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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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