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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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The importance of trademark searching


The recent battle between a US winery and a US distillery over the ‘Sugarlands’ trademark emphasises once again the importance of trademark availability and clearance searches before investing heavily in brand development, trademark registrations and product launches.


Counterfeiting still on the rise says European Commission


Statistics published at the end of October 2015 by the European Commission (EC) show a continued increase in the number of shipments suspected of violating IP rights. In its ‘Report on EU customs enforcement of IPR’, the EC identified internet shopping as a major source of counterfeit goods in the EU in the previous year. Cigarettes were at the top of the list of detained articles, followed..


CTM fails due to conceptual similarity with French trademark


Owner of ATHÉ trademark successfully opposed the application for the word sign ATHEIST for identical and similar goods. The General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union agreed with OHIM’s original decision and ATHÉ’s argument that the signs ATHÉ and ATHEIST were confusingly similar because the (English) word ‘atheist’ is the literal translation of the (French) word..


A sense of place: city domains


.london, .amsterdam and .vegas are just three of the 30 domain name extensions relating to cities that are now open for registration. These new, localised domains provide companies that operate in key locations a unique marketing channel.


Skinny girls battle over slimming trademark


US reality TV star Bethenny Frankel has brought a trademark infringement action against the founders of Skinny Girl weight loss tea. Frankel has used the ‘Skinny Girl’ brand since 2009, registering a trademark to protect it in 2011.


Hugo Boss versus


Luxury clothing brand Hugo Boss recently took on the owner of outlet site The clothing company made several claims to WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre, citing the potential for confusion with the Hugo Boss trademark. However, a lack of evidence almost undid the clothing giant’s action.


Sunrise period for .wine and .vin announced


The launch schedule for the .wine and .vin domain names has now been announced, with the Sunrise period due to open on 17 November and close on 16 January 2016.


Novagraaf launches UK patent helpdesk


New complimentary Patent Desk service provides companies with specialist guidance on obtaining and protecting patent rights.


I am what I am


US artist William Adams, popularly known as, became famous as a member of the band Black Eyes Peas. He has since used that success to launch an exceptionally well-run merchandise line. However, his attempts to register the word mark ‘I AM’ at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has not proved quite as successful.


CTM seniority claims: Weighing up the benefits


A seniority claim enables the owner of a Community Trade Mark (CTM) to claim prior rights based on existing national trademark registrations within member states of the European Union. A successful claim extends CTM rights in the country claimed back to the date of the earlier national registration. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should allow the earlier national rights to..