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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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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What is an “international trademark”

The basic concept ​The basic concept is relatively simple. A trademark applicant submits a request for international registration of his trademark to World Intetellectual Property Organization, known as WIPO. WIPO will then forward that single application to all those countries that the applicant has “designated” in the request. So one application goes from WIPO to […]

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Companies that protect trademarks early on experience higher growth

When Coca-Cola filed their first trademark application on 14 May 1892, they had just barely been incorporated as a company. Fast forward a century and they are one of the world’s most famous brands. According to a new study published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “firms that file in their first year […]

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4 common objections to filing a trademark application

Many companies think that registering a trademark is not important. Here are four reasons we hear the most. Reason 1 – We’re too small and it’s too early. Many companies think that trademarks are relevant when the brand is already big and valuable, or that since they have start started, it is not something that […]

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