There have been further developments in the YouView and YourView trade mark battle as the proprietors of YourView, Total, have initiated trade mark infringement proceedings against Lord Sugar’s YouView business.
Earlier this month the High Court upheld the UK Intellectual Property Office’s decision that the names were confusingly similar. Despite the court decision, YouView are yet to change their branding and state that they ‘have no intention of changing name’.
The end is in sight. Many thanks to everyone who has sponsored us or mentioned us. As of the time of writing we have raised around £3200 in support of men’s health issues. A fantastic effort all round. Final day photos are below. Look on with awe!
Our team page can be found here and there’s still time to donate if you want to!
Things are boiling over in the restaurant industry as Gordon Ramsay has applied to register a trade mark for ‘The Spotted Pig’ in the UK covering various food products and, importantly, restaurant services.
As readers might know, The Spotted Pig is a Michelin starred restaurant in New York City run by fellow Brit chef April Bloomfield, and boasts celebrity co-owners Jay-Z and Bono. The Spotted Pig is a hit in NYC serving ‘seasonal British and Italian, using local ingredients where possible’ and has been open since 2004.
What happens when one trademark is owned by two different traders? This is almost a contradiction in terms, since the role of a trademark is to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of others. But it does sometimes happen.
A prime example of a famous trade mark being “split” between two separate traders is the ROLLS ROYCE brand. When the company split off into the vehicle manufacturing enterprise, and the aircraft engine enterprise, ownership became completely separate, though both companies continued to use the famous brand name.
Here at IPcopy, we like to introduce our readers to every flavour of IP, including some to suit the more adventurous IP-palette. Here, then, is a brief look at the much under-deliberated Plant Variety Right: what is it, why would you want one, and how do you get it?
What is it?
Plant Variety Rights are a lesser-known feature of the intellectual property spectrum that are available to protect any variety of plant that you or your business has bred, discovered or developed. In the UK, Plant Variety Rights (or Plant Breeders’ Rights) are administered by the Plant Variety Rights Office, whilst in the EU the Community Plant Variety Office oversees grant of Community Plant Variety Rights.
It has emerged that the long-delayed broadband TV service backed by Lord Sugar has lost its battle over the right to use ‘YouView’ as their trade mark.
Most patent attorneys at some point in their career will have been introduced to the “Hand Test”. This is a rule of thumb (well, four fingers and a thumb) test to determine whether a claim is useful. There are various versions, but a familiar one is for Claim 1 of a patent to be printed out – for the sake of argument and objectivity, let’s say in 12 point Times Roman with one-and-a-half spacing – and for a patent attorney (let’s say one taking size 8 in gloves) to try to cover it with their hand laid flat, with fingers together, on the paper over the printed claim. If there are lines of text showing above or below the hand, the claim is generally not infringed by the embodiment of interest, avoidable by one simple workaround or another, or simply impossible to infringe.
Before filing a trade mark application or using a mark, it is advisable to conduct independent searches on the relevant official Register (or Registers if more that one territory is of interest). Whilst these searches are not compulsory or necessary in order to file a trade mark application, it is certainly a useful tool to establish whether or not there are any earlier identical or confusingly similar marks that may bar your own use or registration for the desired mark.
Independent searches available for new marks include:
1) Identical search – this is a coarse filter looking for identical marks in identical goods or services only; or
2) Full availability search – this looks for both identical and confusingly similar marks in identical/similar goods or services.
In general, an identical search is great if you have a variety of marks, as it can reduce the list significantly, or if you have already been using the mark unregistered for a period of time and do not wish to change it and full availability searches are recommended for new marks that have not yet been put to use and can be changed should a conflicting mark be identified. However, ad-hoc advice on the best searching strategy is strongly recommended.
It is also possible to conduct a proprietor search in order to review the marks of your competitors. Again, a useful tool to ensure that you do not step on anyone’s toes and that they are not straying too close to your own marks.
Whilst not exhaustive, it may also be advisable to check trade directories and the Internet against the possibility of existing trade marks which are in use and enjoy protections but are not registered.
Charlotte Blakey 14 November 2012