Home > Legal Opinions tagged Brands

  • website blocking order awarded to combat trade mark infringement

    Declan Cushley

    Mr Justice Arnold in the High Court has awarded Cartier, Montblanc and Richemont an order requiring defendant Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block or impede access by subscribers to six websites advertising and selling counterfeit goods and thereby infringing the claimant’s trade marks. Similar orders have previously been made for copyright infringement under s97A of […]

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  • finding of 'genuine use' ends the Specsavers trade mark saga

    Annabel Sinclair

    The Court of Appeal has concluded that Specsavers’ extensive use of its green shaded logo mark containing the word Specsavers in white also constitutes ‘genuine use’ of its wordless logo mark (two overlapping ovals registered in black and so in respect of all colours). Specsavers’ wordless mark will therefore remain on the register. This is […]

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  • copyright law now has a sense of humour

    Jude King

    On 1 October 2014, The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 come into force which introduce new copyright infringement exceptions including a specific exception granting the right to parody. The new regulations will extend the fair dealing exception to copyright infringement to include use for the purposes of caricature, parody or […]

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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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  • are home delivery services by the big four supermarkets sustainable?

    Kirsten Walters

    With the news that Ocado has posted a profit for the first half of its financial year, there are hopes it will make an annual pre-tax profit for the first time since it was founded in 2000. However, a survey by Knight Frank has revealed that home deliveries are a loss-leading service which may ultimately […]

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Consumer Rights Bill passes second reading without a division

    Fiona Carter

    The second reading of the Consumer Rights Bill was debated by MPs in the House of Commons yesterday (28 January 2014). The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable opened the debate describing the proposed reforms as ‘pro-consumer’ and ‘pro business’. He said the aim was to simplify and strengthen consumer laws […]

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  • Consumer Rights Bill introduced to Parliament

    Fiona Carter

    The Consumer Rights Bill, published yesterday and having its second reading debate on Tuesday, heralds the most significant overhaul of consumer law in decades. Intended to clarify and simplify consumer rights, the Bill will change and consolidate much of existing consumer law in the UK including rules on unfair terms and rights and remedies for […]

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  • click and collect – are you enjoying the experience?

    Sarah Parkinson

    It occurs to me that with the continued growth of click and collect facilities across the country – whether these are within stores, at petrol stations, designated parcel lockers and so on – retailers need to be really careful with the customer experience and effect on brand. We’ve already seen how difficult it has been […]

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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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  • Change in distance selling law not to be under estimated

    Dinah King

    Our update of 13 December 2013 alerted businesses to the fact that although the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Payments) Regulations 2013 had been adopted, they were not being implemented until mid-2014 so businesses have some time to plan for the changes. Finding ourselves now firmly into 2014, it is time to drive home […]

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