IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "International Trademark Association"

INTA Brief to CJEU Says Locally Significant Unregistered Trade Names Can Co-Exist with Later Registered National Trademarks

The International Trademark Association (INTA) last week submitted an amicus brief to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) providing its input on the topic of whether earlier unregistered rights of local significance, like trade names, can coexist with later registered national trademarks. The case was referred by the Dutch Supreme Court.

INTA Submits Comments to CJEU on Non-Challenge Clauses

Filing a request for revocation of a trademark, despite a non-challenge clause in a trademark agreement, constitutes an act of bad faith—according to an amicus submission filed by INTA in a case pending before the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). The German Federal Supreme Court has referred two questions to the CJEU in a dispute between two formerly related companies. (Case C-62/21, Leinfelder Uhren München.) They had signed agreements in which the defendants in this case undertook not to attack the plaintiff’s trademark, nor to assist a third party to do so. However, a lawyer acting on behalf of the defendants subsequently filed revocation actions for non-use against the plaintiff’s EU trademarks. In response, the plaintiff asked the German courts for an order requiring the defendants to instruct the lawyer to withdraw the revocation actions, and also for damages.

2021 International Trademark Association Virtual Pro Bono Clinic

The INTA Pro Bono Committee is pleased to announce that its upcoming virtual legal clinic will take place on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at 11 AM EDT. This online program is a single-day event, designed like a walk-in legal clinic where qualified applicants from anywhere in the world can consult with volunteer trademark attorneys on a pro bono basis. Attorney…

On World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, Organizations Highlight Proliferation of Online Fakes Amid Pandemic and Offer Solutions

Yesterday was World Anti-Counterfeiting Day (though there’s not much available online to prove it). Of course, counterfeits have proliferated over the last year, as people stayed home and shopped online more than ever before. A January 2021 report by Digital Commerce 360 found that U.S. ecommerce sales grew by 44% last year over 2019—” the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades.” As part of a report released yesterday on how to address the sale of counterfeits online, the International Trademark Association (INTA) said that—even in more normal times—a 2020 Department of Homeland Security report found that “e-commerce year-over-year retail sales grew by 13.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019 while total retail sales increased by only 3.2 percent as brick-and-mortar retail continued its relative decline.”

INTA Comments in George Orwell EUTM Cases on Names and Titles

The International Trademark Association (INTA) last week filed amicus briefs before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Grand Board of Appeal in three cases concerning applications to register EU trademarks (EUTMs) for the words GEORGE ORWELL, ANIMAL FARM and 1984. The  briefs concern the registration of trademarks for names of historical persons/famous authors (the GEORGE ORWELL case) and titles of literary or artistic works (the ANIMAL FARM and 1984 cases). All of the applications were filed in 2018 by The Estate of the Late Sonia Bronwell Orwell (George Orwell’s second wife, who survived him and died in 1980) without evidence of acquired distinctiveness through use.

U.S. and EU Copyright Law Developments Reviewed at INTA Annual Meeting

Last week, during the International Trademark Association’s (INTA’s) all-virtual 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting, panelists Naomi Jane Gray, Axel Nordemann and Catherine Zaller Rowland discussed perspectives in Copyright Law in a session titled “Hot Topics in Copyright: The New and Controversial Landscape.” In particular, the panelists discussed United States and European perspectives on 1) mash-ups, politics and parody, 2) Liability for Platforms and Service Providers, and 3) Useful Articles.

Panelists Address Growing Threat from ‘Brand Restrictions’ at Virtual INTA Annual Meeting

Restrictions on the use of branding symbols are a growing and serious threat to IP rights, according to a panel of trademark specialists speaking at the online INTA Annual Meeting this week, which has been combined this year with the Association’s Leadership Meeting and is being held virtually. About 3,340 people from 110 countries are registered to attend. The moderator of the panel, former INTA President Ronald van Tuijl of JT International S.A., said there is “a very strong case against brand restrictions” arguing that: “In a market where all products look alike, the products become commoditized. Premium brands lose market share or are even delisted. That results in less consumer choice ultimately.”

Will SCOTUS Tell Bad Spaniels to Roll Over?

Sometimes a dog toy is just a dog toy. Maybe that’s how Sigmund Freud would have put it; certainly, that’s the message from our client, the International Trademark Association (INTA), to the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is a Ninth Circuit decision that extends First Amendment protection to ordinary commercial goods like dog toys, at the expense of trademark rights. INTA, Jack Daniel’s competitors, alcohol beverage industry associations, and other trademark advocates this week asked SCOTUS to step in and reverse.

