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.
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International trademark system reaches another milestone
The International trademark system (also known as the Madrid System) will reach another milestone on 31 October 2015, as Algeria accedes to the Madrid Protocol. Algeria is to date the only country in the Madrid System that is solely a member of the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Agreement), rather than the Protocol itself.
Added value with a .swiss
The Swiss Confederation has launched .swiss, a new domain name extension for Switzerland. The new extension provides a unique opportunity to showcase overseas businesses in the Swiss market by offering greater visibility and a more defined digital presence. The .Swiss is also of particular interest to Swiss companies that export products abroad; particularly those that trade on ‘Swiss-made’..
KitKat and the difficulties of protecting a shape
The slogan ‘Have a break, have a KitKat’ has become synonymous with Nestlé’s chocolatey treat, so it must be quite frustrating for the company that its efforts to create a distinctive chocolate bar shape has so far failed to pay off as a trademark registration. Novagraaf’s Frouke Hekker examines the thin line between success and failure for 3D shape marks.
Creating and protecting logos: lessons from Tokyo 2020
The Tokyo Olympics has opted to scrap its logo design following a number of high-profile plagiarism claims, despite the trademark registration it had already put in place. Could this expensive scenario have been avoided, asks Novagraaf’s Chantal Koller.
Novagraaf UK recommended in The Legal 500 2015
The UK patent and trademark practices of Intellectual Property (IP) consultancy Novagraaf have been recommended for their expertise in the 2015 edition of The Legal 500. Practice Heads Tom Farrand and Eric Siecker were both recognised by this year’s publication, alongside Patent Attorneys Dr Oliver Harris and Dr Peter Wilson, and Trademark Attorney Michael Freeman.
Fake sports equipment costs EU businesses €500 million every year
A new study by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has found that the sale of fake sports equipment, such as footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, gym equipment and skis cost legitimate EU manufacturers €500 million every year. This corresponds to 6.5% of all sales in this sector across the EU. The figures do not include sportswear.
EE colour mark fails distinctiveness test
On 10 September 2015, the General Court of the EU ruled that EE Ltd’s proposed CTM, consisting of grey, aqua, yellow and ivory boxes ‘with white particles in a certain infinite pattern’ could not function as a trademark. Novagraaf’s Anouk Vendel sets out the implications of the ruling.
Project ‘Swiss’: quality control the intellectual property way
Switzerland is planning to introduce a bill regulating the use of the label ‘Swiss made’ and the iconic Swiss Cross symbol on industrial and food products. The new law aims to fight abuse of such symbols, which are recognised by consumers as indicators that a product or service originates from Switzerland. Novagraaf’s Sophie Moullet outlines the proposed changes and their potential impact.
CJEU clarifies geographical requirement in CTM reputation case
When can the owner of a Community Trade Mark (CTM) act on the basis of reputation? The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has issued an interesting decision concerning the geographical reach of reputation marks. Novagraaf’s Frouke Hekker sets out the key points and lessons to be learned from the ruling.