Trademarking Shape-Colour Combinations: The CJEU Pronounces Itself on Christian Louboutin’s Famous Red Sole

Trademarking Shape-Colour Combinations: The CJEU Pronounces Itself on Christian Louboutin’s Famous Red Sole
Some readers may be familiar with the 2011 case filed by Mr. Louboutin against fashion giants Yves Saint Laurent over the former's US trademark registration for his famous red sole.Here is one of the more well-known representations of the mark, as filed with trademark authorities the world over: The New York District Court, adopted a view to which fashion lovers might be more inclined – namely that:"The law should not countenance restraints that would interfere with creativity and stifle competition by one designer, while granting another a monopoly i...
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Funny Business – Intellectual Property Law Through the Prism of Comedy

Funny Business – Intellectual Property Law Through the Prism of Comedy
Anybody with an acute sense of justice knows what intellectual property is, yet I daresay many IP lawyers can probably relate to the unique sense of embarrassment which typically follows that all too familiar question:"So … what do you do for a living?"Now, you know what comes next for Mr. IP Attorney - the strained beginnings of a response, the awkward backtrack and pause as he tries to squeeze out some brief, accurate yet comprehensible answer to the common follow-up question:"What is Intellectual property?"The problem is of course aggravated by the fact that th...
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Messi Wins: EU Court Rules No Potential Conflict Between “MESSI” and “MASSI” Trademarks

Messi Wins: EU Court Rules No Potential Conflict Between “MESSI” and “MASSI” Trademarks
In a decision issued yesterday morning, the General Court of the CJEU (EGC) approved the registration of a logo consisting of a shield motif with the letter "M" blazoned across the front, sitting on top of the letters "M-E-S-S-I".The application for the logo was filed by one Lionel Andrés Messi in August 2011. Messi's trademark was shortly thereafter opposed by Mr. Jaime Masferrer Coma, the previous owner of the trademark "MASSI" (the mark has since been assigned to the company J.M.-E.V. E HIJOS, S.R.L.). For six and a half years Mr. Messi had been engaged in a le...
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Positive Update on EU Trademark and Industrial Design Rights Post-Brexit

Positive Update on EU Trademark and Industrial Design Rights Post-Brexit
As many are no doubt aware, an updated draft of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community was published last month.The 19 March draft highlights all the points of consensus between the EU and the UK – the continuation of EU-wide IP rights currently effective in Britain being among them. It is now virtually official that all EU trademarks and industrial designs registered before the end of the Brexit transition period will continue to be protected qua ...
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Silence is Golden: Holding the Breach on Free Speech with Trade Secret Law on the Horizon

Silence is Golden: Holding the Breach on Free Speech with Trade Secret Law on the Horizon
What disappears when you speak its name?A riddle as old as time itself. But, as anyone charged with the keeping of secrets knows; once silence is broken, a great many more things might go the same way.Among those things, there's your intellectual property.This may seem a little counterintuitive. Common sense dictates a good idea must be disclosed to the public one way or another if it is to evolve into a good venture.Indeed, it is generally the case that intellectual property must be declared or expressed publicly before it can even become vested with the law's pr...
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