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News about trademarks

Trademarks, whether they are strong, beautiful or special, play an important role in our daily lives. All brands have their own story, their own context within which they develop. Investing in the value of a trademark is an important part of a business’s strategy since the value of a trademark or trademarks to a great extent determines the profitability of the organisation and thus its value. With practical situations as a focus, this section sets out all relevant and interesting developments in the field of trademark law.

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..


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..


.sucks sunrise period extended to 19 June


Registry says extension is due to fact that “too many IP lawyers, company executives and brand owners were unaware of the registry, the availability of its names or the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)”.


Consumer response to new domain name extensions


Changes to the domain name system - in particular, the launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the so-called dotBrands - have forced companies to re-evaluate their domain name registration and monitoring strategies. But, what has been the reaction among consumers?