function?

Donald Trump was a vocal critic of the transfer of internet governance functions to ICANN in September 2016. What action is he likely to take now that he is president?

07 February 2017

Mobile apps help to make the commercial world go round – bad actors slow the process

Mobile commerce accounted for 40% of online commerce on a worldwide basis in 2015, according to a report published by Flurry, an analytics blog produced by Yahoo!. As apps continue to pop up in a variety of app stores available across mobile platforms, there are more and more opportunities for fake apps to try to divert business from legitimate companies.