Why distinctiveness beats differentiation

The conventional wisdom holds that differentiation is an essential part of marketing and product creation strategy. Differentiate or die. Being different means essentially that your brand is perceived to be meaningfully different from its competitors and is bought because of that difference. Being distinctive, on the other hand, means that your brand stands out and […]

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Can you trademark a QR code?

Can you trademark a QR code? Are QR codes like other figurative elements that can be protected with trademark registration? It is possible to trademark many different types of figurative elements. They can be relatively simple, or very complex. Below are some examples of registered EU trademarks: The basic requirement for registering a trademark is […]

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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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