IP on balance

NewBalance-LagerfeldBig IP news in the media yesterday: Karl Lagerfeld has been sued by New Balance because of similarity of their shoes.

At first glance you will think that these shoes are similar. But in IP, you always have to look a bit closer to the elements that they bear: the ones that can be protected and are not part of prior art. And then you will find that many elements are free to use. In this respect, we understand that New Balance has some problems with the logo K on the shoes, this would create confusion. So, New Balance bases its claim probably on trademark infringement.

When we disregard any unregistered rights, the success of a claim on trademarks rights depends on what you have registered. Well, New Balance seems to have done a good job by registering its logo and the position of its logo on the shoes. We will have to see what becomes of the strength of these kind of non traditional marks, but it creates at least a good position for New Balance.

Arnaud Bos

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