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

Apr
30
2018

Wrestler’s tattoos copyrighted

Wrestler's tattoos copyrighted

A tattoo artist is suing a gaming company to claim copyright of her work. Apparently a wrestler’s tattoos in the game WWE 2K18 are a little too realistic. The company behind WWE’s new game WWE 2K18, a wrestling game, has made wrestler Randy Orton’s character so realistic that they’ve accurately depicted his tattoos in great […]

Apr
27
2018

Messi defeats Massi

Scoring with defense

Barcelona legend football player Lionel Messi is no stranger to winning on the pitch. Now he’s won in the court room against bicycle producer Massi. In 2011, Messi registered his brand with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). His trademark application was opposed by Spanish company Massi, that have been manufacturing bicycles since 1934. Now, […]

Apr
25
2018

The LEGO twins

LEGO has protected its trademark and products in various ways: through design registrations and various trademark registrations. For example, the word LEGO is protected and also the logo. But the LEGO man is also protected as a three-dimensional brand (shape mark). There were some discussions on the validity of this shape mark, which resulted in […]

Apr
23
2018

MoMaCha

Momacha

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, is suing a nearby cafe named MoMaCha. According to MoMa, the cafe is “infringing its famous trademarked name and trade dress that date to at least 1967 and appear in exhibition communications, retail goods and its restaurant The Modern.” The museum also claims MoMaCha’s logo is […]

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