The distinctiveness dilemma, what to avoid when applying for a trade mark

Puma has recently had its trade mark application for FOREVER FASTER refused in relation to footwear and sports goods. The EU General Court found that the mark was a simple laudatory statement which wasn’t sufficiently distinctive and, on that basis, it refused the application… Poor Puma? Well, the trade mark rules on distinctiveness are pretty…

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Briffa goes to Bollywood

When people announce ‘and now for something completely different’ what follows is often disappointingly not so very different. We were determined not to fall into that trap when organising our team social and Jo Shah and Ben Soyza from The Bollywood Co had us in the Bollywood groove within minutes of starting our class. The session was…

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Plain packaging and trade marks

It began down under … In 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce legislation requiring plain packaging for cigarettes. Since then, several countries have followed suit or have made commitments to introduce plain packaging (including the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland). In Australia, the restrictions include a single colour…

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The Threats They Are A-Changin’ – the murky ground of dispute resolution

As legal advisors, we often have to tread the murky ground of dispute resolution.  Frequently, clients contact us, having fired the first shot against a potential infringer and have unwittingly found themselves at the end of counterclaim for ‘unjustified threats’ (better known as ‘groundless threats’ or simply ‘threats’), a peculiarity of IP disputes.  In January,…

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The data police are coming – new stringent data protection laws will take effect in 2018 – are you ready?

The new, more stringent data protection laws will take effect in 2018. There will be a new set of principles with a greater emphasis on transparency in how you collect and use personal data, as well as increased requirements for security and confidentiality. Two important reasons to pay attention to this now are: Personal data…

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Scam Artists vs. Trade Marks and Domain Names

As another month goes by, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office releases another warning about a new scam involving intellectual property rights. The latest scam involves individuals and business owners receiving phone calls from the “Trade Marks Intellectual Property Office” – a non-official entity. The caller will attempt to persuade the business owner to purchase…

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