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News in the field of Intellectual Property

The ways in which we access and receive news these days have changed considerably. With the advent of social media, news items are not only visible sooner, but they’re also available to a much larger group. Information is shared more quickly to the extent that we’re often inundated with an unmanageable amount of information and news items. News items are also becoming more ‘superficial’ and, while we at Novagraaf regularly use Twitter, we do also believe in the need to understand the full picture and background behind today’s news stories. That’s why we work to keep you informed on all developments in the field of Intellectual Property, in general, and the background of the news, in particular.


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International trademark system reaches another milestone


The International trademark system (also known as the Madrid System) will reach another milestone on 31 October 2015, as Algeria accedes to the Madrid Protocol. Algeria is to date the only country in the Madrid System that is solely a member of the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Agreement), rather than the Protocol itself.


Added value with a .swiss


The Swiss Confederation has launched .swiss, a new domain name extension for Switzerland. The new extension provides a unique opportunity to showcase overseas businesses in the Swiss market by offering greater visibility and a more defined digital presence. The .Swiss is also of particular interest to Swiss companies that export products abroad; particularly those that trade on ‘Swiss-made’..


KitKat and the difficulties of protecting a shape


The slogan ‘Have a break, have a KitKat’ has become synonymous with Nestlé’s chocolatey treat, so it must be quite frustrating for the company that its efforts to create a distinctive chocolate bar shape has so far failed to pay off as a trademark registration. Novagraaf’s Frouke Hekker examines the thin line between success and failure for 3D shape marks.


Creating and protecting logos: lessons from Tokyo 2020


The Tokyo Olympics has opted to scrap its logo design following a number of high-profile plagiarism claims, despite the trademark registration it had already put in place. Could this expensive scenario have been avoided, asks Novagraaf’s Chantal Koller.


Novagraaf UK recommended in The Legal 500 2015


The UK patent and trademark practices of Intellectual Property (IP) consultancy Novagraaf have been recommended for their expertise in the 2015 edition of The Legal 500. Practice Heads Tom Farrand and Eric Siecker were both recognised by this year’s publication, alongside Patent Attorneys Dr Oliver Harris and Dr Peter Wilson, and Trademark Attorney Michael Freeman.


Fake sports equipment costs EU businesses €500 million every year


A new study by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has found that the sale of fake sports equipment, such as footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, gym equipment and skis cost legitimate EU manufacturers €500 million every year. This corresponds to 6.5% of all sales in this sector across the EU. The figures do not include sportswear.


EE colour mark fails distinctiveness test


On 10 September 2015, the General Court of the EU ruled that EE Ltd’s proposed CTM, consisting of grey, aqua, yellow and ivory boxes ‘with white particles in a certain infinite pattern’ could not function as a trademark. Novagraaf’s Anouk Vendel sets out the implications of the ruling.


Project ‘Swiss’: quality control the intellectual property way


Switzerland is planning to introduce a bill regulating the use of the label ‘Swiss made’ and the iconic Swiss Cross symbol on industrial and food products. The new law aims to fight abuse of such symbols, which are recognised by consumers as indicators that a product or service originates from Switzerland. Novagraaf’s Sophie Moullet outlines the proposed changes and their potential impact.


CJEU clarifies geographical requirement in CTM reputation case


When can the owner of a Community Trade Mark (CTM) act on the basis of reputation? The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has issued an interesting decision concerning the geographical reach of reputation marks. Novagraaf’s Frouke Hekker sets out the key points and lessons to be learned from the ruling.