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27 January 2015

Rangers deal highlights difficulty of valuing - and capitalising on - a troubled brand

Rangers International Football Club has released a statement to the London Stock Exchange, announcing that the club has entered into agreements with SportsDirect.com Retail Limited and associated companies to provide a long-term on-going credit facility of up to £10m – with trademarks central to the deal. The natural question to ask is whether the club got the best deal possible while using its prime IP asset as leverage.

11 December 2014

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, exclusive rights to designs can be established either through unregistered design protection (consisting of both EU and national UK unregistered rights) or by filing an application for: a UK registered design; a registered Community design; an international application to register a design through the Hague System, designating the European Community (the Intellectual Property Act 2014 includes a provision enabling the United Kingdom to join the Hague international system for the registration of designs).

25 November 2014

Court of Appeal considers consequences of long-standing concurrent use

In IPC Media Ltd v Media 10 Ltd, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal and cross-appeal in a case concerning the concurrent use of the brand name Ideal Home by two different parties. Among other things, the court held that both parties had allowed confusion to develop over many years, which led the average consumer to assume that their core businesses were connected.

24 November 2014

Politicising the poppy: Royal British Legion turns to trademark law

A British charity’s dispute with a far-right political party over the use of the red poppy image highlights both the difficulties facing cause-related not-for-profits when their message is politicised and how trademark law could come to the rescue.

27 October 2014

BEAUTYBAY held to take unfair advantage of EBAY's reputation

In eBay Inc v Dotcom Retail Limited, the Intellectual Property Office has found that the marks BEAUTY BAY, BEAUTYBAY and BEAUTYBAY.COM were invalid on the ground that they took unfair advantage of eBay's earlier registrations for EBAY under Section 5(3) of the Trademarks Act 1994. Among other things, the office held that the BEAUTYBAY marks involved "an element of copying the idea or concept behind the EBAY mark".

23 October 2014

Court of Appeal finds genuine use of Specsavers logo in final instalment of Specsavers v Asda

In Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd v Asda Stores Ltd, the Court of Appeal has ruled that Specsavers' wordless Community trademark should not be revoked for non-use. The decision shows that extensive use of a composite logo with words can constitute genuine use of a wordless registered trademark, if there is convincing evidence to this effect.

18 September 2014

What an independent Scotland could mean for trademark rights

Voters in Scotland head to the polls today for a referendum to determine whether the country will break away from the rest of the United Kingdom. The treatment of trademarks is not a subject that will sway the vote and has therefore been somewhat lost in the mix, but it is one that current and prospective rights holders will have questions about should the country vote for independence.

27 June 2014

Wimbledon’s ‘British’ approach to brand protection revealed

The Wimbledon Tennis Championship kicked off this week, and compared to the continuing World Cup in Brazil and the previous Olympics event in London, trademark policing around the event appears to be significantly lower key.

26 June 2014

High Court: IP TRANSLATOR can be raised as ground for invalidity

In Total Ltd v YouView TV Ltd, the High Court has upheld Total Ltd’s claim that YouView TV Ltd infringed its registered mark YOUR VIEW, and dismissed YouView’s counterclaim for a declaration that the YOUR VIEW mark was invalid. Significantly, the court held that IP TRANSLATOR can be raised as a ground for invalidity as well as during prosecution. In addition, it declined to make references to the ECJ as requested by YouView.

20 June 2014

High Court rejects post-judgment application to stay remainder of Betty Boop proceedings

In Hearst Holdings Inc v AVELA Inc, the English High Court, which was the court second seized in trademark infringement proceedings, has refused to decline jurisdiction under Council Regulation 44/2001 in favour of the first seized Italian court. Although the two proceedings involved the same parties and trademark infringement, they did not have the same “cause of action” and same “end in view” as required by Articles 27 and 28 of the regulation.

16 June 2014

Trademark complaints rise, but this is not the start of a new era of conflict

At first glance, analysing the latest figures from the UK Intellectual Property Office suggests that trademark owners are being more combative in their efforts to protect their brands. However, the reality is that the shift – albeit limited – is heading the other way.

30 May 2014

COMPARE THE MARKET held to have acquired distinctive character

The UK Intellectual Property Office has dismissed GoCompare’s opposition against the registration of the mark COMPARE THE MARKET by Comparethemarket.com for services in Classes 35 and 36. The decision will be of interest to those brand owners holding marks based upon domain names considering applications for wider protection.

20 May 2014

High Court confirms revocation of marks relating to iconic sports car for non-use

In Healey Sports Cars Switzerland Ltd v Jensen Cars Ltd, the High Court has held that the use by Healey Sports Cars of marks relating to a proposed new version of the iconic Jensen Interceptor sports car on a website and in a press release was not genuine, as such use had been made solely to preserve the rights conferred by the registrations.

11 May 2014

International trademark enforcement the Ralph Lauren way

In preparation for four days of networking and learning at the INTA Annual Meeting, World Trademark Review attended a one day fashion and IP law event, at which Astor Chan, senior director & associate general counsel at Ralph Lauren Asia Pacific, expanded on the company’s holistic strategy for brand protection.

29 April 2014

Is the future bright for colour marks?

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Cadbury may not appeal a refusal to register the colour purple as a UK trademark. The case shows that, although it is still possible to register unconventional marks in the United Kingdom, an applicant must take care to describe its mark with sufficient precision in the application.