Tag: England

1
Could You Be Using Your Trade Marks to Stop Unauthorised Resellers in the EU?
2
Trade Mark Re-filing and Bad Faith – Go Directly to Jail. Do Not Pass GO, Do Not Collect $200 – Part Two: General Court Ruling
3
British Amateur Gymnastics Association rolls and tumbles to trade mark enforcement against UK Gymnastics – UK Court of Appeal upholds trade mark infringement finding
4
Just One More Thing For Swatch and Apple to Fight About
5
Are You Influencing Responsibly?
6
Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague breaches the UK Advertising Standards Authority promotion rules
7
Advertising in the Time of Coronavirus
8
Louis Vuitton playing chess or checkers? The CJEU annuls’ the invalidation of Louis Vuitton’s EU trade mark
9
Don’t Bank-sy on Trade marks: Banksy loses EU trade mark due to “bad faith”
10
Reputation and likelihood of confusion – it’s all a bit of a Messi…

Could You Be Using Your Trade Marks to Stop Unauthorised Resellers in the EU?

In this internet age, where a brand can be damaged by a single, negative review going viral, never has it been more important for a brand owner to protect its image and reputation. The pandemic forced all shopping online for some periods and has dramatically changed consumer buying habits, increasing the risks of unauthorised and poor quality online selling for high-quality brands without appropriate measures in place.

How can you stop a third party selling your genuine goods in a manner that damages your brand? Be it poor customer service, bait and switch practices, long delivery times, substandard internet sites or poor returns policies, issues such as these, the prevalence of which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, can create negative consumer associations with a brand. The answer – through an effective selective distribution strategy.

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Trade Mark Re-filing and Bad Faith – Go Directly to Jail. Do Not Pass GO, Do Not Collect $200 – Part Two: General Court Ruling

On 21 April 2021, the General Court of the European Union refused Hasbro’s appeal to overturn a decision that partially invalidated its EU trade mark for MONOPOLY on the ground of acting in bad faith when filing the application. The judgement by the General Court has ramifications for brand owners in both the law of bad faith but also in the practice of evergreening (repeatedly filing for an identical mark covering a broad specification of classes as the period of protection for the mark draws to an end).

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British Amateur Gymnastics Association rolls and tumbles to trade mark enforcement against UK Gymnastics – UK Court of Appeal upholds trade mark infringement finding

A recent UK Court of Appeal case has highlighted the importance of assessing the conceptual similarity of marks and not just their aural and visual similarities, when considering a potential trade mark infringement.

The UK Court of Appeal was hearing an appeal from a decision of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court concerning a claim by the British Amateur Gymnastics Association (“BAGA”) against UK Gymnastics and UK Gymnastics Affiliation (together “UKG”) for trade mark infringement and passing off. BAGA is a not for profit private company and recognised as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the UK. UKG is a gymnastics sporting body that provides: membership services to individual gymnasts, gymnastics clubs and coaches; competitions; courses and badge/certification programmes among other services.

At first instance, HHJ Melissa Clarke found UKG liable for infringement of BAGA’s trade marks and passing off. UKG were granted permission to appeal on limited grounds which are listed below.

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Just One More Thing For Swatch and Apple to Fight About

Since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, Swatch, a well-known Swiss watch manufacturer, has been involved in a number of trade mark disputes against Apple regarding their overlapping product markets.

These disputes have concerned the marks ‘I-WATCH’ and ‘I-SWATCH’, ‘TICK DIFFERENT’ and ‘THINK DIFFERENT’ and, more recently, the mark ‘ONE MORE THING’.

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Are You Influencing Responsibly?

A recent UK Advertising Standard’s Authority (ASA) study has revealed that many social media influencers are routinely breaking consumer and advertising laws.

The findings of the study are important for social media influencers, who should ensure that they are fully transparent about when they are posting advertising content and for companies who work with social media influencers, who are equally responsible for ensuring that brand partnerships are sufficiently disclosed in the influencer’s social media posts.

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Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague breaches the UK Advertising Standards Authority promotion rules

An £8,000 Instagram giveaway promoted by Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague, breached the UK Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) promotion rules, a recent decision of the ASA has determined.

In September 2020, Ms Hague (who has more than 5 million followers on Instagram, and 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube), offered one of her followers the chance to win approximately £8,000 worth of luxury designer goods, including handbags, a laptop and products from her fake tan range. To enter, her followers were asked to like the Instagram post, tag a friend and follow her personal Instagram page, the Instagram page of her tanning brand and to subscribe to her YouTube channel.

The Instagram post in question was liked close to 1.2 million times and attracted almost 3 million comments.

After the giveaway, the ASA received 12 complaints from individuals who believed that not all of the entrants were included in the ‘final draw’ and so did not have an equal and fair chance of winning. The complainants challenged whether: (i) the prize was awarded in accordance with the laws of chance; and (ii) the promotion was administered fairly.

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Advertising in the Time of Coronavirus

COVID-19 and the many national lockdowns that have followed have caused a huge shift in advertising and marketing. Suddenly, everyone is at home and receiving nearly all content digitally; through their phones, tablets and TVs, and advertising budgets have been sliced and squeezed as companies shift scarce resources to other parts of their business.

Regulators are faced with a new challenge and responsibility to protect consumers from companies who would price gouge and profit from panic caused by COVID-19. The UK regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has published a fair number of decisions and guidance in relation to the coronavirus.

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Louis Vuitton playing chess or checkers? The CJEU annuls’ the invalidation of Louis Vuitton’s EU trade mark

Louis Vuitton received a favorable decision from the EU General Court (“General Court”) in June 2020 which may assist brand owners seeking IP protection of their decorative patterns. The decision confirms the distinctive character an EU trade mark must possess in order to benefit from protection throughout the EU as well as highlighting how patterns may be protected through registration as a trade mark rather than under other forms of IP protection such as copyright or design protection. However, the decision also reaffirmed the EU’s strict approach to assessing the unitary character of EU trade marks, which potentially sets a high bar for applicants to clear.

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Don’t Bank-sy on Trade marks: Banksy loses EU trade mark due to “bad faith”

Banksy’s trade mark for one of his most famous artistic designs has been declared invalid by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (the “EUIPO”) on the grounds that it was filed in bad faith. The EUIPO finding him having engaged in “inconsistent with honest practices” in his attempt to protect his trade mark. A full copy of the decision can be found here.

The EUIPO said Banksy was attempting to use trade mark law to protect his artwork from being used commercially by third-parties because he couldn’t copyright it and maintain his anonymity. This decision highlights that the court will take a dim view of anyone – even famous artists – attempting to find a loophole in the law.

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Reputation and likelihood of confusion – it’s all a bit of a Messi…

CJEU determines no likelihood of confusion between footballer’s “Messi” figurative mark and earlier MASSI mark.

Whilst debate will continue to rage as to whether Messi or Ronaldo is the world’s best male football player, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) has ruled that Argentine superstar can register his name as a trade mark after an almost decade long legal battle.

In an interesting decision for trade mark fanatics, irrespective of their interest in football, the CJEU stated that Lionel Messi’s reputation could be taken into account, without any evidence of said reputation being provided, when weighing up whether the public would be able to determine the uniqueness of Messi’s mark.

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