Category: Trademarks

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A DAVID AND GOLIATH STYLE UGG BOOT DISPUTE

Just over five years after the California-based retail giant Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Deckers) filed a lawsuit against Sydney-based footwear company, Australian Leather Pty Ltd (Australian Leather) for trademark infringement, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favour of Deckers. The Court of Appeals affirmed the previous decision of the district … Continue Reading

Enforcing IP Rights Through Online Intermediaries: The Need for Regulation in Canada

The rise of online intermediaries, such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, has radically changed the way in which many businesses and individuals operate and has introduced novel legal and business questions and challenges. It is easier and cheaper than ever for bad actors to use online tools, whether it be websites, platforms, or online profiles, … Continue Reading

WHAT, IN THE NAME OF GOD, …?: Intellectual Property Rights In Holy Names, Sacred Words, & Other Aspects of Creation

The title of this piece tracks a common “phrase of exasperation used to emphasize a question or statement.”  If that be the case, and I think it is, then the subtitle implies the question this piece will address.  That question is “how have various countries’ intellectual property laws addressed efforts to copyright, trademark, or patent … Continue Reading

INTERNET MEMES IN RUSSIAN PRACTICE: IP PROTECTION AND PERSONALITY RIGHTS ISSUES

When we say “meme”, we usually mean an internet meme. An Internet meme is an idea (and some content embodying this idea) spread via the Internet. Memes are usually created in the internet community for humorous purposes. However, memes in practice may raise issues associated with copyright, registration of trademarks, or even with personal data … Continue Reading

Expanding a Brand into Canada: Trademark Registrations- The Basics

When a corporation expands its business into Canada, consideration should be given to whether it can register its brand as a trademark in this new market. While a corporation may operate in this market without registered trademarks, many statutory frameworks, like the Canadian regime, offer additional benefits to companies[1] that have registered marks. If a … Continue Reading

.AU DOMAIN NAMES MUST HAVE A PRESENCE IN AUSTRALIA

Foreign entities looking to register Australian domain names need to be aware that the eligibility requirements have changed and the threshold is now much higher. If a foreign entity is relying on a registered Australia trademark to meet the Australia presence requirement, they must ensure that their domain is an exact match to that trademark. … Continue Reading

Can U.S. Trademark Registrations Be Cancelled for Non-Use?

Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business.  What if you file a federal trademark application and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refuses registration of the trademark based on a likelihood of confusion with another trademark registration?  Can you cancel the cited trademark … Continue Reading

Protecting Confidential Information in Canada: Is there a Better Way?

The British Columbia decision Equustek Solutions Inc. v Jack[1] highlights the difficult, time consuming, and expensive exercise that organizations may find themselves in when an employee misuses confidential information. In today’s environment, information can be downloaded, transferred or shared instantly. How can organizations best protect their intellectual property assets and confidential information to maintain their … Continue Reading

BANKSY’S “FLOWER THROWER” TRADEMARK: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF THE RECENT DECISION OF EUIPO CANCELLATION DIVISION

The Cancellation Division of EUIPO has recently issued a resounding decision declaring the invalidity of the figurative trademark representing the “Flower thrower”, one of the most iconic Banksy’s mural paintings. The motivations on which the decision is based are questionable since it seems to be willing to take a punitive stance against the British street … Continue Reading

The King Is Dead! Long Live The King!: Elvis Sightings, Taking Care of Business, And Rights Of Post-Mortem Publicity

…Never let me go… I’ll be yours through all the years, till the end of time. [Love Me Tender, performed by Elvis Presley] Elvis sightings have had a long, storied life of their own since the King of Rock-and-Roll’s “death” was reported (or perhaps exaggerated (though neither greatly nor grossly)), in 1977.  Indeed, since 1977, … Continue Reading

Protection of Photographic Works

With the development of science and technology, cameras or mobile phones are now having various built-in shooting modes or parameters to facilitate photographers to quickly shoot assorted scenes or atmospheres, which is quite different from the traditional way that photographers need to adjust various parameters by themselves. Regarding whether the photographic works taken using the … Continue Reading

Can Trademarks having Domain Indicators Like “Dot Com” be Registered?

