World of IP Round Up: March 2018 | The US and China Square Off Over IP

World of IP Round Up: March 2018 | The US and China Square Off Over IP

World of IP Round Up: March 2018 | The US and China Square Off Over IP


In the World of IP, a lot can happen in a month.

March was no exception, with the a couple of big clashes and a trade war seemingly averted over the course month.

Without further ado, here’s all the news from the World of IP.


World of IP Round Up: The Big Ones

The US and China Square off Over IP

The biggest story of the month was the continuation of tensions rising between the United States of America and China. In recent times, China have demonstrated an pro-active attitude toward IP and have been rapidly accelerating their progress in a number of key areas of innovation. In tandem with this sharp progress has been long-standing accusations of state-sponsored intellectual property theft via a number of means. Over the course of March, the United States (coinciding with a number of more assertive stances on trade) appeared to take the view that this unfair activity could be addressed by implementing strong tariffs against Chinese imports. At the end of the month it now appears that this potential trade war has been averted, with China offering a range of assurances to the wider community to redress the balance. Although, nothing is certain…

  1. Read the Coindesk report explaining how Chinese universities are actively pursuing a range of blockchain patents
  2. QZ report that China have also made strides past the US in relation to deep-learning patents
  3. Business Insider UK report on the importance of IP, in particular, in the emerging dispute between the US and China
  4. CNN Money produce a detailed report on alleged Chinese IP theft in the US
  5. Bloomberg View reported that unilateral actions against China for their IP practices could backfire on the US
  6. Read the Reuters report detailing Chinas’ statement on improving intellectual property protection in light of these claims
  7. The Lowy Institute offered an in-depth review of the position of the US and China in relation to Intellectual Property

As Brexit Rumbles on, the UK’s position on IP draws attention and concern

It’s a bit of a worn drum to state that the one thing about Brexit that is certain, is nothing is certain. Nonetheless as the UK’s exit from the EU approaches, the material conditions for IP are becoming an ever more urgent concern for businesses. However, this month offered some reassuring overtures and results from the government who not only addressed IP directly in recent speeches, but also agreed strong protectons in principle moving forward. In particular, there is good news in relation to trade mark and design protections registered in the EU – which (it looks) will still offer coverage in the UK after Brexit.

  1. Many have been concerned that the UK government have been overlooking IP protection post-Brexit
  2. CityAM suggest that Brexit might be the opportunity the UK needs to thrive on it’s R+D culture
  3. CITMA happily report that IP was a central feature of the Government’s Recent Brexit Speech
  4. World IP Review reports on the positive agreements made in Brexit negotiations for designs and trade marks

Adidas walk away with incredible protection over their “three stripes” mark whereas Crocs’ registered design kicked to the curb

In less auspicious news – the world of shoes was rocked with two IP judgements. Firstly, adidas found themselves receiving a favourable judgment in relation to their iconic “three stripe” mark. Namely, in a case brought against a company who had applied two stripes to their shoes, adidas were found to be correct in their charge of trade mark infringement. As a result adidas might now be able to strongly pressure anyone who deigns to affix any number of stripes on their shoes!

During the same month, the protection around the equally iconic “Croc” has been been revoked, on account of it being in use prior to it being registered. What might this mean for Crocs? Will we see thousands of new legitimate imitators, or will Crocs release a new and innovative design? It remains to be seen.

  1. The New York Times report on adidas’ win in the “Three Stripes” case
  2. World Trade Mark Review Magazine ask, does adidas enjoy “hyperprotection” over stripes on shoes as a consequence of this win?
  3. The General Court confirm the cancellation of Crocs’ registered design.


World of IP Round Up: The Best of the Rest

American companies decry EU geographical marks like “GI Parmigiano Reggiano” from stopping US brands selling products under those names | @ipwatch

When launching a website, there are a few IP pitfalls to avoid |

Nintendo Files A New Trademark On Animal Crossing – new game on the way? | @bleedingcool

Your Company’s Real Value Is Hiding in Plain Sight. Here’s How to Find It | @inc

Start-up raises $10m to make video piracy impossible, launching legitimate torrent network | @FinancialReview

Flaunting Logos Is Making A Fashion Comeback | @Forbes

Lacoste Replaces Its Iconic Alligator Logo To Shed Light On Endangered Species | @designtaxi

Tommy Hilfiger blocks “Tommy Heritage” from being registered at the UKIPO | @WorldIPReview

Aussie brewer trademarks the colour of beer. Serious precedent or marketing stunt? | @smh

Dating app Tinder patents it’s unique mechanics amongst rumours of Bumble aquisition | @axios

Then, Tinder suing Bumble in the US for patent infringement, trade mark infringement, and trade dress | @WorldIPReview

Innovative use of a trade mark – McDonalds directing traffic to their outlets using their Golden Arches | @designtaxi

Vivienne Westwood makes startling admission after copying independent designers | @WorldIPReview

BlackBerry sues Facebook for violating messaging patents | @engadget

PepsiCo knock out Teng Yun International UK’s similar mark | @WorldIPReview

Fair play? Owners of Dulwich Hamlet ground kick the team out of their 125 year old home – then register trade marks to stop the team using their name! | @Independent

A Samsung Galaxy phone with a foldable design? This patent suggests it could be on the way | @valuewalk

US Federal investigators find an increasing number of popular products sold by Walmart and Amazon are counterfeit | @CBSNews

