“The Real Threat of Fake Toys”, a White paper from the Toy Association

Founded in 1916, the Toy Association is representing companies that design, produce, license and distribute toys and entertainment products for youth. It has more than 950 members, including Amazon. The Toy Association defends the interests of its members, including the toy safety and brand protection of its members. In this regard, the association has just…


Counterfeiting: Amazon Anticipates Increased Judicial Risk

On January 31, 2019, Amazon delivered its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After referring to a possible amendment of the US law on the liability of Internet intermediaries, Amazon acknowledged that it could be held liable for the activity of its users, particularly for counterfeiting: “The law relating to the liability…


cnDRP: Blablacar.com.cn transferred while Blablacar.cn rejected, why?

With 800 million Internet users, China is the largest market. It is imperative to file its trademarks in China and register domain names aimed at the Chinese market at the same time as the brand is created. Trademarks and domain names must be matched as twins both in the country of origin and in foreign…


EUIPO to finally tackle cyberquatting issues

Back in 2016, IP Twins released a communication on the increase of cybersquatting of trademark applications before the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Indeed, EUIPO currently publishes trademark applications as soon as they are filed. Cybersquatters only have to scan the EUIPO website for new application and automatically register the corresponding .COM domains in seconds,…


.EU: Brexit calendar in case of a no deal scenario. Our advice

EURid, the .EU registry, has timed out two scenarios: in case of a no deal (Scenario 1) and in the event of an agreement between Great Britain and the European Union (Scenario 2). The latter would not start before 31 December 2020. The political context gives Scenario 1 an urgency that requires vigilance and anticipation….


Brexit: what solutions for British owners of .EU domain names?

Read the update: “.EU: Brexit calendar in the case of a no deal scenario. Our advices”, iptwins.com, 28 January 2019 The massive rejection of the Brexit draft agreement by the British parliament is embarrassing many British companies. The issue of eligibility for certain top-level domains is one of many others. When the United Kingdom (UK)…


Phishing: stay alert!

No, Air France or Futuroscope do not offer free tickets via the WhatsApp phone application. Last weekend, many users of the application have received fraudulent messages appearing to come from these companies. The catch is the same: “Air France offers free tickets to all to celebrate his birthday” or “Futuroscope giving 5 free tickets to 500…


Attack on WeTransfer: beware of malwares!

Our Online Brand Protection service reports a new large-scale attack on the electronic documents transfer specialist WeTransfer. We have identified that emails similar to those of WeTransfer are currently being mass-mailed, with a download link very similar to the URLs used by WeTransfer: The attack works in a very simple way: hackers simply registered the…


The sunrise period for the new gTLD .DEV starts on January 16, 2019

Google Registry recently announced the upcoming availability of the .DEV top-level domain. 1 Sunrise Period: January 16, 2019 – February 19, 2019 Sunrise period where trademark holders who have submitted their trademark to the Trademark Clearinghouse can register .dev domains. Sunrise for .dev. This means if you are a trademark owner and your trademark has been submitted…


Get prepared: the .inc sunrise period is soon

IMPORTANT: Originally scheduled for January 16, 2019, the launch of .INC is postponed until March 27, 2019. See the updated calendar here. Eligibility “to be eligible to submit a Registration Request in the Sunrise Period, a Sunrise Applicant must be the registrant of a corresponding TMCH entry and the domain name sought must correspond to…


Press Review on Counterfeiting (December 2018)

Argentina FMC QUIMICA S.A. has reported having detected in Santa Fe, Córdoba and Salta counterfeit of its insecticide “Coragen” (agrofy.com.ar, 12 Dec. 2018). Australia Toyota counterfeit auto parts have been seized, including brake pads that do not meet the safety requirements. A Toyota employee said: “If you buy online and it’s not from an authorized…


China: Parliament plans stronger penalties for infringement of intellectual property rights

The Chinese parliament is considering a law that would allow punitive damages in tort cases. This long-awaited bill specifically targets infringements of intellectual property rights. If an intellectual property right is intentionally violated and the circumstances are considered “serious”, the owner of the intellectual property rights will be in a position to claim punitive damages….


