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February 24
The Economic Cost of IPR Infringement in the Pesticide Sector

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On February 8, 2017, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (Observatory) published its tenth sectorial study on the impacts of counterfeits in the pesticide and agrochemical sector. The Observatory, based at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain, works to provide evidence-based data on the impact of intellectual property on the economy of the European Union (EU) as well as on its role and public perception. A full list of the Observatory’s intellectual property studies can be found here.

The Observatory previously published sectorial studies on the following: cosmetics and personal care; clothing, footwear, and accessories; sports goods; toys and games; jewelry and watches; handbags and luggage; recorded music; spirits and wine; and pharmaceuticals. The Observatory’s tenth sectorial study analyzes the negative impact of counterfeiting on businesses, governments, and consumers and highlights two case studies where counterfeit pesticides were seized. 

Some highlights of the study include:

  • The biggest producer of pesticides in the EU is Germany, with €4 billion in sales, followed by France, with €3.5 billion in sales, with an estimated loss of 500 jobs per year in both countries.
  • The total lost sales in the pesticides sector in the United Kingdom is estimated at €76 million each year, with an estimated 200 jobs lost.
  • The EU pesticides industry consists of more than 600 enterprises, with an average of 35 workers per firm.
  • The direct estimate of sales lost by legitimate manufacturers of pesticides in the EU is €1.3 billion.
  • Total lost taxes on the counterfeit products is estimated to be €2.8 billion.

The full study is available here


February 23
INTA Interviews Enforcement Guide's Principal Editor

​INTA’s newest searchable guide is now online and available to INTA members everywhere. Enforcement: An International Litigation Guide, with more than 40 jurisdictions and more to be added soon, is a ready reference for quick information on the key aspects of trademark litigation practice. From pre-filing requirements to emergency proceedings to remedies, costs and post judgment relief, the searchable guide provides basic, essential information helpful to selecting a venue in multi-jurisdictional infringement controversies. The guide is designed to provide a first overview to help direct consideration and discussion with counsel in jurisdictions of interest. With increased globalization of infringement controversies, the guide satisfies an important need for practical comparison of litigation options in varying jurisdictions.

David Allison (Bird & Bird), one of Enforcement Guide’s principal editors, discussed the guide during its rollout at the 2017 Leadership Meeting in Hollywood, Florida.  Please watch David’s video and visit the Enforcement landing page to learn more about this exciting new resource.

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February 17
Attending the 2017 Annual Meeting? Download the Mobile App Today!

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Have you secured your spot for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain? If so, stay up to date with everything through the Annual Meeting mobile app! 

Download the app. For smartphones, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for “INTA 2017.” If you are accessing the mobile app via a desktop or laptop, click here to access the app via a web browser.

Create a username and password. When you first download the app, you will be prompted to create a username and password. The next time you use your app on the same device, you will not need to log in. However, when you download the app on other devices, you will need to log in using your username and password. 

Check out the latest features: 

  • Attendees: The attendee portal will be updated every hour. If you register for the INTA Annual Meeting and do not see your name on the attendee portal, please be patient and wait a couple of hours before contacting INTA.
  • Schedule: The entire Annual Meeting program is available on the mobile app. The schedule highlights speakers, a full course description, and costs. Once room numbers become available, the mobile app will be updated. Room locations can then be viewed through an interactive map and directions can be obtained onsite. Note: there will be no printed schedule on-site at the Annual Meeting. Registrants are asked to download the mobile app and read the ​INTA Daily ​for the full meeting schedule. 
  • MyShow: Using this feature, you can view, build, and edit your meeting schedule, your in-app contact list, and your social itinerary and can add personalized notes.
  • Speakers: See a full list of speakers that will be at this year’s Annual Meeting.
  • Hotels & Venues: Since there are more hotels included in this year’s Annual Meeting registration, we offer a full map that outlines where everything is located throughout the city of Barcelona.
  • Committees: View a full list of committee meetings. Room numbers will be added once they become available. 
  • Floor Plans: Refer to the floor plans for the Fira Gran Via to ensure you are never lost during the Annual Meeting. This will be coming soon!
  • Sponsors: A big thank you to this year's 2017 Annual Meeting sponsors! 
  • Exhibitors: A full list of the 100+ exhibitors that will be attending this year’s Annual Meeting will be coming soon. 
  • Social Feed: Join the conversation! Stay up to date with all of the Annual Meeting conversations happening on social media through this portal. Be sure to use the official meeting hashtag (#INTA17) as well when you’re posting. 

