UK appeal court: beware of the “side-by-side” trade mark comparison

Iconix Luxembourg Holdings SARL v Dream Pairs Europe Inc & Anor [2024] EWCA Civ 29 (26 January 2024)

When assessing the likelihood of confusion between two marks in a trade mark clearance or infringement context, the orthodox approach of the diligent IP practitioner might be to set the two marks out next to one another, analysing them primarily from the perspective of the average consumer at the point of sale. Whilst the prospect of confusion arising after this point should be considered, it is unlikely to be the focus. A recent UK court of Appeal decision has, however, underlined that this technical, square-on comparison does not in fact reflect the real worlds that brands inhabit, and the various ways in which the average consumer can be confused by them even after a product has been sold.

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THE COLOMBIAN COPYRIGHT AGENCY ANALYSES AI-CREATED WORKS AND PROVIDES AN INITIAL APPROACH TO THE PROTECTION UNDER COPYRIGHT LAWS

The protection of works created from the human intellect, under the legislations that have adopted a droit d’auter system, is centered on the relationship existing between the individual who created the work, and the piece that constitutes the protected work.

Therefore, the legal regulations which govern the prerogatives that the creator has concerning the protected work are supported on the premise that the creator is a human being, who has expressed and portrayed, in a tangible fashion, his or her idea or mental creation.  

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Can U.S. Trademark Registrations Be Strengthened Against Invalidation?

Suppose that you have obtained a U.S. trademark registration for your trademark on goods or services for your business. Can your trademark registration be cancelled with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office based on it being invalid? Can you file anything to strengthen your trademark registration against invalidation? The answer is YES! if the trademark has been in continuous use for five consecutive years subsequent to the date of registration.

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Charter of the French Language

The Quebec Charter of the French Language (the “Charter”) was adopted nearly 50 years ago to protect the status of the French language in the province of Quebec. It includes many rules, several of them directed at the language of business in Quebec, and some regarding the use of French on both product packaging and signage/advertising.  

Presently, all product labelling and commercial signs appearing in Quebec must be in French – but the Charter provides certain exceptions for trademarks. 

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Trademark Considerations for Copyrighted Works in the Public Domain

In the United States, an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression (meaning the work can be communicated in a visual or audio form) is a protectable copyright. This means that the owner has the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, publish, perform, and display the work. Because copyright protection has a set term, copyrights in certain works necessarily expire each year and enter the public domain. Once a work has entered the public domain, it no longer retains copyright protection and cannot stop use of the work by others based on its prior copyright rights. However, a work’s copyright expiration does not extinguish any trademark
rights that the owner may maintain in that same work. This is because protection of trademarks, which are words, phrases, symbols, and designs that identify the source of goods or services, is separate from protection of copyrights and does not necessarily expire so long as the work is continuously and regularly used as a trademark.

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Key 2023 update: EU Directive implemented in Greek copyright law

Last year saw the introduction of Law 4996/2022, which brought significant changes to IP legislation in Greece, amending several provisions of the existing Copyright Law 2121/1993 as well as Law 4481/2017 on Collective Management.

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2023: The Year of the Burgers

From the Big Mac v Big Jack to the KFC v HFC – 2023 was the year of the burger. In Australia, the burger debate was first brought to our attention in 2020 following a marketing campaign by Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd (Hungry Jack’s) for its limited-edition Big Jack burger. Hungry Jack’s (better known as Burger King in some countries) and McD Asia Pacific LLC (McDonald’s) are both global fast food chains known for their burger and fry combination.

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The Good Get: Interviews, The Predicates Of Copyright Ownership, & Divorcing Subjects From Owning Copyright Content

“Headlines” and “titles” are related, sometimes interchangeable, items appearing atop news stories. But, in this space, headlines are usually a source of inspiration (so we can write about intellectual property issues that may interest more than just IP attorneys), and titles a bit of fun (so we can draw in those looking for a bit of lightness amid more serious legal analysis).

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Small Entity Status vs. Micro Entity Status for Patent Applications in the U.S.

Suppose you have an inventor or applicant who asks you to file a patent application in the U.S. However, the applicant has limited financial resources for filing the patent application. Should you claim small entity status or micro entity status for the applicant at the time of filing the patent application? The answer depends on whether the applicant qualifies for small entity status and, in particular, micro-entity status every time a fee is paid.

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Canadian Trademark Fees Increasing in 2024

Canadian brand owners should prepare now for fee increases coming into force in 2024. Overall, fees are set to increase by 20 to 35%. In particular, the government fee for filing a Canadian trademark application is increasing to $460 for the first class and $140 for each additional class (the current fees are $350 and $105, respectively). The renewal fee is increasing to $555 for the first class and $175 for each additional class (up from $420 and $130, respectively). The fees to record assignments and other transfers of title are increasing to $125 per application/registration (up from the current rate of $100).

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