Tag Archives: trademarks

U.S. Supreme Court – Willfulness Is Not a Prerequisite for a Profit Award for Trademark Infringement

In its unanimous April 23, 2020 opinion in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, Inc., the Supreme Court made clear once and for all that a successful trademark plaintiff is not required to establish that the defendant’s infringement was willful to be entitled to an award of the infringer’s profits. In other words, profits may be disgorged for less than willful infringement of a trademark.

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Reviving a brand? A reminder to ensure it is put to genuine use

The case of Aiwa Co. Ltd v Aiwa Corporation is a useful reminder to brand owners, particularly those who are looking to revive a brand, of what amounts to “genuine use” of a registered trade mark. The case particularly considers whether the sale of second-hand goods by third parties in the UK can constitute genuine use of a UK registered trade mark.

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Harry and Meghan’s trade mark problem – third party jumps on the bandwagon and applies to register same mark in the EU to cover “jewellery” and “beer”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex submitted a trade mark application with the World Intellectual Property Office last year to register “SUSSEX ROYAL” in the UK, EU, Australia, Canada and the US. The application covers a range of goods and services in six classes, including printed publications; clothing; promotional and public awareness campaigns; volunteer projects for charitable purposes; education and training relating to nature, conservation and the environment; organising youth training schemes; counselling and emotional support services.

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What happens to EU trade marks after Brexit?

A mere three and a half years after the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, the UK looks set to “leave” the EU on 31 January 2020. Instead of exiting without a deal (which at one stage looked distinctly possible), the UK’s departure will be pursuant to the New Withdrawal Agreement. Under this deal – which is currently being enshrined into UK law – 31 January 2020 will mark the beginning of an 11 month transition period, with the true exit date currently set as 31 December 2020 (Exit Day).

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Is BURNS NIGHT OFF KILT-ER?: Scotch, Trademarks & Distilling American Meanings

Within a year after the 1787 Edinburgh edition of his poems, American editions…were published in both Philadelphia and New York. Ever since we [Americans] have adopted the beauty, the humor and the wisdom of Robert Burns as part of our own culture and our own idiom—-often, even usually, without knowing the source in Scotland’s ploughman poet.

[Montgomery, James M. (1998) “How Robert Burns Captured America,” Studies in Scottish Literature: Vol. 30: Iss. 1, at 237 (emphasis added)].

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ILN Today Post

Mandatory to Give Reasons for Refusal of Trade Mark Registration

In a recent judgement delivered by the Delhi High Court vide its order dated October 16, 2019 in the case of Intellectual Property Attorneys Association vs The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks & Anr. [W.P.(C) 3851/2019], the High Court has observed and clarified that the Registrar of Trade Marks (“Registrar”) is duty bound to send a copy of the order containing the grounds for conditional acceptance or refusal of the application for registration of trade marks under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (“Act”).

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Stop the Insanity! Sports Trademarks Run Amok

Sports and sports teams have a long history with intellectual property law and, more specifically, trademarks.  Sports teams, colleges, and universities have long trademarked their names and logos, and have routinely and aggressively enforced those rights.  In 1988 Pat Riley, then the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, applied for a trademark on the term “three-peat” for shirts, jackets, and hats (U.S Reg. No. 1,552,980).  Subsequently, others have attempted to trademark various terms, such as baseball player Manny Ramierz trademarking the phrase ‘Manny Being Manny’.  In 2012, football player Robert Griffin III filed for seven trademarks: RGIII, RG3, Robert Griffin III, Unbelievably Believable, Go Catch Your Dream, Light You Up, Work Hard Stay Humble, No Pressure No Diamonds, and Dream Big Live Bigger.

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WORLD FAMOUS (By, Say, New Jersey Standards): Expanding The Right Of Publicity Nationally And Internationally

Springsteen.

Sinatra.

Chuck Wepner (for at least one night in 1975 and then through the “Rocky” avatar).

At least some of the people that rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike are named after.

These public figures are, or were, world-famous, and certainly had made a name for themselves outside of the Garden State, even if their growth as artists, authors, sports figures or icons was at some point nurtured in the fertile ground of the third state to enter the union.  But, if either Springsteen or Sinatra, for example, wished to protect their image on the world stage or before a national audience, neither could invoke, directly or effectively, federal or international law.

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Simon Cowell picks bone with “The Pets Factor” UK trade mark

When TV format creator Mark Duffy struck upon the tongue-in-cheek name “The Pets Factor” for what was (presumably) a talent competition for domestic animals, he might well have smiled at his own ingenuity. Conversely, when Simon Cowell heard about the name (via Mr Duffy’s application to register it as a UK trade mark in classes 9 (software) and 41 (entertainment services)) we can guess he probably wasn’t smiling (or if he was, it was probably more of a grimace). Instead, and acting via his company Simco Limited (in conjunction with Freemantle Media) (Simco), Mr Cowell wasted no time in instructing his lawyers to oppose Mr Duffy’s application, which he had made via his company Duf Ltd.

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Understanding Trademarks Act Changes

On June 17, 2019, Canada’s Trademarks Act changed, resulting in its modernization. Canada has now joined five international intellectual property treaties, including the Madrid Protocol, Singapore Treaty and Nice Agreement, all related to trademarks.

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