Customize the app. Use the Annual Meeting mobile app to build out your personalized schedule, find registrants to contact, learn more about the education sessions, and see which exhibitors will be attending. Your customized schedule will also be available every time you access the mobile app with your username. 

Get updates automatically. The app will be updated periodically. We advise users to allow the app to update automatically on their devices. Once an update has been made, you will be prompted to hit the “Sync” button in the app.  

Allow notifications. During the Annual Meeting, INTA may send out occasional push notifications to share important information such as room or schedule changes and to remind everyone about exciting happenings! Please choose “allow” to let the INTA mobile app send you push notifications in order to be up to date. 

Download the app today!

Please note that the 2016 Annual Meeting Mobile App reflects the current time zone of the users' phone. Once you travel to Barcelona the app will automatically adjust to the correct time zone. 

February 14
Tips for Navigating the Digital Yellow Brick Road: INTA’s Digital World Conference, Brussels, Belgium

Digital World 1_blog_021317.jpgINTA’s Digital World Conference, which took place in Brussels, Belgium, December 1–2, provided registrants with practical solutions to some of the most pressing trademark issues companies are facing in the digital era. 

Panelists such as Daniel Greenberg from (Lexsynergy, UK) and Jeremy Kaufman (Netflix, USA) covered issues that arise in their daily work and how those specific problems might be solved. Conference co-chairs Toe Su Aung (Elipe Limited, UK) and Mei-Ian Stark (NBC Universal Media, LLC, USA) assembled an extremely varied group of speakers that included not only industry leaders, trademark owners, and lawyers acting on their respective behalves, but also voices from academia, politicians, consultants, and representatives of international organizations, such as the European eCommerce and Omni-Channel Trade Association, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, ICANN, and a former Presiding Judge of the German Federal Court of Justice. 

Topics covered included:

  • impending improvements to the EU’s Digital Single Market;
  • challenges related to the ever-changing Internet;
  • the importance of data protection, data privacy, and the duty of care in the digital world;
  • legislation related to social media;
  • native advertising;
  • the rise of hashtags and the shift to mobile devices; 
  • challenges of a digital single market for copyright owners;
  • the risk of data infringements linked to the fact that data flows across borders and that more and more products have become “smart”;
  • changes in the role of brands in response to this changing world; 
  • how changes in the Internet of Things affects brands; and 
  • the risk represented by the promotion and commercialization of geographical indications on the Internet in terms of counterfeiting, infringements, and other forms of misappropriation. 

Ever-Changing Internet

As outlined by Mahmoud Lattouf (Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP), Jordan), the ever-changing Internet is providing businesses with great opportunities and great challenges simultaneously. Indeed, a fully functional Digital Single Market would promote innovation, contribute €415 billion to the EU economy each year, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

However, to reach that result, businesses need to know that their innovation will be protected through strong copyright protection and by fighting the sale of counterfeit products over the Internet. Therefore, when discussing protection of commercial interests on the Internet, one should be careful not to ignore cybersecurity. 

rvt_digital_2016.jpgDigital Single Market

EU politicians are facing a big challenge: allowing the EU Digital Single Market to achieve the status of “fully functional digital single market” (i.e., to allow sufficient freedom and to give Member States enough room for movement) while at the same time protecting both businesses, trademark owners, and consumers (i.e., to bring some restrictions).

With that aim, the European Council agreed on November 28, 2016, on a draft regulation to ban unjustified geo-blocking between member states.