Suppose that you want to federally register a trademark that has a domain indicator like “.com” at the end that identifies a source of goods or services related to your business.  The trademark may have a first part that is generic like “automobile” and a second part that is a domain indicator like “.com”.  Should … Continue Reading

Protecting Your IP: Social Media Dos and Don’ts

Social media continues to offer an invaluable platform for natural products brands to engage and expand their customer base. In these times, consumers are using social media more and more—particularly on their mobile devices—to stay informed, explore new products, and shop. This rapt audience allows brands to provide authentic and of-the-moment communications to their customers, … Continue Reading

Black Lives Matter Movement Sparks Branding Changes

The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery this year, among others, have reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement, resulting in powerful nationwide conversations about racial injustice in the United States, with far-reaching ripple effects. Businesses across industries — such as sports, entertainment, consumer products and higher education — have reevaluated certain … Continue Reading

New Trademark Law aligns Greek regime with that of European Union

Introduction In March 2020 – during the lockdown imposed by the government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic – Greece adopted a new Trademark Law (4679/2020), which replaced the previous Trademark Law (4072/2012). The purpose of adopting this new law was to implement the EU Trademarks Directive (2015/2436/EC) into Greek law. By virtue of this new … Continue Reading

SCC LEAVE DENIED: PUBLIC AUTHORITIES — NOT IMMUNE TO TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT CLAIMS

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied leave to appeal of the Ontario (Energy) v Quality Program Services Inc.1 Federal Court decision, thereby bringing finality to whether public authorities are immune to trademark infringement claims arising from use of their official marks. This Federal Court case law confirms that registered trademark owners will continue to enjoy the … Continue Reading

Out Of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & The Case Of Space-Traveling Tardigrades

At heart, and still, I am a non-singing Jersey Boy, and one who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and watching Star Trek, the Original Series (before it even needed that modifier), in reruns in the 1970s while also keeping up with the real Rocky.  And, I have been writing for ILN IP Insider for … Continue Reading

IP CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESSES OPERATING ONLINE – AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE

Recent changes in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that few businesses can afford to ignore the internet, and the opportunities for efficiencies and scale that it offers.  Operating a business online presents tremendous opportunities for growth by opening up new geographical markets, however it also creates new challenges for businesses in ensuring … Continue Reading

TRADEMARK USE: NO NEED FOR A “BRICKS AND MORTAR” PRESENCE IN CANADA

“Use it or lose it” is a staple expression known to Canadian trademark lawyers. Once a business successfully registers a trademark in Canada, it must “use” its registered mark in Canada or it may lose the protections provided by the Trademarks Act (the “Act“). With the advent of e-commerce, many non-Canadian businesses can now advertise their services … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That Willfulness Is Not Required to Recover Profits

The U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split on April 23, 2020, by unanimously holding in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., et al. that a brand owner is not required to prove that a trademark infringer acted willfully in order for the owner to be awarded the infringer’s profits. Background Romag Fasteners, Inc. … Continue Reading

GENERIC.COM — REGISTRABLE IN CANADA?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently confirmed that a “generic.com” term may be eligible for federal trademark registration in the U.S., in certain circumstances. We will review the relevant decisions, discuss the Canadian legal framework with respect to registration of such mark and consider the implications of seeking registration of a “generic.com” or a “generic.ca” mark … Continue Reading

BUSINESSES BEWARE: DEPRECIATION IN GOODWILL CLAIMS NOT BOUND BY INDUSTRY LINES

The Federal Court of Canada (the “FCTD“) recently released Toys “R” Us (Canada) Ltd v Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society, in which it considered whether a cannabis company, Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society (“Herbs R Us“), had breached Sections 20, 7(b) and 22 of Canada’s Trademarks Act (the “Act“) with respect to claims of trademark … Continue Reading

Rebranding or launching a new product in the CPG space? Don’t neglect intellectual property

The coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for those in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space, and beyond. Supply chain disruptions, rapid migration of point-of-sale from brick-and-mortar outlets to online retail, and overall shifts in consumer preference, eating and cooking habits, and personal safety needs has required many CPG companies to reevaluate and reinvent their … Continue Reading

The Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Trademark Applications and Registrations

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice concerning the waiver of certain trademark-related timing deadlines pursuant to Section 12004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). Powers Created by the CARES Act The CARES Act (which was signed into law by President Trump … Continue Reading
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