Trade Mark Infringement – Muslim Dating App Meets its Match [.com]

A recent Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Decision (IPEC) on 20 April 2022 has decided that ‘Muzmatch’, an online matchmaking service to the Muslim Community has infringed’s registered trade marks.

The decision by Nicholas Caddick Q.C was that Muzmatch’s use of signs and its name amounted to trade mark infringement and/or passing off of’s trade marks. This case follows successful oppositions by to Muzmatch’s registration of its marks in 2018, and unsuccessful attempts by to purchase Muzmatch between 2017 and 2019.

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Through the Fire? Not Anymore – European Court of Justice strengthens Rights of Patent Owners in Germany

For many years, German courts would, in principle, only grant a preliminary injunction in a patent case, if the patent in suit had “gone through the fire” in the sense of having survived an adversarial opposition or nullity proceeding at first instance. This case law was based on the consideration that it can be extremely difficult for an infringement court to verify the validity of the patent in suit within a few days or even hours involving the risk of causing irreparable damage to the infringement defendant. Statistically, despite expert examination, only one in three granted patents withstands a challenge on validity. Continue Reading

End of the Five Star Burnt Lasagne?

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published yesterday proposals to protect consumers from fake online reviews and to give full legal status to the CMA’s guidance published earlier this year regarding goods and services supplied via a subscription model. Continue Reading

The Adversarial Nature of AIA Proceedings Isn’t Always Enough

Patented stampOn March 24, 2022, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in Hunting Titan, Inc. v. Dynaenergetics Europe GMBH, affirming — on a procedural technicality — a precedential decision of a Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that granted a motion to amend claims in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. The interesting part of the Federal Circuit opinion is the extensive discussion, particularly in the concurring opinion, of the PTAB’s ability to raise unpatentability grounds sua sponte. Continue Reading

Regulator Advises UK Government on Possible Changes to Consumer and Competition Law to Support UK Green Goals

The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA“) has published advice for the UK Government on changes that could be made to consumer and competition law to facilitate the UK achieving a “Net Zero” economy by 2050. Whilst the regulator does not consider that current law represents a barrier to such sustainability goal, the CMA nonetheless recommends changes to consumer law that some may consider radical. Continue Reading

Brand Protection for Entertainment Rights Holders: The Ongoing Battle to Keep the Pirates at Bay

The UK’s IPEC court has granted various movie studios and Nintendo website blocking injunctions to prevent the infringement of their IP rights. The legal victories demonstrate the practical measures the English legal system is willing to take in the fight against online piracy. Continue Reading

Hefty Civil Penalties: Another Reason Patent Owners Should Consider Patent Litigation at the ITC

Risk-on-keyboardPowerful remedies, particularly General Exclusion Orders, are often cited as a reason why patent owners should consider asserting their patents at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 instead of, or in addition to, in U.S. District Court. A recent Federal Circuit decision reaffirms another advantage of asserting patents at the ITC: the potential for significant civil penalties (i.e., fines) assessed against an infringer who violates an ITC Consent Order. Continue Reading

Ready or Not: Your Trademark Portfolio in the Metaverse

More and more companies are entering the Metaverse leading to a trend towards increased filings of trademarks in the “virtual” classes. This blog has reported on this trend here and here. Whilst the SPB Team does not blindly follow trends, we are advising all our trademark clients (even the more “conservative” ones) now to file trademarks covering goods and services related to the Metaverse. Here is why:

New opportunities for growing your brand

Numerous companies are currently getting into NFT technology to generate brand awareness, retain customers, and create new revenue streams. Budweiser, for example, launched a collection of NFTs with customized beer cans on the NFT commerce platform Opensea. Adidas, for instance, offers NFTs as souvenirs for participants of real or virtual events.

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First Time Ever! China Adopts Fast-Track Examination for Trademark Applications

On January 14, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) issued the Measures for Fast-Track Examination of Trademark Registration Applications (for Trial Implementation), which took effect on the same day. The Measures aim at improving the trademark examination system by addressing the national interests and the needs of market players, while maintaining high-quality examination standards. Although China had already adopted a fast-track examination system in 2021, this was limited to trademarks used on the goods or services that are for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. The Measures is now expanding the fast-track examination path to a larger number of filings.

One of the concerns regarding these new provisions is that they may advantage domestic businesses and economic sectors, or national interests, over the overall rights and interests of foreign trademark holders. We examine the provisions to see whether this concern is well-founded, and how much foreign right holders may profit from this new fast-track system. Continue Reading

The Use of Blockchain in ESG

Environmental, Social, and Governance

ESG, an acronym for Environmental, Social, and Governance, aims to establish an evaluation of companies’ social and environmental responsibilities. In so doing, it is very useful in helping “socially responsible investors” make their choice as to where to invest. In addition, environmental and social factors are becoming increasingly important in determining the value of a company where estimates of the value of global ESG assets exceed $53 trillion by 2025.

To evaluate the sustainability level, ESG reporting is widely adopted especially for the listed companies. However, due to the lack of data authentication, consistency, and transparency, the ESG-based sustainability evaluation is still inadequate. As the importance of ESG metrics increases, so does the demand for reliable data measuring them. With no industry-wide set of standards however, they can be difficult to come by and the lack of verified and standardized ESG data can be a significant problem. To solve and overcome this problem, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology in general, has the potential to provide a safe and transparent tool to overcome this obstacle. Continue Reading