Home > Legal Opinions tagged Brands

  • Diageo promotes ‘craft’ over ‘consumption’ to survive ASA complaint

    Alex Watt

    The Guinness brand is known for its iconic advertisements, although regulations today preclude the use of famous slogans of yesteryear such as “Guinness is Good For You”. As with all alcohol brands, Guinness’s advertising is now careful to ensure that it promotes the brand, whilst not promoting the excessive consumption of alcohol. A recent social […]

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  • Scramble v Scrabble - a surprising lack of confusion?

    Dave Holt

    The Court of Appeal case between Mattel and Zynga has confirmed that Mattel’s ‘Scramble’ CTM was valid and not descriptive of what was required in the game or in common usage for word games and therefore that Zynga’s use of ‘Scramble’ infringed it. LJ Floyd held that the similarity between the marks ‘Scramble’ and ‘Scrabble’ […]

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  • swearing in advertising

    Alex Watt

    **Contains strong language** The Committees of Advertising Practice have published a short report on swearing in ads. The report underlines the importance of an advert’s context, medium, audience and product, as understood within the standards set by the Code under section 4.1. One of their examples was a complaint raised regarding a Booking.com ad, which […]

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  • Innocent logo dispute provides much food for thought

    Peter Ellis

    Who owns the copyright in graphic work such as logos prepared by design agencies on behalf of their clients is not as straightforward as it might seem when the parties have not made their position clear at the outset of the relationship. Two companies faced prolonged and difficult litigation involving hearings at the European trade […]

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  • Superdrug warned: don’t advertise prescription-only medicines

    Alex Watt

    The ASA have this week published an upheld complaint against Superdrug Stores plc, reminding them that their future advertising should not directly or indirectly promote prescription-only medicines (‘POM’). In this instance, the wording of the ad (‘Up To 76% Cheaper Than Competitors’) focussed on the purchase of a POM rather than a wider focus on […]

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  • Topshop loses appeal against Rihanna in passing-off case

    Emma Fox

    Topshop has lost an appeal against a ruling of passing-off in relation to its sale of t-shirts bearing Rihanna’s image. There was no evidence from purchasers that they had believed the t-shirts were endorsed by Rihanna. However, as reported in our earlier article on this case relating to the appealed High Court judgment as the […]

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  • possible EU design right defence for spare parts manufacturers?

    Nicola Hill

    In a case involving Ford Motor Company concerning the unauthorised manufacturer of wheel trims bearing Ford’s trade mark, the Italian tribunal of Torino has requested a preliminary ruling by the CJEU (Case C-500/14). It has posed two questions, which essentially enquire whether Article 14 of Directive 98/71 and Article 110 of Regulation (EC) No.6/2002 (both […]

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  • ASA meeting ODPS co-regulation Designation requirements

    John Swani

    The ASA, together with Ofcom, co-regulates on-demand programme services (ODPS) subject to the ASA meeting Designation requirements defined under s.368A(1) Communications Act 2003. In a report published this week, Ofcom confirmed the ASA is meeting the Designation requirements, a view supported by report contributors Channel 4, UTV and Clearcast. The Designation has been amended, removing […]

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  • 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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  • 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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Richard Nicholas High Court advertising trade marks Court of Appeal Richard Freeth Gemma Steele Oliver Sweeney James Arrowsmith employment Department for Education Browne Jacobson LLP Claims Nichola Evans Intellectual Property Public Sector Fiona Carter child protection Mark Blois litigation education Laura Richards Brands teachers government Social Care Hayley Roberts Ofsted schools free schools copyright DfE Dai Durbridge local authorities Sarah Erwin-Jones ip academies Browne Jacobson NHS adult safeguarding