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markmatters
Light, essential and fun trademark news from Knijff
May
25
2018

I love copyright

I love copyright

Artist Nicki Minaj’s steps into the fashion business, aren’t going too well. She is being sued for copyright infringement. Fellow artist Isiah Simon filed a lawsuit against Minaj and her record label Universal Music Group over some t-shirt designs on their merchandising website. Simon claims he designed the heart shape boob and has the copyright. […]

May
23
2018

And justice for all

And justice for all

Metallica (the band) and LG (the electronics giant) recently were involved in an opposition procedure before the EUIPO. LG had filed the trademark Metalica for, among other , telephones and watches. The musicians were not very happy with this and immediately filed an opposition. The first question that the EUIPO had to deal with is […]

May
18
2018

National Geographic cover copied?

National Geograpic cover copied?

The newest cover of National Geographic magazine was named iconic almost immediately after publication. The cover shows the plastic pollution of the ocean in a striking way: it appears to be an iceberg, but underwater it is a plastic bag. But the image has allegedly been blatently copied. Matus Bence, a Slovak graphic designer, noted […]

May
16
2018

Pink Ladies

Pink Ladies

PINK LADY is the brand name for a kind of apple. As we have read before, there is a trend to “brand” fruit: several trademarks for strawberries and apples are introduced last years. PINK LADY has been registered as a trademark by the trademark owner Apple and Pear Australia. In doing so, they have also […]

May
11
2018

Country versus countryman

Why you can’t take pictures of the Eiffel tower by night

The French government is being sued over the way it has sought to take over the domain name <france.com>. In 2015, France started legal action against Frenchman Jean-Noel Frydman, who had registered <france.com> in 1994. Almost two years later, a French court ruled in the government’s favour. This started actions to lobby domain host web.com […]

May
9
2018

Balmain versus Ballin

Balmain versus Ballin

When assessing the similarity between trademarks we always focus on the distinctive and dominant elements of a trademark. Generic or descriptive elements do participate in the overall impression, but only play a limited role. In a recent European opposition, the word “Amsterdam element” (in the contested brand BALLIN) therefore played a limited role. BALLIN is […]

May
7
2018

Cryptocurrency: Ali Baba or thief?

Chinese online retail giant Alibaba is trying to block a cryptocurrency company from using a similar name. The alleged infringer is Alibabacoin Foundation, based in Dubai. It offers a cryptocurrency, and has recently finished an ICO, selling 50 million coins in merely five days. Alibaba is a Chinese technology corporation and one of the biggest […]

May
4
2018

Just do nothing

Just do nothing

Sometimes, when you are shopping, you’ll find the best trademark infringements. Often it is about small shops or brands trying to imitate the big brands’ style. But more often than not it is about clearly copying distinctive elements from world famous brands, in order to ride the coattails of their renowned status and positive allure. […]

May
2
2018

The Night Watch

The Night Watch

Can you register the famous Night Watch (the whole painting) of Rembrandt van Rijn as a trademark? No, the Benelux Trademarks Office ruled in 2015 that this trademark is too complicated to act as a trademark. Moreover, this painting will not be seen as a trademark and therefore lacks any distinctive character. Recently the Benelux […]

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