Passing off is often added as an afterthought to a trade mark infringement action. In those circumstances, it is very often successful. The line between a deception (required for passing off) and likelihood of confusion (trade mark infringement) is subtle but there is a significant degree of overlap between the two. However, where there is no registered mark and it is first necessary to establish goodwill in a particular name, logo or get up, the relevant deception is much mo
Are arbitration clauses a good idea? This post is not going to resolve this longstanding debate but it will highlight some of the intended (and unintended) consequences of an arbitration clause. The use of arbitration clauses in trade mark coexistence agreements was recently considered by the UK's IP Enterprise Court (IPEC) in Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Hornby Street (MCR) Ltd & Ors. Lifestyle Equities owns six EUTMs and one UKTM (post Brexit that is 7 UKTMs) for BEVERLEY
Is help coming to tackle the scourge of counterfeits sold on online marketplaces? Counterfeit goods affect all businesses as they grow from fashion to merchandise and related goods. On 15 December 2020, the European Commission published its “Europe fit for the digital age” proposals: the Digital Services Act (the DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) . If adopted, they will replace the eCommerce Directive, which was introduced 20 years ago. DSA obligations The DSA is particularl
A case regarding “ballet flats” is likely the last time in which a UK court will sit as a Community Design Court, and the judgment was handed down expeditiously given the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. The case involved registered Community designs (RCDs) and unregistered Community designs (UCDs), and issues of both validity and infringement. Deputy High Court Judge David Stone found: both the registered and unregistered design to be valid as they pr
You take a famous car company with a well known trade mark, say Ferrari, and decide that you can get an entirely new revenue stream licensing this mark for use on FMCG products such as clothing. It is a roaring success! Competitors look at this success and think - great idea! Let's copy it... but not all of them clear their rights first. The following is a cautionary tale in more ways than one. I was in charge of this case from its start until well into the disclosure phase.
Designs are one of the key IP rights for the gaming and fashion industries 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 Comm
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