Where did the oppositions go?
A fact-filled presentation from OHIM's Dimitris Botis this
morning provided all the data you could need on CTMs and RCDs.
Most striking was the revelation that after years of
significant growth it looks like filing numbers are
stabilising. CTM applications are expected to grow by just 2%
this year, while RCD applications are projected to fall by
Even more notable, the number of opposition cases brought is
set to fall by about 18% during 2014. It's too early to say if
this is a trend, or what is causing it. Possible explanations
include budget cuts, frustration with inconsistent decisions,
greater efforts at settlement and brand owners picking their
battles more selectively. I'd be interested to know if this
data reflects readers' experiences, and if anyone can offer a
Paul Maier (right) of the EU Observatory was also over from
Alicante. Providing an update on the latest work on researching
and dealing with counterfeiting in the EU and beyond, he
presented some interesting statistics from the recent report
European Citizens and Intellectual Property: Perception,
Awareness and Behaviour.
One statement put to respondents in the survey was: "Buying
counterfeit products is an act of protest and a way to resist
the market-driven economy and the large premium brands".
Remarkably, 48% of students agreed with this. As Paul pointed
out, today's students are tomorrow's engineers, scientists,
accountants, designers and lawyers.
The Observatory is about to embark on a youth action plan to
talk (and listen) to young people and students. It looks like
they have a lot of work to do.
The foyer of the Tivoli Hotel has been furnished with iconic
(and expensive) pastel-coloured chairs and sofas for the
duration of the conference, in a sort of exhibition of Danish
It seems nicely appropriate for a conference about brands,
though with the Gala Dinner taking place tonight, you have to
hope no one gets over excited and spills their red wine.
China came to Denmark in today's final plenary session,
along with Chinese dress, green tea and fans (not really
necessary in Copenhagen in September).
Loke Khoon Tan
of Baker & McKenzie Hong Kong provided the local advice for
brand owners who face counterfeits on e-commerce and social
media sites in the country.
Sadly, he couldn't offer much positive news. "As a plaintiff
you have to do everything," he noted, adding that most Chinese
pirates ignore warning letters and it can be almost impossible
to trace and bring action against local websites. The best
option is to try to find the physical address of the infringer
and amass as much evidence as possible.
Tan used the analogy of climbing the Great Wall of China:
it's hard work but "when you get to the top the view is
Happy to be here
A number of this week's speakers have noted that Danes are the
world's happiest people, according to the UN
World Happiness Report. This is in spite of the fact that
VAT is 25% and rain is often looming.
Various reasons have been suggested for this ranking, but
conference chair Tove Graulund surely clinched it when she
revealed that the nation has a unique happiness gene, not found
in people from other countries. In other words: if you want
your kids to grow up happy, mate with a Dane!