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Category Archives: Trade Marks

Changes in UK trade mark law

UK flagAs of 14 January 2019, there have been important amendments to trade mark law in the UK. We have highlighted some of the key changes below. (more…)

Brexit update: Business as usual

brexit-1481028_1920Nothing over the last few weeks has done anything to dispel the uncertainty that hangs over Brexit. Parliament emphatically rejected the proposed EU withdrawal agreement on 15 January and the last week has seen a number of proposed amendments* to the withdrawal agreement defeated. There are now only around 50 days until Brexit and the UK’s position hasn’t changed much since Article 50 was triggered nearly two years ago…. (more…)

McDonald’s, Supermac’s and the “Big Mac” EU trade mark

The trade mark dispute at the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) between Supermac’s, an Irish fast food restaurant chain, and McDonald’s over the “Big Mac” European trade mark has appeared in a number of news stories over the last couple of weeks.

The full decision from the EUIPO, in which the application by Supermac’s to revoke the Big Mac trade mark was upheld, can be found here.

I sat down with Alistair Gay, a partner in Keltie’s trade mark team, to discuss the case. (Note: this video has subtitles.)

Mark Richardson and Alistair Gay 30 January 2019

Podcast: The Slants, A Year On

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IPCopy is proud to present a podcast interview by Keltie Partner, Manuela Macchi,  with Ronald Coleman, widely known in the IP community for successfully leading ‘The Slants’ trade mark case all the way to the US Supreme Court, securing US Federal registration.

The US Supreme Court judgement was handed down in June 2017, and on the path to this landmark ruling, Ronald had to grapple with fundamental principles of the US legal system, such as freedom of speech and the prohibition to register trade marks that are disparaging.

Little over a year from this judgement, we take a look back at the case with Ronald and discuss legacy, insights and ‘behind the scenes’ of the case. (more…)

Brexit: Patent, trade mark, design and GI “No Deal” notices published by UK Gov

brexit-1481028_1920It’s probably fair to say that the Prime Minister’s meeting in Salzburg last week did not go as well as the government would have hoped. Talk has now turned to the negotiations being at an impasse and the possibility of a No-Deal Brexit becoming reality seem to have increased.

Given that we’re now all staring out over the cliff edge again it seems a fitting time to take a quick look at the UK Government’s advice notices, that were published yesterday, in respect of patents, trade marks, designs and geographical indications in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. (more…)

CBS Files for new Star Trek Trade Marks

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In a recent statement, the US TV network CBS announced that they would be launching a new Star Trek show focussing on a “new chapter” in the life of Starfleet Captain, and living proof that we still won’t have cracked the cure for baldness by the 24th Century, Jean-Luc Picard.

The show will revisit the character around 20 years on from the events depicted in the somewhat underwhelming film Star Trek Nemesis and, in a truly great development, will feature Patrick Stewart returning to the role he first played in 1987. (more…)

Brexit and IP: UKIPO update on Rights of Representation

brexit-1481028_1920The UK Intellectual Property Office recently updated its “IP and BREXIT: The facts” page with further details on its plans for handling European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs), Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and Unregistered Community Designs as the UK exits the EU (see our earlier post on the subject here).

The UKIPO Brexit page also has a few new things to say on the subject of the rights of UK IP professionals to represent clients before the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It should be remembered that as a consequence of leaving the EU (and, as things stand, leaving the EEA) UK based IP professionals who can currently represent clients on EUTM and RCD matters before the EUIPO will lose their rights of representation (see more on this subject on the CITMA website). (more…)

Brexit and IP: UKIPO update on conversion of EU Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs

brexit-1481028_1920Following statements made recently in the House of Commons during an “Exiting the European Union” debate, the UK Intellectual Property Office has updated its “IP and BREXIT: The factspage with further details on its plans for handling European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs), Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and Unregistered Community Designs as the UK exits the EU.

By way of a brief recap readers will recall the March 2018 version of the draft Withdrawal Agreement covering the UK’s departure from the EU confirmed a number of IP related elements that had been agreed (see the sections in green between Articles 50-57) but that the registration procedure (for the conversion of EUTMs and RCDs) was still the subject of negotiations. (more…)

Football Players and Trade Marks

world-cup-2018-3409220_1280The 2018 FIFA Football World Cup is well underway in Russia with the teams having played through most of the group games at the time of writing. England fans’ spirits remain unhealthily optimistic with the Three Lions having recorded their highest ever victory in a World Cup match at the weekend with a 6:1 win over Panama. Other major teams have looked unconvincing it must be said, with Argentina scraping through to the knock-out stages a couple of nights ago and defending champions Germany failing to progress out of the group stages following three abysmal performances. Who knows maybe it is England’s year after all…

Although football is the main focus, it’s hard not to notice the role that branding and sponsorships play at the World Cup. Many businesses want their brand to be associated with (and profit from) the world’s most widely viewed sporting event. Following the recent news that England striker Jesse Lingard has registered his goal celebration as a trade mark, we thought we’d have a little look into other trade marks that footballers have registered to protect their personal brands, enabling them to reap rewards both on and off the pitch. (more…)

Starbucks Success

starbucks-1972319_1920This post provides a review of a recent case, T-398/16 -Starbucks Corp v EUIPO and Hasmik Nersesyan.

 

Key points

• A global assessment involves weighing up the similarity of the marks and the goods or services
• The threshold for similarity is low

(more…)