IP news


Good morning everyone. Hope you had a relaxing weekend and a good start of the week. For today’s news:

Three stripes, who do they belong to?

Adidas has filed its latest three-stripe trademark opposition against Thom Browne. Thom Browne filed a few trademark applications for a red, white, and blue stripe trademark for use on footwear and apparel, among others.

In its opposition, Adidas states that given its longstanding and consistent use of the three-stripe trademark on its products (from sneakers to other sports apparel), consumers have now become familiar with such a mark and immediately identify the origin of the goods: Adidas, making it problematic that Thom Browne has adopted and is attempting to register a similar trademark. 

According to Adidas, consumers are likely to assume that Thom Browne’s products originate from Adidas, or that they are somehow affiliated, connected, or associated with Adidas when no such affiliation exists. The placement of this three-line trademark is also problematic since it is also confusingly similar to Adidas’ three-stripe mark in appearance and overall commercial impression. Allowing registration is also likely to dilute the distinctiveness of Adidas’ three-stripe mark by diminishing the differentiative capacity of the three-stripe trademark.  

The battle against cheat codes

The two developers behind two of the most popular online multiplayer games (Valorant and Destiny 2) have sued a cheat maker in the United States for copyright infringement offences, claiming that through the provision of its tools, GatorCheats offered a malicious software contrary to the anti-circumvention provisions of the copyright legislation.

By this lawsuit, game developers seek to put a stop to the unlawful, for-profit sale and distribution of malicious software products designed to enable players to gain unfair competitive advantages in the games. Cheat codes not only affect the reputation of the games and developers, but they also worsen the overall experience of the player community.

The cheating Software provided by GatorCheats enables players to manipulate Valorant and Destiny 2 to their personal advantage: automatic aiming, revealing the locations of opponents and generally providing the cheaters with information that, otherwise, they would not have access to.

In addition, the game developers confirm that their games are protected by anti-cheat technologies designed to detect and thwart cheating tools. These technologies must be installed on users’ machines if they want to play the games. This means that for a cheat maker to be successful, it must either conceal its existence from the developers’ anti-cheat technologies or disable them altogether. This behaviour is qualified as copyright infringement, both in the US and in the EU (circumvention of technological protection measures).

Zimmermann accused of copying the ancestral Mazateco huipil

The Mazateca community of the state of Oaxaca has accused the Australian fashion brand Zimmermann on social media of copying its ancient “huipil”, a traditional garment. As you can see, Zimmermann’s design on the right strongly resembles the Oaxacan original design. The Mazateca community considers this as cultural appropriation: the bird and flower embroideries with pink and blue bands are considered essential features of the Mazateco Huipil. As you can see, all these elements are present and located in the same areas (the birds and the flowers at chest levels, the bands on the side, the collar with blue and pink bands…).

The traditional Huipil is made by indigenous craftsmen, selling this garment for the equivalent of around 45 euros (against 850 euros for the Zimmerman dress). How the Huipil craft is something that is passed from generation to generation within the Mazateca community.  

After Isabel Marrant, this is another example of cultural appropriation.

And this is all for today. You can expect a new blog article on Thursday!