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    Edwards Wildman's Ben Hitchens Comments on Commission Recommendations on Groundless Threats Reform in World Trademark Review

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    Ben Hitchens, an intellectual property attorney in Edwards Wildman's London office, discussed how the Law Commission has published its proposals for reform of the groundless threats regime in World Trademark Review. In the article, "Lawyers React to Commission Recommendations on Groundless Threats Reform," Hitchens said, "We accept that secondary actors should be shielded from groundless threats. However, in most cases secondary actors will only be contacted by a rights holder because it is impossible/impractical to contact the manufacturer of the offending item. For example, we have seen a marked increase in counterfeits being imported from China – and it is often impossible or near impossible to identify the Chinese manufacturer. In these cases, seeking redress from secondary actors is the only means open to rights holders seeking to protect their IP. While these concerns may be alleviated by the proposed ‘reasonable endeavours’ defence, a degree of uncertainty will remain until the courts have provided guidance on the measures a rights holder must take to fall within this exception.”

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