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markmatters
Light, essential and fun trademark news from Knijff
Jul
3
2017

Blue-Red-Blue

Blue-Red-Blue

Gucci is being sued by notorious copycat retailer Forever 21. The issue at hand: blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripes. It all started when Gucci repeatedly threatened to sue Forever 21 for using an array of its registered trademarks, demanding that Forever 21 cease all sales of three bomber jackets, one sweater and a choker necklace bearing blue-red-blue […]

Jun
29
2017

Claiming places as a mark

Claiming places as a mark

Brands are sometimes inspired by place names, countries or territories. For example, think of brands like Columbia, Mont Blanc and Patagonia. However, claiming geographical names as a trademark is difficult, often the indication will be seen as an indication of the origin of the products and not as a distinguishing sign. This depends on the […]

Jun
27
2017

Building brands

Building brands

One of the most interesting discussions in trademark law is whether something can act as a trademark. Often this question applies to dubious trademarks: the doors of the Lamborghini that open and close, the green end of a shoelace, the shape of a package, etc. In this case, a football stadium has been filed as […]

Jun
23
2017

Suing shoes

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has published his opinion on the Christian Louboutin’s – Van Haren case. You know, the one about the ‘red sole trademark.’ After Louboutin sued Van Haren for its “Halle Berry”-collection pumps with red soles, the Dutch shoe retailer struck back by appealing the decision. Now the […]

Jun
22
2017

Iceberg ahead

Iceberg ahead

Similarity of trademarks is a very important condition for a risk of confusion. Similarity of the products and/or services is another. These are independent conditions, if no similarity of products is present, no confusion can arise. The same applies with similar marks which are not similar but cover identical products. Case law assumes a further […]

Jun
21
2017

Captain beats Admiral

Captain beats Admiral

Does a captain outrank an admiral? Trademark-wise? It does in Canadian liquor-stores. A Canadian Federal Court ruled that Admiral Nelson’s rum infringes on the Captain Morgan character’s trademark. Consequently, all sales of products with the Admiral character must cease and desist. The decision is the result of a trademark lawsuit filed by liquor giant Diageo. The […]

Jun
20
2017

Sounds like Gucci, looks like Chanel

The month of June is the real starting point of the summer festivals in Holland. Festivals with electronic music, bands, food or wine. These festivals often introduce new international acts and bands. Like the act Hucci who gained our special attention. Hucci sounds like Gucci but the logo resembles that of Chanel! While these kind […]

Jun
19
2017

Spare ribs: All you can sue

Spare ribs: All you can sue

Can’t a trademark attorney just sit back, relax and eat a fine portion of BBQ ribs? Apparently not. True story: the kids of an unnamed trademark attorney’s want to go to a buffet restaurant. Mainly, because they can eat as much ice cream and desserts as they want (or allowed to). But the trademark attorney […]

Jun
16
2017

Handkiss

handkiss

Kiss-frontman Gene Simmons wants to trademark the band’s signature hand gesture. Simmons wants to apply for a trademark of the ‘sign of the horns’, the hand gesture with the pink and forefinger stung up. A hand gesture the 80s band is famous for. “It’s my gesture”, the lead singer says. According to Simmons he used […]