Archive: March 2015

1
International Design Update
2
An Ounce of Prevention: Act Now with “.sucks” Registration Opening
3
United States Supreme Court Holds That Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Determination of Likelihood of Confusion May Bind Subsequent Court Infringement Case
4
Do not use Audrey Hepburn’s Iconic Elements
5
Dancing Not Required: District Court Denies Amgen’s Bid for Preliminary Injunction, Finds BPCIA “Patent Dance” Optional
6
Decade Old Official Fees set to Change for Trade Marks and Designs in Hong Kong
7
Big News for Manufacturers of Replica Furniture and Decorative Items
8
Fashion Law
9
After Nine Year Battle, Appeals Court Upholds US$540,000 Award to Sculptor for Use of Memorial Images on U.S. Postage Stamp

International Design Update

New Members to the Hague System

The Hague Agreement concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs (Hague System) is administered by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and has been around for almost 100 years. It is a mechanism, similar to the Madrid Protocol System for trade marks, of registering an industrial design in several countries by means of a single application, filed in one language and with one set of fees. The Hague System produces the same effect of a grant of protection in each of the designated contracting countries as if the design had been registered directly with each national office, unless protection is refused by the national office.

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An Ounce of Prevention: Act Now with “.sucks” Registration Opening

As many brand owners may know, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) recently approved the .sucks gTLD. The Sunrise period for trademark owners to register .sucks domain names containing their trademarks begins on March 30, 2015; the general availability period begins on June 1, 2015. We recommend that brand owners consider registering their main brand or trademark as a .sucks domain to block third parties from doing the same.

To read the full alert, click here.

United States Supreme Court Holds That Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Determination of Likelihood of Confusion May Bind Subsequent Court Infringement Case

On March 24, 2015, in a case covered here in a previous posting (On Tap at the U.S. Supreme Court: An Important Trademark Case, September 3, 2014), the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court) held that a determination of likelihood of confusion by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), in an administrative tribunal which determines registerability, may preclude further litigation of the issue in a subsequent infringement case.  In B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had determined that a TTAB finding would not bind an infringement court because, among other reasons, the factors considered by the TTAB were not identical to those considered by the trial court.  The Supreme Court, though, by a 7-2 vote, held that when the ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met and where the issues in the two cases are identical, the ruling by the agency tribunal controls.  The Supreme Court also found that even though the specific factors considered in a likelihood of confusion analysis may vary somewhat, they are not ‘fundamentally different’ and that the ‘likelihood of confusion’ standard is the same for registration and infringement purposes.

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Do not use Audrey Hepburn’s Iconic Elements

That’s what the Court of Milan has stated on January 21, 2015 (judgment no.766/2015)!

This dispute originated with the use by an Italian company, Caleffi S.p.A. (Caleffi), of an image recalling the famous scene from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ in which the actress, well-dressed in black, wearing sunglasses and pearls, was staring into the window of Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue boutique. Caleffi was promoting the prize contest ‘The dream diamond’. Audrey Hepburn’s heirs sued Caleffi and brought before the Court of Milan (Court) an action for damages based on the claimed violation of article 10 of the Italian Civil Code, on the use of the images of a person, and article 96 of Italian Copyright Law, on the protection of portraits.\

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Dancing Not Required: District Court Denies Amgen’s Bid for Preliminary Injunction, Finds BPCIA “Patent Dance” Optional

The biologics industry has been closely monitoring Amgen Inc.’s (“Amgen’s”) lawsuit against Sandoz Inc. (“Sandoz”) for refusing to engage in the BPCIA’s “patent dance” with respect to Sandoz’s application for Zarxio®, a biosimilar of Amgen’s Neupogen® (filgrastim), to see what, if any, guidance the district court would provide on the interpretation of the BPCIA. See Left without a Partner: Amgen Sues Sandoz for Refusing to Dance in Accordance with BPCIA Patent Procedures. This litigation has sparked additional interest in view of FDA’s recent approval of Zarxio®, which has led to industry-wide speculation regarding the litigation’s potential impact on Sandoz’s ability to market its now approved biosimilar. See FDA Approves First Biosimilar: Sandoz’s Zarxio®. The District Court of the Northern District of California has now provided an answer, siding with Sandoz’s interpretation that the BPCIA’s patent dance provisions are optional and the 180 day notice provision does not require licensure, and denying Amgen’s request for a preliminary injunction.

To read the full alert, click here.

Decade Old Official Fees set to Change for Trade Marks and Designs in Hong Kong

On 18 March 2015, the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (IPD) informed E-filers that, subject to the completion of legislative procedures, certain official fees for trade marks and designs will be revised from 30 March 2015. Official renewal fees for trade marks and designs will be slashed. The official filing fees for trade mark applications and searches will be hiked, to help the IPD recover its running costs. Read More

Big News for Manufacturers of Replica Furniture and Decorative Items

Repeal of Section 52 of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

The arco lamp (Castiglioni brothers) and the butterfly chair (Lucian Ercolani, founder of Ercol) are two examples of iconic products, which, until a recently announced change in the law, would not have been able to receive the full duration of copyright protection in the United Kingdom.

In the United Kingdom, as in many other countries, copyright protects an article for the creator’s life plus 70 years. However, there are exceptions, including Section 52 of the UK Copyright Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988 which limits protection to 25 years for industrially manufactured copies. Read More

Fashion Law

“The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward.” Oscar de la Renta

We are excited to bring you the second edition of Fashion Law, highlighting important issues in the crossroads between fashion and the law.

From choosing brand names and protecting distinctive elements of your product and prints, to exclusivity agreements with retailers and protecting your brand online, Fashion Law provides you with valuable information at all stages of your journey, from kick-starting your business through to the runway and beyond.

Please click here to read the Autumn/Winter 2015 edition of Fashion Law.

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After Nine Year Battle, Appeals Court Upholds US$540,000 Award to Sculptor for Use of Memorial Images on U.S. Postage Stamp

A long litigation battle by sculptor Frank Gaylord against the U.S. government has resulted in the confirmation of an award of more than US$540,000. In 1990, Mr. Gaylord won a competition to work on a federal memorial to veterans of the Korean War (Memorial), which had been authorized by the U.S. Congress. Ultimately, the Memorial comprised 19 stainless steel statues, designed to represent a platoon of soldiers in formation on the ground. The Memorial was completed, installed, and opened to the public in Washington, DC, in 1995. Mr. Gaylord filed a number of copyright registrations, covering the various statues. Read More

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