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A start-up law firm in the US state of Minnesota is taking legal action against a non-profit organisation that had earlier claimed the legal practice infringed its trademark rights and accusing it of bullying. At a time when lawmakers in the state are considering the introduction of litigation to curb overreaching legislation, the dispute highlights some of the complexities surrounding this divisive topic?
The imminent release of a deluxe box-set of Marvel films has been postponed until 2013 due to a trademark dispute over the packaging of the items. The box-set, which includes this year’s smash-hit The Avengers, was to be sold in a briefcase-style container; however, the owners of the original briefcase have filed for trademark infringement. The dispute offers some important insights into the treatment of product packaging.
Next month WIPO member states and interested parties will discuss a new draft instrument for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and appellations of origin. The proposals follow Antonio Campinos’ recent statement that OHIM would welcome the opportunity to oversee a non-agricultural register of GIs. However, the Europe v United States divide on GIs seems as wide as ever.
A legal wrangle between the makers of the Magic Tree air freshener and photo bank Getty Images, which centres on the use of a trademark in photography offered by the image bank, could increase the policing burden for trademark owners.
China’s vice minister of commerce recently announced that, since October 2010, his government has shut down nearly 13,000 factories producing counterfeit goods and arrested over 9,000 people through more than 150,000 investigations. And yet an entire fake Apple store recently opened up in Kunming, featuring a “beautifully” ripped-off store design, according to one visitor. It is not yet clear what the authorities (let alone Apple) make of this, but the revelation follows reports that police authorities have been replacing the Mercedes-Benz badge on their cars in order to disguise the brand.
While the Court of Appeal for England and Wales has followed the European Court of Justice ruling in L’Oréal v Bellure, Lord Justice Jacob has made it clear he isn’t happy about muzzling commercial free speech. Expect the debate over free riding to continue.
If you thought that Chanel's registration for NO 5 in Class 3 was enough to stop a competitor registering NO 6 in the same class, think again. The USPTO has just rejected Chanel's opposition to the NO 6 mark, in a move that could stop owners of famous brands in their tracks.
Lawyer suggests trademark law be used “as a weapon against neo-Nazis” following misuse of Detroit Red Wings brand in Charlottesville
A leading litigator at Florida firm Johnson Pope has spoken out about how trademark law can be used “as a weapon” against the misuse of brands by hate groups. This follows global media coverage of white supremacists using the branding of the Detroit Red Wings during recent protests in Charlottesville, with the hockey club forced to issue a statement to clarify that it was not associated with the protesters.
The search to prove that trademark dilution exists; new study casts “serious doubt” on validity of current evidence
Trademark dilution is an often-used legal concept by rights holders of well-known brands, and has been at the centre of a number of well-publicised court battles. Nonetheless, it is also an elusive concept and a new study which sought to shine further light on the phenomenon has concluded that there are “serious doubts” on the validity of all current evidence of its existence.
OHIM and the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights have published their 2014 annual reports, the latter expanding on how its enforcement-related activities are benefiting users.
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