The proposed regulation will prohibit geo-blocking and various related acts that discriminate by reference to the customer’s nationality, country of residence, or country of establishment within the European Union, with a view to boosting e-commerce.

The main objective of this proposal is to prevent discrimination for consumers and companies on access to prices, sales, or payment conditions when buying products and services in another EU country.

In its conclusions of June 25 and 26, 2015, the European Council emphasized the importance of the digital single market strategy and called on taking action to implement key components of the strategy, including the removal of remaining barriers to the free circulation of goods and services sold online and to tackle unjustified discrimination on the grounds of geographic location.

Mr. Lattouf told brand owners, “You need to follow your target customers. Make sure you position and protect your brand and listen to your customers, or even establish your brand on new platforms before your customers start using it.” He justified such advice by stating that today:

  • 82% of smartphone users consult their phones when in a store;
  • 66% of smartphone users consult their phones to learn more about something they saw in a    TV commercial;
  • 69% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from a company whose mobile site or app can help them find answers to their questions easily.

Data Protection

The panelists in the session on data protection also provided useful advice to brand owners and businesses. They outlined the key points of the EU Data Protection Law and introduced the changes that will be brought by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018.

One of the most notable changes concerns consent. Indeed, under the GDPR, the consumer’s consent must be explicit (while it could have been implicit under the Directive). It is hence important to note that consent must be verifiable and requires some form of clear affirmative action. 

Such consent is (unfortunately, from a consumer’s perspective) not required before receiving a huge number of requests and advertisements while navigating on the Internet. In that regard, the panel on hashtags, endorsements, and disclosures outlined how difficult it can be to determine when an advertisement is not an advertisement. The panelists emphasized that it is a crucial question for brand owners who need to take some measures before featuring these kinds of online advertisements, and offered the following tips: 

  • U.S. standpoint:

    • Use the word “AD” or “Advertisement”;
    • Show “sponsored” in the content;
    • Use contract law to avoid programmatic snafus;
  • UK standpoint:
    • Use of the expressions "paid-for ad," "ad," or "ad link." The terms “sponsored,” “in association with,” “recommended by,” and “brand publisher” are not enough.
    • The audience of the content is important in establishing compliance with the Cap Code. 
    • It must be clear that content is an advertisement prior to the audience engaging with the content.
Hashtags

Panelists in the session on hashtags provided the following useful advice: 

  • Use ad #sweepstakes or #sponsored; 
  • Don’t give an incentive for using a hashtag if you don’t want to disclose; 
  • Check to see if the tagged word has a different meaning… or is “owned” by another company;
  • Avoid hijacking by using hashtags to reinforce, not change, images;
  • Make sure employees disclose who they are when using hashtags. 

The Role of Brand Owners

In reaction to all these changes brought about by the Internet, the role of brands has evolved. It was very interesting to hear the comments of Mat Heinl (Moving Brands, UK) concerning two very famous and successful brands with two very different brand strategies (Apple and Uber). 

The Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things and its billions of connections between devices all around us (from home automation to cars and medical equipment) has had a transformational impact on (almost) all sectors. It also has an impact on brands, as was underscored by Leo Baumann (Nokia Corporation, Belgium). Indeed, the Internet of Things enhances brand advertising and visibility tailored to customer behavior and affects a brand’s image and market by reshaping industry boundaries.

Geographical Indications Online

One of the last topics concerned the protection of geographical indications (GIs) on the Internet. It was very interesting to hear examples of abuses/counterfeits on the Internet, as well as the corresponding actions that have been taken to stop them, especially given the risk linked to the limited liability of online hosting providers. 

Europe Office 10th Anniversary Celebrations at the end of Day One

The cocktail reception that followed the first day of the conference celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of the Europe Representative Office​ in Brussels. There were speeches by Ronald Van Tuijl (JT International, Switzerland), 2016 INTA President; Geert Glas (Allen & Overy, Belgium), a local member who provided support to the establishment of the Office in Belgium and has been assisting ever since; and Christina Sleszynska, Chief Representative Officer – Europe, who gave a 10-minute speech – one for each year of the Office – on the achievements of the INTA Europe Office during its first decade and on upcoming activities. The reception was attended by the conference participants and by selected guests including officials from the EU Institutions, other IP and industry associations and stakeholders.

