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markmatters
Light, essential and fun trademark news from Knijff
Jun
18
2018

Ice Ice Maybe

Ice Ice Maybe

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But when in Greece, do as your competitors do. On a business trip to Greece an observant trademark attorney noticed this remarkable ice cream infringement. A cone with the shape of a Cornetto® ice cream but with the brand “Choco Magnum”. That can’t be right.

Jun
15
2018

A simple ABC

a simple abc

The estate of Michael Jackson has sued network ABC for copyright infringement, after airing a special on the pop singer’s final days. The two-hour special called “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” used his songs and music videos without permission, the estate claims. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. “Like Disney, the lifeblood of the estate’s […]

Jun
13
2018

Dog poo is offensive

Dog poo is offensive

It was already known that the EUIPO is rather protective in terms of morality, when it comes to trademarks that consist of vulgar words. Trademarks with FUCK are refused because as they are regarded contrary to public policy. We can understand this, although EUIPO should keep in mind that it is not the defender of […]

Jun
8
2018

Court goes bananas over banana case

The banana suit

On Rasta Imposta’s website you can buy a bunch of banana-costume products: banana dresses, banana hoodies, “zombie banana” outfits and even the famous “Chiquita Banana”, with the produce producer’s blue logo. Kangaroo Manufacturing is also selling banana costumes, which are too similar to Rasta’s liking. In court the lawyers hauled in four sets of costumes, […]

Jun
6
2018

H&M against H&C

It is a standard rule in trademark law that the consumer focuses on words in a trademark. Words, with the exception of very descriptive words, are often the dominant part of trademarks. If there is a logo, does it make sense to register this logo if the word is still dominant? Yes, usually there are […]

Jun
1
2018

Charbucks coffee

A tiny coffee producer from New Hampshire has prevailed in a trademark infringement case brought by Starbucks over a blend called “Charbucks”. The small ‘company’ operates out of a barn, and uses the classic response: “We’re just a mom-and-pop little roastery”. Annie Clark and her husband Jim do not seem to agree with Starbucks’ trademark […]

May
30
2018

Licensed to license

Licensed to license

A trademark is worth money, sometimes a lot of money. This is especially the case with well-known brands. Since a trademark owner often can not (or does not want to) produce every kind of product, a trademark owner can choose to license its trademark. Often for certain products and for certain countries/regions. A good license […]

May
28
2018

All rize

All rize

Although the country is increasing the possibilities for successfully protecting intellectual property, China has been notorious for its trademark infringements. Now, it is the popular US brand “Ritz crackers” that is at the center of a trademark conflict. This month a Chinese court heard a case filed by Intercontinental Great Brands LLC (formerly known as […]

May
25
2018

I love copyright

I love copyright

Artist Nicki Minaj’s steps into the fashion business, which 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 […]

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