BUSINESS & LEGAL UPDATES
 
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Black and White trade marks
Traditionally UK and CTM black and white marks have always given protection for all colour combinations. Practise regarding these marks is changing in June 2014. What impact might this have on your business?
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IP TRANSLATOR – AG Opinion
This is a test case brought by CIPA (the UK Chartered institute of Patent Attorneys) in the UK seeking a definitive view from the ECJ on whether OHIM’s stated practice that class headings are deemed to cover all goods or services within that class is correct, or whether the words in the class headings should be given their more natural interpretation of covering only those goods and services specifically identified.
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Imitation is Costly - Specsavers v Asda
In October 2009, Asda carried out a marketing campaign to re-launch its in-store opticians making use of the straplines shown below. Specsavers sued for trade mark infringement. At first instance the Court held that Asda’s use of the First Strapline was infringing as it took unfair advantage of Specsavers’ marks but it rejected all other claims.
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Patent Country Court damages cap extended to copyright and trade mark cases
Earlier this year we reported the coming into force of the Patents County Court (Financial Limits) Order 2011 which placed a £500,000 cap on the amount of damages (or an account of profits) that may be claimed in a patent or designs case heard by the PCC. As anticipated, this damages cap has now been extended to cover copyright and trade mark cases by the Patents County Court (Financial Limits) Order 2011 No 2 which came into force on 1 October 2011. In calculating the amount or value of a relevant claim, interest or costs claimed in the proceedings will not be taken into account.
To read more about how this will affect small / medium businesses, click here: (PDF download)
To read more about the Patent Country Court cost capping rules, click here. (PDF download)
.XXX domain names - register or blocking options in the Sunrise period
The .XXX domain name registration programme aimed at the Adult Entertainment Industry opens on 7 September 2011 with a ‘sunrise period’ allowing brand owners and owners of an adult entertainment website using a matching live domain name in another TLD to pre-register before the land rush.
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A reformed Patent County Court tackles costs and caps damages
The Patent County Court continues on its march to make itself a viable option for small / medium businesses needing to enforce their rights.
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Guidance on new cost-capping rules - Dame Vivienne Westwood OBE v Anthony Edward Knight [2011] EWPCC 011
The first judgement to apply the new Patents County Court (‘PCC’) cost capping provisions has been handed down by His Honour Judge Birss QC in Westwood v Knight.
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Olympics
The London Olympic Games and Paralympics Games Act 2006 protects the London Olympics from ambush marketing and seeks to stop brands that are rivals to London 2012 official sponsors from associating themselves with the event.
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Play-doh
Hasbro, the owner of the PLAY-DOH trade mark covering modelling clay objected to use of EDIBLE PLAY DOUGH on a similar product YUMMY DOUGH.
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Imitation is not always flattering - Specsavers v Asda
In October 2009, Asda carried out a marketing campaign to re-launch its in-store opticians making use of the straplines shown below. Specsavers sued for trade mark infringement and passing off.
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Nominet releases one and two letter domain names
On 1 December 2010, Nominet will release a number of previously reserved ‘short’ domain names consisting of one number or one or two letters, for example 3.co.uk, x.co.uk and bp.co.uk.
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Copyright in wordstrings, straplines, hyperlinks etc
The UK IPO website confidently states that there ‘is no copyright in a name, slogan or phrase’. While we may smile knowingly and state that all generalisations are dangerous, the UKIPO statement now needs to be treated with increasing caution in light of the recent NLA v Meltwater case.
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