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07 February 2017

Alternative strategies for fighting counterfeits online

Faced with the continually expanding sale of counterfeit products online, more than ever, brand owners need to adapt and explore new and different ways to disrupt counterfeiters and make it harder and more expensive for them to succeed.

07 February 2017

New trends in online counterfeiting require updated enforcement policies

It is old news that counterfeiting is a vast, successful and global business which increasingly operates online. As the Office of the US Trade Representative’s 2016 Special 301 Report noted, online sales of counterfeit goods have the potential to surpass the volume of sales through traditional channels such as street vendors and other physical markets. What is new is the more recent significant shift in the practice of online counterfeiters.

02 February 2017

Amid hopes of a more pro-IP White House, CADNA re-enters the trademark policy fray

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) – the lobby group that was at the forefront of advocating for trademark owner interests in the run up to the new gTLDs programme – is again pushing for amendments to US anti-cybersquatting laws in light of the country’s new Republican-dominated government.

08 December 2016

Health insurance giant reveals why cybersecurity response planning is critical to retain brand value after hack

A legal representative from one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States has claimed that it is “no longer if, but when” a company will face a hacking incident. At INTA's Digital World Conference, Heather C Steinmeyer, managing associate general counsel at Anthem Inc, went on to reveal that responding to a cyber-breach effectively is the only way to ensure brand value is not significantly affected long term.

22 November 2016

Media brands can’t rely on Facebook and Google to fight the reputational risks posed by fake news

There have been growing calls in recent weeks for Facebook and Google to tackle content published by fake news websites. This follows accusations that both provided a platform for the sharing and promotion of misinformation during the recent US election. What is being less discussed is the responsibility that major media companies have to stop such sites – specifically those that use the branding of popular news outlets as a way to add legitimacy to their hoax articles.

08 November 2016

How domain squatters targeted candidates during the 2016 US election

New research from The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse has revealed the extent of identity squatting targeting this year’s presidential election candidates, as well as members of the US Congress and Senate.

01 November 2016

Access denied: an international perspective on ISP blocking injunctions

While the UK Court of Appeal has opened the door for broadband ISP blocking to combat trademark or copyright-infringing activities, the picture in the United States, China and Hong Kong is more complex

20 October 2016

Who is going to pay Alexander Wang $90 million?

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York has entered a default judgment in favour of Alexander Wang Inc and AW Licensing LLC – the entity that owns all of Alexander Wang’s IP rights – against 45 defendants, many of whose identities are unknown, for wilful counterfeiting and cybersquatting, awarding the plaintiffs a total of $90.8 million.

06 October 2016

‘Alt-right’ using brand names as racist code words – and companies are powerless to stop them

Online communities of so-called ‘alt right’ internet users have developed code words to hide bigoted slurs on social media in a bid to avoid perceived censorship. The code uses high-profile brand names, including Google, Yahoo and Skype, to substitute for offensive words to describe ethnic groups including African Americans, Mexicans and Jews. World Trademark Review has spoken to experts about what the affected brand owners can do  – but in terms of legal remedies, the options appear to be limited.

30 September 2016

FTC targets efforts to police keyword advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought a complaint against 1-800 Contacts Inc under Section 5 of the FTC Act targeting certain agreements restricting 14 competitors from bidding on search keywords comprising 1-800 Contacts’ trademarks. The complaint claimed that these agreements led to unfair competition by negatively affecting consumers, search engine companies and market players.

22 August 2016

Creating a unified front: how counsel are navigating the murky waters of social media in the US

The playing field for US brand owners has been transformed by the explosion of social media over the last decade. For the trademark professionals we spoke to as part of the current WTR 1000 research process, it has also presented a range of challenges – not least in making sure that law firm and corporate counsel are taking a consistent approach to enforcement

21 July 2016

Birkenstock leaves Amazon "to counterfeiters, fake suppliers and unauthorised sellers" as IP concern mounts

German footwear maker Birkenstock has decided to quit the Amazon marketplace in protest at what it perceives to be a lax approach to counterfeiting on the part of the online retailer.

28 April 2016

Amazon’s clear labelling defeats MTM trademark claims

The Supreme Court has denied certiorari for the Ninth Circuit decision in Multi Time Machine Inc v Inc, which held that Amazon did not infringe MTM’s trademark in its presentation of other competing products in a consumer’s search results.

07 April 2016

Google Translate can mean frustrazione for trademark applicants

While Google has generally made research much easier, the company’s Google Translate tool is causing frustration for many applicants seeking to register trademarks in the United States.

29 March 2016

Lord & Taylor agrees to settle FTC charge it "deceived consumers" over social media native advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an enforcement policy statement in January that clarified its stance on deceptively formatted advertisements. As we noted at the time, what will be important going forward is how the organisation tackles subsequent enforcement actions. This month the FTC shed some light onto its approach, in particular in the social media environment.