Apr
16

IP Hurdles in the Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine? (Part II)

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On June 12 of last year, a few short months into a pandemic which, by then, had already reached all corners of the globe, the present author made a prediction concerning the IP barriers to distribution of the various Covid vaccines that were, at the time, in the very early stages of their development " Hurdles in the Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine? " . The general thesis put forward in that article was that governments across the world would sooner guillotine their IP consultants in a public square than take their opinions seriously on the subject of vaccine rollouts...
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Jul
10

Iconic Ferrari 250 GTO Trademark (Partially) Cancelled

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" Cancellation Division considers that genuine use of the contested EUTM has been sufficiently demonstrated for the relevant factors in relation to toy vehicles, scale-model vehicles, whereas no use of the mark or proper reasons for non-use have been demonstrated in relation to any of the other goods for which it is registered . " Hardcore car enthusiasts (or just casual followers of the Top Gear series) know that the Ferrari 250 GTO is the holy grail of the automotive world – a car so valuable and revered that Jeremy Clarkson himself was denied the privilege of d...
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Jun
12

IP Hurdles in the Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine?

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Perhaps the most common complaint about modern legal systems is that they stifle justice for want of simplicity. Lately, however, it seems that what most people had simply regarded as a disappointing (some might say necessary) feature of the law, has become a real and immediate danger. After all, every day wasted on regulatory bureaucracy in the pursuit of a globally available vaccine represents thousands more human lives lost to the disease. Now it is not merely justice that the legal system may stifle, but the availability of treatments for a deadly global pande...
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Nov
13

Out with the Old and In with the New: Parliament Tables Bill for New Trademarks Act

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The long-awaited overhaul of Maltese trademark legislation is imminent – the first repeal and replacement of a major IP statute since Malta's accession to the European Union in 2004. The principal object of the new law  [1] is, of course, to transpose the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of 16 December 2015 approximating the laws of EU Member States relating to trademarks. One of the major substantive changes is the redefinition of a trademark such that it is no longer required for a sign or indication to be capable of "graphical representation" in orde...
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Aug
31

Unconventional Trademarks Post-KitKat: The CJEU’s Standard of Proof for Acquired Distinctiveness Explained

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Many people will by now have heard of Nestle's loss at the EU's highest court, marking the end of a long and arduous battle to secure EU-wide trademark protection over the four-trapezoidal-fingered shape of their famous KitKat bar. It's not often that trademark cases make the headlines across mainstream media, making this all very exciting for IP lawyers. But the whole thing did seem, at points, rather more like a race to get that "No Break for KitKat" pun-title out asap than an accurate assessment of the legal implications of the Court of Justice's ("COJ") most r...
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