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Brands and IP newsnotes - issue 7

23 April 2018

Welcome to the 7th edition of our Brands & IP newsnotes put together to bring you the latest, and most interesting legal developments affecting intellectual property law. In this issue we cover; Nando’s taking legal action against ‘copycat’ restaurant, Fernando’s, Sky v SkyKick referred to CJEU, Brexit & IP, IP & trading names, luxury brand owners rights to prohibit reselling of their products through some internet platforms and Time’s up for Smartwatch appeal.

Nando’s v Fernando’s – a peri peri good idea?

The well-known high street chicken restaurant, Nando’s, has attracted legal and national headlines in its pursuit of ‘copycat’ restaurant, Fernando’s, based in Reading. Barely in business for six months, the team behind Reading’s newest chicken-focussed eatery caught the attention of Nando’s legal team, who alleged trade mark infringement and passing off.

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The Sky’s the limit? Sky v SkyKick referred to CJEU

In the latest instalment of Sky v SkyKick, the UK High Court has referred several questions to the CJEU relating to trade mark validity, requesting guidance on the limits of bad faith when a mark lacks clarity and precision.

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Brexit means BrexIP?

With just under a year to go until Brexit-Day, Brexit negotiators have recently published a new draft Withdrawal Agreement setting out the deal reached on the transition arrangements that will apply once the UK leaves the EU. The IP provisions, at Articles 50 to 57, appear to be largely agreed, with only a handful of matters still under discussion.

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Mercky stuff: when do websites target the UK?

Over the last few years, a long-running dispute has heated up between the US and European pharmaceutical companies that both trade under variations of the name “Merck”. The two businesses have common ancestry, having both originated in a family-run apothecary shop in Darmstadt in Germany. The US business had increasingly become separate to the European business, and over time they had to work out how to prevent confusion in the marketplace and did so with various co-existence agreements. Merck US took North America, and the European one took the rest of the world. Ultimately, these truces did not last and the two businesses ended up in litigation.

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Keeping up with luxury brands?

In Coty v Parfumerie Akzente (Case C-230/16) the CJEU has stated that luxury brand owners, can, in certain circumstances prohibit reselling of their products through some internet platforms.

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Time’s up for Smartwatch appeal

The CJEU has dismissed an appeal against a decision not to invalidate a smartwatch design held by Nike, ruling that “pioneering” designs do not attract greater protection.

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