United Kingdom

Offering fans a stake: inside Fnatic’s new crowdfunding campaign

Fnatic is giving fans the opportunity to have a stake in the team, driving online consumer engagement past more than just ephemeral online views.

Offering fans a stake: inside Fnatic’s new crowdfunding campaign
Michael Gleissner: massive scope of trademark and domain portfolio revealed in exclusive data
24 Nov 2020

Michael Gleissner: massive scope of trademark and domain portfolio revealed in exclusive data

A major new investigation from WTR has identified over 6,800 trademarks and 6,900 domain names that appear to be related to multi-millionaire and serial trademark filer Michael Gleissner.

Live updates: IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis
24 Nov 2020

Live updates: IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis

As the novel coronavirus epidemic continues to spread across the globe, WTR provides an updated look at measures that national IP offices have launched in response.


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Appeal ends on a high note for X Factor's James Arthur

This decision of the appointed person, on appeal from a decision of the UKIPO, highlights that trademark owners should ensure that they have made a real effort to create or maintain a share in the relevant market. Read more

26 Nov 2020

UK appointed person invalidates AFFINITY marks as descriptive but not customary

An appeal from the UK Intellectual Property Office has been dismissed, despite a finding that the hearing officer was incorrect to invalidate the AFFINITY trademark on the ground that it had become customary. Read more

20 Nov 2020

Brands and covid-19: trademark filing data reveals how businesses are cashing in on pandemic

Trademark applications relating to disinfectants, gloves and masks are on the increase, with Class 5 and Class 10 showing significant annual growth. Read more

19 Nov 2020

“Redressing the imbalance”: UKIPO to require UK address for service from 2021

The UKIPO has confirmed that IP owners will be required to supply a UK address for legal services related to new UK trademark applications, hearings and contentious proceedings from 1 January 2021. Read more


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27 Oct 2020

Coca-Cola to discontinue 200 brands; hoax Woolworths causes stir; adidas mulls Reebok sale – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the boss of Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Authority departing following a fake number plate scandal, IP Australia launching a new quality approach, and much more. Read more

18 Sep 2020

Thomas Cook brand relaunched; ‘rip off’ Teddy Fresh clash; Lady A legal fight continues – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at industry groups teaming up to fight pirates, a call for fake pharmaceutical stories, IP Australia announcing a new indigenous knowledge initiative, and much more. Read more

17 Aug 2020

“There’s no evidence that plain packaging reduces smoking”: exclusive interview with British American Tobacco’s head of trademarks

Roger Evans discusses how the company has developed a unique brand strategy alongside its PRRPs and argues the negative effect plain packaging has for consumers. Read more

14 Aug 2020

Ben & Jerry’s gets political; Brazil to decide on iPhone mark; another Amazon anti-counterfeiting measure – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property looking to regulate its IP industry, Instagram’s new Reels brand facing a trademark lawsuit, and much more. Read more

Brand management

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10 Nov 2020

The one-woman legal team behind the greenest racers on the grid: interview with Envision Virgin Racing’s general counsel

Jennifer Babington sat down with WTR to describe how her team manages to punch along with the big guns in motorsport’s greenest challenge. Read more

3 Nov 2020

Burger King promotes McDonald’s; UKIPO seeks AI opinions; PS5 faceplate dispute – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a musician submitting an opposition to a L’Oreal trademark application, takedown requests linked to the Isle of Man TT being revealed, the USPTO updating its examination guide, and much more. Read more

16 Oct 2020

As Royal Enfield sets its sights on EU and US markets, will the Indian company revitalise the vintage UK brand?

If it can pull off the move, it will be a rare example of a heritage brand that went out of fashion in its original market, only to come back to life decades later. Read more

29 Sep 2020

Brands less important to consumers demanding social improvements, report reveals

Brandwatch has released the results of a survey of consumer perception on brand purpose in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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30 Oct 2020

Likelihood of indirect confusion DOME-inates opposition decisions

This decision highlights that a finding of a likelihood of indirect confusion may still arise between marks which are highly similar and contain the same word element, but cover arguably different goods and/or services. Read more

21 Oct 2020

Application to stay appeal in relation to SKYCLUB mark grounded by appointed person

This dispute between Delta Air Lines Inc and Ontro Limited over the registration of the mark SKYCLUB highlights that it is crucial to have a clear strategy when engaging in opposition proceedings. Read more

9 Oct 2020

KOKO v KO-CO: UKIPO finds likelihood of indirect confusion

These opposition proceedings involving the figurative mark KO-CO for confectionery goods and the earlier KOKO marks for coconut-based goods highlight that not all evidence submitted into proceedings has probative value. Read more

7 Oct 2020

BMW successful in dispute over replica alloy wheels - with implications on joint liability and the scope of injunctions related to RCDs

The decision of the High Court in BMW v Premier Alloy Wheels illustrates under what circumstances joint liability may be found between a business infringing IP rights and those who support the actions of that company. Read more


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29 Oct 2020

What the UK’s new GI approach means for EU and US trade agreements

While the EU's silence attempts to have the UK squirming, the new GIs place the UK in a favourable position with its non-EU allies. Read more

4 Sep 2020

Queen Elizabeth II prevails in trademark dispute; Big Mac versus Big Jack; Kraft Heinz licensing – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a warning to act on counterfeit goods before it’s too late, Lord & Taylor filing for bankruptcy, IP Australia updating its trademark classifications, and much more. Read more

4 Aug 2020

Royal Family trademark feud; Uganda joins TMclass; counterfeits seized in Zhejiang – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at how Microsoft’s bid for TikTok is still on the table, Victoria Beckham launching on Tmall Global, Kappa Japan (and associated IP assets) being sold, Monster Energy in a dispute with Bang Energy, and much more. Read more