.be adopt a new procedure for domain name deactivation

Since the 1st of December, a new procedure has been implemented in partnership by the Belgian Registry DNS Belgium and the Federal Public Service Economy (FPS Economy). This procedure allows FPS Economy to seek the deactivation of a .be domain name used in relation to fraudulent websites or Phishing activities. According to the procedure set…


Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, a European Commission Staff Working Document

Like the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) (see iptwins.com, Nov. 22, 2018 ; iptwins.com, Nov. 20, 2018 ; iptwins Nov. 16, 2018 ; iptwins .com, Nov. 15, 2018 ; iptwins.com, Oct. 19, 2018), the European Commission has built a list of online and physical counterfeit sites (Commission Staff Working Document, Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List,…


Press review on Counterfeiting (November 2018)

Algeria The General Directorate of Algerian Customs said that in 2017, more than 700,000 counterfeit glasses were seized nationwide. Mr. Kamel Kadi, head of the office in charge of the fight against counterfeiting Algerian Customs, regrets that some importers resort to methods “that may outsmart customs officers” (Aps.dz, 15 nov. 2018). Cambodia At the “Combatting…


Counterfeiting and cybersquatting: more than one million domain names seized

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that last year more than one million domain names of websites infringing intellectual property rights had been seized: approximately 33 600 in criminal proceedings and 1.21 million in civil proceedings (ice.gov, 26 Nov. 2018). ICE reports that industry partners involved in the operation were fully responsible for…


bmẉ.com (BMW), e-lẹclerc.com (E. Leclerc), порше.com (Porsche), קוקהקולה.com (Coca-Cola) et al.: Brief Overview of Internationalized Domain Names in WIPO UDRPs

BMW had to initiate a UDRP proceeding to get the domain name bmẉ.com [xn--bm-e3s.com], therefore containing the letter “w” with a diacritic dot. The respondent in the UDRP proceedings did not participate, and the decision appears relatively ordinary. However, it contains a reminder on an obvious but yet necessary legal point: “Previous UDRP panels have…


Unifab’s contribution to the list of the most notorious “counterfeit spots”

Every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) collects a list of the most notorious online and physical counterfeit spots that are outside US borders. (Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets). For example, the 2017 report mentions, inter alia, the following marketplaces: DHGhate.com (China), Indiamart.com (India), Taobao.com (China), Vkontakte.com (Russia), and…


Fighting against counterfeit medicines by suspending and blocking domain names

Every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) collects a list of the most notorious online and physical counterfeit spots that are outside US borders. (Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets). For example, the 2017 report mentions, inter alia, the following marketplaces: DHGhate.com (China), Indiamart.com (India), Taobao.com (China), Vkontakte.com (Russia), and…


2018 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: Chanel’s Choices

Every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) collects a list of the most notorious online and physical counterfeit spots that are outside US borders. (Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets). For example, the 2017 report mentions, inter alia, the following marketplaces: DHGhate.com (China), Indiamart.com (India), Taobao.com (China), Vkontakte.com (Russia), and…


2018 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: Maus Frères targets Facebook, iOffer, and Mercadolibre

Every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) collects a list of the most notorious online and physical counterfeit spots that are outside US borders. (Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets). For example, the 2017 report mentions, inter alia, the following marketplaces: DHGhate.com (China), Indiamart.com (India), Taobao.com (China), Vkontakte.com (Russia), and…


Pangea XI: 859 arrests

Interpol has once again coordinated a Pangea operation (Pangea XI) to destabilize the networks involved in counterfeit pharmaceutical and medical products. Interpol closely collaborated with institutions and companies deeply involved, willingly or not, in the fight against counterfeiting: the World Customs Organization (WCO); the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC); the Heads of Medicines…


Press Review on Counterfeiting (October 2018)

Belgium As part of the Pangea XI operation, the Belgian customs, in collaboration with the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP), controlled 14,464 packages, of which 622 contained medicines or health products. Of these, 141 were seized. They included 28,689 counterfeit products (rtbf.be, 23 oct. 2018). In Brussels, in the Agora gallery, an…


