The last year has been a testing one for many sectors, not least of all the hospitality sector, which has had a huge knock-on effect on the drinks industry. Drinks brands have been forced to diversify their products and ranges and implement new strategies to tackle the many challenges they have faced.
As the requirement to submit proof of use at the USPTO is different to practices in Europe, it can cause problems for brand owners looking to protect their trademarks in the important US market. Marianne Tissot and Marion Mercadier explain when evidence of use is required, and set out best practices for obtaining protection for trademarks in the US.
In many jurisdictions, such as the EU and UK, brand owners can file trademark applications without any requirements to file evidence of use of their chosen mark. That is not to say that the ability to provide proof of use is not important, says UK Trademark Attorney Dan Halliday.
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The Madrid System for the international registration of trademarks allows brand owners to apply and maintain protection in 124 countries via one single procedure, in one language and one set of fees. However, levels of protection can vary and the process is not without its shortfalls.
Protecting patentable innovations in the US and EU is the foundation of many corporate patent portfolios. However, a first patent filing in the US can cause issues obtaining subsequent protection in Europe, as Nadège Lagneau explains.
Disney, creator of the Toy Story movie franchise, is being sued by the Evel Knievel estate, which claims that its newest character, Duke Caboom, has ripped off the likeness of the infamous stunt performer.
Although trademark owners are legally entitled to oppose applications for similar or identical marks, by enforcing these rights they can sometimes be perceived to be bullying other companies. It is key for brands, especially those that are well known, to exercise their rights in a way that avoids causing damage to their reputation.
When budgets are tight, IP expenditure will naturally come under scrutiny, with patent annuity payments often one of the first areas to be identified for cuts.
It takes time, resources and money to create and launch distinctive and effective brands. But how can you be sure that the brand name you have chosen is really yours to use?
Frequently bloated with unused registrations or starved by gaps in coverage, a thorough audit of your trademark assets could help you to identify ways to streamline and exploit your portfolio, saving you money while also improving the efficiency of your assets.
The US Supreme Court has agreed with the holiday booking site’s argument that its Booking.com brand name is not a generic term.