28 Jul 2020

Brexit: UKIPO launches consultation to protect UK attorneys in change to address rules

The UK Intellectual Property Office has launched a public consultation with regard to a proposed change to its address for service rules, to be implemented once the Brexit transition period ends. Read more

Law Firms

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28 Aug 2020

Economies are battered but many major offices set for record trademark numbers

As the data continues to be updated, we are able to get a better understanding of the extent of the coronavirus’ impact on the trademark ecosystem. Read more

17 Jul 2020

UK is battling Brexit negotiations and the coronavirus, but it is still on track for its biggest trademark year yet

The first week of July was the busiest the UKIPO has ever seen, putting to rest any fears that the coronavirus pandemic would have lasting effects on application levels. Read more

10 Jul 2020

Amazon to list seller names and addresses; Google launches trademark initiative; UK Intellectual Property Office Brexit preparations – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Kazakhstan turning to technology to combat counterfeits, Rangers football club refreshing its brand, a Lady A lawsuit, and much more. Read more

8 Jul 2020

Increased need for disability support in IP profession, shows IP Ability survey

Chris Clarke takes a look at the results of IP Ability’s inaugural industry survey and the extent of issues faced by those in the IP profession. Read more

IP Offices

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17 Jun 2020

UK businessman withdraws trademark applications related to Black Lives Matter following backlash

Georgios Demetriou drops efforts to attain registered trademark protection in terms related to the Black Lives Matter movement following claims that his business had been the subject of threats. Read more

12 Jun 2020

Liberty Legal Firm returns; Captain Tom trademarks; GEORGE FLOYD application at USPTO – news digest

In our latest edition, we look at the CJEU ruling that a functional shape can be protected as copyright; the EUIPO looking for pro bono help; Red Points opening a new office in Beijing, and much more. Read more

9 Jun 2020

BLACK LIVES MATTER and I CAN'T BREATHE trademarks filed: Manchester businessman plans charitable foundation

Entrepreneur tells WTR of plan to launch non-profit to help disadvantaged children – and, if the BLACK LIVES MATTER and I CAN’T BREATHE marks are granted, will seek a royalty fee from other entities that use the terms in the United Kingdom. Read more

8 Jun 2020

“Reprehensible” – GEORGE FLOYD and I CAN’T BREATHE trademark applications filed

WTR has identified trademark applications in the European Union and United Kingdom for GEORGE FLOYD, while numerous applications for I CAN’T BREATHE have been filed at the USPTO. Read more


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24 Aug 2020

Manchester United v Sega: application to amend particulars to include new Article 10 claim rejected

While this decision of the High Court concerned an application to amend pleadings, the issues raised suggest that the case is likely to consider several points of interest concerning the application of trademark law to the digital economy, and in particular e-gaming. Read more

21 Aug 2020

Gymshark: a brand that ticks all the boxes (including trademark strategy)

The UK fitness company has solidified its market presence among the greats with a winning social media strategy, deep commitment to consumers and a forward-thinking approach to trademark protection. Read more

14 May 2020

Nominet suspends over 180 ‘.uk’ covid-19-related domain names

The covid-19 pandemic is increasing the risk of phishing attacks, as larger numbers of people are using the Internet due to confinement and searching online for information concerning covid-19. Read more

17 Apr 2020

Apple most imitated phishing brand; Hugo Boss rebrands to Joe Lycett; new CITMA president – news digest

In our latest edition, we look at Patagonia dropping a trademark suit against OC Media, infringers piling on covid-19 domains, IP issues relating to 3D printing ventilators, and much more. Read more

Portfolio Management

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23 Sep 2020

Puma's quest to block Nike's FOOTWARE mark is de-feeted

In a somewhat surprising decision, the UKIPO has rejected Puma SE’s opposition against Nike Innovate CV's application to register the word mark FOOTWARE for various goods and services, including wearable technology. Read more

28 Aug 2020

No defence for the Land Rover Defender

The UK High Court has dismissed Jaguar Land Rover’s appeal against the refusal of four UK trademark applications to register two Land Rover Defender models as shape marks. Read more

12 Aug 2020

Indie devs and trademarks: exclusive research reveals brand protection issues of independent video games

New research from WTR has analysed the brand protection of some of the most successful independent video games, and found significant gaps that could lead to expensive legal issues. Read more

30 Jul 2020

Manchester United crowned champions of trademarks Premier League; Messi tops player ranking

New research conducted by WTR can once again reveal that Manchester United has the biggest trademark portfolio of any global football club by a wide margin. Read more

Trademark law

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20 Jul 2020

Food and beverage industry the new brand restrictions battleground as calls for action escalate

The food industry is fast becoming the focus of brand restrictions, with new calls for action against unhealthy foods in the United Kingdom and concern over Mexico’s new labelling regime culminating in a missive from INTA last week. Read more

8 Jul 2020

Mirror image: using UK and US case law to protect publicity rights

The lack of a single, codified body of law to explicitly protect image or publicity rights on either side of the Atlantic means that high-profile individuals must draw from a variety of causes of action and legal tools to protect their interests. Read more

3 Jul 2020

Sky v SkyKick: permission to appeal keeps long-running trademark battle raging on

With the ramifications for partial bad-faith filings still on the table, SkyKick representatives say they are “hopeful” they will be victorious in the end. Read more

19 May 2020

“A veiled threat” – UK government releases draft EU free trade agreement with geographical indications omitted

The UK government has published an outline of a free trade agreement with the European Union which omits geographical indications (GIs) – a move that suggests GIs will remain a contentious issue as negotiations continue. Read more

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Colleen Flynn Goss
Cleveland OH, United States
Fay Sharpe LLP