Archives for: ‘Bill Ladas’

Wrong side of the line – more absolute grounds rejections for stripe marks of K-Swiss Inc and Shoe Branding Europe BVBA

We’ve devoted a lot of time on IP Whiteboard to position marks, particularly in the fashion sector. Recently, a number of decisions have come down rejecting stripe marks, and it is worth briefly having a look at the arguments and the reasoning and contrasting them against some earlier decisions. The “skinny” is that there is a relatively consistent line (sorry) …

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EU trade mark reform – action to take now

There are some important upcoming changes to Community Trade Mark law and practice due to come into force on 23 March 2016. This is in addition to the change of the branding of the CTM itself: OHIM will change its name to the EU Trade Marks Office, and the CTM will become the EUTM. As ever, there will be benefits …

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5SOS, Hush Puppies, Cristal, CCs, Guru Denim and much much more – trade mark case law in Australia, New Zealand and the UK – 2015 highlights

Well, what a year it has been, with so much more in store for 2016. Here at IP Whiteboard we thought we would run a highlights reel of some key trade mark decisions reported on “arguably the world’s favourite IP blog” during 2015.

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Poor man’s CRISTAL, CRISTALINO, found to infringe – the distinct relevance of reputation in assessing the likelihood of confusion in the UK and Australia?

In a recent decision from Mrs Justice Rose, the famous champagne house Roederer has successfully sued J Garcia Carrion SA (JGC) for trade mark infringement. JGC’s use of CRISTALINO in respect of cava infringed Roederer’s registered mark CRISTAL. The outcome seems straightforward enough (though it is worth noting for completeness that the defendants were not represented at trial). The infringement …

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Can you perceive it? Breakthrough for Nestle 4 finger shape mark – CJEU speaks on test for acquired distinctiveness

Study trade mark law, they said. It will be easy, they said … Don’t you believe it. We go on about it all the time here at IP Whiteboard: trade mark law is incredibly nuanced. A recent example of this is the decision from Europe’s highest court (the CJEU) relating to our beloved Kit Kat 4-finger shape mark (shown below). …

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Google’s new branding – trade mark issues for giants

Well, what do you think? Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed. Looks pretty good to me. I particularly like the new G logo.                 It is interesting to consider the portfolio management issues the re-brand poses, in this case from an Australian perspective. Does Google’s fame help it or hinder it in terms of its trade mark portfolio? Is it …

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Combination marks – the limits of Medion further defined by Arnold J in Jura Origin case

The European Court of Justice’s decision in Medion (Case C-120/04) is one that can provoke vitriol among even the calmest of practitioners. That case involved an infringement action taken against the use of the mark THOMSON LIFE by Thomson, in the face of Medion’s earlier registration for LIFE. The court ruled as follows: “ … where the goods or services …

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Duelling Ukuleles and Sofa Workshops – recent cases highlight advantages of national protection alongside CTM registrations, and the continued importance of passing off

A few weeks ago the UK Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Starbucks HK (not the coffee company) in a passing off case. The UKSC confirmed the fundamental requirement of goodwill in the UK in order to bring such an action in the UK. Mere reputation is not enough. You can see the update from our London team (who acted …

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“Re-calculating … turn around when possible” – In TomTom decision, clear thinking on “wrong way round” confusion

We’ve devoted a bit of airspace to that hoary old chestnut, reverse (or “wrong way round”) confusion. See our earlier notes on the Glee and Europcar cases (here, here and here). It’s an interesting issue, and it’s also incredibly important in the context of a global economy in which fame can arrive overnight. Given the uncertainties and complexities, it’s a …

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