On 17 September the CJEU handed down a long-awaited judgment on a matter that thrilled sports fans and the IP community (C-449/18P, C-474/18P, available in French and Spanish). Footballer Lionel Messi Cuccittini is allowed to register his surname as a trademark for a sportswear brand after a nine-year legal battle. The trade mark is a…

Costco raised triable issues of fact as to its liability for infringement and counterfeiting and whether its use of “Tiffany” to describe a ring style was fair use. The federal district court in Manhattan erred in concluding as a matter of law that Costco’s use of the word “Tiffany” to describe diamond engagement rings amounted…

The first instance court of Barcelona held that that the trade mark device of a dinosaur on a biscuit must remain in the public domain, ruling against the claimant in a trade mark and unfair competition lawsuit (judgement available here, and post here). The Appellate Court (judgement No. 629/2020 of March 23, 2020) has now…

Many trademark functions of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (‘CIPO’) have been seriously delayed largely as a result of the pandemic. As practitioners became adjusted to the new reality, so too did CIPO, who has worked diligently to overcome administrative problems caused by the pandemic.  That said, the pandemic and issues relating to Madrid adherence…

In the wake of the UK High Court’s earlier ruling on the long-running SkyKick saga (following the CJEU’s decision), Lord Justice Arnold has, in his latest ruling, considered which party should bear the costs of the dispute, amongst other outstanding issues. Despite the Court’s decision to grant Sky’s application for injunction (to restrain SkyKick from…

How many times in the course of a trademark clearance have you discovered that clearly,  descriptive trademarks – usually registered because of some tiny stylization or unremarkable imagery – have been relied upon as bases for oppositions (often successfully) against other marks? These “kind” of trademarks was, quite appropriately by a long time friend, named…

A permanent injunction preventing an ex-band member from touring as “The Commodores featuring Thomas McClary” extended extrajudicially to European performances. In a long-running dispute in which Commodores Entertainment Corp. (CEC) has repeatedly prevailed in its efforts to stop former Commodores member Thomas McClary from using the “Commodores” name in musical performances, the U.S. Court of…

We’ve been seeing a lot more interest from life sciences companies in applying for slogans recently. After all, advertising campaigns are increasingly a fierce battlefield for IP litigation.  However, slogan marks often run at but rarely manage to take the hurdle of distinctiveness applied by the EUIPO and usually confirmed by the European Courts. Two…

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court (BVGer) had to decide the likelihood of confusion between CRUNCH, a trademark of the Société des produits Nestlé SA and TIFFANY CRUNCH N CREAM, a trademark of the International Foodstuffs Co. LLC (B-6222/2019). Nestlé had failed to cancel the opposed trademark before the Institute for Intellectual Property (IPI) and appealed…