Vans is suing Primark for trademark infringement

IP10177 "Vans and parent company VF Corp is suing Primark for allegedly copying the design of two of its iconic skateboard trainers. Vans claims Primark has been selling "intentional copies" of the trainers since 2017, and had thought the matter was settled last January after asking them to stop. However, …


A number of artistic work from 1923, protected by US copyright, is now copyright free

IP10176 "On January 1, a number of films, books, songs, and artistic works once protected by US copyright, and all from the year 1923, will suddenly be in the public domain. So starting today (January 1) anyone can freely read, cite, or republish.


That includes Marcel Duchamp’s original "The …


Nirvana is suing Marc Jacobs for copyright infringement


Highsnobiety: "Nirvana is suing Marc Jacobs for copyright infringement in Redux Grunge Collection. The case concerns Marc Jacobs’ November 2018 Redux Grunge Collection, which the band claims uses the smiley face logo created by Kurt Cobain in 1991. Additionally, the band states that the fashion brand also used …


Japan has extended its copyright protection term


Digitial Music News: "[...] Under pressure from entertainment companies, Japan has just extended its copyright protection term. [...] In Japan, copyright protection has now been extended from 50 years to 70 years after the author’s passing. [...]."


Read more here.


Photographer sues Jennifer Lopez for posting image


Fstoppers: "Pop singer Jennifer Lopez is the latest public figure to find herself embroiled in a legal battle, after a photographer announced he is suing her for $150,000 damages after she posted his image without permission. 

Lopez added the photo to her Instagram story back in June, accompanying it with a …


'Carlton' (Ribeiro) files lawsuit against Fortnite for copying dance moves


BBC News: ''The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Fortnite's creators Epic Games, accusing them of copying his character's dance moves.

Ribeiro is also suing NBA 2K series creators Take-Two Interactive for using the "Carlton Dance".

The actor claims the companies unfairly profited from his …


CJEU on the protection conferred by the exclusive distribution right of copyright protected goods

IPPT20181219, CJEU, Syed

Copyright - The storage by a retailer of goods bearing a motif protected by copyright on the territory of the Member State where the goods are stored may constitute an infringement of the exclusive distribution right of article 4(1) of the InfoSoc Directive: the distribution right may include an act prior to the …


The end of the Blurred Lines copyright suit

IP10171 "The lengthy legal battle over Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ “Blurred Lines” finally came to an end this week with a payday for the Marvin Gaye family. The copyright lawsuit was settled on Monday when California Judge John A. Kronstadt entered a judgement of approximately $5 million against …


Cyprus loses trademark 'halloumi' because correspondence went unanswered


Cyprus Mail: "Cyprus has lost the halloumi trademark in the UK essentially because of a change of address and because crucial correspondence from the UK dealing with the case either went astray or was not dealt with by the correct officials at the commerce ministry. The “evidence simply demonstrates that the …


Cadbury purple trademark remains subject of litigation


The Drum: "Cadbury has faced yet another setback over its decades-long battle to own the right to trademark the colour purple, which it has used for its chocolate bars since 1905. A decision by the UK Court of Appeal in 2013 to reject its second trademark placed Cadbury's valid 1995 trademark, which only covers …


Portuguese national word mark is descriptive

IPPT20181206, CJEU, Portugal Ramos Vinhos v Adega

Trade mark law - shall not be registered as a national Portugese word mark based on article 3(1)(c) of Directive 2008/95 regarding signs which consist exclusively of indications which may serve to designate the characteristics of the goods or services: the article pursues an aim that is in the public …


Willemijn Docter joins HGF Amsterdam Office


Press release HGF: "HGF are pleased to announce further growth of the HGF Amsterdam office with the arrival of Willemijn Docter who joined the firm as a Senior Trade Mark Attorney on 1st December 2018. 




Willemijn’s practice encompasses all aspects of trade mark and design law from developing …


Famous - unlikely - phrases that were claimed as trademark

Article "In recent days angry opinion pieces have sprung up in Kenyan media over the well-known Swahili phrase "Hakuna Matata". The phrase translated means "no problems" or "no worries" and is a common expression throughout east Africa. But to the rest of the world, it's best known as a song from the Lion King - and …


Appeal against finding that the intervener was entitled to file a notice of opposition inadmissible

IPPT20180725, CJEU, QuaMa v EUIPO

Trade mark law - Appeal regarding the General Court’s finding that EUIPO had not erred in interpreting the request for a change of name and address as an application for registration of a transfer of a trade mark so the intervener was entitled to file a notice of opposition inadmissible: re-examination of …


CJEU on genuine use of a earlier UK trade mark and Brexit

IPPT20181129, CJEU, Alcohol Countermeasure Systems v EUIPO

Trade mark law - The General Court did not err in law by finding that the proof of genuine use of the earlier mark consisting of the word sign ‘ALCOLOCK’ and registered in the UK in 1996 could be furnished by means of evidence establishing use of another mark consisting of the same word sign ‘ALCOLOCK’ …


Colour or figurative mark? Distinction between these two is crucial for registration


Case C-578/17. Hartwall. Reference for a prelimanry ruling. Korkein hallinto-oikeus (Finland). Opinion A-G Saugmandsgaard Øe In this dispute between Oy Hartwall and the Finnish Intellectual Property Office, the latter refused dismissed Oy Hartwall's application for the registration of a colour mark on the ground …


It is for neither EUIPO nor the General Court to reclassify the category chosen for a mark by the applicant

IPPT20181025, CJEU, Enercon

Trade mark law - Appeal against the General Court’s decision that the Board of Appeal was fully entitled to find that the contested mark for wind energy converters was devoid of any distinctive character dismissed: General Court was fully entitled to take the view that the distinctive character of the mark had to be …


The reason why it is important for South Africa's copyright law to adopt 'fair use'

Article "“Fair use” is a doctrine adopted by some countries that permits the use of copyright material like books, journals, music and art work — without requiring permission from the copyright holder. It provides a balance between the just demands of rightsholders and the need for people to use …


Pre-publication: commentary Léon Dijkman on CJEU Levola v Smilde


Pre-publication Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice by Léon Dijkman: "In its recent decision Levola Hengelo BV v. Smilde Foods BV (IPPT20181113, CJEU, Levola v Smilde), the CJEU ruled that the taste of a food product is not protectable by copyright. According to the CJEU, the subject matter of a …


American couple will have to pay Nintendo over $12 million

Article Nintendo of America was recently awarded a $12.23 million dollar judgement in federal court against a married Arizona couple accused of copyright infringement. The websites at the center of the lawsuit, and, offered free games to more than 17 million visitors per …