Disney, creator of the Toy Story movie franchise, is being sued by the Evel Knievel estate, which claims that its newest character, Duke Caboom, has ripped off the likeness of the infamous stunt performer.
Cease-and-desist letters aren't usually associated with a humorous tone, but levity can sometimes be more effective than dry threats, as Anca Draganescu-Pinawin explains.
Following news that Mozambique has acceded to the Banjul Protocol, part of the ARIPO system, Frouke Hekker sets out the two regional IP systems on the African continent, and their respective pros and cons for IP owners.
Banksy has failed to block a greetings card company from using one of his famous artworks, after the EUIPO agreed that the secretive street artist had no interest in commercially exploiting the trademark he had registered to protect it.
Safeguarding product designs via national, EU and international systems can provide companies with an important and cost-effective route to IP protection. However, systems for registering design rights do come with specific rules and restrictions.
Although trademark owners are legally entitled to oppose applications for similar or identical marks, by enforcing these rights they can sometimes be perceived to be bullying other companies. It is key for brands, especially those that are well known, to exercise their rights in a way that avoids causing damage to their reputation.
Priority is an essential element of patent law and its application by the European Patent Office (EPO) has been clarified through case law, as Stéphane Roux explains.
Trademark registrations provide an exclusive right to use protected brand names in the markets, and for the goods and services for which they have been registered. To maintain those rights, however, it is imperative to keep trademarks in use.
A Canadian brewery and a New Zealand leather shop have both been caught out this month after using a Māori word as a brand name that has quite a different meaning to the one they had originally intended.
In its approval of the judgement in Les Grands Chais de France SAS v Consorzio di Tutela della DOC Prosecco, the High Court of England and Wales reminds brand owners that just because a name may resonate well with consumers, it doesn’t mean they should choose it.
The General Court of the EU has annulled an earlier ruling that found Louis Vuitton’s ‘Damier Azur’ trademark pattern to be invalid. But, the Court did not yet answer the all-important question of whether the luxury brand's pattern had acquired distinctive character through use.
In 2018, the General Court of the EU ruled that ‘Perfect Bar' was too descriptive and thus insufficiently distinctive to be registered as a trademark, but the brand owner wouldn’t take no for an answer, as Frouke Hekker explains.