In the early days of implementation of the European trademark reforms, various other brand protection and IP enforcement reforms sweep markets around the world. Thailand is in the process of amending its trademark law to introduce multiple class filings and sound marks, and provide for accession to the Madrid Protocol. In Poland, substantial amendments to the Industrial Property Law aim to simplify and expedite trademark registration proceedings. Changes are also underway in Vietnam, in order to comply with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ("TPP"), an agreement whose full implementation is anticipated by IP owners even outside of its 12 member countries because of the impact on IP protection, enforcement and trade.
Meanwhile, news about blocking injunctions confirm why this area should be closely watched by the IP community. In France, the Paris Court of Appeal has ruled that the cost of blocking measures should be borne by internet service providers. Earlier in February, the Singapore High Court ordered various network service providers to block a piracy site and set out a non-exhaustive list of factors to assess whether a website is "flagrantly infringing", one of the requirements under the new site-blocking framework.
Back in the European Union, the Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets and Know-How was approved in April 2016, establishing a minimum standard of trade secret protection across the EU.
We expect vigorous discussions on these and other issues as various stakeholders in the IP community are in Orlando, Florida for the annual meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the recently concluded joint IACC-BASCAP enforcement conference.