IN THE HEADLINES
WHAT TO WATCH
IN THE HEADLINES
USPTO Head Resigns
Michelle Lee resigned her position as Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 6, 2017. She gave no reason for her resignation but there had been much speculation on whether the Obama appointee would continue serving under the Trump administration.
U.S. Trade Representative on NAFTA
The USTR released Negotiating Objectives to NAFTA (MORE). The objectives have 22 sections, one of which covers IP rights and trade rules (MORE). The United States may seek to address direct-to-consumer commerce originating in another country, as discussed in our June Legislative Update column (MORE). The original agreement did little to address eCommerce issues, but some of the consensus the United States, Canada, and Mexico reached in the ill-fated Trans Pacific Partnership may be applied to this issue. Canada may seek to emphasize the importance of “prior art,” that is, evidence that an invention is not original work, in its negotiations (MORE). Mexico’s goals will include “prioritizing free access for goods and services, greater labor market integration and a strengthening of energy security”
Vishal Amin Confirmed as U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
The U.S. Senate confirmed (VOTE) Vishal Amin of Michigan to serve as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (MORE, registration). President Trump had nominated Amin in April to succeed Danny Marti, who had served as the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator under President Obama. Amin had previously been senior counsel for the House Judiciary committee, an associate director for domestic policy under President George W. Bush, and an associate director for policy at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
WHAT TO WATCH
Back to School
With the back-to-school shopping season in full press, make sure you are paying attention in your online enforcement action to “brand codewords” being used by counterfeiters to avoid marketplace takedowns.
The New Term for the U.S. Supreme Court
The nine justices who in the United States represent “the court of last resort” will retake the bench for the 2017-2018 term, set to hear approximately 80 cases. The Supreme Court will meet for its September 25 conference to discuss Writs for the new term in October.
Louis Vuitton is looking for review by the Court of its three-year battle against My Other Bag (MOB), alleging trademark infringement of its famous mark. MOB has also produced canvas bags allegedly using trademarks and distinctive styling and logos of Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, YSL, and Celine.
In the last session, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Disparaging Trademarks (MORE and MORE), resulting in new trademarks applications that include racial slurs and symbols.
The previous term also saw the Supreme Court overturn the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, often referred to as the “patent court,” on six patent cases.
Careful What You Bring to the Table
As the holiday season gets underway, consumers, including hosts and guests, need to beware counterfeit wine and spirits that are a reality in the marketplace.
On counterfeit wine:
See upcoming article in the 6th Edition of the BPP by Maureen Downey, “The Wine Detective,” to be published December 20, 2017
On counterfeit vodka:
THE BRAND PROTECTION PROFESSIONAL |SEPTEMBER 2017 | VOLUME 2 NUMBER 3
2017 COPYRIGHT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES