This decision by the High Court – Lavinia Deborah Osbourne v (1) Individuals Unknown (2) Ozone Networks Inc. – has now confirmed that NFTs should be considered property. The facts of this case are that Ms. Osbourne’s MetaMask wallet was used without her knowledge or permission and two NFTs representing digital pieces of art were…

The UK finally said bye-bye to the EU, but for how long will UK-based rights still matter in deciding EUTM-related controversies? This is the subject of two recent decisions by the General Court, i.e.  the Basmati case, T‑342/20, decided on October 6, 2021, and the subsequent APE TEES case, T‑281/21, decided on March 16, 2022. In…

In January 2020, Volkswagen (VW, the Opponent) filed an opposition against this trade mark application, alleging a likelihood of confusion with its earlier 3D shape registrations . The Applicant’s mark covered camping vehicles and camping equipment and VW’s earlier marks cover broad vehicle and furniture terms.   The opposition was initially dismissed by the EUIPO…

This case ABP Technology Ltd v Voyetra Turtle Beach, Inc. & Anor (Rev1) [2021] – EWHC 3096 (Ch) (19 November 2021) concerns two parties using highly similar/identical marks (STEALTH) on identical goods. This article discusses some key takeaway points arising from their dispute, as well as the tactics that the parties used. Both parties were involved…

Unregistered rights are protected by the law of passing off in the UK. In the recent decision of the IPEC in Stone v Wenman, the court reiterated and applied some key principles in the law of passing off. The Claimant in the case, a spiritual author and holistic therapist, applied for and registered the mark…

The Board provided no support for the notion that a registrant has priority as to a specific service it was second to offer just because it was first to offer a different service that is a species of a genus that covers both specific services. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s priority determination, which formed…

The scope of protection of a trade mark registration is a key question faced by trade mark practitioners when advising on rebrands. The recent Oatly case [Oatly AB v Glebe Farm Foods Limited [2021] EWHC 2189 (IPEC)] raises some interesting questions in the context of a likelihood of confusion and unfair advantage. Oatly owned a…

As with other aspects of trade mark law, the UK and EU have adopted asymmetrical arrangements about exhaustion post-Brexit. The arrangements result in uneven outcomes on enforcement against parallel imports for UK and EU right-holders. It remains to be seen how the principle of exhaustion of UK rights will develop in the hands of the…

Guerlain, the luxury French perfume, cosmetics and skincare house, has emerged victorious in their three year-long attempt to obtain registration of a three-dimensional EU trade mark in respect of the shape of one of their lipsticks (the mark applied for shown below):     Application before the EUIPO and the Board of Appeal   The…