Change Proposed for Russian Trademark Law

by T+B Blog Team on July 23, 2014

This month, Russia’s authority responsible for intellectual property protection floated the idea of changing trademark law so that it no longer treats naturalistic images of products and descriptive trademarks as an argument for distinctiveness, according to a World Trademark Review blog post.

The proposal drew mixed reactions, with some suggesting the amendment could soften rules for product packaging in the country, while others expressed fears it might prompt “a lot of concern,” noting there are far more serious problems that require the authority’s attention.

A number of cases highlighting the issue that the Federation Council on Intellectual Property wants to deal with can be cited, according to WTR. These involve companies that hold trademark rights for packaging and descriptive elements that start infringement suits against competitors. One of them is crispbread maker Elizaveta, which holds trademark rights to the packaging of its products and has brought civil action against sector players using a similar image of crispbread for their packages.

According to Support of Russia vice president Natalya Zolotykh, quoted in an article in Izvestia, the main problem is that holders of descriptive trademarks and trademarks containing a product image aim to monopolize the market by preventing others from selling similar products. Russia’s IP authority sees the very same problem, stating that this type of trademark has negative implications for the market. The council’s proposed change to the law seeks to close this loophole. While there’s no information about when the modifications will move forward, it’s expected that some companies will try to block it.

Meanwhile, global consumer market research company Canadean considers that such a change would be good for local brands. The research company stated on its website that it is upbeat that it would open sound opportunities for new brands and drive a change in market trends among local consumers.

What’s your opinion of the proposed amendment?

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Samsung Tops BrandIndex Global Mid-Year Buzz List

by T+B Blog Team on July 22, 2014

Samsung dominated YouGov’s mid-year BrandIndex Buzz Rankings appearing in the Top 10 in 11 countries and ranking #1 in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Google, Google+, Apple, and Apple/iPhone made the Top 10 in eight countries, while

Facebook and YouTube appear in three country rankings each.

Car manufacturers had a strong showing with Volkswagen in the Top 10 in four countries, followed by BMW, Ford, Audi, and Volvo each in the Top 10 of two country lists. Electric carmaker Tesla made the rankings for the first time, debuting at #10 in Norway.

About half of the country ranking lists led with local and regional brands in the #1 spot. China’s ranking was topped by local sauce brand Hai Tian, while Japan’s list was led by airline ANA.

In the U.S. ranking, Amazonretained its top position despite an ongoing dispute with the country’s fourth-largest book publisher, Hachette, over e-book revenues. The online retailer moved up from last year’s #2 position, and was followed by fast food restaurant chain Subwayand YouTube.

YouGov’s BrandIndex measures brand perception from a panel of 2.5 million consumers worldwide. You can check out the complete BrandIndex 2014 Global Rankings here.

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Oregon Brewer Sues Law Firm for Trademark Infringement

July 21, 2014

Tweet Full Sail Brewing, an employee-owned brewery in Oregon, has started legal proceedings against an Atlanta-based law firm over trademark infringement, a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court shows. In the suit, the brewer claims that The Session Law Firm LLC is promoting its business with the help of “counterfeit versions” of its Sessions Lager […]

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Chinese Businessman Suing Tesla for Trademark Infringement

July 16, 2014

Tweet U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. has been hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit in China by a local businessman claiming rights over the name. Zhan Baosheng, who applied for the Tesla mark in English in 2006, lodged a lawsuit against the carmaker on July 3, requesting the company stop using the label in […]

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Big Brands Join the Selfie Craze

July 15, 2014

Tweet In 2013, the selfie craze took the Internet and social media world by storm. People all over the globe now busily snap pictures of themselves and upload them to social networking sites at an alarming rate – producing millions of selfies every month. Check out this infographic for everything you need to know about […]

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Trademarks Rule the Football World

July 14, 2014

Tweet The 2014 World Cup ended with a thrilling German-Argentinian match-up, but there was also a lot of excitement surrounding the trademarks and brands seen during the competition. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts and figures that created a buzz in the world of brands, as revealed in a new infographic […]

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Nike Was The World’s Most Counterfeited Brand In 2013

July 9, 2014

Tweet Nike was the world’s most counterfeited brand in 2013, the second Illicit Trade Report of the World Customs Organization (WCO) reveals. The ranking is based on the number of customs seizures filed in 2013 and shows that the footwear and apparel giant came out on top with 1,123 cases, replacing the first place holder […]

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Tyler Perry Claims Victory In “What Would Jesus Do” Trademark Row

July 8, 2014

Tweet The USPTO has put an end to a six-year trademark battle over the “What Would Jesus Do” phrase, declaring media mogul Tyler Perry the owner of the saying, rather than reality TV star Kim “Poprah” Kearney, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The roots of the English phrase can be traced back to 1896, and […]

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NgTLD Update: Google Makes Its Move, And The World Moves With It

July 7, 2014

Tweet Google signaled its interest in new gTLDs when it applied for over 100 of them, from .DAD to .みんな (‘everyone’ in Japanese Hiragana script). Everyone knows that Google has the power to drive widespread consumer adoption. And now, CIO Ben Fried has fleshed out the company’s vision (view the video here) at its recent […]

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EU To Strengthen IP Rights Protection Measures

July 3, 2014

Tweet This week, the European Commission endorsed measures aimed at reinforcing intellectual property rights protection, particularly focusing on commercial-scale infringement activities, treating them as “the most harmful.” The strategy outlines steps to better safeguard intellectual property both within the European Union (EU) market and in third countries, the Commission said in a press release. The […]

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