The application for trademark registration of the sign ‘H2O+’ was refused by the EUIPO, as decided by the EU General Court on November 27, 2018. The EU General Court concluded that the sign applied for lacks distinctive character and is therefore not suitable as a trademark.
Domain name management usually sits outside the IP department with marketing and/or IT teams. Those departments may have been schooled in the need to consult the IP team as part of the domain name registration strategy, but what about decisions as to ongoing maintenance, gaps in protection or decisions to lapse registered domains?
As is usually the case with IP, it saves time and money over the longer term if a strategy is in place in advance of a brand takeover or launch. The same is true when two businesses merge.
In the spirit of the holidays, Claire Jones examines Christmas-themed IP issues and sets out requirements to consider in order to avoid them.
Novagraaf’s Timo Buijs examines the function of colours in trademark law and the possibility to register colours and combinations of colours as trademarks, based on a recent CJEU ruling.
It may be desirable or indeed necessary to retain existing ownership structures for brands acquired as part of a merger or acquisition (M&A). However, if the newly merged business has been rebranded, the conflict between the registered legacy brands and the new brand will need to be resolved.
A number of important amendments were introduced to Benelux Trademark Law in 2018 and there are more to come in early 2019. A summary of the recent and expected changes is set out below.
A recent General Court decision has confirmed that a 3D trademark can consist of the shape of goods or their packaging. Claire Jones outlines the ruling.
Slogans, catch-phrases and other types of taglines can help companies to build brand identity; however, applications to protect them as trademarks are not always successful, as evidenced by a recent decision by the EUIPO’s First Board of Appeal.
The European Commission and UK negotiators reached an agreement on the entirety of the Brexit Draft Withdrawal Agreement on 14 November. Next it needs to get through UK parliament and the rest of the EU.
Not to be confused with the much delayed Unitary Patent, the European Patent system provides companies with an important structure for protecting and exploiting inventions in Europe. However, certain requirements must be met if patent holders are to make best use of the system.
When a business merges or acquires another business, one of the next questions is: what should that newly merged business be called? Opting to ‘fuse’ the two previous brand names does offer reputational benefits, but there are also a number of IP hurdles that need to be overcome.