February 10
United States Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) Participates in INTA’s First Small Business Roundtable Focused on Trademarks

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The IP experts panel and GIPC representative at the Delaware Small Business Round Table.  In the photo from L to R: John Fleming, Chris Turk, Craig Morris, Mike Castellano, Frank Cullen, Deborah Hampton

In Wilmington, Delaware, on January 27, 2017, INTA and the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted a trademarks and small business roundtable featuring Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and a panel of trademark experts. In a packed room with over 70 Delaware business owners at the headquarters of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, the event offered attendees an opportunity to connect with experienced trademark practitioners and to learn more about what trademarks and brands mean for their enterprises. 

Senator Coons, who serves as the Congressional Trademark Caucus (CTC) co-chair and an active member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, kicked off the roundtable event by noting that he is proud to be a founding member of the CTC. He stated his commitment to seeking tougher laws for intellectual property (IP) enforcement and to moving IP to a higher priority on the U.S. diplomatic agenda. 

Following Senator Coon’s remarks, the roundtable discussions featured a panel of IP experts, including:

  • Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Chris Turk, INTA Board Member and IP counsel at VF Corporation
  • Deborah Hampton, INTA Member (and former INTA Board Member) and Corporate Trademark Specialist at The Chemours Company
  • Mike Castellano, INTA Member and Vice President of Government Relations at The Walt Disney Company
  • John Fleming, Delaware District Director at U.S. Small Business Administration 

The panel provided an overview of the U.S. trademark system, including a summary of the process for applying for trademark registration and trademark enforcement in addition to a discussion about licensing. The panelists encouraged attendees to seek assistance and guidance from trademark lawyers, the USPTO, and the U.S. Small Business Administration before making decisions about their intellectual property.   

INTA enjoyed working with Senator Coons on this event. The Association plans to host trademark education and outreach roundtables in several cities this year with congressional partners and INTA local members.  

February 08
How to Get Published in The Trademark Reporter

​The Trademark Reporter (TMR) is the world’s only scholarly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to trademarks and related topics. The TMR has published articles on cutting-edge topics ranging from Michael Jordan’s dispute in China over “Qiaodan” (the Chinese rendering of his name) to the Lee v. Tam case (concerning the band “The Slants”) before the U.S. Supreme Court. The TMR’s editors are practitioners with the industry knowledge and skill to help authors do their best work. This interview by the TMR’s Editor-in-Chief of the TMR Committee Chair provides a helpful overview of the journal, and shares insider tips on how to get published.

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February 07
Follow the Trend! Register for INTA's Brands and Fashion Conference

​Mode, moda, fashion…just as languages use different words to capture the concept of personal style, we all use fashion articles in different ways to present ourselves to the world. In much the same way, companies and brands adopt different identities to signify their point of view to consumers to stay relevant and appealing, while adapting to an ever-changing retail environment. 

INTA’s Brands and Fashion Conference next month (March 22–23, 2017, New York, NY) will present various legal issues impacting the spectrum of fashion brands, from fast fashion to luxury. As conference co-chairs, MarieLaure Bonnaffous (Fendi Adele SRL, Italy) and I have assembled a program of emerging issues in the fashion industry that are also relevant to brand-focused companies outside the fashion industry. 

Kicking off the conference on Day One will be the first keynote session, which will feature the fashion designer Mercedes Castillo, who has been well known in the industry “behind the scenes” as the creative director of accessories for Tory Burch and a longtime design partner to Camuto Group. Mercedes will share with conference participants why the timing is right for her to introduce her eponymous brand and how she developed her debut luxury collection to present a dramatic and distinctive point of view that will attract retail buyer interest, as well as consumer interest, optimizing commercial success. 

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Images from @mcastillony Instagram feed.

