30 Aug 2019
There is a lot of talk about blockchain. The technology is changing the way businesses operate and creating new ways of doing everyday transactions. This blog is an overview of recent developments in the area of blockchain and global trademarks rights.
4 Jun 2019
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a pilot program to explore the effectiveness of instituting expedited cancellation proceedings at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) for challenges to registrations based on abandonment or non-use
22 Mar 2019
On December 20, 2017, the Court of Appeal in Stockholm, Sweden, convicted 20 people for fraud in relation to sending fake invoices to applicants who had previously applied to register Community trademarks with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (“OHIM”, now the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)). From 2011 to 2014, the fraudsters sent hundreds of fake invoices under the misleading name “OMIH” that appeared to have been sent by the OHIM to recipients in various countries.
22 Mar 2019
Like any proprietor wishing to protect its trademark rights, those adopting marks having “shock value” may also create valuable rights and wish to pursue stronger, enforceable trademark rights through registration. These parties have faced obstacles as IP offices in various countries enforce the provisions of their trademark laws that relate to immoral or scandalous marks. Arguments related to “free speech” have often been used as a defense.
5 Nov 2018
Like Canada, Mexico is introducing some significant substantive and procedural changes to its trademark law. The changes are to align its practice with that of its foreign commercial partners and are expected to come into force 60 working days from the May 18, 2018 publication in the Mexican Federal Gazette.
15 Jun 2018
The Venezuelan Patent and Trademark Office has temporarily suspended payment of official fees by foreign applicants, pending the publication of new official fees. As a result, some services including renewals, final granting taxes, patent annuities, and changes of ownership have been halted. Other services, including trademark filings, remain unaffected, as do proceedings involving domestic applicants, or those paid in local currency.
11 May 2018
It is now a requirement in Iraq to make a request for examination, which appears to involve a search, prior to filing a trademark application. If the examination results are clear, an application can be filed together with the examination results, and the application will be accepted and proceed to publication immediately. If the results are not clear, an application can still be filed, however, it appears that an appeal will be necessary to try to overcome the negative aspects of the examination report.
8 Feb 2018
There has been lots of activity on disparaging marks in the United States and Canada. Most notable is the US Supreme Court decision in the Slants case dealing with the “disparagement” provisions of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. Other cases dealing with the "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter” provisions of Section 2(a) are also making their way through the courts in the US. In Canada, there have been several cases before the courts and Human Rights Tribunals dealing with names and logos of sports teams. This article briefly looks at the outcome of these specific cases, as well as provisions of the Canadian Trademarks Act relevant to disparaging marks.