Friday, June 10, 2016

More on digital TM infringement

The rise of the digital age presents new challenges for trademark law. The ongoing discussion to keep up legislation to match technology is ever evolving, and if you stop for a moment, laws will fall further and further behind. An article on 3D printing and TM.
Trademark law arose in a world of physical goods to protect manufacturers and prevent consumer confusion as to who manufactured the goods. In a digital world, manufacturing will increasingly be done, if at all, by individuals with 3D printers. ... Where consumers care about the quality of a digital file, trademark law can protect consumers from being deceived by indicia external to the file. But if purchasers are not confused about the source of the digital file based on external indicia, courts should channel any other potential claims (if any) to other areas of intellectual property law.
http://patentlyo.com/patent/2016/06/digital-trademark-infringement.html

Monday, May 9, 2016

TM for Morality or Fair Competition?

An opinion piece in the NYT discussing trademark law and its applications/purpose. Is it to be used as a barometer on morality? Or is it built to support fair competition? Examples include the ongoing debate for the Washington Redskins name, among others. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/05/04/redskins-and-other-troubling-trademarks/trademark-law-promotes-fair-competition-not-morality

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Google Adwords TM infringement in Canada

An interesting ruling in Canada on TM infringements and Google Adwords. A battle between two community colleges erupted, with one seeking damages because the other used their name/brand in Google Adwords ads. The ruling states there is no TM infringement. The British Columbia Supreme Court decided that the use of a competitor’s trademarks in Google AdWords does not constitute infringement. http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2015/2015bcsc1470/2015bcsc1470.html#_Toc427662205

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canada's TM to get overhaul in new omnibus bill

The Conservative government tabled Bill C-31, the Economic Action Plan 2014, No. 1, the most important changes to the Trade-marks Act since 1953. Included in the omnibus bull will be significant changes to Canada's TM laws. Without amendments, the legislation changes include registrations granted in the absence of use anywhere, this would permit enforcement of trademark rights anywhere in Canada regardless of whether the TM has previously been used in Canada or abroad.
Although the proposed changes are intended to anticipate Canada's accession to the Madrid Protocol, the Nice Agreement, and the Singapore Treaty, key elements of the trademark section of Bill C-31 have little or nothing to do with these treaties. Last year, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-8, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, which dealt with the creation of a "request for assistance" to deal with counterfeits, and also proposed updating certain aspects of the Trade-marks Act. Bill C-31 repeats many of the non-counterfeit-related changes proposed in Bill C-8, but adds a number of important changes to trademark laws and practice.
The Bill C-31 in full.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

TM Duchess Kate

At the beginning of the month, James’s Palace confirmed that Kate Middleton’s charity, The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has applied to the UK Patent and Trademark Office to trademark a wide range of goods and services in her name. Goods with the foundation’s name, changed to use the Duchess’s title after the royal wedding, has been registered in different territories around the world. The move offers some protection over the royal name, but also protects millions of revenue dollars for the charity.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Interesting Swiss SC Ruling on TM

​In a September 30 2013 decision (4A_128/2013) the Federal Supreme Court ruled on the extent to which a trademark in use may differ from its registration in order to preserve the rights attached to it. The decision shows that the respective scope is very limited.
For more visit: http://www.internationallawoffice.com/newsletters/detail.aspx?g=56278914-df66-4b6c-a2a2-751869d055a3

Monday, February 17, 2014

Comedy Central Starbucks Parody

Many of us may have said it, especially coffee aficionados, labelling coffee juggernaut Starbucks as 'Dumb Starbucks'. Well a comedian took the idea even further and opened up a parody shop with the same Starbucks logo but with the 'Dumb' attached to the name. It was subsequently shut down (over health violations). The comedian in charge contends that the name is legal falling under parody use. Does that work in this case? More here. http://www.ibtimes.com/dumb-starbucks-coffee-trademark-law-brilliant-parody-or-blatant-infringement-1554483