Belarus has become the latest country to deposit its instrument of accession to the International Design system, following Mexico last year. The growth of the system is good news for businesses operating internationally, says Frouke Hekker.
A recent judgment concerning LEGO bricks has been reported in the news as confirmation of design protection for the popular children's toy. Unfortunately, many of these media reports rushed to the wrong conclusions, says Esther Schnepper. She outlines what can actually be deduced from the March 2021 judgment by the EU’s General Court.
In many jurisdictions, such as the EU and UK, brand owners can file trademark applications without any requirements to file evidence of use of their chosen mark. That is not to say that the ability to provide proof of use is not important, says UK Trademark Attorney Dan Halliday.
When carrying out prior art searches, it’s important not to confuse the objective of patentability with that of freedom to operate. Vincent Robert explains the distinction.
Many of the world’s best known or most life-changing inventions were discovered entirely by chance. Valérie Stephann sets out five serendipitous discoveries.
Article 53(a) of the European Patent Convention (EPC) stipulates that European patents are not to be granted for inventions where commercial use would be contrary to public order or morality. Stéphanie Landais-Patarin discusses a recent case that considered such a decision in the context of animal cruelty.
In 2018 kitchen cookware company Tefal applied to register its signature 'red dot' as a trademark in the UK. After appealing refusal, the application was recently rejected due to a lack of the fundamental element of distinctiveness, as Trainee Paralegal Megan Taylor explains.
In May 2021, Pakistan will join the Madrid System for international trademark registrations, becoming its 108th member state, as Frouke Hekker explains.
A seniority claim allows the owner of a European trademark to claim prior rights based on existing EU national registrations. While a successful claim extends EUTMs back to the date of the earlier national registration, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should allow those rights to lapse, says Vanessa Harrow.
Dairy alternative Oatly has overcome objections to its slogan, ‘It’s like milk, but made for humans’, potentially offering a new way for vegan and vegetarian brands to protect plant-based trademarks in the EU.
It is important to register any changes that affect the life of a patent or patent application with the relevant patent office(s). However, the requirements for updating a title – or consequences of not doing so – can differ dramatically, depending on the type of change and country, as Rose-Marie Ehanno and Paul Rolland explain.
The German Bundestag and Bundesrat approved the draft law ratifying the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court in November 2020. In theory, that means the Unitary Patent could come into force in 2022. If only, things were that simple, says Robert Balsters.