Trademarks and Brands

Centuries-old British Shipping Icon Subject of Trademark Dispute

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 14 June, 2018

Have you ever heard of the Plimsoll Line? If you aren't part of the world of shipping, you might be more familiar with the name "Plimsoll" used for a type of shoe (more on that later…)

The Plimsoll Line refers to the small circular image that appears on the hulls of ships around the world. The image — a painted circle bisected with a long horizontal line — is a marking that's designed to show whether a ship is overloaded. When the horizontal line is visible, the ship isn't at risk of sinking. If the line is not visible, well, there might be a problem.

The Plimsoll Line was devised by Samuel Plimsoll, an English politician and social reformer, who fought for merchant shipping regulation. Plimsoll's namesake load-marking image became mandatory on British ships when the United Kingdom Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 took effect. The Plimsoll Line later became standard worldwide.

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Topics: trademarks, trademark infringement

India Launches an Intellectual Property Mascot

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 13 June, 2018

Usually when we write about mascots, we're writing about the protection of their trademarks. From sports mascots (like Zabivaka for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Russia), to school mascots (how about the University of Wisconsin's Bucky Badger?), brand mascots (the Pillsbury Doughboy), or government agency mascots (Smokey the Bear), they all serve as important brand ambassadors. They create awareness, sometimes act as spokespeople, and appear in marketing campaigns and on merchandise.

But this time, we're writing about a new intellectual property mascot. The government of India has launched IP Nani— an intellectual property mascot to raise awareness about intellectual property rights. IP Nani is described as "a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson 'Chhotu' aka Aditya." At the introduction of the new mascot, India's Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu emphasized the need for all of society, including school-aged children, to be aware of the fundamentals of IP law and to be involved in efforts to protect against piracy.

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Topics: trademarks, Brand protection, intellectual property

Ivanka Trump Granted 7 New Trademarks in China

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 31 May, 2018

Seven new trademarks were granted by the Chinese government to US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka's fashion business. The trademarks cover a wide range of products, from books and housewares to textiles, snacks, and spices.

The new trademarks expand Ms. Trump’s growing trademark portfolio in China, which now totals 34. In June 2017, The New York Times reported that Ivanka had "17 registered trademarks and six that have won preliminary approval." At that same time, according to the Times, President Trump had"at least 89 trademarks registered" in China and "28 others that have won preliminary approval." Trademarks in China are registered three months after preliminary approval, barring any objections.

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Topics: trademarks, brands

Cash Incentives Are Possibly Behind Huge Influx of Chinese Trademark Applications in the US

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 30 May, 2018

US trademark applications from China have grown "more than 12-fold since 2013," totaling more than all filings from Canada, Germany, and the UK.  What's behind this huge increase? "Cash incentives," writes The Wall Street Journal.

It turns out that Chinese municipal governments are offering cash subsidies to Chinese citizens who register a trademark in a foreign country. Chinese citizens can earn hundreds of dollars for every trademark they register in the United States. According to the WSJ, the Chinese city of Shenzhen (a/k/a "the Silicon Valley of China") pays up to about $800 for trademarks registered in the United States.

It has been suggested that some of these Chinese filings may not be legitimate because they contain potentially fake specimens, according to US Commissioner for Trademarks, Mary Boney Denison. At a Trademark Public Advisory Committee meeting last year Denison said:

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Topics: trademarks, China

Brand Protection Challenges in the Pharma Industry

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 7 May, 2018

Brand owners in the pharmaceutical sector are facing a challenge to find faster ways to launch brand protection measures. This challenge grows more complicated and time-consuming when pharma companies are managing brands across multiple jurisdictions.

World Trademark Review recently published an interview with INTA president-elect David Lossignol, Global Head of Trademarks at Sandoz International GmbH, where he manages the company's global trademark portfolio. Corsearch is a partner of Sandoz.

In the WTR interview, Lossignol compares managing trademarks in the pharmaceutical industry to the consumer goods sector because of the need "to be first to market" in a fast-moving business. He told WTR: " … you don’t always have as much time to test your marks before the trademark office and third parties during the opposition process, so you need to undertake robust searches in a shorter timeframe, and take smart risks."

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Topics: trademarks, Brand protection, pharmaceuticals

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