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15 September 2015

Notorious ‘cybersquatter’ advises brands: ‘know your target and adapt your approach’

A parody artist who has been entangled in a number of high-profile cybersquatting cases has told World Trademark Review that the “scare tactics” utilised by brand owners against alleged domain-squatters should not be the default option, noting that he has responded more positively to ‘polite’ approaches.

10 September 2015

11th Circuit considers when professional name can be protected as trademark

In Tartell MD v South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has addressed the question of when a professional name can be protected as a trademark. The 11th Circuit reversed the district court’s judgment in favour of the plaintiff, finding that the plaintiff doctor’s name had not acquired that distinction.

09 September 2015

Do's search results constitute trademark infringement?

In Multi Time Machine Inc v Inc, holding that a reasonable jury could find that an online retailer created a likelihood of consumer confusion through the format of its product search returns, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in a trademark infringement action filed by a watch company that did not authorise distribution via the online retailer.

30 July 2015

Casino trademark attacks on video game developers require class rethink, says industry lawyer

A growing number of large casino companies are threatening small video game developers with legal action over alleged trademark infringement, a New York lawyer has told World Trademark Review. Ryan Morrison, who runs a firm that specialises in representing independent games companies, claims this has been caused by a trademark classification system that is not keeping pace with the development of new technology.

06 July 2015

Rapidly growing podcast industry “underutilising” trademark protection

It was 10 years ago last month that Apple updated its iTunes software to support podcasts natively. Today, up to 75 million people a month listen to podcasts on iTunes, with the advertising revenue generated by the medium also on the rise. However, despite swift growth, the sector appears to be lagging behind in terms of brand protection and registered trademark rights.

02 July 2015

Funimation’s boundary-setting statement offers positive lesson on trademark engagement

When a trademark owner is perceived to act in a heavy-handed way, any resulting backlash is reported with relish by the mainstream media. However, the reverse rarely gets the coverage it deserves. This week, US production company Funimation directly engaged with the fan art community in a bid to explain how and why it has to police its marks. Its message was broadly welcomed by its target audience, many of whom have become allies in spreading the message.

19 February 2015

When faced with online trolls or ‘truthers’, trademarks are not necessarily the answer

That the family of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim has had to resort to applying for a trademark in a bid to deter online harassment is a sad sign of the times. However, in this instance, it is doubtful that trademark law will provide the solution they are seeking, with one commentator calling for more to be done to help those affected.

13 February 2015

Red ‘Bull-ying’ claim is not as clear cut as the media is portraying

Reports that Red Bull is challenging family-run Old Ox Brewery for violating its trademark have gone near-viral, with the reporting often focused on just one half of the story.

12 February 2015

Generic top-level domains – the evolution of trademark protection

In early 2012 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers received over 1,900 applications for unlimited generic top-level domains (gTLDs). As opportunities increase for creative competitors, so do opportunities for creative infringers and counterfeiters.

12 February 2015

Domain registration and management strategies for 2015

More than ever, companies need to balance the need for promotion with protection by making intelligent domain registration decisions. They also need to ensure that domain assets, once registered, are completely secure.

12 February 2015

Uniform Rapid Suspension – the first 100 decisions and an economic analysis

This article examines some statistics and highlights from the first 100 Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) decisions. Next, using economic cost analysis, it compares URS with the longstanding Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in order to provide rights holders with the tools to evaluate the relative cost differences under the two scenarios.

12 February 2015

Return on investment – proving that protection pays

Legal departments frequently struggle with the need to justify the cost of their efforts to curtail counterfeiting to the business department, which tends to see such efforts as a cost rather than an investment in the brand. This chapter discusses how to convey those costs as a return on investment which helps to maintain brand value.

12 February 2015

How can trends in cybersquatting inform policing policy?

Looking back at 2014, it is clear that the strategy of actively protecting a brand or trademark in the online space has gained momentum and increasing support from the executive suite. Online brand policing is evolving from a strictly legal approach to one that encompasses marketing, e-commerce, compliance, security and profit and loss responsibilities.

12 February 2015

A new strategy for protecting luxury and fashion brands in the digital space

Fuelled by the increasing advances of the Internet for online sales and advertising, as well as by social media, brand cachet and corresponding demand for products have allowed companies to expand rapidly into new territories worldwide. Unfortunately, new growth opportunities for brands have given rise to new opportunities for counterfeiters which try to profit from the value of brands and owners’ efforts to build brand equity.

10 November 2014

Terrorist attacks victims attempt to recuperate ccTLDs

In recent years, terrorist attacks victims have obtained US federal court judgments against the Iranian, Syrian and North Korean governments on the basis that they had allegedly contributed to the funding of the terrorist acts at issue. As part of this process, the victims served ICANN with writs of attachment and subpoenas ordering it to “hold” the ccTLDs belonging to the defendant governments. ICANN has now filed motions to quash with a US district court.