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 read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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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 read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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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 read more...

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 read more...

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 read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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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 read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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