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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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Sun protection versus brand protection


During the summer months, pharmacy shelves are packed with sunscreens ranging from factor 6 to 50+. These products generally offer excellent protection against the sun but, when it comes to brand protection, it’s a different story: both the numbers and the term sunscreen do not fulfil requirements for distinctive character and, therefore, cannot be registered as trademarks. We set out the..


The EU’s Trademark Reform Package - what does it mean in practice?


Reforms to the EU’s trademark system have been proposed to modernise European trademark law, and to make it more ‘effective, efficient and cohesive’. Following approval of the provisional agreement by the Council of the European Union earlier this month, the reforms took another step closer to reality. We set out the likely impact and benefits of the proposed changes.


Lipsy case highlights importance of trademark monitoring online


The fashion sector is a common target for counterfeiting, with fake products sold on lookalike websites, as well as social media and auction sites, such as eBay. Brands need to keep a watchful eye on activity if they are to stop infringers from profiting from their reputation and duping their customers with low quality rip-offs of their products. A recent case brought by popular fashion brand..


Need to know: the Madrid System and International Trademarks


The Madrid System for the international registration of marks offers brand owners the opportunity to apply and maintain protection for trademarks in more than 90 countries via one single procedure, in one language and one set of fees. However, levels of protection can vary and the process is not without its shortfalls. Novagraaf’s Claire Jones explains how to make best use of the system.


The state of counterfeiting in the European Union


Europol and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) have released a joint report on 2015 counterfeiting situation in the European Union. Relying on contributions from Member States’ enforcement authorities and the private sector, the report identifies the main traits of the trade in fake goods, and provides illustrative case studies. Key findings include:


Infringed, but invalid: Key lessons from Sofa CTM challenge


Last month, the IP Enterprise Court issued a decision in an infringement action based on two Community Trade Marks (CTMs) for SOFA WORKSHOP. In a lengthy, but must-read decision, Judge Hacon found that the two CTMS were invalid and liable to be revoked for non use, despite the extensive use and reputation of the trademarks in the UK. Of some comfort to the claimant, Sofa Workshop, it did succeed..


German supermarket chain shuts down


It may have been registered as a fansite, but Aldi has revealed a zero tolerance approach to trademark infringement in its action against The German supermarket chain used WIPO’s UDRP procedure to successfully shut down the site.


Adidas earns its stripes again


Last month (21 May), the General Court of the European Union overturned an earlier decision by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) regarding Adidas's trademark three stripes. OHIM had ruled that there was no similarity between Adidas's three stripes and the two stripes of its competitor Shoe Branding Europe. However, the General Court decided differently, taking Adidas's..


Unlike blocks, 3D marks for Lego figures held to be valid


On 16 June, the EU General Court held as valid Lego’s three-dimensional trademark for its figures. This will be a relief for the toy company after it lost trademark rights to its iconic bricks in 2010. Novagraaf’s Zoeloe van der Linden examines why the mark protecting the figures succeeded where the one covering the blocks did not.


Are your IP contracts in order?


Contracts are part and parcel of business activity, and that’s also true for contracts relating to IP rights. Confidentiality agreements, licence agreements, merger or acquisition, sale or divestment, employee-inventor remuneration agreements… these are just some of the types of contracts that touch on a company’s IP portfolio. However, some contracts are more common than others...