We first wrote about the impact of Brexit on UK trade marks over a year ago. We are now over 6 months in since the UK's departure from the EU and rapidly approaching the end of the transitional arrangements. 30 September 2021 is the deadline for filing a new UK application and claiming priority from an earlier EU trade mark application. This only applies if the EU mark was filed on or before 31 December 2020. Other important changes Separate trade mark filings are now require
After the many logistical issues posed by both Brexit and the pandemic and with sustainability at the forefront of everyone's mind, it is perhaps not surprising that there has been a 130% increase in businesses accepted to use the MADE IN BRITAIN mark on their goods. (Many more have applied but not met the relevant criteria.)
What is the legal framework that underpins this brand name and what exactly does "Made In Britain" mean?
Can anyone use MADE IN BRITAIN?
Made in Gre
There is no doubt that we are living through an unstable time. The pandemic has changed daily life for everyone. Politics are far from stable – this impacts many things, not least international trade. The origins of established brands are coming under the microscope. The economic good times (such as they were in the wake of the global financial crisis) are over. With recession set as the new normal, it is clear that things will be in flux for a long time to come. It is hard t
Designs are one of the key IP rights for the fashion industry but they are complex and consequently poorly understood. There are two key categories of design: registered and unregistered designs. They are best known for protecting three dimensional products but a little known fact is that they can also protect logos and graphical user interfaces. Given the shift to remote and virtual living, protecting digital assets is more important than ever. The European Commission recent
We first wrote about the impact of Brexit over a year ago back in a pre pandemic era. Although we still don't have a deal. The outcomes outlined in that post are likely to apply from 1 January 2020 (i.e. the end of the Brexit transition period). It is no longer possible to file an EU mark and get it registered before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). Therefore all new EU trade mark filings will need to be filed separately in the UK if trade mark rights in t
Some luxury brands still choose to not operate an online presence. Whether this is sustainable in the long term is unclear. Regardless of company strategy, you need to protect your brand online irrespective of whether you choose to operate online. The Luxury Law Summit included a fascinating panel discussion between Luna Bianchi (IP Counsel at Ermenegildo Zegna), Peter Ratcliffe (Manager of PIPCU, part of City of London police which investigates online crime in England and Wa
The Luxury Law Summit looked at many business and legal issues but one of the great themes across the day was collaboration. Many thousands of dollars are regularly awarded in cases based on profiling or exclusion. It's not just about doing the right, thing, there's a compelling business case for taking inclusion seriously explained Christopher Lacy (Parsons). Christopher explained that luxury often falls short of true inclusivity and neglects key demographics which are impor
The new Platform to Business Regulation (P2B regulation) applies across the EU from 12 July 2020. This Regulation is part of the EU's Digital Single Market Strategy. As the EU press release explains, the P2B Regulation is the first-ever set of rules creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders on online platforms. The Regulation is intended to create a fairer balance between online platforms and online search engines. It
Scott Gilen (Director of IP Enforcement Global at Apple) spoke at the Luxury Law Summit about how his team stops Apple fakes (both digital and physical) around the world. Understandably, their primary focus is on counterfeits that could be harmful to consumers such as fake iPhones, parts and accessories. Fake Apple stores remain a problem around the world (particularly in China). They have everything from the T-shirts to the tables! The issues that Scott has to deal with go b
Georgina McManus (Global GC at Manolo Blahnik) and Ashleigh Hegarty (GC and Privacy Officer at Charlotte Tilbury) spoke to Kate Wilkinson (Head of Group Legal at Mulberry) about the issues they have faced in negotiating the new normal. All three incredible women have clearly had a busy year. They demonstrated how they have successfully adapted and helped their respective businesses reshape and regroup so that they remain on the path toward success. How did they survive the pa
Inevitably the pandemic took centre stage at the Luxury Law Summit (3 September 2020) but thankfully it was not the only issue in the spotlight. Harrods' pandemic experience The keynote speaker was Michael Ward, the Managing Director of Harrods. He talked about the impact on the business and the difficult decisions that they have had to take in order to get the business ready for the changes over the next 1-2 years. One of the first issues was the impact of the redundancies.
Here is another guest post from Marta Carmona (Master of Advocacy at the University of Málaga) Smart fabrics are textiles which include technology embedded into their fibres thanks to the development of extremely thin smart materials. The inclusion of those materials gives wearables an increased functionality and therefore an incentive for buyers to pay more for the wearable and, in theory, wear it more and for a longer period, which ultimately would increase the sustainabili
It is common for business priorities to change and relationships to improve or sour over time. At some point you will want to end a distribution agreement, franchise or agency agreement. Ending a contract is not always that straightforward... The first step is to look at what the contract itself says - this is not always as simple as it may appear and legal help may be required to identify the correct steps to follow. However, this is not the end of the process. There are man
Fashion and technology have long been on a collision course and, like so much, the pandemic has accelerated things in a dramatic and life altering way. It’s no secret that the fashion sector has been particularly badly hit by Covid. The saving grace for many brands has been the investment that it has made in the digital and technology business. It’s fair to say that businesses with a strong ecommerce offering have fared much better than the competition - particularly if they
Brexit may be nearly upon us. If this happens after 29 March there are various short term consequences to registered rights in the UK and EU. You don't necessarily need to refile a UK mark but forewarned is forearmed. Registered EU trade marks All existing EU trade marks will still cover the UK post Brexit but they will change identity. From Brexit day, EU trade marks in the UK will automatically convert into “Comparable Trade Marks (EU)”. No fee is payable and the owners of
The fashion industry has obtained enormous benefits from the protection offered by design law in the European Union. But to say that designs law is complicated would be a big understatement. This post introduces registered and unregistered designs and outlines the ways in which they can be used to protect the fashion industry. EU level design protection The European Union offers two types of design protection which apply across the whole of the EU, namely registered and unreg
Exhaustion of rights is a concept which applies to all IP rights in Europe. Basically it means that if a product is sold ("put onto the market") in the European Economic Area (EEA), the owner of the IP rights in that product can’t prevent its resale elsewhere in the EEA. EEA = all EU member states + Iceland + Norway + Liechtenstein. E.g. if I buy one a scarf in Italy, the owner of the intellectual property rights in that scarf can’t stop me reselling it in Germany because the
Defining terms Definitions make contracts easier to read. They are often known as "defined terms" and are a mini dictionary at the start of a contract. This means that, for example, rather than repeating the specific trade mark which is licensed, the "Trade Mark" is defined at the start and then the contract can simply refer to the Trade Mark in the rest of the document. Defined terms can save a lot of reading time and improve simplicity but if you get the definition wrong,
The European Union or EU is the political and economic union of 28 European countries who are known as "Member States". The EU has helped to shape the laws across the majority of Europe over the last 50 years. EU law is based on four fundamental principles. All EU laws have one or more of these principles at their heart: Free movement of goods Free movement of people Free movement of services Free movement of capital The European Union has three main elements: the Parliament,