Home > Legal Opinions tagged Intellectual Property

  • 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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  • trade mark surveys not quite dead

    Laura Mackenzie

    The value of survey evidence in trade mark and passing off disputes has been called into question following criticism of this evidence method in a number of high profile cases, not least in the M&S v Interflora litigation. The message from the judiciary in this case was that a survey should only be admitted if […]

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • non skidding knives – 2D marks invalid if essential characteristic...

    Susie Orton

    It is an absolute ground of refusal for a trade mark to be registered wherever its essential characteristics perform a technical function (Article 7 (1) (e) of CTMR). The CJEU has now held in Yoshida Metal Industry Co v Pi-Design AG that the analysis of those technical functions will apply to both two dimensional as […]

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  • sunrise periods for new Internet top-level domain names continuall...

    Susie Orton

    The internet is changing and domain names are no longer limited to the standard generic top-level domains like .com or .org and country code domains like .uk. The new generic top level domains (gTLDs) includes for example .technology, .careers, .luxury, .academy and .marketing. In addition non-latin language scripts (e.g. Chinese, Arabic) can be used in […]

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  • ASA agree it is possible to trade on reputation of defunct company

    Laura Mackenzie

    The ASA has rejected a complaint that Abacus Lighting Ltd was misleading as to their reputation and history when claims made on their website – to ‘extensive experience and a proven track record’ and  a ‘hard earned reputation’ dating back ‘over 55 years’  - related to previous companies that had gone into administration. The original […]

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  • ‘relevant public’ key to lack of similarity with Volvo trade mark

    Declan Cushley

    An OHIM decision to dismiss Volvo’s opposition to a figurative sign Community trade mark containing the word SOLVO has been upheld by the EU General Court. The SOLVO application covered class 9 goods to Volvo’s registration – computer programs for warehouse management systems and for container terminal systems. There was no likelihood of similarity between […]

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  • court fees consultation to increase civil claims costs

    James Arrowsmith

    A consultation on court fees proposes that parties to some civil and commercial claims could subsidise other cases, and pay for investment in the court system. Family work in the civil courts costs more than the fees generated, while other areas such as injury and commercial claims have been broadly self funding.

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  • Puma application for invalidity of RCD upheld by General Court

    Susie Orton

    The General Court upheld the OHIM’s decision that a registered community design (RCD) of a jumping animal was invalid on the basis that it did not have individual character. The court rejected the claim that there were substantial differences between the RCD and the Puma logo concluding whether it was a domestic cat or wild […]

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  • one step beyond – Sainsbury takes ASA to judicial review

    Oliver Sweeney

    Sainsburys says that the Advertising Standards Authority were wrong to reject its recent complaint about the Tesco Price Promise – and they are so aggrieved that they have requested judicial review of the ASA’s decision. In particular, Sainsbury’s say that the Price Promise campaign fails to take into account significant differences when it is comparing […]

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  • Court of Appeal upholds the cancellation of Mattel’s Scrabble tile...

    Susie Orton

    The Court of Appeal upheld an earlier decision to cancel Mattel’s UK registration for a Scrabble tile. No examples of how the Scrabble tile might ultimately look were given in the registration. Zynga, who applied for cancellation suggested several options that show the large number of permutations that the registration could cover. These include 3M, […]

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  • Court of Appeal reverses Cadbury purple trade mark decision

    Ryan Harrison

    The Court of Appeal has taken a u-turn on an earlier decision, granting Cadbury a trade mark registration for a shade of purple (Pantone 2685C) synonymous with its Dairy Milk chocolate bar. In the present case, Sir John Mummery stated the mark “lacks the required clarity, precision, self-containment, durability and objectivity to qualify for registration”. […]

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  • Golden Balls victorious in Europe

    Laura Mackenzie

    The General Court of the European Union (‘GCEU’) has allowed [Case T‑437/11] Golden Balls Ltd’s appeal against a (much criticised) OHIM Board of Appeal decision that its Community trade mark application for ‘GOLDEN BALLS’ was confusingly similar to the earlier Community trade mark ‘BALLON D’OR’ (or ‘golden ball’ – owned by French-based Intra-Presse) for goods […]

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  • will the US trade representative veto a second time?

    Daniel Whebell

    In June this year, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that certain Apple products such as the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, infringe Samsung patents relating to the transmission of data and so banned the importation and sale of these products. However, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) then stepped in and vetoed […]

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  • Allergan becomes latest big pharma stung by India’s IPAB

    Richard Roberts

    The Indian pharmaceutical market, worth $13 billion a year, is a tempting prospect for multinational drug companies. However, emerging case law from India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is causing big pharma to question whether the playing field is truly level as patents topple to domestic rivals. The latest decision, delivered on 9 August 2013, […]

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  • Rihanna case shows developments to passing off

    Giles Parsons

    Rihanna has successfully sued Topshop in passing off for selling a t-shirt bearing her photograph. There is no freestanding image right in England, so the claim was brought in passing off. Selling clothes bearing someone’s image is not itself passing off; there must be a false representation that a product is endorsed. Other than the […]

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