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ECJ delivers blow to Rubik’s Cube; fears raised that decision paves the way for increased counterfeits
The European Court of Justice has handed down its long-awaited decision on the Rubik’s Cube 3D mark, annulling the EU Intellectual Property Office decision which confirmed registration of the shape in question as an EU trademark. The company has characterised today’s decision as “a damaging precedent”; while one legal commentator, who regards the decision as “bad news” for both brand owners and consumers, warns that it could pave the way for an increase in knock-offs and counterfeits on the market.
World Trademark Review is pleased to announce that Managing the Trademark Asset Lifecycle, our unique forum for trademark professionals to share best practice and cutting-edge strategies for maximising the value that resides in brands, is coming to Europe in 2017.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that posting a hyperlink to works protected by copyright and published without the author’s consent does not automatically constitute a ‘communication to the public’, as long as the person posting the link does not seek financial gain and acts without knowledge that those works have been published illegally.
The EU IP Office and Europol have joined forces to launch the IP Crime Coordinated Coalition, which will provide operational and technical support to law enforcement agencies. The move comes shortly after a new study revealed the diversity of business models being used by infringers online.
The latest polls indicate that a British exit or Brexit could be the result of the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership. The impact of such a vote on the trademark community has not featured in the political debate. Yet if next week’s vote comes down in favour of Brexit, there will be significant implications for trademark owners and law firms.
This week the EU Intellectual Property Office released both its 2015 annual report and its Strategic Plan 2020. The former reveals that trademark applications at the office jumped by 11% last year. However, as the strategic plan notes, while demand is not expected to lessen any time soon, the office faces a number of financial challenges as it seeks to maintain service levels.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the new EU directive on tobacco products is valid, meaning that the extensive standardisation of packaging, the future EU-wide prohibition on menthol cigarettes and upcoming special rules for electronic cigarettes are lawful. However, tobacco industry commentators have hit back, arguing that the ruling does not necessarily give the green light to plain packaging.
The good, the bad and the stubborn: study highlights challenge posed by attitudes towards fake goods
The EUIPO has released new research into attitudes to piracy and counterfeiting among young consumers. The research, which comes in at 248 pages, contains a wealth of information but not all of it is easy reading for those tasked with winning over hearts and minds in the fight against counterfeit goods.
Yesterday OHIM closed its doors, to allow time for staff to install the necessary system upgrades to adapt the website and its online application tools in light of the requirements of EU Regulation 2015/2424. Today the office re-opened for business, albeit with a new identity.
With the first changes due to take effect in less than three weeks, in the latest episode of the World Trademark Review podcast we talk to a range of industry experts on what counsel should be doing now to prepare for the new EU trademark regime.
A new report from the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has found that over 1,600 brands placed online advertisements on sites suspected of copyright infringement during its six-week study. The result is that companies could be helping to fund the very sites that their counsel are battling against.
For many in the trademark world, a late edition to the holiday season reading list was delivered in late December with publication of the new trademark regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. The amending regulation will enter into force on March 23 2016. Time, then, for a round-up of some of the notable upcoming changes and what counsel should be doing now.
The European Parliament has today approved the European trademark reform package, meaning that both amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) and the new trademark directive will progress to publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. With the legislative process effectively over, the reforms should be completed by mid-2016.
A new study from OHIM, Intellectual Property And Education In Europe, has revealed the low level of IP education being imparted in the continent’s schools, with trademark coverage lagging behind most other IP rights. In response, OHIM has outlined its willingness to set up a specialised network of education experts and stakeholders to help them coordinate and develop appropriate, modern resources and programmes for pupils and teachers.
The policy goal of OHIM becoming a truly paperless office is not a new one. However, this week it has stepped up its efforts to encourage increased use of its online services, revealing the firms and individuals that are leading the electronic charge.
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has released its latest study into the economic cost of IP rights infringement, revealing that the clothing, footwear and accessories sector loses approximately 26.3 billion of revenue annually due to the presence of counterfeit products in the EU market. It is the related finding that government revenues are being hit to the tune of 8.1 billion annually that will resonate with law and policy makers.
A new study, carried out by OHIM (acting through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights), has found that companies owning IP rights have, in general, 29% higher revenue per employee, approximately six times as many employees and pay wages that are up to 20% higher than those which do not own IP rights.
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.
Following European ‘trilogue’ discussions yesterday, the European Parliament, Council and Commission have announced a provisional agreement on the European trademark package, meaning that the reforms are a significant step closer to being realised. While many aspects have been welcomed by user associations, the lack of detail on crucial aspects means that the ‘thumbs up’ remains a tentative one.
MARQUES has slammed proposals to introduce three permanent new expenses in the OHIM budget, arguing that the move, being discussed as part of the European trademark reforms, represents “a distortion of the very nature of the fees paid by the users and risks reducing the well functioning of OHIM to the detriment of users”.
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