Reviving a brand? A reminder to ensure it is put to genuine use

The case of Aiwa Co. Ltd v Aiwa Corporation is a useful reminder to brand owners, particularly those who are looking to revive a brand, of what amounts to “genuine use” of a registered trade mark. The case particularly considers whether the sale of second-hand goods by third parties in the UK can constitute genuine use of a UK registered trade mark.

A registered trade mark owner can rely on its registered trade marks to stop third parties from registering the same or similar marks, but only if the mark has been put to genuine use in the UK. In many cases, the third party will retaliate by challenging the validity of the trade mark (on the basis the mark has not been put to genuine use). If the challenge is successful, the Courts may order the trade mark to be revoked. This amounts to a ‘use it or lose it’ policy, which can cause difficulties for many brand owners. Continue Reading

States Are Proposing Their Own CCPA-Like Privacy Laws

Businesses that have just about come to terms with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may have more privacy rules and regulations to deal with going forward. Legislators in a number of other states across the country have recently proposed their own privacy bills. In many instances, these bills are similar to the CCPA, but some would impose new and different requirements on businesses and, therefore, would compound their obligations and multiply their compliance difficulties. Continue Reading

Harry and Meghan’s trade mark problem – third party jumps on the bandwagon and applies to register same mark in the EU to cover “jewellery” and “beer”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex submitted a trade mark application with the World Intellectual Property Office last year to register “SUSSEX ROYAL” in the UK, EU, Australia, Canada and the US. The application covers a range of goods and services in six classes, including printed publications; clothing; promotional and public awareness campaigns; volunteer projects for charitable purposes; education and training relating to nature, conservation and the environment; organising youth training schemes; counselling and emotional support services. Continue Reading

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: IP&IT NOVELTIES IN RUSSIA OF 2019

THE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS AS THE NEW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ITEM

According to the Federal Law “On the Introduction of Amendments to Part Four of the Civil code of the Russian Federation” that shall come into force on the 27th of June 2020, a new civil law institute – the geographical indication is appearing in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (herein after – the Civil Code). Continue Reading

Collective management of music authors’ rights in Greece: Recent developments in a long-suffering field

The field of collective management of music authors’ rights in Greece is currently experiencing a series of ongoing developments regarding the establishment and operation of collecting societies representing music authors in the country, with the situation still remaining uncertain as to how the landscape will look like in a few months’ time.

It is noted that currently, two Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) are representing music authors in Greece: “EYED” and “AUTODIA”. Continue Reading

What happens to EU trade marks after Brexit?

A mere three and a half years after the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, the UK looks set to “leave” the EU on 31 January 2020. Instead of exiting without a deal (which at one stage looked distinctly possible), the UK’s departure will be pursuant to the New Withdrawal Agreement. Under this deal – which is currently being enshrined into UK law – 31 January 2020 will mark the beginning of an 11 month transition period, with the true exit date currently set as 31 December 2020 (Exit Day). Continue Reading

Is BURNS NIGHT OFF KILT-ER?: Scotch, Trademarks & Distilling American Meanings

Within a year after the 1787 Edinburgh edition of his poems, American editions…were published in both Philadelphia and New York. Ever since we [Americans] have adopted the beauty, the humor and the wisdom of Robert Burns as part of our own culture and our own idiom—-often, even usually, without knowing the source in Scotland’s ploughman poet.

[Montgomery, James M. (1998) “How Robert Burns Captured America,” Studies in Scottish Literature: Vol. 30: Iss. 1, at 237 (emphasis added)].

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Hong Kong’s Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 ( “the Ordinance” or “PAO” ) came into force on 19th December 2019 to further improve the Hong Kong’s system of protecting intellectual property rights on inventions

To ensure that Hong Kong’s system continues to meet present-day circumstances and be in alignment with Government’s vision of developing Hong Kong into a regional innovation and technology hub, Hong Kong Government appointed an Advisory Committee on Review of the Patent System in Hong Kong in 2011(the “Advisory Committee”) to review and advise it on (a) how the Administration should position Hong Kong’s patent system and (b) how best to implement suggested changes to the system.  Apart from the macro issues, the review also involved different professional and technical considerations underpinning the patent system as well as specific issues on (a) whether and, if so, how Hong Kong should have its own “original grant” patent system (as opposed to the pre-existing “re-registration” system), (b) refinements to the short-term patent system and (c) regulation of patent agency services.  C. K. Kwong, the writer of this article, was a member of this Advisory Committee. Continue Reading

The Concept of Reverse Confusion is Not Applicable under the Current Trademark Practice in Taiwan

As a principle, Taiwan adopts a “first to file” trademark registration system.  Under the system, fame and extensive use are not the requirements for registering a trademark.  In addition, under Article 2 of the Trademark Act in Taiwan, the holder of a trademark cannot claim its right under the Act unless the trademark has been registered in Taiwan.

Sometimes, however, the junior user of a trademark is more famous than the senior user/the registrant of the trademark.   In this type of situation, it is controversial whether Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) should grant trademark registration to the junior user since the relevant consumers might actually associate the trademark with the junior user, rather than the senior user/registrant.  With regards to this issue, the Supreme Administrative Court had long held the protection of trademark rights should be determined based on the “first to file” principle and the concept of “Reverse Confusion” is not applicable under the current practice in Taiwan.  In a recent administrative litigation, the Intellectual Property Court had reiterated this position. Continue Reading

Selling Your Products on US Online Marketplaces

Before you begin selling your products on a U.S. online marketplace like Amazon, Etsy or Rakuten, there are three intellectual property considerations to make: clearance, acquisition and enforcement. This article provides a summary of all three considerations and includes steps to take to help mitigate risk, decrease instances of infringers and position your product for success from a U.S. perspective.

CLEARANCE

First, you want to ensure the product (including product design) and the brand name under which you wish to sell your product do not infringe the IP rights of others. To do this, you will need to do a patent search to confirm there are no infringement issues with your product and a trademark search to confirm there are no potential issues with the brand name you selected. Continue Reading

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