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The Crown Jewels of Dutch Brands

April 27th, the Dutch will celebrate their most beloved of national holidays: King’s Day. Officially marking the birthday of the reigning monarch King Willem-Alexander, this is the day when millions of Dutch people spill into the streets, adults and children alike, to enjoy a day (and night!) long celebration.

The Dutch flag is hung on the fronts of houses. People are dressed head to toe in orange, the national color. Dutch specialities and Dutch-brewed beers are sold from vendors lining streets and city squares throughout the country. For a trademark nerd like me on these special days I like to dig a little deeper into the regions well known brands.

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How to Maximize Your Attorney's Trademark Clearance Opinion Letter

Clearance opinion letters.

Ask any in-house counselor how they feel about them, and you will likely get a mixed bag of responses.

While hiring outside is something every in-house legal team must eventually do, it isn't always done with enthusiasm. Like many routine expenses, outsourcing is often met with both relief and regret:

  • Relief that another is handling a task you don't have time to complete
  • Regret over paying someone else for something that could theoretically be done in-house.

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Pending Trademark Applications Rise 23% Causing Avoidable Registration Delays

If you thought the trademark application process couldn’t get any worse, you’re probably mistaken.

Recently, there’s been an onslaught of trademark activity worldwide. In 2007, the USPTO received 370,000 applications. In 2016, application volume increased to 500,000. With the USPTO balancing dramatic annual increases in trademark applications against the Federal hiring freeze that has left thousands of U.S. government positions unfilled, there’s some definite tension about what the future could hold.

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Should ‘Central Attack’ be abolished?

The International Trademark Association's Board of Directors met a few weeks ago in New York in their first meeting of the year. Amongst the topics of discussion, was the potential reduction in the dependency period of an international trademark registration on the initial domestic registration.

This dependency period currently lasts 5 years and it creates a vulnerability known as "central attack" for your international registration, where its entire validity can be brought to jeopardy by simply contesting the basic registration. A Resolution on the Madrid Protocol Dependency Period in favour of reducing the dependency period to 3 years was considered by the Board and approved.

But Is It enough?

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#WorldIPDay Events Calendar

Next month offers a celebration of all things intellectual property related. April 26th, 2017 will be the 17th World IP day and is the anniversary of the day that the World Intellectual Property Organisation Convention was activated in 1970.

World IP day was brought into being with the intention of helping the world to understand how intellectual property contributes to our lives in both small and large ways.

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New Brand Names: Can Marketing and Legal really work together?

Can you picture it? - the Marketing and Legal departments embarking on a new naming project in a perfectly symbiotic pas de deux. Marketing send forth their researched and frankly brilliant new product name, Legal (or Outside Counsel) clear it for use and register it as a trademark in plenty of time for Marketing to design their packaging and message around it.

Sadly, it almost never seems to work that way!

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What is a Typical Trademark ?

In early January of this year, my colleagues from the developer team joked that, as a lawyer in a legal technology company, perhaps I should be leading the charge in embracing technology. They offered to give me a crash course in SQL (Structured Query Language) and I decided to give it a try - I have confronted technology and lived to tell the tale.....

I have a confession to make. I’m not a traditional lawyer. I have always been interested in statistical information as a means to understanding trends in the business and legal fields. As a lawyer, my knowledge on statistical theories and databases is limited, but I was keen to see what I could glean from a tiny portion of the massive data that we have.

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5 Trademark Applications That Caused a Brand Reputation Crisis

"I should trademark that!"

It's something that gets jokingly said during conversations between friends. If one person routinely says a specific catchphrase, the other may momentarily marvel over their brilliantly mundane creation.

But what happens when real companies actually try to trademark phrases that invoke a strong sense of community ownership? Generally speaking, a lot of passionate debate!

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