Category Archive for: ‘Trade marks’

Major sporting events & a few hundred million reasons to protect sponsorship rights

The FIFA World Cup is upon us. We’ve already been bombarded with an extensive range of marketing campaigns, such as McDonald’s new range of World Cup burgers, and Coke’s specially designed World Cup bottles. These companies have paid a premium to be associated with the event. But what about those companies who use more stealth methods to get their name …

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Advantages of applying for UK national trade marks in addition to Community trade marks

The CTM system is a bit of a no-brainer for Australian and New Zealand businesses putting their products and services into the EU market. The system has been a raging success, due to – among other things – the fact that a CTM is a cost-effective way to cover all 28 EU member states. But sometimes there is merit in …

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“Do’hhhh …!!” or should that be “Dough …!!” – Panrico shuts out another Donut brand in Europe

It may be surprising to many that up until now it has been very difficult to register a trade mark containing DONUTS (or a variation): (a)   in respect of “donuts” (or, if you like, “round-shaped dough biscuits”); (b)   in Spain or as a Community Trade Mark. That is, unless you are Panrico SA. If you are not Panrico, then you …

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Pushing the boundaries of trade mark law (Part 2) – Betty Boop imagery infringes Betty Boop word mark – one giant step for ideational similarity?

In Hearst Holdings Inc & Anor v AVELA. Inc & Ors [2014] EWHC 439 (Ch) (25 February 2014), Mr Justice Birss’ (he of Rihanna fame) has upheld passing off and infringement claims by Hearst for the unauthorised distribution of merchandise bearing Betty Boop imagery. The decision makes fascinating reading. Mr Justice Birss has once again stressed that – in the …

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What’s your flavour? Cadbury’s “Black Forest” chocolate unsuccessful in trade mark opposition to Whittaker’s “Berry Forest” mark

You might want to grab a cup of tea and a block of Cadbury’s “Black Forest” chocolate to settle in and read this blog post -or, if you prefer, a block of Whittaker’s “Berry Forest” chocolate. While Australians have had a choice between the two for several years now, New Zealanders will also be able to have an option soon, …

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Happy Quiche and Happy Sandwiches survive opposition from McDonald’s Happy Meal

We’ve all had one. A Happy Meal that is. Some of us might have continued to buy them in circumstances that might not be considered “age appropriate”, but there’s no shame in that. I’ll admit to having had some pretty good sandwiches in my day too. Quiches … not so much. The question as to how far McDonald’s rights in …

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HOME MAID troubles before Appointed Person – material differences between registered mark and mark as used scupper another opposition

Decisions from the Appointed Persons of the UKIPO have won a special place in our hearts here at KWM. While we can’t always agree on the outcome, the level of analysis and sheer common sense displayed is often a breath of fresh air (unsurprising given the calibre of those that are or have been APs), and these decisions deserve more …

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Using your trade marks in colour? Act now to confirm appropriate coverage in the UK and Europe for your valuable brands

IP practitioners have heard it all when it comes to rules of thumb. The infamous “10 percent rule” immediately springs to mind (ie. if there’s a 10% difference from the original work, then you’re not infringing copyright …). Another that is trotted out frequently is that a trade mark registered in black & white covers all colours, and that use …

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Pushing the boundaries of trade mark law (Part 1) – The Glee Club v Glee and “wrong way around” confusion

Well, fans of hit TV show GLEE will be rocked by the recent decision from Roger Wyand QC (sitting as Deputy Judge of the UK High Court) finding that the use of GLEE infringed a trade mark registration owned by Comic Enterprises Limited (CEL), for a series of two marks consisting of THE GLEE CLUB in a stylised form (one …

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