IP News

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Good morning dear readers. As always, we hope that this new blog post finds you well and healthy. We are already at the end of May, time flies… for this week’s news:

Ubisoft vs. Qookka+Google+Apple: defending Siege

For all of you non-gamers, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is an online tactical shooter game developed by Ubisoft, that fosters cooperation between players and strategy depending if you are playing attack or defence. In each round, players are invited to select an “operator”, each one with its own unique abilities, weaknesses and special abilities. Siege is one of the most important games in terms of revenue for Ubisoft. Now, it comes as no surprise that the company is defending its game against what it considers to be “rip-offs”.

This is why Ubisoft filed a claim for Copyright infringement in the US against a mobile game called “Area F2” developed by Qookka Games, a Hong Kong company. According to Ubisoft, Area F2 copies the storytelling, the player-controlled operators, selection and arrangement of weapons and gadgets… Similar games are not something that is forbidden, but apparently Area F2 goes one step further and copies the design of the maps, gaming surfaces, object interaction, sound effects, animations and even the advertising and marketing materials.

Why are Google and Apple being targeted? Well, because despite filing complaints, neither of those platforms have taken down Area F2 from their stores.

What do you think?

Nintendo actively defending the switch against piracy

Nintendo has been very active defending every single asset it owns. Now the company has filed two lawsuits in the US against several online stores that were selling a device that enabled Switch users to play prated version of the Nintendo original games. Although the stores targeted in the lawsuit do not develop the hacking device itself, they are actively selling it on their sites. The devices are designed and manufactured by a team of hackers that call themselves “Team-Xecutor” that are now actively working on hacking the latest version of the Switch and Switch Lite.

Accordingly, Nintendo is trying to remove these devices from the online market due to the tremendous harm that they cause. Indeed, there is a lot that goes into the development of a game: Zelda Breath of The Wild took 4 years to develop and employed 300 developers.

Now, Nintendo is requesting compensation for the damages it has suffered, an injunction to seize or destroy all these devices, for the domain names of these companies to be seized and for intermediaries to stop facilitating access to any domain names, URLs and websites through which the defendants infringe Nintendo’s copyright.

In short, please, do not buy this kind of devices. By downloading illegal versions you are not only harming the developers of the game but you are putting your own Switch at risk and exposing it to hacking and viruses.

Dior seeks registration for its saddle bag

The saddle bag was conceived in 1999 by Galliano and it is one of Dior’s most iconic bag. Even without the capital D charm hanging from the front of the bag, the shape of the bag alone serves as an indicator, in the mind of the consumers, of the origin of the bag. This is why Dior is now seeking to register the shape as a “trade dress” before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

As explained before, trade dress refers to the overall look of a product (configuration and shape) as long as it serves to identify and distinguish the origin of the product, in the same way as a traditional mark or logo does. In order to obtain trade dress protection, Dior will have to:

  • Prove acquired distinctiveness or secondary meaning
  • Advertising expenditures in relation to the product
  • Sales of the product
  • Length, degree and exclusivity of the use of the trade dress
  • Attempt by others to copy the trade dress

We do not believe that Dior will encounter many difficulties to register the saddle bag as trade dress, which will add one extra layer of IP protection to this iconic bag.

Rains secures a win against Zara

In a recent press release, Rains a small Danish company informed that after a 4-year legal battle, the company has secured a win over Zara for design infringement.

After Zara launched a couple of waterproof outwear that reminded a lot of Rain’s original designs, the Danish company took the infringement before the Danish Court who ended up confirming the existence of an infringement last week. The damages that Zara will have to pay to Rain are yet to be determined.