Home > Legal Opinions tagged Advertising & Marketing

  • trade mark puzzle solved - Rubik’s Cube 3D CTM found valid

    Bonita Trimmer

    The community trade mark (CTM) for the shape of the famous Rubik’s cube puzzle has been found valid this week by the General Court. Simba Toys sought cancellation of Seven Town’s CTM on various grounds including that the mark consisted exclusively of the shape of goods “which is necessary to obtain a technical result” and […]

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  • OREO’s licked by ASA CAP Code

    Laura Mackenzie

    In our autumn BAM seminar, we focused on the increasing difficulties that advertisers are encountering when using new advertising platforms in light of the hurdles set out by the CAP Code. Today brings the publication of an ASA decision which reminds advertisers using editorial-styled online video ads of the importance of making the commercial nature […]

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  • app providers respond to ASA rulings on freemium apps

    Paula Dumbill

    Over the last 24 hours the App Store has responded to ASA rulings on misleading ads by making apps that were previously offered as ‘free to play’ now accessible via a ‘get’ option. Also, the words ‘offers in-app purchases’ are clearly positioned at the ad offer stage. In July this year the ASA ruled that […]

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  • ‘Golden Balls’ CTM saga: differing degrees of similarity

    Laura Mackenzie

    Last year we reported on the General Court’s decision that, on a global consideration of the trade marks ‘Golden Balls’ and ‘Ballon D’or’, their visual and phonetic differences (despite their minimal conceptual similarities) meant they were not ‘similar’ under Art 8(1)(b) CTM Regulation 2007/2009 (requiring identical/similar marks for identical/similar goods and a likelihood of confusion) […]

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  • BSkyB offer was not the “best ever” – and is pulled

    Alex Watt

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today announced that it has upheld a complaint against a BSkyB press advertisement, which claimed that the broadband bundles Sky was offering were the “best ever”. The advertisement in question included text at the top right-hand corner, which stated explicitly “Our BEST EVER broadband offer”. However, when a complainant […]

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  • Marks & Spencer’s hopes bloom anew

    Nicola Hill

    The internet keywords case Interflora v M&S has come full circle with the Court of Appeal (CA) referring it back to the High Court for a re-trial. This saga began in 2008, when M&S purchased ad-words which resulted in its floristry ads being displayed when a user searched for ‘interflora’ on Google. Interflora alleged trade […]

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  • ASA bans promotion by The Sun to win a date with a page 3 model

    Jude King

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today announced that it has upheld a complaint against News UK for a fantasy football advertisement in The Sun newspaper. The advertisement in question was a promotion for The Sun’s Dream Team fantasy football competition, in which fantasy football participants could enter into a prize draw to win a […]

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  • no just ‘desserts’ for product shape trade mark

    Laura Mackenzie

    To be registrable a trade mark must not be devoid of any distinctive character; a hurdle that can be overcome if the mark has acquired a distinctive character as a result of its use. Yesterday the EU General Court dismissed an appeal against a decision that a three-dimensional Community trade mark (CTM)for shape of the […]

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  • Police to place anti-piracy warning ads on illegal sites

    Alex Watt

    BBC news reports reports that the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) are intending to place banner adverts on websites offering content that is believed to be illegal. The initiative makes use of technology provided by Project Sunblock, swapping paid-for advertising with warnings about piracy asking users to close their browser; “When […]

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  • ICO’s annual report announces growth in data protection complaints

    Richard Roberts

    In its annual report, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has revealed a record number of data protection and freedom of information complaints in the financial year 2013-2014. Following this year’s revelations by Edward Snowden, and the continued growth of ‘big data’, the cloud and social networking, the report shows a 10% year on year increase […]

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  • can the layout of a retail store be registered as a trade mark?

    Laura Mackenzie

    In a potentially ground-breaking decision the Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed (in response to an application by Apple Inc. for a device mark depicting its flagship store design) that – subject to certain notable caveats – a representation that depicts the layout of a retail store by means of an integral […]

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  • advertising standards agency ruling may hit app industry hard

    Paula Dumbill

    The ASA has ruled that an email advertising the Electronic Arts Ltd app ‘Dungeon Keeper’ as free was misleading. Dungeon Keeper is one of many ‘freemium’ apps. The successful freemium business model allows the app to be used, usually in full, for free, but requires the user to pay to remove limitations. A recent study […]

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  • ASA rules that paid-for content must be obviously “paid-for” online

    Susie Orton

    The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) have ruled on the 18th June 2014 that paid-for content recommendations often found at the foot of articles which contain the same look and feel as the website – should be more clearly identified as marketing communications to avoid being misleading. The ad complained of was placed by Outbrain and […]

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  • the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 are here! Are you ready?

    Dinah King

    If your business is a retailer selling goods, services or digital content to consumers, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 will impact your business directly. These regulations come into force in just tomorrow, Friday 13 June. However, don’t panic if you haven’t recently reviewed your website, consumer terms and conditions or your […]

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  • new IP Act encourages industrial designers

    Peter Ellis

    The Intellectual Property Act received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and will come into force between October 2014 and late 2015. The Act aims to better protect UK business’s IP rights in the UK and abroad. It requires the Secretary of State to make an annual report to Parliament reviewing the contribution of the […]

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  • WIPO launches image search on its Global Brand Database

    Declan Cushley

    The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched image search functionality on its Global Brand Database at this year’s INTA meeting. Users can drag and drop or upload an image into the tool, and search WIPO’s database based on the shape, colour, texture, or the composite makeup of that image. Searching for similar devices is a […]

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  • 'right to be forgotten' here to stay?

    Helena Wootton

    The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has made a significant ruling that individuals may request information personal data be removed from internet search engines if it is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant,” a rule known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. The decision means that a search engine will qualify as ‘processing’ personal […]

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  • irresponsible WKD alcohol Facebook ads banned

    Laura Mackenzie

    Youth Alcohol Advertising Council complaint upheld The ASA has upheld a complaint by the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council. This is not the first time that the YAAC – a group that monitor alcohol advertising to ensure young people are protected from exposure – has achieved success against alcohol industry ads. The ASA agreed with YAAC […]

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  • European Parliament adopts Data Protection Regulation

    Helena Wootton

    The European Parliament has voted to formally adopt the compromise texts of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Police and Criminal Justice Directive. This vote means the Parliament’s position is irreversible and will not change even if the composition of the Parliament changes after the European elections in May. The EU Council of […]

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  • sobering experience for retailer as ASA bans ad

    Fiona Carter

    Today the ASA considered whether a promotion which showed a hip flask with the words “F**K  MY Liver” was irresponsible. The promoter (Urban Outfitters) may have felt secure using “street language” having last year convinced the ASA that “SORT YOU SH!T OUT FOR 2013 WITH NEW AWESOME EVERYTHING” was (considering their 18—25 year old demographic) unlikely to seriously […]

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