Woman in Spain arrested for selling a large array of counterfeit Harry Potter goods | @WorldIPReview

Amazon stop selling “Google Chromecast” and then appear to offer copycat alternatives | @WTRmagazine

Eddie Van Halen Files to Halt Sale of Unreleased Studio Footage | @Loudwire

Free-wheeling inventor learns the hard way about protecting patents | @thecolumbian

POW Entertainment Tries to Register ‘Stan Lee’ Trademark Again |@bleedingcool

Patent reveals Paypal might expand in to cryptocurrencies | @PatentLawyerMag

Amazon respond to claims of being ‘complicit’ to counterfeit goods | @TBOtweets

Owner of Blue Ivy trade mark proposed selling mark and business to Beyoncé for $10million. | @DailyMail

H&M files complaint for declaratory judgment against graffiti artist, whose work was used in their campaign | @WorldIPReview

Copycat products: ‘living dangerously’ with intellectual property | @ConversationUK

Orange or Orange? The importance of trade mark protection | @Lexology

UK to allow ‘moving image’ trade marks |

Snap Interactive, quietly settling with Snap over trademark infringement, changes name to PeerStream | @techcrunch

Blockchain For Lawyers – how would it work? | @ArtificialLawya

Handbags at dawn! Case between Cult Gaia and Steve Madden hots up in US | @TheFashionLaw

Can you hear the drums, Fernandos? Independent Chicken shop draws ire from Nandos for close resemblance. Shop pleads the “take me out” defence. | @standardnews

Alphabet’s 186 Health Care Patents suggest, giant behind Google is making serious moves into the wellness arena | @Forbes

Walmart’s new patents hint at future where drones tend the farms | @reuters

A $1.6 billion Spotify lawsuit is based on a law made for player pianos | @verge

Big Pun’s Widow Is Suing Walmart and Others Over Trademark Infringement | @Complex

Pharrell secures ‘Girl’ trademark’ for clothing. Fashion line likely on the way | @tmlawyermag

UK ratifies Hague Agreement for industrial designs | @WorldIPReview

GTA Online to see new life with new trade marks outlining new content to come | @gamespot

MicroLED patents nearly double in a year in South Korea – could be the next big follow-up in screen display technology | @ZDNet

Does this painting infringe this photograph? | @Ipkat

B&M brands Kylie Minogue legal claim “greedy” amid trademark battle | @retailgazette

Millennial Women Are Shunning Fakes More than their Predecessors | @TheFashionLaw

McDonald’s Devices Don’t Infringe Digital Rights Management Patents | @ipwatchdog

123movies shuts down: warns users to stop piracy |

Adidas patent infringement claim against Asics, relating to fitness tracking, is dismissed | @WorldIPReview

Epic Games registers a number of trade marks for hit video game Fortnite |

How blockchain might be used to mitigate the counterfeits | @tbotweets

Do you need a .com domain as a new business? | @forbes

H&M Calls Foul on “Vandal” Graffiti Artist’s Threat of Lawsuit | @TheFashionLaw

Music piracy up 14% – but signs suggest it may be on the decline overall | @billboard

What Happened To Limewire | @Forbes

Just in case: Amazon patents delivery drones that can react to people screaming and flailing

New patent could hint at the next generation of the Apple pencil | @DigitalTrends

Is Kanye West going to lose the trade mark right to “Yeezy”? | @TheFashionLaw

Jamaican songwriter says Miley Cyrus stole ‘We Can’t Stop,’ seeking $300 million | @Reuters

Marvin Gaye’s family wins $5.3m ‘Blurred Lines’ appeal, setting precedent in copyright in music |@worldipreview

First they came for tobacco branding… | @TrademarkNow

Bumble ‘swipes left’ on Tinder owner | @BBCNews

Does this image infringe the second one? |@ipkat

What’s next for Snapchat? Patents suggest 3D models and mapping of emotions | @digitaltrends

“Qiaodan” now Curiously Countersuing Nike For Trademark Infringement | @nicekicks

Amazon chases counterfeiters on its platform | @CNET

Dubai destroys Dh1.19 billions worth counterfeit goods in crack down | @GulfNewsWorld

Some tips about international trade mark registrations from Turkey, Russia and Brazil| @_citma

Trademark row over Iceland football chant, T-Shirt producer runs foul of TM owner | @BBCNews

How does the high street get away with close copies of designers work? |@designtaxi

When a new sports star emerges, so do new opportunities for trade marks, merchandise (and unfortunately, copycats!) | @forbes

Match Group Sues Bumble Over Patents and Trade Secrets | @ipwatchdog

The IPO offer a number of case studies of businesses thriving through use of IP | @The_IPO

Injunctive relief for trade mark infringement across social media? | @Ipkat

US Federal Court find that Google’s Android OS use of Java API packages runs foul of copyright | @ipwatchdog

Analysis: WHOIS blackout “likely” following GDPR enforcement date in May | @WTRmagazine

The Shape of a Lawsuit? | @Ipkat

5 tips for guarding your company against intellectual property threats | @TechRepublic

Air Max: how IP forms the foundation of a runaway success | @thefashionlaw

Chaplain “Sister Jean” lets Loyola-Chicago license her name and image, on the back of basketball success | @espn

Nonprofit says Forever 21 used trademark without permission | @kob4

We will see you for next month’s World of IP Round-Up.

To contact our team of intellectual property solicitors please call:

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World of IP Round Up: March 2018 | The US and China Square Off Over IP was written by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry

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