Brexit news and other IP news

news

Good morning and happy Tuesday. We wish you a very good start of the week and let us introduce this week’s news.

Brexit news

We have received a lot of helplines enquiring about the effects of Brexit. Well here are the news:

  • Regarding the new Copyright Directive, according to the Parliament, given that the UK will leave the EU on the 31st of January “The Government has committed not to extend the Implementation Period. Therefore, the United Kingdom will not be required to implement the Directive, and the Government has no plans to do so. Any future changes to the UK copyright framework will be considered as part of the usual domestic policy process.”
  • Regarding EU trade marks and community designs, the EUIPO informed that according to the Withdrawal Agreement “during a transition period that will last until 31 December 2020, EU law remains applicable to and in the UK. This extends to the EUTM and RCD Regulations and their implementing instruments. This continued application of the EUTM Regulations and the RCD Regulations during the transition period includes, in particular, all substantive and procedural provisions as well as the rules concerning representation in proceedings before the EUIPO. In consequence, all proceedings before the Office that involve grounds of refusal pertaining to the territory of the UK, earlier rights originating from the UK, or parties/representatives domiciled in the UK will run as they did previously, until the end of the transition period.”  

Zara might have copied the design of a biker jean

AMIRI, an LA-based fashion brand, is accusing Zara of selling a pair of biker jeans that is very similar to their own iconic model MX2, and in doing so misappropriating AMIRI’s trade dress. A year after AMIRI launched its jeans, Zara started selling its own biker jeans with the same “distinctive pleated leather panel detailing, side zippered thigh pockets, zippered knee closures, and skinny fit washed denim” but for less than a fourth of the price of the original. The question that the court will have to elucidate is whether or not this special design has acquired “secondary meaning” (consumers should be able to link this specific design to a specific company) to be qualified as trade dress.

“Lord of War” will not be registered as a TM in the UK

Sony, developer, and owner of the trade mark (registered since 2006) and videogame “God of War” has been able to oppose to the registration of “Lord of War” as a trade mark before the UK IP Office. Indeed, both names bear the same literal meaning and there is a risk that consumers will associate “Lord of War” to Sony. In addition, Sony argued that by using said name, the developer of the game (Beijing Elex Technology) would be riding on the goodwill and efforts of Sony’s own game and fame.

Kim Kardashian is being sued for copyright infringement

Remember that photos are protected by copyright? That’s why celebrities cannot just post photos taken by paparazzi on their social media feed without previous authorization or securing a license. Kardashian published on her IG a photo taken and owned by “Bolden” without obtaining authorization or license from the owner to reproduce, distribute or use said photograph. This issue will probably end up in an out-of-court agreement between the parties involved.

Ralph Lauren vs. VNDS

Ralph Lauren has initiated a legal battle against VNDS, an LA-based company for trade mark infringement (both of the brand name and its logo) and counterfeiting. Ralph Lauren did not grant VNDS any license to sell those infringing items that incorporate RL’s brand. The problem here is that most of the clothing items sold by VNDS are created using authentic RL’s fabric and materials: the company cut’s the interesting logos and images from the original RL’s shirts and then stitch them onto other items. Is this trade mark infringement? Counterfeit? What do you think?

Here an example of VNDS’ creation (picture taken from their website)

This is all we have for you today. See you next week for more IP news!