Archives for: ‘Bill Ladas’

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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BPI’s Fragrance bottle shape mark rejected – but how different is distinctive enough?

The fragrance industry isn’t just about smelling good and paying people to take most of their clothes off and spray you with something as you walk by. In this market, the way a product is packaged is incredibly important. Is it not clear – based on years and years of educating consumers – that the shapes of fragrance bottles can …

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No surprises? Keds’ side by side two stripe position mark rejected by OHIM’s Board of Appeal

Following hot on the heels (no pun intended!) of the decision of the Federal Court of Australia in adidas v Pacific Brands in Australia last year (in which KWM acted for adidas, here), position and logo marks in the fashion space are really hitting the headlines again in 2014. We reported earlier on the rejection of NYDJ’s jeans stitching mark …

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Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – Chances of registering a position mark slimmer in New Zealand as compared to Australia. But should they be?

First there were corsets, then shaping underwear (Spanx, anyone?) and now slimming jeans. Often these garments are hidden from view, but the consumer knows exactly what they are looking for leading up to and beyond the point of sale. But are our decision-makers keeping up with the times when businesses try to protect their valuable brands? A recent decision in …

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Give me a break – Kit Kat reference setting the bar too high on factual distinctiveness for shape marks?

Before we hit the law-talking stuff, I’ll declare an interest: I’m a bit of a fan of the Kit Kat. I would recognize one without its packaging, and I am quite confident that I would recognize one if I was blindfolded. Oh, and the branding around the humble Kit Kat has resulted in some of the most interesting and important …

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Ungentlemanly conduct? Jack Wills v The House of Fraser in battle of British bird brands

In Jack Wills Ltd v House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd [2014] EWHC 110, Arnold J has held that House of Fraser’s use of a pigeon logo on clothing products infringes Jack Wills trade mark registration for its Mr Wills logo. The decision underscores the value of registering logos as trade marks, and provides additional support (if it was needed at …

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Coca-Cola v PepsiCo in New Zealand – infringement action based on contour bottle mark registrations fails

In The Coca-Cola Company v Frucor Soft Drinks Limited [2013] NZHC 3282 (10 December 2013), Wylie J of New Zealand’s High Court has dismissed trade mark infringement claims levelled by Coca-Cola against Frucor, bottler and distributor of PepsiCo products in New Zealand (I generally refer to the Pepsi parties as PepsiCo below). The decision amply demonstrates the “territoriality” principle, namely …

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Safari Snorkel mark distinctive overall – but is it a pyrrhic victory?

Ironman 4×4 Pty Ltd v Australian Performance Development Pty Ltd [2013] ATMO 107 (23 December 2013) In a case involving the rarefied world of air rams and air intake snorkels for vehicles, an opposition against the composite mark below (featuring the words SAFARI SNORKEL) has failed. The grounds pressed before Hearing Officer Jock McDonagh were lack of distinctiveness (s41) and …

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