Trademarks

Subscribe to Trademarks RSS Feed

China: Design Patents and the Metaverse

The concept of Metaverse as an online framework for economic interoperability was born in and around 2020. Since then, giant companies all over the world ― especially in the IT, entertainment and fashion businesses ― have begun to launch products and solutions related to the ever developing Metaverse. Fashion brands, artists and entertainers, among others, … Continue Reading

China: Recycled Packaging and Trademark Infringement, a Questionable Decision in the Tsingtao Beer Case

Back in 2020, the famous Chinese brew company Tsingtao Beer filed an administrative complaint for trademark infringement against a smaller Chinese competitor for the use of recycled Tsingtao beer bottles. The smaller brewery was filling legitimately recycled Tsingtao bottles with their own beer. The recycled bottles did not bear the Tsingtao labels and marks, which … Continue Reading

China: Alternative Strategies to Trademark Enforcement against Parallel Import of Cosmetics by Unauthorized Sellers

E-commerce platforms are full of Chinese traders selling foreign cosmetic products they purchased at a lower price outside China. These branded goods are sold without the trademark owner’s consent for a much lower price than that of the official retailer. The consequences of such so-called “parallel imports” are well-known: the foreign brand and its official … 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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

NFTs: New Frontiers for Trademarks

Intellectual property owners need to add the metaverse to places to watch for possible infringement, specifically, trademark or copyright infringement in the form of NFTs or non-fungible tokens. This is highlighted in the case of Hermès International v. Mason Rothschild, currently pending in federal district court in New York. In this case, Hermès claims that … Continue Reading

An International Drama Over the Maradona Heir’s Right to Use Their Dad’s Name

The heirs of Argentinian soccer super star, Diego Maradona, as well as a John Doe identified only by an IP address, have been sued for trademark infringement based on their use of the name “Maradona.” The suit was filed on January 13, 2022, and is just another episode in an ongoing struggle over the rights … Continue Reading

New from China: Light Administrative Injunctions Now Available for Patents, Designs, and Copyrights

On June 21, 2021, the Shenzhen Administration for Market Regulation (Shenzhen AMR) issued the first ever administrative injunction against the alleged infringement of a design patent. The decision was based on a set of local IP regulations implemented in 2019 to increase protection of intellectual property (IP) rights associated with the booming local innovation in … Continue Reading

Make it a double! Brexit Transition of EU Trademarks and Designs Accomplished

With the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the EU legislation governing the EU trademark and design system ceased to apply to the UK. While Brexit trade deal talks were in full swing, the SPB Team worked through all administrative details to comply with the new Brexit requirements, which took effect on … Continue Reading

US Trademark Modernization Act Provides New Relief to Trademark Owners

False claims of use and fake specimens of use have bedeviled the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and legitimate trademark owners for many years. The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”) — part of the COVID-19 relief legislative package signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020 — provides significant relief for trademark owners’ … Continue Reading

Ferrari Loses Race for 250 GTO Trademark: Risks Arising From Non-Use of Registered Trademarks

Ferrari 250 GTO, often hailed as the most expensive car in the world, was initially introduced by Ferrari in 1962. Only 36 models of 250 GTO were exclusively produced between 1962 and 1964. The fact that each buyer had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari only added to the exclusivity of this particular car … Continue Reading

Messi Scores Goal in Trade Mark Dispute: Registering Celebrity Names as Trade Marks

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has ruled that, after a decade-long legal battle, football ace Lionel Messi has the right to register his name as a trade mark. This interesting case confirms that celebrity names are registrable as trade marks. However, whilst there are some advantages to seeking such protection, there … Continue Reading

Ongoing Challenges for Fashion Brands in Germany – Legal Issues with Style Names Revisited

Using first names as style names to assist consumers in distinguishing between certain items, styles or washes within a collection is a widespread practice in the fashion industry. Compared to numerical identifiers, names may trigger emotions and are much easier to remember. Style names may be used in manifold ways, e.g. on labels sewn in … Continue Reading

Time to Act Against Chinese Parallel Import of Foreign Cosmetic Products

Parallel import is not easily tolerated by brand owners. Parallel import products, sometimes referred to as grey market goods, create market distortions, attack the official supply chain, double the risk of product liability and dilute trademarks. Brand-owners know, however, that trademarks are not a viable tool to stop parallel import of foreign cosmetic brands into … Continue Reading

USPTO Prioritizes Petitions for COVID-19 Trademarks and Service Marks

On June 15, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a prioritized examination procedure for COVID-19-related trademark and service mark applications. Usually, the USPTO examines applications in the order in which they are received, with limited circumstances under which an applicant may file for a petition for the advance of an application. … Continue Reading

Apply Now for the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme

Open for registration until 30 June 2020, the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is about to launch the third edition of its EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme (ETMD EP). The ETMD EP is a training programme for IP practitioners delivered by EUIPO staff, IP professionals and academics. It focuses on all practical aspects … Continue Reading

Cannabis May be Legal in Your State, but That Doesn’t Mean Your “Punny” Name is Okay

Oklahoma is one of a number of states that allows the sale of medical cannabis.  The high consumer demand, combined with relatively low license fees and barriers to entry in the market, has led to reportedly fierce competition among dispensaries. One dispensary, operated by “DOK Corporation,” sought to set itself apart from the competitors by … Continue Reading

“Booking” a Front Seat at SCOTUS: US Supreme Court Reviews Generic Trademarks in the .com Age

The Supreme Court arguments in USPTO v. Booking.com B.V.[1] on May 4, 2020, marked a historic first: the Supreme Court held oral arguments remotely, by telephone. As a result, lawyers and Supreme Court enthusiasts were able to listen to the argument in real time. Further, both the Petitioner USPTO and the Respondent Booking.com were represented … Continue Reading
LexBlog