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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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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...


‘Wake up – don’t fake up!’: counterfeiting and cosmetics


In a bid to encourage consumers to ‘Wake up– don’t fake up!’, the City of London Police IP Crime unit (PIPCU) recently set up a campaign to highlight the dangers of buying and using counterfeit goods, such as make-up, perfume, electrical hair stylers and sun-cream. PIPCU had noticed that the UK cosmetics industry, in particular, is highly prone to counterfeiting, causing concern for..


Tintin in court, but who owns the copyright?


For many years, Moulinsart (also known in English as the Hergé Foundation) has zealously guarded the image of Hergé’s most famous creation, Tintin. Whenever Tintin has appeared without prior authorisation, the company has been quick to act and, by and large, it has been successful. However, an incident involving a Dutch fan club and a never-before-seen 73-year-old document may change that,..


Proud sponsors or tainted by association?


The FIFA corruption scandal has focused interest on the organisation’s corporate sponsors, including McDonald’s, VISA, Adidas and Coca-Cola. Many of them have seen their logos subverted and parodied by consumers and protest groups seeking to highlight the corporations’ alleged complicity with corruption and, in some cases, human rights abuses. Novagraaf’s Claire Jones examines the IP..


Cheers to Beer Day Britain: the trademark perspective


Today (15 June 2015) is the UK’s first national beer day. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the event will be marked by a nationwide communal cheers at 12.15pm. In celebration, Novagraaf’s Claire Jones also takes a look at the trademark issues around craft beer names.


Fighting fraud in the IP sector: progress at last?


IP holders are being targeted by companies masquerading as (fake) IP registries, directories and renewals organisations (see our story: Beware false registries targeting IP owners). These companies attempt to dupe IP owners into paying unnecessary or higher fees for the registration or renewal of their IP rights. However, despite the misleading nature of these practices, the authorities have..


The beautiful game – no such thing as bad publicity?


The FIFA scandal continues and shows no sign of abating. Following the arrests of nine FIFA officials in Zurich on 27 May and the resignation of its president, Sepp Blatter on 2 June, the FIFA brand had lost $400 million, according to brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance. But, it’s not only FIFA that has been impacted; much of the negative press has been targeted at its corporate..