WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 10, 2015) – The Trademark Working Group, founded by Holland & Knight Washington, D.C.-based partner Paul Kilmer, has released its 2015 "Global Trademark Report Card" (GTRC). The release of the 2015 GTRC coincides with the Trademark Working Group's Special 301 submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). USTR's Special 301 process is intended to gather information about nations that fail to adequately and effectively protect U.S. intellectual property rights.
The GTRC highlights a number of gaps in foreign trademark laws as well as practices by foreign governments that deny trademark owners the ability to protect their brands abroad. China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Canada feature prominently in this year's GTRC and the Trademark Working Group's accompanying letter to USTR. Click on the links below to view the GTRC and summary/cover letter:
"China's 2014 trademark law has not created a system that adequately protects the rights of foreign trademark owners," Mr. Kilmer said. "India and Brazil, along with other nations, suffer from what can best be described as the 'slows' in their handling of trademark matters, including disputes against local infringers that drag on for years.
"Other practices by foreign governments allow trademark pirates to take advantage of brands developed at great expense and effort by U.S. trademark owners," Mr. Kilmer continued. "We hope that USTR and the other federal agencies charged with responsibility for ensuring the international protection of trademark rights will step up to the challenges highlight in our report."
The Trademark Working Group, which was formed in 2013, includes in-house counsel from Fortune 500 companies, certification mark owners and small companies with international business operations. The group's goal is to collect information from U.S. businesses and law firms regarding trademark laws and practices of foreign nations that deny adequate protection to trademark rights.
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