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Are You Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets? An Introduction to Intellectual Property

IP imageOver the next couple of weeks, IPcopy will be republishing some general introduction to IP articles that we prepared to present some topics, facts and issues from the area of intellectual property law for people who have had little or no contact with intellectual property. The articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.

Intellectual property (IP) can sometimes be overlooked. Intellectual assets are not tangible and, as such, can be difficult to value. Often, they are not taken into consideration properly when assessing the worth of a business. However, these assets can be the most important to a business, contributing significantly to its goodwill and reputation, and need to be protected properly. (more…)

Non-traditional Trade Marks in Sports – An EU Perspective

Law in Sport

 

 

By Manuela Macchi written for and published by LawInSport.com on the 1 April 2015. View the original article here.

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Trade marks in sport are commonly constituted of word or logo marks like ‘MANCHESTER UNITED’ or Nike’s famous ‘swoosh’ logo .

Registered protection of trade marks is the safest and most cost efficient way of obtaining an easily enforceable trade mark right. Whilst some jurisdictions like the UK afford protection to non-registered trade marks that have acquired goodwill through their use, the enforcement of these non-registered rights relies on the expensive and time consuming exercise of evidence gathering in relation to the use of the mark, whereas a trade mark registration certificate is prima facie evidence of the existence of the associated right.

In recent years, the sports industry has seen a growing number of registrations and attempted registrations of marks that differ from what is considered the more traditional words and logos (as above), which can be broadly categorised as “non-traditional” or “unusual” trademarks. This article takes a trip through examples of such non-traditional trademarks, and explores the protection that sports brands can achieve from their registration, a process that, in the author’s opinion, remains underutilised despite the potential that registration offers to an industry that increasingly relies on the exploitation of Intellectual Property (IP) and IP related rights. (more…)

Vans Inc v OHIM – Case Review

Vans image

The following case review of T53/13 first appeared in the ITMA review.

Background

Vans applied to register the mark in question (see right) in Classes 18 and 25 on 14 September 2011 (No. 010263838), which was refused on 7 March 2012 on the basis of Article 7(1)(b) as the mark “consisted of a wavy line which slants and curves” and was devoid of distinctive character. Evidence to show acquired distinctiveness had a number of gaps such that it was held not to be possible to ascertain the degree of recognition by the relevant public.

The appeal filed on 2 May 2012 was dismissed by the Fifth Board of Appeal (BoA) on 14 November 2012. The BoA held that the mark was devoid of any distinctive character as the average consumer would see the mark as a “concept of a wavy line”, which is too vague as a badge of origin. Graphic line stripes are common in respect of goods in Classes 18 and 25, such that the relevant public would view the mark as “exclusively ornamental”. Also, the existence of earlier national registrations was irrelevant and evidence regarding acquired distinctiveness insufficient.

The action to the General Court (Fifth Chamber) was filed on 31 January 2013. (more…)

Alma- The Soul of Italian Wine v OHIM: Case Review (Case T 605/13)

wine1On 4 March 2011, Alma-The Soul of Italian Wine LLP (‘The Applicant’) filed a Community trade mark (‘CTM’) application for a figurative mark “SOTTO IL SOLE ITALIANO SOTTO il SOLE” in respect of ‘wines’ in Class 33. Miguel Torres, SA filed an opposition against the above-mentioned mark based on its earlier trade marks, inter alia, CTM VIÑA SOL in Class 33, under Article 8(1)(b) and (5) of Regulation No 207/2009. The Opposition Division upheld the opposition and the Applicant filed an appeal with OHIM against the decision. (more…)

Protecting Your Brand: Free Advice Clinics at Keltie LLP

Keltie signDuring February and March Keltie LLP will be hosting free advice clinics for people who want to protect their brand.

The free advice clinics will comprise consultations lasting up to 30 minutes to deal with any trade mark, copyright or design related issues or queries. This is a great opportunity to discuss your company’s branding and how to go about protecting it.

Not only will you be able to get professional advice on your intellectual property, you will also be able to enjoy the stunning views across London from our office at No. 1 London Bridge!

To book an appointment, please email emily.hay@keltie.com or contact our reception on 020 7329 8888.

For those unfamiliar with intellectual property law a few brief comments on trade marks, designs and branding are below.  (more…)

New Fast Track Examination for CTMs

ohimlogo_enOn 24th November 2014, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) introduced a “Fast Track” application process for European Union (CTM) trade marks. This allows for certain trade mark applications to be processed, examined and – if accepted – published much faster than under the current examination turnaround times. The typical “fast-track” publication is expected to take only 3-4 weeks from the filing date of the application, if no objections are raised. (more…)

Trade Mark Case Review: A Tale of Two Skull Devices

HalloweenAs Halloween approaches IPcopy brings you a skull tingling tale of bad faith……. (more…)

New role of ISPs combatting trade mark infringement

DiamondFourteen years after the adoption of the Directive on Electronic Commerce of 8 June 2000, relating to the liability of the ISPs within the EU, the roles of ISPs have evolved significantly and they no longer work in a solely technical capacity.

In principle, ISPs do not have any say on the content matter, they are simply offering a technical service. This task has however become required across a much broader spectrum since the emergence of Web 2.0, as users now have more opportunity to post and retrieve content on an interactive level.

ISPs which are merely acting as hosts benefit from a special status on non-responsibility. However, the legal obligations of ISPs have increased and in addition to the normal rules of liability, International and European Law have imposed on ISPs obligations to act against trade mark infringement by cooperating with the trade mark owners and the authorities. (more…)

IPcopy’s summer round up

spadesThe summer holiday period is coming to an end, the kids are heading back to school and for the first time in weeks there’s actually a full complement of co-workers in your office. IPcopy has been ticking away during the summer season and, just in case you weren’t checking our updates when you were on the beach, here’s a round-up of our posts from mid July through August.

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Case Review: C-530/12 P OHIM v National Lottery Commission

file0001764062159This is the latest decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in respect of Case T-404/10 National Lottery Commission v OHIM – Mediatek Italia and De Gregorio.

(more…)

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