The metaverse and related technologies like virtual goods, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain, represent a fundamental shift in how we interact with the internet, as the distinction between our activity online and in real life begins to blur. These emerging technologies present enormous opportunities for businesses, but bring with them a number of difficult legal challenges.Read More
As we learned to appreciate over the past year or so, virtual goods are intangible assets that can be traded within a virtual economy, worth whatever participants in the virtual market are willing to pay for them. Though a type of virtual good, NFTs have their own unique definition, which can now be found in the Cambridge Dictionary:
An NFT is a unique unit of data (the only one existing of its type) that links to a particular piece of digital art, music, video etc. and that can be bought and sold.Read More
In a recent decision, the High Court of England and Wales has found that Tesco’s use of the yellow and blue Tesco Clubcard logos (reproduced below) infringed Lidl’s trade marks (see the relevant Lidl marks below) and also gave rise to copyright infringement and passing off.Read More
Hydrogen production technology, according to the joint EPO-IEA report summarizing patent trends in the hydrogen economy (summarized here), accounts for the largest percentage of patenting activity since 2011 among the three primary stages of the hydrogen value chain (i.e., (i) production, (ii) storage, distribution, and transformation, and (iii) end-use industrial applications). Trends show a shift in hydrogen production from carbon-intensive methods to technologies that do not rely on fossil fuels. The bulk of recent increased patent activity is directed to electrolysis development, while patent activity related to production from biomass and waste has decreased.Read More
The European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently published a joint report summarizing innovation and patent trends within the hydrogen economy.1 The report is based on global patent activity since 20012 and is intended to help governments and businesses understand which parts of the hydrogen value chain appear to be making progress and which parts may be lagging behind.3 The report dives deep into specific technologies, lists the most active applicants in select technologies, and attempts to identify the impact of different governmental programs in specific sectors, with a goal of trying to help focus future innovation efforts.Read More
Some of the largest false advertising jury verdicts were recorded in 2022. This, coupled with increased inflationary pressures will likely lead to an uptick in false advertising suits given that such pressures will impact consumer spending habits, leading to increased scrutiny of competitor advertising practices—particularly in the social media space.Read More
Does evidence showing booking, advertising and selling services in the EU constitute genuine use if the service actually registered takes place abroad?
This was the question contemplated by a recent decision of the General Court. The case T-768/20 (Standard International Management LLC v EUIPO) addresses the use of trade marks in the EU where the relevant brand operates hotel and leisure facilities outside the jurisdiction.Read More
Juventus FC (affectionately nicknamed the “Old Lady”) has won a noteworthy ruling in its case of trade mark infringement brought against the non-fungible token (“NFT“) producer Blockeras s.r.l (“Blockeras”). The Rome Court of First Instance, on 20 July 2022, ruled that the unauthorised minting, advertising and sale of NFTs1 can infringe the trade mark rights of the relevant owner.Read More
From 24 March 2022, Australian businesses have been able to register “.au” URLs (a Uniform Resource Locator or URL is the “address” to a website), rather than the traditional “.com.au”, “.net.au” or “.org.au” URLs.
The Australian .au Domain Administration (auDA) gave registrants (registrants are the “owners” of URLs) of “.com.au”, “.net.au” and “.org.au” URLs until 20 September 2022 to register the equivalent “.au” URL. That is, the registrant of www.australiandomain.com.au had priority over registering the www.australiandomain.au URL. From 3 October 2022, however, third parties have been free to register .au URLs, regardless of whether they own the corresponding “.com.au” etc domain name.Read More
Virtual products, the metaverse, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently been expanding and receiving considerable attention from investors, the general public; as well as the art world. Within the span of a year, NFT-backed virtual works of art have been reaching new height, from Beeple, Everydays: The First 5000 Days (March 2021 – US$69.3 million) to The Merge (December 2021 – US$91.8 million). Today, the most valuable living artist in history is a virtual work of art author (Pak, author of The Merge).Read More