Tag archives: trademarks

Unauthorized invoices – Canadian trademark owners beware

Canadians trademark owners are being targeted with misleading fee and renewal notices. As discussed previously, this is not a new phenomenon, but is one we are seeing with increasing incidence. These seemingly official invoices have caused some to pay exorbitant fees to private companies in the mistaken belief that they are paying fees required by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).… Continue reading

Good to know: The US trademark office has a ‘proof of use’ audit program for trademark registrations

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires trademark owners to support their trademark registrations by providing one specimen of use per class, at both 6 years and 10 years after the trademark registration date. So, for instance, if you have a registration covering ‘clothing, footwear and headgear’ in class 25, providing the US trademark … Continue reading

Canada: Further trademark amendments are here — Bill C-86 is given Royal Assent

Canada’s core IP statutes have been amended by Bill C-86, which received Royal Assent as the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, SC 2018, c 27 on December 14, 2018. The final version of the legislation includes amendments to the Trade-marks Act that are substantially identical to the version that received first reading on October … Continue reading

Bill C-86 — significant changes to Canada’s IP regime

The federal government’s recent omnibus budget bill, Bill C-86 tabled October 29th, 2018, proposes significant changes to Canada’s IP laws. Division 7 of the Bill is intended to implement many aspects of the government’s IP strategy announced in April 2018, and targets the Patent Act, the Trade-marks Act, and Copyright Act; provides for a new … Continue reading

The European Commission has its say: EU trade marks post-Brexit

On 28 February 2018, the European Commission released its draft withdrawal agreement setting out a proposal on the arrangements for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU (Withdrawal Agreement). The full text of the Withdrawal Agreement can be viewed here: European Commission’s Draft Withdrawal Agreement dated 28 February 2018 (see Title IV on Intellectual … Continue reading

Cybersquatters – How to protect your brand from unwanted ‘guests’ online

The internet is now the normal conduit for everyday personal, commercial and social transactions. It is more important than ever to ensure that your consumers know where to find your business online, and that no third parties are seeking to trade off your reputation in the online space. Domain names are the primary form of … Continue reading

Shocking your clients just became passé: US Court takes away the edge from scandalous brands

Thanks to two recent rulings of the US Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit Court, trade marks containing “disparaging”, “immoral” and “scandalous” matter are no longer barred from obtaining registration in the United States of America. In the past, the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) had the power … Continue reading

Trade mark update: 11th Edition of the Nice Classification came into force on 1 January 2018

As many of you will know, the Nice Classification is the international system used to classify goods and services for trade mark purposes. The World Intellectual Property Office regularly updates and amends the Nice Classification in order to ensure that the lists remain current and include new products and services that come to market. On … Continue reading

‘Apples, Beatles and four decades of litigation’ – Cautionary tales for start-ups settling on a new brand name

Apple: the world’s most successful company, with an estimated worth of three-quarters of a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder that would-be tech entrepreneurs around the world are sitting around in black turtlenecks, jeans and New Balance sneakers, poring over Steve Jobs’ biography and trying to work out how they might emulate his success in their … Continue reading

The Slants Win: SCOTUS rules “Disparaging” trademark provision unconstitutional

On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision, holding that the so-called “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act is an impermissible restriction on free speech under the First Amendment. The ruling is the culmination of years of litigation, and clears the way for Simon Shiao Tam and the Slants to … Continue reading

What’s in a name? How to protect yourself if your name is your personal brand

Cher, Prince, Oprah, Bono – all of these celebrities have one thing in common – the capacity to be recognised by nothing more than a single name. For businesses which are built on the success of a personal brand, a name can be a crucial component of being recognised by consumers. But the question remains: should … Continue reading

Productivity Commission’s Report on Australia’s IP system

The Inquiry Report into Intellectual Property Arrangements recently published by the Productivity Commission (Report) argues that Australia’s IP system is weighted too heavily in favour of rights holders and against the interests of the broader community. It has made various recommendations to correct this perceived imbalance. This article considers some of the recommended changes which, … Continue reading

Protecting Australian brands in China

Summary China continues to emerge as one of the most important intellectual property (IP) destinations for Australians, having overtaken the US and New Zealand as Australia’s predominant destination market for Australian trade marks filed overseas in 2011. With the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) coming into force last year, China is now Australia’s largest trading … Continue reading

Copyrightability of private standards in federal regulations

On February 2, 2017, a federal trial court judge in Washington, D.C. ruled, in a 55-page opinion, that private standards developing organizations (“SDOs”) do not lose their copyright or trademark protection if a federal regulation adopts their standards. Background This case, American Society for Testing and Materials v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., Case. No. 13-cv-1215 (TSC) (D.D.C. … Continue reading

Use them or lose them: US trademarks put to the proof

In the United States, a trademark owner must use their mark in commerce to maintain a federal trademark registration. This requirement is different from many other countries which do not require use of the mark to maintain registration.  Further, the trademark owner is required periodically to prove to the United States Patent and Trademark Office … Continue reading

PTO not required to register disparaging trademark until cert deadline passes

In December 2015, the Federal Circuit struck down the “disparagement” clause of §2(a) of the Lanham Act on First Amendment grounds. However, according to a recent ruling from the court, the USPTO is not required to register disparaging trademarks just yet. In re Tam, No. 16-121 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 30, 2016) (denying petition for writ of … Continue reading
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