Latest joint study by the EU Intellectual Property Office and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates the annual value of international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods to have reached €460 billion by 2016.
The EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal is to consider the patentability of computer-implemented inventions in the context of appeal T0489/14, concerning a European patent application to protect a computer simulation invention.
US TV network HBO has failed in its attempt to oppose the registration of ‘Game of Vapes’, after the UKIPO disagreed with its argument that the similarity of the vaping brand name was likely to cause confusion with the well-known TV series Game of Thrones.
Social media channels, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, are overtaking online auction sites as the biggest online platforms for counterfeit activity.
Brand owners have long complained about the ease with which counterfeiters are able to sell fake goods in online sites such as Amazon. Now, the retailer has announced plans to introduce serial numbers and improve automatic detection to curb such sales.
Marketing teams and their legal advisers naturally differ in their approach to brand name creation. The former often preferring product names that their more risk-averse legal colleagues consider too ‘descriptive’ from a trademark perspective. How do you find the right balance?
Although the CJEU recently ruled that the flavour of a cheese spread is not eligible for copyright protection, advances in the technology used to electronically describe odours and flavours could overcome legal obstacles to their protection in the future, say Chantal Koller and François Grange.
Domain name management usually sits outside the IP department with marketing and/or IT teams. Those departments may have been schooled in the need to consult the IP team as part of the domain name registration strategy, but what about decisions as to ongoing maintenance, gaps in protection or decisions to lapse registered domains?
As is usually the case with IP, it saves time and money over the longer term if a strategy is in place in advance of a brand takeover or launch. The same is true when two businesses merge.
It may be desirable or indeed necessary to retain existing ownership structures for brands acquired as part of a merger or acquisition (M&A). However, if the newly merged business has been rebranded, the conflict between the registered legacy brands and the new brand will need to be resolved.
Not to be confused with the much delayed Unitary Patent, the European Patent system provides companies with an important structure for protecting and exploiting inventions in Europe. However, certain requirements must be met if patent holders are to make best use of the system.
When a business merges or acquires another business, one of the next questions is: what should that newly merged business be called? Opting to ‘fuse’ the two previous brand names does offer reputational benefits, but there are also a number of IP hurdles that need to be overcome.