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…
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.
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.