When “logos” turn into “no-goes” (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 1)
27 September 2015
As we move even deeper into an age of digital advertising and social media, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to have a short hand for their brand; something which denotes the business, stands out as a guarantee of origin and makes the brand instantly recognisable. We’re talking about logos.
There are several phases in the lifespan of a logo. It of course has to be created and after that a business has to activate it which means investing in it and using it. A business may elect to obtain registered IP rights in a logo which could later make enforcement against third parties easier and more effective.
Several recent cases have emphasised the importance of proper clearance and due diligence before a logo is activated. Readers may be familiar with the long-running disputes between Apple Records and Apple Inc. which included disputes over the use of an Apple logo to denote goods and services provided by those respective entities. More recently, Enterprise Rent-a-Car sued its competitor Europcar in the High Court when Europcar chose to use a lower case green ‘e’ logo to denote its services. Enterprise already used a lower case ‘e’ on a green background and was successful in enforcing its registered trade mark rights. Then, last month, the organising committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics announced that it was scrapping its logo following a claim from a Belgian designer that the logo had been copied.
The advice is quite simple – if you are thinking of activating a logo, make sure that you are clear to do so before you invest money in it. That could involve a simple due diligence process and speaking to a trade mark attorney. In some crowded markets complete originality and inspiration may be difficult to achieve but it is imperative in order to avoid costly litigation or the embarrassment of having to stop using a logo.This article was first published in the Brands & IP newsnotes publication - issue 1.
EU trade mark reforms come closer (Brands & IP newsnotes - issue 1)27 September 2015
Seven years after the European Commission started its evaluation of the European trade marks framework, the texts of the new proposed legislation were finally published in June 2015.
It never rains, but it pours…(Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 1)27 September 2015
Registered designs are used to protect the appearance of products. In considering whether to allow registration, several factors come into play: what else is already out there (the ‘prior art’); who will use it (the ‘informed user’); and what ‘degree of freedom’ does the designer have in arriving at the particular design?
You’re cabbing a laugh (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 1)27 September 2015
The High Court has refused an application by the manufacturer of the iconic London black cab (“LTC”) for permission to adduce survey evidence in a claim for passing off.
What’s New Copycat? (Brands & IP newsnotes - issue 1)27 September 2015
Last year, consumer group Which? carried out a comprehensive survey of the copycat product packaging market in the UK. It found that over 150 of retailers’ own-label products “mimicked” the market-leading brand-owner’s packaging.
A copyright work in 140 characters? (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 1)27 September 2015
It isn’t easy to keep your social media followers entertained with rafts of enthralling and hilarious new material.
Not so-far, Sofa Workshop (Brands & IP newsnotes - issue 3)27 September 2015
If a trade mark proprietor does not make ‘genuine use’ of its marks, they may be vulnerable to attack from third parties.
Access to justice: IPEC 1 - MoJ 0 (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 1)27 September 2015
Conducting litigation in a cost effective and proportionate manner can be a challenge, especially if it involves big brand owners going toe to toe. But help is at hand in the form of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (‘IPEC’).