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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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Geographical origin and trademark descriptiveness

14-11-2017

Brand names can also be considered too ‘descriptive’ for trademark protection due to their geographical resonance, as the recent judgement against the application to protect ‘KARELIA’ illustrates. The sign was considered to be descriptive for industrial oils.

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Unitary Patent implementation date continues to slip

14-11-2017

First Brexit, then the UK and German general elections and now a case pending in the German Federal Constitutional Court have delayed the implementation date of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC). Is this Europe-wide right ever going to come into being?

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Trademark validity: Establishing genuine use

09-11-2017

After the initial ‘grace period’ of five years, EU trademark owners must be able to show that their marks are (‘genuinely’) used for each of the goods and services for which the trademark has been registered. If they cannot, their trademark may be vulnerable to revocation actions. But, what is considered ‘genuine use’ and what if a trademark is used in a different form from which it..

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Trademark trumps design right in Mik Maki Tic Tac dispute

08-11-2017

The trademark registration procedure provides brand owners with the opportunity to identify and object to potentially conflicting applications. But, what if a conflict exists between a trademark and design right? This is a question recently addressed by the EU General Court in its judgement on Tic Tac’s invalidity action against Mik Maki’s Registered Community Design.

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Trademark protection and social media: the rise of the hashflag

01-11-2017

First there were hashtags, and now there are hashflags – also known as Twitter emojis. These custom icons were first introduced by Twitter in 2010 to promote the 2010 World Cup in Brazil. Then just a simple flag emoticon, their use has since expanded into a whole range of different images and subject areas. Novagraaf’s Claire Jones examines the IP implications.

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Indonesia becomes 100th territory to join Madrid System

31-10-2017

The number of countries and regions joining the international system for trademark registration on the basis of the Madrid Convention and its Protocol, continues to grow. Indonesia is the latest country to deposit an instrument of accession with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which comes into force on 2 January 2018.

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Combination of descriptive terms eligible for trademark protection

31-10-2017

Trademark applications frequently fail due to lack of distinctiveness. However, it is possible to overcome this barrier to registration for marks combining descriptive and/or non-distinctive elements, if the sign as a whole creates an overall distinctive impression, as Novagraaf’s Frouke Hekker explains.

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Implications of the IP (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 (UK)

31-10-2017

The IP (Unjustified Threats) Act that received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017 came into force on 1 October this year, reforming the existing law around threats provisions. Novagraaf’s Claire Jones explains the implications of the reforms.

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How do you capture innovation?

30-10-2017

The research and development (R&D) process can require considerable investment in both time and money. But, in the rush to market, it can be difficult for R&D teams to identify those innovations that are of most value for protection as patents. Novagraaf’s Philippe Vigand introduces a new service that could assist: IP Capture.

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Genericism: When does a brand name stop being a brand name?

30-10-2017

While many marketers admire the success of brands such as ‘google’ in becoming part of everyday speak, trademark practitioners routinely caution brand owners against using brand names as nouns or verbs for risk that they might become generic terms. As if to illustrate their point, Google is currently battling in the US Supreme Court to retain trademark protection.

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