The end of year trademark checklist

The end of the year is getting closer. This is a good time to review your trademark portfolio to make sure you’re in good IP health when the new year starts. Your product and service names Have you registered your commercial names? Have you released new products or services with new names? Review the names […]

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Can a trademark substitute copyright? The curious case of Banksy

Trademarks and copyrights are different types of intellectual property, though they are often used to complement each other. A while ago, I wrote about the problems Ferrari faced with protecting its iconic Ferrari 250 GTO. Another curious case dealing with the overlap of copyright and trademark has just been decided by the EU trademark office. […]

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Messi turns EU’s top judges into giggling fanboys

Messi turns EU’s top judges into giggling fanboys Lionel Messi has just won an important case in the Court of Justice of the European Union. By accepting Messi’s appeal, the judges ignored well established legal principles, rolled out a red carpet and confirmed that his trademark can be registered despite prior registration. The case itself […]

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The battle between brands (trademarks) and technology (patents)

Trademarks and patents are both intellectual property assets, but they protect very different things. Patents protect technological inventions – for example, how a product or its feature works, whereas trademarks protect brands, such as product names and logos. They both protect the investments a company does in R&D (innovation -> patents) and marketing (brands -> […]

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Surge in “Covid” trademarks

While the coronavirus crisis has devastated economies around the world and led to a decline in overall economic activity, it has spurred a large number of trademark applications starting with the word “Covid”.  According to data from the EU trademark office’s “TmView” service, here are some basic figures relating to Covid-related trademark applications since the […]

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The challenge of protecting iconic designs – case Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO,  produced between 1962 and 1964, is an iconic car. Only 36 cars were ever produced. They are also the most valuable collector cars in the world with a record-breaking sale price of 70 million USD in 2018.  The car has enormous value and goodwill for Ferrari, and there is no question that […]

Read more » trademark in the USA and the EU

The recent decision of the US Supreme Court highlights the challenges of having a brand consisting of a generic name combined with a generic top-level domain. Generic names do not become distinctive trademarks merely by adding a top-level domain name such as .com to them. Such names are still considered non-distinctive and therefore not registrable. […]

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Slogans as trademarks

Slogans can be protected as trademarks. However, in practice it is often the case that a slogan does not meet the requirements for registrability. So what is a good and protectable slogan? Slogans can be extremely powerful communication tools. A good slogan is easy to remember and carry powerful information (real or perceived). Politicians often […]

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“I can’t breathe”. Trademarks and social movements

Recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations have raised the question of whether it is possible to protect social movements’ names or logos with trademarks and try to profit off of them. Another question is, should you? When Derek Chauvin put his knee on the neck of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, Floyd was captured saying […]

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