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 […]

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Booking.com 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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Brexit and trademarks – brief explanation

Most importantly, nothing has changed as of now. All EU trademarks, including new applications, will include the United Kingdom until the end of the transitional period (which will run until 31 December 2020). At the end of the transitional period, all EU trademarks that have already been registered will be subject to national UK trademark […]

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Is Greta Thunberg’s trademark heading into hot waters?

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has applied for an EU trademark for her name. It is common for celebrities to trademark their name. For example, Greta Garbo, Ed Sheeran and Lionel Messi are all registered trademarks in the EU. EU trademark GRETA THUNBERG covers, among other services, advertising, business management, business administration, financial, and insurance services. […]

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Can you use another company’s trademark?

Trademark right means that the owner is entitled to prevent others from using the same or a similar trademark with respect to the same or similar products. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, could prevent another soft drink manufacturer from using the trademark Koka-Kola. The most fundamental function of a trademark is to be an indicator […]

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Trademarks are forever

Most intellectual property rights, like patents, designs and copyright are temporally limited. Trademarks, however, can exist without any time limitations. In fact, many of today’s famous trademarks have been registered already more than a hundred years ago. These include Coca-Cola (1892) Quaker (1895) John Deere (1897) Maizena (1876) Guinness (1876) Kodak (1891) Tiffany & Co […]

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7 things US companies should know about EU trademarks

Trademark substance and processes are very similar in every country. The basics don’t change very much. However, there are many differences between the systems that applicant’s should know. Here are seven important and practical things a US company should know about EU trademarks. 1. It’s all or nothing There are 28 countries (27 after Brexit) […]

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Cancelled BIG MAC trademark – where’s the beef?

EUIPO’s cancellation division decided last week that McDonald’s EU trademark was revoked due to non-use. According to trademark law, if a registered trademark is not used for five years, it can be cancelled for non-use. The reason for this rule is to make sure trademark registers are not clogged with trademarks that are not being […]

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