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markmatters
Light, essential and fun trademark news from Knijff
May
11
2017

Pirate against pirate

Pirate against pirate

Two pirate trademarks were recently subject of a trademark fight. Both marks include confectionery and chocolate. The products were thus identical and the main question for EUIPO to anwswer was whether the trademarks were similar. We see it more often that trademarks consist of the same character or animal. This similarity creates a conceptual resemblance […]

May
10
2017

Battle of the unicorns

Battle of the unicorns

Coffee giant Starbucks is being sued by a New York City cafe over its ‘Unicorn Frappuccino’. Let us introduce you to ‘David’, a cafe in Brooklyn called ‘The End’, who is suing ‘Goliath’, worldwide coffee chain Starbucks. It all centers around… a unicorn. The End has accused Starbucks of trademark infringement, arguing that the color-changing “Unicorn Frappuccino” recently introduced by […]

May
9
2017

Hotel California in Mexico

Hotel California in Mexico

The American band Eagles has filed a lawsuit against a Mexican hotel which has adopted the name Hotel California, suggesting that the famous song is based on the hotel. This is an interesting trademark issue (we assume that Eagles has a trademark registration). A typical case of free riding on a well-known trademark. If a […]

May
8
2017

The copy-tote bag? (2)

The copy-tote bag?

IKEA struck back after fashion label Balenciaga “copied” its signature tote bag. Online the similarities between Balenciaga’s designer bad and IKEA’s Frakta bag were heavily discussed, as we discussed earlier. IKEA put this discussion to great marketing use with its new ad. How do you recognise an IKEA Frakta bag? It’s simple: 1. SHAKE IT […]

May
5
2017

McWorld

macworld

Fast food chain Supermac’s has requested the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to cancel trademark registration for “Big Mac” and “Mc” by McDonald’s. Supermac’s is of the opinion that McDonald’s is engaged in “trademark bullying”. According to the company, the fast food giant is monopolising names which they do not even use. The names […]

May
3
2017

Navigating to success

Navigating to success

TomTom, known for its navigation systems, recently filed an opposition against the European trademark HOMTOM, filed for amongst others computers, telephones and telephone equipment. What we often see in European case law is that the beginning of the marks is important in the overall assessment whether or not trademarks are resembling. Will the difference of […]

May
1
2017

Blade brand

Blade brand

Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympian-turned-murderer, has registered his name as a trademark while behind bars. The 30 year-old sprinter, also known as ‘The Blade Runner’, applied to have his name protected in eight wide-ranging trademark categories, including endorsements for sportswear, mental health services and prosthetic limbs. The application was filed only months after being jailed […]

Apr
28
2017

Waste of energy

waste of energy

A man was sentenced to seven years in prison over counterfeit energy drinks. The man, Walid Jamil, was a member of an operation that sold counterfeit versions of the energy drink 5-Hour Energy. He was in charge of designing and printing cardboard boxes that resembled authentic 5-Hour Energy products. Furthermore, he had authentic bottle sleeves […]

Apr
26
2017

The copy-tote bag?

The copy-tote bag?

Copyright infringement is a hot subject nowadays. On internet everything is visible and sometimes music, art or designs are resembling. Which gives an opportunity of a good news item. In the media often the words plagiarism/copycats are used. For example, on the website Dezeen the similarity between the designer bag of Balenciaga and the IKEA’s […]

Apr
24
2017

Trumpchi

trumpchi

Chinese car manufacturer GAC Motor is considering changing the name of the company’s main automotive company, Trumpchi. And you would not believe the reason behind it. The name ‘Trumpchi’ resembles the Chinese word Chuanqi, which translates to something like ‘legendary’. But now the car company want to expand its market to the US. And that’s where it […]