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Category Archives: Trade Marks
Proof of use should be timely and clear – case law review T-41/12 LS Fashion, LLC v OHIM
This case concerns an opposition filed by Sucesores de Miguel Herreros, SA (the Opponent), the predecessor in title to the Intervener, Gestión de Activos Isorana, SL (Isorana) on the basis of Article 8(1)(b) Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 (CTMR), claiming a likelihood of confusion with its earlier Spanish trade mark registration for LOREN SCOTT, covering “clothes for ladies, men and children, included [sic] boots, shoes and slippers” in class 25. (more…)
Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co held its annual Brands & Designs Seminar in London on 25 June 2015. As you would expect, the Seminar was extremely informative and interesting, and well attended!
Kate Swaine kicked off proceedings by discussing the rise in passing off cases throughout the last year. Kate posed the question as to whether the recent increase in passing off cases was highlighting a new trend. She asked whether this was due to misrepresentation seemingly being easier to define than likelihood of confusion, the fact that a brand has now expanded considerably further than just a ‘name’ and celebrities are more conscious of their own brand power, as well as the apparent constraints of a trade mark registration, making passing off a more attractive option. (more…)
Today we have a little tip for anyone who has run into difficulties locating a patent or patent application that is mentioned in the context of a product being marketed under the words “patent pending”, “patented” or similar. Sometimes it is easy to locate the patent property in question because, for example, the company offering the product/service is also the patent owner. Sometimes however it can be difficult to find the correct patent property.
This may be because the company in question owns thousands of patents and patent applications (good luck for example identifying all the patent filings made in relation to the Apple Watch). However, in some cases this is because the company selling the “patented” product/service is not the patent owner.
Perhaps the patent/patent application is held by a different company in the same company group or perhaps the inventors own the patents. In such circumstances what else can be done to try and locate the patent/patent application in question? (more…)
In the final article in this Intellectual Property (“IP”) series, we look at the protection and commercialisation of brands or trade marks.
Trade marks are business identifiers which are generally comprised of one or a combination of the following elements: words, logos, slogans and even colours, shapes and sounds. Generally, anything in which your business has acquired goodwill and acts as an indication of trade origin can be considered a trade mark.
It is recommended to protect those trade marks of value to your business by registering them at the IP offices of the countries of commercial interest. Trade mark registrations provide prima facie evidence of a business’ rights in a mark and ensure that business is able to prevent third parties causing confusion in the marketplace, or taking advantage of its goodwill in its mark, by using an identical or similar trade mark.
Once in place, trade mark registrations can also be licensed or assigned to generate revenue for your business and are valuable business assets. (more…)
On 14 October, Coca-Cola Company (“Coca Cola”) filed an opposition against the application based on four of its earlier figurative CTMs; (more…)
Still on the fence about the general election? Well, fear not as IPcopy is here to give you a run down on the most important policy area of them all. Yes, it’s time to look at what the parties have got to say about Intellectual Property.
Rather than subject ourselves to having to read the manifestos of the various parties (we’re not masochists you know), IPcopy has located PDF copies of the manifestos for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the SNP and has performed a word search for any of the following terms: patent, trade mark (or trademark), design (IP related design references only), copyright, intellectual property.
So, here we go…. (more…)
Over 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…)
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…)
The following case review of T53/13 first appeared in the ITMA review.
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…)