Other Barks & Bites, August 2: VirnetX Patent Claims Revived, AIA Trial Fees Increased, and CAFC Rules in Celgene that AIA Trials Do Not Violate the Fifth Amendment

This week in Other Barks & Bites: The Federal Circuit issues several precedential decisions, including one reviving the patent claims in VirnetX and another determining that America Invents Act (AIA) validity trials don’t violate the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause in Celgene. This week in Other Barks & Bites: The Federal Circuit issues several precedential decisions, including one reviving the patent claims in VirnetX and another determining that America Invents Act (AIA) validity trials don’t violate the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause in Celgene; the USPTO proposes fee increases to patent examination and AIA trials and issues a final rule on e-filing in trademark registrations; Katy Perry is ordered to pay $2.7 million for copyright infringement; free OTA TV service Locast is targeted in a copyright suit filed by Disney and other major broadcasters; Pfizer and Mylan consider creating a global giant in off-patent drugs; the University of California files patent suits against major retailers over LED light bulb technology; and patent applications listing artificial intelligence machine inventor are filed in patent offices across the world.

SCOTUS to Hear ‘The Most Significant Unresolved Legal Issue in Trademark Licensing’ in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC

On February 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case presents the question of whether a debtor-licensor’s rejection of an executory trademark license agreement in bankruptcy, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365, results in the agreement’s complete termination, including loss of the licensee’s right to use the licensed trademark. Given that trademarks are the most widely used form of registered intellectual property, and trademark rights often are among a debtor’s key assets, the treatment of the debtor’s licenses of those rights is an issue that arises frequently in the bankruptcy context. For this reason, among others, the issue presented by this case has been hailed by the International Trademark Association (INTA) as “the most significant unresolved legal issue in trademark licensing.”

Dangerous Counterfeits Becoming More Difficult to Avoid

While many holiday shoppers may think that they’re getting a bargain by purchasing goods displaying a particular brand without having to pay brand prices, these shoppers are unwittingly gifting low-quality items or worse, products that pose health hazards, to their friends or loved ones. Thanks in large part to the Internet, counterfeiting operations have reached epidemic levels in recent years. Nearly half of all brand owners are losing revenues because of the sale of counterfeits and, in 2017, U.S. customs agencies seized a total of 34,143 shipments carrying counterfeited goods being imported into the U.S. But counterfeiting is a victimless crime, the common refrain goes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Terrorist organizations and organized crime families are turning to counterfeiting as a meaningful source of income given the exceptionally low penalties even if they are caught and extraordinarily high profit margins — profit margins that are even higher than selling drugs on the street. 

Trademark Enforcement Implications of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The WHOIS database provides technical information about the date of creation and expiration of a domain, as well as contact information for the registrant of a website, including name, physical address, email address, and phone numbers. GoDaddy and WHOIS.com appear to have selectively redacted the information only for registrants providing an EU contact address. However, given the difficultly of determining which domain owners are EU citizens, many registrars, such as Tucows, removed data for all domains regardless of where the registrant is located. In light of this WHOIS blackout, the GDPR has effectively made it easier for counterfeiters and infringers to evade detection.

Senators Discuss Counterfeits at GIPC, INTA Forum for World IP Day

On Thursday, April 24th, I attended a Sports Industry briefing and cocktail reception in honor of World IP day.   The program was sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) and International Trademark Association (INTA). The program featured a panel of policymakers, including US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Vishal Amin, and Congressional Trademark Caucus Co-Chairs, Senator Chris Coons and Senator Chuck Grassley as well as Attorneys who represent the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and IMG College Licensing.

Craft Beer vs. Big Beer Trademark Suit May Test 9th Circuit’s ‘Irreparable Harm’ Standard

A resounding en garde was declared by California craft beer brand Stone to MillerCoors, the second largest beer company in the United States, over the alleged taking of their brand recognition. On February 12, 2018 Stone Brewing filed a federal complaint alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and California unfair competition. The complaint requests preliminary and permanent injunction, declaratory relief, and both actual and treble damages on the basis of willful trademark infringement by MillerCoors… A particularly interesting factor in this case is likelihood of irreparable harm. MillerCoors may find room for defensive maneuvers due to recent shifts in the standard for proving irreparable harm.

Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door to Additional Constitutional Challenges to the Lanham Act

The Supreme Court ruled that the anti-disparagement clause in the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office may no longer deny registration of a federal trademark application on the ground of disparagement. Several states, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have anti-disparagement trademark provisions that will no longer be enforceable either… The statute does not define ‘scandalous’, but like the restriction against disparaging marks, the courts and the PTO focus on whether a mark is offensive.