7 Trademark Organizations Who Are Evolving The Learning Landscape

Lisa Wright,

Trademark law can be entertaining and it is often in the news. Cases can be riveting, for example, take the recent case involving dairy and oat-milk major players Arla v Oatly.  Heavy hitting dairy producers, Arla’s marketing campaign slogan was used as a trademark by one of their competitors, Oatly, who are major producers of oat-milk products. The intriguing facts of this case caught the attention of many in the IP, as well as in the advertising and marketing industries. 

Trademark law is also extremely useful for anybody who has an interest in business. Every company has a name and as most offer goods or services, trademarks are incredibly relevant to all companies. It therefore follows that having an understanding of trademark law enables a company to protect their branding and to build valuable equity and brand strength.

7 thought leaders who are evolving trademark education today

There are a great many IP organizations doing great work when it comes to educating, not just fellow IP professionals, but also the general public in all things trademark. Here are 7 of the best who are helping us all to get schooled:

1. The World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Academy) is the center of excellence for intellectual property (IP) education and training for WIPO member states. The Academy works to help develop human abilities in the IP domain and delivers many training programs for IP professionals, policy makers and business people. WIPO is extremely active in the higher education sector and currently delivers 8 joint Master’s degree programs worldwide and in 2020 will launch a new joint Master’s Program in IP and Development Policy in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Korea. Additionally this year WIPO Academy will deliver 24 different training courses on specific IP areas, as well as 28 distance learning courses and 18 summer schools. 

IP inclusivity

Young people are also catered for with WIPO’s  IP4Youth&Teachers Service which was launched in May 2018. The Service includes an eLearning portal and was made available by WIPO in Spanish in 2019. It will be gradually translated into other official languages of the United Nations and Portuguese over the course of 2020. And, after the translations have been completed, WIPO have committed to the content being customized for requesting Member States.

2. The International Trademark Association

The International Trademark Association (INTA) launched its ‘Unreal Campaign’ in 2012. INTA’s consumer awareness campaign is designed to “educate young consumers (ages 14-23) about the importance of trademarks, brands, and the dangers of counterfeit products”. The program is run with the assistance of over 90 INTA members and it has successfully reached over 41,000 students directly to date. The campaign uses both online and direct channels of communication to reach a global audience in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
 

3. The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) runs several training courses and their Academy “strives to become the Centre of Excellence for all IP training programs in the region and Africa as a whole”. The Academic programs include 3 Master’s degree programs in IP in partnership with WIPO, with Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe and with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, and with the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

4. The European Union Intellectual Property Office

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) offers a broad selection of online courses covering trademark basics, routes to registration and trademark strategy for registered marks in its Trademark Academy. It also runs live events and delivers trademark-related updates on its website and produces an informative IP newsletter, the Alicante News.

5. The United States Patents and Trademarks Office

The United States Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO) has a comprehensive Learning and Resources section on their website which clearly sets out all of the educational resources that they deliver. These range from instructional videos for business professionals on topics such as “Global IP Training” to their content designed for a younger audience, found on their kids page - as well as teaching resources for educators, “IP Resources for Teachers”. 

Trademarks for preschoolers

They even run a summer IP camp for young people and preschoolers called Camp Invention with over 1,600 locations nationwide! According to the USPTO website Camp Invention: “educates children with age-appropriate introductions to the workings of USPTO, and the value of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and the American IP protection system”.

6. The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has made great strides into educating business people in IP law fundamentals. Their IP Basics Guide informs businesses and sets out the ways you can successfully manage your intangible assets, or IP. They also hold regular training courses, including their: “IP Masterclass”, in which you can develop your knowledge and skills in IP such as trademarks - as well as copyright, designs and patents.

Intellectual Property Office of Ireland

Finally, the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI) has a substantial set of educational resources both online and in-house (including a drop in clinic for businesses) which aid both national and international trademark applicants. We interviewed the IPOI recently to discover more about the important work that they do at their HQ in KIlkenny, Ireland, where TrademarkNow also houses an office.

 

The importance of IP cannot be underestimated. It is vital that young people understand the damage that counterfeit goods can inflict. Not just on large corporations, but also on workers with families in the western world, as well as struggling economies in the developing world. Educating young people is the key to creating the next generation of IP savvy and ethical consumers.

Mythbusters - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘global’ trademark

However sometimes it becomes apparent that efforts to educate the layman about trademark law fundamentals have fallen a little short. A recent example of this in the UK can be seen in The Guardian’s headline this week: “Harry and Meghan Seek Global Trademark For ‘Sussex Royal’ Brand”. Under trademark law a ‘global’ trademark just doesn’t exist. This misnomer was highlighted by Jane Cornwell, Lecturer IP law, University of Edinburgh; former IP lawyer and litigator, when she tweeted: “'Global' trademark, you say? Here we go with a whole new avenue for journalistic inaccuracy on #IP”.

Young royal trademark applications at a glance 

To date 14 trademark applications have been filed in various registries by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with mixed results. The very first 4 trademark applications for the trademark ‘The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’ made by the owner ‘The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ were filed in December 2012 in the Australian IPAU, the New Zealand IPONZ, the United States USPTO and WIPO. These 4 applications are all now invalid. A further trademark application by the same owner for the mark text ‘The Royal Foundation’ was abandoned in October 2018 and is thus also deemed invalid.

Of the remaining 9 trademark applications, 7 were filed between September 2014 and October 2018. They are all currently invalid and were owned by ‘The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’. The most recent 2 applications, owned by ‘Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ are now also invalid, having been withdrawn by the owner.

‘Sussex Royal’ pending trademark applications on the rise

Since the first application for ‘Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex’ and ‘Sussex Royal’ word marks was filed on June 21st 2019 by UKIPO representative Harbottle & Lewis LLP on behalf of the owner ‘Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ a further 28 trademarks containing the mark text SUSSEX ROYAL have since been filed as of 27th February 2020. 

Sussex Royal’s top products and registries

As of 27th February 2020 the 3 top products of all pending applications are found in class 25 (clothing). The top 3 registries are the United States USPTO (25%), Germany DPMA (17.9%) and Argentina INPI (14.3%). 

International trademark registration

Although there is no such thing as ‘global’ or worldwide trademark registration it is, of course, possible to protect your trademark abroad and register a trademark through WIPO by selecting a designated country and thus making an international trademark application. Registration abroad has been streamlined by the Madrid Protocol which is an international system of application, administered by the International Bureau of WIPO who are charged with maintaining the International Register of Marks. 

1 application, 1 office, 1 language, 1 currency, 122 countries/territories

This international system of registration gives a trademark owner the option to apply to protect their trademark in up to 122 countries/territories by filing one application with a single Office, in one language, with one set of fees in one currency (Swiss francs).

International brand protection 

TrademarkNow empowers companies to monitor all their international brands with our cost-effective, speedy, powerful and intuitive legal technology. We are transforming the watching process and eliminating the roadblocks to complete brand protection.

Make sure your trademark stays yours - wherever you are doing business today!

Editor's Note: This post has been updated on 27th February 2020 for accuracy by the author. New call-to-action

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