Along with key business executives from her joint-venture partner, Camuto Group, Mercedes will further highlight the business and creative strategies she and Camuto Group employed to develop and launch her new luxury lifestyle brand. 

Moderators from leading brands and law firms will discuss issues impacting the fashion industry from a global perspective, covering topics ranging from long-term protection and revival strategies for iconic brands to corporate compliance, protection and enforcement of unregistered designs and fashion articles, as well as contractual best practices to employ when developing co-branded fashion designs, including products for charity. 

Day Two of the conference will look toward the future, evaluating advertising concerns in a global marketplace, customs border protection, and the future of design protection in the United States. Participants will consider emerging retail trends, including sustainability efforts by fashion brands, and will speculate on what fashion might be like in twenty years. Another highlight of Day Two will be the keynote address by Barbara Kolsun of the Fashion, Arts, Media & Entertainment (FAME) Law Center at Cardoza School of Law, who will provide advice to participants on how they can develop their own professional brands within the fashion industry. 

Follow the trends and gain inspiration at the Brands and Fashion Conference, where an exciting program awaits! Register today. 


February 03
INTA Interviews Brands and Fashion Conference Co-Chairs

Conference Co-Chairs Jessica Cardon (Camuto Group, United States) and Marie-Laure Bonnaffous (Fendi Adele SRL, Italy) discuss the upcoming conference in this video interview. Learn more about session topics, who will be attending and the changing landscape of the fashion industry. Join us on March 22-23, 2017 in New York City for what promises to be an exciting event! 

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For more INTA videos, please visit our YouTube page

January 31
There’s Still Time! Register for #INTAHONGKONG Today

2017_aheadofthecurve_main_300Blog.jpgWe are one week away from the Anticounterfeiting Conference in Hong Kong! If you have not had a chance to register yet, now is the time! As Conference Co-Chairs, Sharmini Lohadhasan and I have assembled a tremendous array of experts that will be speaking on panels throughout the two day conference. 

Representatives from international brands, government officials, online platforms and others will be sharing tricks of the trade and best practices to stay ahead of the curve when fighting the counterfeiters. As Sharmini noted in an interview that was published in the INTA Bulletin, “the goal was to make sure this was not a typical conference about anticounterfeiting, but one where people get a practical view of the real life issues on the ground, at both an operational level and a policy one.” The speakers will focus on practical solutions and time tested approaches, as well and sharing information on new ideas and technologies to aid in the fight against counterfeiting. 

As if that’s not reason enough to attend, we will also get the first look at the INTA/BASCAP report on the Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy, which will be officially released at the conference. But wait, there’s more! Immediately following the conference, there will be a one day workshop on Free Trade Zones. As we know, balancing the positive economic impact of free trade zones to promote employment and attract investment with the proliferation of illicit and counterfeit products in free trade zones is an ongoing struggle. INTA has created a series of one-day workshops to provide a forum for brand owners, free trade zone authorities, government officials, and other key stakeholders to share their concerns, best practices, and to work together toward solutions to combat the ongoing threat of counterfeiting in free trade zones. These workshops will be held several times throughout the year in different regions and the first one will be in Hong Kong immediately following the Anticounterfeiting Conference. Yet another great reason to make the trip to Hong Kong.

And what am I most excited about (other than the excellent programming)? The food, of course! Hong Kong is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world and I’m looking forward to trying out as many as I can while I am there—so come join Sharmini and I and all of our speakers as we work together in the ongoing battle against counterfeiting!

January 30
INTA Interviews Anticounterfeiting Conference Co-Chair, Heather McDonald

​In the following video interview, Conference Co-Chair, Heather McDonald (Baker & Hostetler LLP, United States) discusses what attendees can expect at the upcoming Anticounterfeiting Conference: Staying Ahead of the Curve. During this two day event, registrants will learn tools and tips to fight counterfeiters and discuss best practices for developing a brand protection strategy. Join INTA on February 6-7 in Hong Kong for what promises to be an exciting event. ​ 

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For more INTA videos, please visit our YouTube page

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