Archives for: ‘Bill Ladas’

Lies, damned lies and social media coverage of trade mark disputes – the TV programme previously known as “Glee”?

Remember when you could rely on social media for fair, unbiased and objective coverage of the news? Me neither. The facts did not get in the way of a good story when a virtual Twitter-storm erupted over the weekend around the tv show GLEE having to change its name in the UK. But is this a foregone conclusion? No. It …

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Telco and database services, comparison sites, and shopping centres – courts increasingly taking a modern view on trade mark specifications, but will the registries follow their lead?

Brand protection is not always as straightforward as it should be. For one thing, even once you have chosen your brand, you need to draft a specification that covers what you do and/or propose to do. This is a simple exercise if you are a t-shirt company, but can be a tricky business for service providers in evolving (and even …

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OHIM’s Boards of Appeal taking a hard line on absolute grounds against stylised marks, but is this on the right basis?

Not so long ago, one could simply add a flourish to an entirely descriptive word in order to achieve registration without an objection based on absolute grounds. Well, it looks like we can confidently say that those days are long gone, at least insofar as OHIM’s Board of Appeal is concerned. A look over April and May’s decisions relating to …

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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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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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