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IP Insight and Opinion

“If one is a master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things“– Vincent Van Gogh

The team at Virtuoso Legal are continually reviewing the field of intellectual property for impactful news and meaningful changes.

As a forward-thinking law firm, we seek in any given moment to be able to offer cutting-edge advice that reflects the constantly shifting status of the law.

As part of this process we produce weekly “IP Insights”, which catalogue significant changes in IP and their significance.

By Martin Douglas Hendry

19/12/19

Smells like Mean Spirit November saw Marc Jacobs retaliate to a copyright infringement claim from Nirvana L.L.C, attacking the validity of their claim in copyright for the band’s infamous smiley face logo. Nirvana L.L.C initially sought over $1 million dollars in damages, alleging that Jacobs’ ‘Bootleg Redux Grunge’ collection had replicated the symbol purportedly designed by…

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By Martin Douglas Hendry

27/11/19

Blizzard Entertainment SAS v Bossland GmbH [2019] Background On 4 July 2019, Deputy Master Bowles gave his decision relating to accounts of profits arising from Blizzard’s dispute with Bossland regarding Bossland and its directors’ copyright infringement, procurement and inducement of users to breach their agreements. Blizzard is a well-known company in the gaming industry. Blizzard…

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By Martin Douglas Hendry

18/11/19

An unlikely complaint this week from Mel B has once again shone a light on the murky legal situation surrounding image rights (or lack of) within the United Kingdom. This latest controversy has typified the confusion surrounding the current state of affairs, in which legitimate copyright licencing is offset against a web of associated legal…

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By Martin Douglas Hendry

11/11/19

October has been and gone in the flash of an eye! With the spookiest month of the year came a range of scary IP stories (depending on which side of the dispute you are on). Here, in our IP Top 10 are those which caught our eye…     TikTok uptick ticks off NMPA In the…

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By Martin Douglas Hendry

30/10/19

Background The “right to be forgotten” is the right to require a search engine to “de-reference” links returned by a search for an individual’s name using a search engine, such as Google. This IP Insight looks back at the confirmation of the right to be forgotten and the recent case of Google LLC, successor in law to Google Inc. v Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL)  (C-507/17).  The CJEU case…

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By virtuoso

08/10/19

LFC Attempt to Trade Mark “LIVERPOOL” Fails The Independent (and many others) report that Liverpool FC’s controversial attempt to register the mark ‘LIVERPOOL’ has failed after the application was rejected by the Intellectual Property Office. The club attempted to register the mark ‘in the context of football products and services’, in an effort to combat…

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By virtuoso

06/10/19

Following lengthy proceedings, on the 28th June 2019 the Dutch Supreme Court declared the Capri Sun shape mark invalid in the Benelux on the basis that the essential characteristics of the mark were determined by technical effect. The ruling deals a considerable blow to the Swiss drinks giant, who had initially sought to launch proceedings…

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By virtuoso

30/09/19

On 10 September 2019, Mr Justice Arnold granted Nintendo Co LTD (“Nintendo”) an injunction against the five main retail internet service providers in the UK (“ISPs”). A link to the judgment can be found here. Virtuoso Legal’s director and head of litigation, Philip Partington was asked by LexisNexis PSL to provide a case note in…

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By virtuoso

24/09/19

On 2 July 2019, Ms. Pat Treacy, Deputy Judge of the High Court passed her judgment and refused to grant an interim prohibitory injunction. Instead, Ms. Treacy found that undertakings provided by the Defendant were sufficient.   Background PlanetArt, the Claimant, is a company that trades under brand, “Free Prints”. As the name suggests, they…

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By virtuoso

12/09/19

Ohio State University attempt to trade mark “The” A few weeks ago, Ohio State University filed a trade mark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to register the word “The”. The University wants to use the mark for a brand of clothing, which will include t-shirts, baseball caps and hats. The University…

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By virtuoso

22/08/19

IP Insight is a series form Virtuoso Legal, the intellectual property specialists. This post reviews Beauty Bay Ltd v Benefit Cosmetic Ltd [2019] EWHC 1150 (Ch) (14 May 2019) in relation to likelihood of confusion. On 14 May 2019, Mr Roger Wyand QC, Deputy High Court Judge issued his judgment in the case of Beauty…

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By virtuoso

13/08/19

Background On 31 July 2019, the Cancellation Division took the decision to partially revoke McDonald’s ‘Mc’ word mark. This process began on 11 April 2017 the Irish Company, Supermac’s filed a request for revocation of McDonald’s ‘Mc’ on the basis of Article 58(1)(a) of the EUTMR. We remind readers that under Art 58(1)(a), a mark…

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