Remembrance Day: authorities combat fake poppies

Every year, the Royal British Legion calls to remember and support its action by organizing a fundraising campaign the symbol of which is a poppy brooch. More than ever, the celebrations of the year 2018, marking the centenary of 11 November 2018, should be memorable. The poppy is the trademark of the Royal British Legion. As…


PAP (real estate ads) v. PapAuto (car ads): no risk of confusion, and the reputation of the “PAP” is not demonstrated

Éditions Neressis is a French company that runs a real estate website called “PAP, Particulier à Particulier”. This company owns the French trademark No. 1518035 “P.A.P. Particulier à Particulier” (classes 16, 35 and 41), the European Union trademark No. 006701973 “PAP” (classes 16, 35, 38, 41), and the domain name pap.fr. This website pap.fr is…


Skyscanner loses UDRP complaint in surprising decision

On 5th October 2018, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre published a decision related to the domain name fly-scanner.com and ordered that the domain name remains with the respondent (D2018-1782). This decision may appear as surprising at first sight given Skyscanner’s huge market share and 60 million active users. Let’s try and understand the decision. The Complainant…


Louis Vuitton Combats Online Counterfeiting Before a Florida Court

Louis Vuitton is suing 23 natural and legal persons in Florida for various infringements of its trademarks (Case 0: 18-cv-62354-CMA). Not less than 120 domain names and websites are concerned. Some domain names reproduce Louis Vuitton trademarks (eg louisvuittonbag.site, uslouisvuitton.co, prezzi-lvborse.org), while others include a term indicating the likely presence of counterfeits (eg: aaaimitationbags.com, fashionfakeseason.com,…


2018 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: the AAFA Nominates Three Amazons Platforms

Every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) collects a list of the most notorious online and physical counterfeit spots that are outside US borders. (Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets). For example, the 2017 report mentions, inter alia, the following marketplaces: DHGhate.com (China), Indiamart.com (India), Taobao.com (China), Vkontakte.com (Russia), and…


Fake Goods on the Dark Side of the Moon

Patience/Time. The Patience of British rock band Pink Floyd has hit The Wall. The band is suing several Chinese entities for the alleged sale of counterfeit goods in relation to their band’s trademarks. Stay. Pink Floyd, which was formed in 1965, is internationally known for their psychedelic rock music and is one of the most…


Beijing launches Internet-related online court

Following the path open by the city of Hangzhou in 2017, Beijing has recently opened its first online court dedicated specifically to handle Internet-related matters. The new civil court will have jurisdiction over matters previously decided by an ordinary court of first instance: online shopping, personal data protection, copyrights, domains and service contracts for example….


The Birth of AliExpress Russia

For manufacturers, traders and distributors, the birth of a major e-commerce player is perceived either as a windfall or as a threat. This depends, among other things, on the risk that this new player may pose to intellectual property rights owners. The birth of AliExpress Russia inevitably provokes feelings of enthusiasm and dread. Founded in…


EU Customs Report 2017 on Counterfeiting: Highlights

This report is based on the EU Customs 2017 results (Report on the EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights: Taxation and Customs Union. Results at the EU border, 2017). For the most part, the counterfeit goods seized continue to come from China, including Hong Kong. However, it appears that in some countries counterfeiters have…


Counterfeit and “Parasitism”: the All Blacks Tackled French Companies

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) is the institution responsible for managing Rugby in New Zealand. It “ensures the operation and development of the national rugby team known as ‘All Blacks’ and conducts an active merchandising policy around the world to obtain the financial revenues necessary for the development of its activity“. It owns a semi-figurative…


Uganda: the Role of Financial Institutions in Fighting Counterfeiting

In Kampala, bankers and anti-counterfeiting specialists have come together to find effective solutions against this scourge that literally floods the country with goods of mediocre and dangerous quality. According to the UNBS (Uganda National Bureau of Standards), at least 50% of all goods on the Ugandan market are false. Financial institutions in Uganda have been…


Press Review on Counterfeiting (September 2018)

Canada, Ontario A several-month investigation led Canadian authorities in June 2018 to make large seizure at the famous Pacific Mall in Markham, north of Toronto. Representative of the Canadian authorities traveled to New York to meet with trademarks owners, including Adidas, Chanel, and Cartier. After analysis, it was confirmed that the goods seized were counterfeit….


