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markmatters
Light, essential and fun trademark news from Knijff
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 […]

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 whether […]

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 […]

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