Brands and IP newsnotes - issue 6
13 October 2017
Welcome to the 6th edition of our Brands & IP newsnotes put together to bring you the latest, and most interesting legal developments affecting intellectual property law. In this issue we cover; battlegrounds on Amazon listings, whether prestigious brands can prevent their resellers from selling online, the EU's position paper on IP rights, an quick guide on rights for designs, and trade mark infringements.
Vexed vexillologists: New battleground on Amazon listings
The UK’s Intellectual Property Enterprise Court recently found in favour of a brand whose Amazon listing had been high-jacked by a competitor. In very simple terms, manufacturers can create listings for their products on Amazon. Third parties can then add themselves to those listings, and whoever offers the cheapest price is automatically presented as the seller.
Coty: Keeping up appearances
Can a prestigious brand prevent its resellers from selling online? The question was answered firmly in the negative by the European Court of Justice in 2011. In that case, the court said that the French pharmaceutical and cosmetic brand Pierre Fabre could not impose an outright ban on their resellers from selling online.
Brexit: EU position paper on IP rights
On 6 September 2017 the European Commission published its wish list for how it hoped IP rights would be treated by the EU and the UK after Brexit.
Equivalent ways to infringe a patent?
The Supreme Court has had to determine to what extent courts should depart from the literal wording of a patent claim and consider whether equivalent means to those literally specified in the claim would infringe a patent.
Servicing trade mark infringement
The use of a third party trademark to provide information or describe a service being offered does not necessarily constitute trademark infringement. Where the use of a trade mark goes beyond that and creates an impression in the average consumer that the particular service is authorised by the trade mark owner, this will constitute an infringement.
Watching out for individual character
The EU General Court has dismissed an action to invalidate a Registered Community Design held by Nike for electronic wristbands. The case serves as a useful reminder of the principles to be applied in assessing whether a design has sufficient individual character to be registered.
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Brands & Intellectual Property
Maximising brand power forms the heart of commercial strategy for businesses in nearly every industry, whether major names or start-ups with big ambitions.
Intellectual Property Exploitation
Having the right deal structure and contracts in place to maximise the value of intellectual property rights is critical to the success of creative, innovative and brand focussed businesses.
Intellectual Property Searching, Registration and Portfolio Management
Most business hold an array on intellectual property rights such as trade marks, copyright works, designs, patents and domain names, however far fewer actively manage these rights.
Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual Property assets are frequently seen as being amongst the most valuable assets of a business and as such the volume of disputes that have arisen in the field has grown substantially and the applicable area of law is frequently changing and often complex.
Intellectual Property Watching Content Monitoring and Anti-Counterfeiting
Monitoring IP is a core part of our service. Early warnings as to potential third party infringement of intellectual property rights allow prompt action to be taken at a stage when it is usually far quicker and cheaper to resolve the matter and before increasing damage occurs.
Registration of Intellectual Property
For many types of IP, the registration of that IP with the relevant governmental official office provides the owner with the strongest form of protection as it confers a state granted limited monopoly. .
Intellectual Property Clearance Searches
It is important to ensure that any use of a new business name, brand, product or logo is not going to infringe the legal rights of a third party. Failure to do so can lead to expensive and embarrassing rebranding, and so an appropriate search programme is vital.
Advertising & Marketing
We have been advising clients in the advertising sector since the early 1970s. We have advised the founders of advertising agencies which became icons of the British advertising industry, to many of the world’s largest agency networks, as well as leading independent agencies.