Cambridge.org v. Carnbridge.org: a UDRP Case on Typosquatting and Identity Theft

The University of Cambridge started a UDRP proceeding under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center to obtain the transfer of the unsettling domain name carnbridge.org. The transfer of the domain name was ordered (WIPO, D2018-1542, The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge v. Sunny Legend, September…


Copyright as a Means to Fight Against Counterfeiting

On February 24, 2014, French customs visited the offices of a company called “Parisac”. The customs seized nearly 4,000 counterfeit Chanel and Céline bags imported from China. Parisac and its manager, Mr. X., were prosecuted in the Criminal Court for counterfeiting and importing counterfeit goods. On May 4, 2015, the Criminal Court found them guilty….


€510,000 in Damages for Counterfeits of Rims and Unfair competition

Mr. R. operates the websites rsimport.com and eurojante.com. The BMW companies have been informed that these tunning websites have a large number of BMW and MINI branded rims. Therefore, BMW managed to obtain the right to conduct a so-called saisie-contrefaçon conducted in the premises of Mr. R. Under French law, saisie-contrefaçon relates to Article 7(1) of the…


Juul Labs Gets an Injunction Against Thirty Chinese Counterfeiters

“The scale of counterfeit Juul products is alarming,” said Kevin Burns, managing director of Juul Labs. (Juul) (Juul.com, September 11, 2018). The dazzling success of this young e-cigarette maker founded in 2017 comes with a big wave of counterfeits. To counter this, Juul collected a number of pieces of evidence and produced them before the…


What to Do With Domain Names Such as starbucksnestle.com and starbucks-nestle.com?

The announcement of a commercial partnership between Nestlé (nestle.com, May 7, 2018) and Starbucks (starbucks.com, August 28, 2018) led to cybersquatting cases. Many domain names combining the “nestle” and “starbucks” trademarks were registered. DRP proceedings were initiated, including the D2018-1183 procedure undertaken by the Nestlé Products Corporation against a US citizen who had registered two…


On Your Marks, .SPORT Kicks Off!

The new gTLD .SPORT targets federations, sports organizations, clubs, teams, their athletes, their sponsors, but also sports brands and the media. SPORTt has its rules, so the .SPORT. Eligibility rules apply. The choice of domain names is not free and, for now, the time of registration either. First Rule: Eligibility Sport is for everyone, not the…


Cybersquatting: Back to Basics

Can a company (company A) register a domain name (say companyb.com) that is identical to the trademark of its main competitor (company B), and redirects it to its own website (companya.com)? Surprisingly, it appears that the issue still deserves to be raised. Two Canadian publishers fought in a dispute resolution process concerning a .CA domain…


Press Review on Counterfeiting (August 2018)

Dubai In the first half of 2018, Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) closed 4,879 social media accounts and 30 websites involved in the sale of counterfeit goods. This initiative is part of the efforts of the Dubai authorities to participate in the protection of trademarks (Golfnews.com, 5 August 2018). Borneo Ministry of Domestic Trade…


Pinduoduo: Counterfeiting Hurts Investment

While it had just made a thundering entry to Nasdaq, the Chinese marketplace Pinduoduo, entered the turmoil. Pinduoduo is under scrutiny after China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (CSAMR) announced that it was investigating claims according to which Pinduoduo would sell counterfeit goods. Pinduoduo is accused of being lenient in the fight against counterfeiting. The CSAMR’s announcement…


The GDPR Facilitates Large-Scale Phishing

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information, often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This practice uses domains identical or very similar to well-known brands: banks, insurance companies or airline companies are very often victims of these attacks. A number of elements help to create large-scale…