For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Friday fantasies

Readers of this weblog will instantly recall this Kat's blogpost of 21 January on Société Des Produits Nestlé SA v Cadbury UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 16 (Ch), in which Mr Justice Arnold referred the following questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling before deciding on the registrability of the image (right) of the Kit Kat chocolate fingers as a three-dimensional trade mark for various goods in Class 30 ranging from chocolate products and chocolate confectionery to pastries, cakes and biscuits:
1.In order to establish that a trade mark has acquired distinctive character following the use that had been made of it within the meaning of Article 3(3) of Directive 2008/95, is it sufficient for the applicant for registration to prove that at the relevant date a significant proportion of the relevant class of persons recognise the mark and associate it with the applicant's goods in the sense that, if they were to consider who marketed goods bearing that mark, they would identify the applicant; or must the applicant prove that a significant proportion of the relevant class of persons rely upon the mark (as opposed to any other trademarks which may also be present) as indicating the origin of the goods? 
2.Where a shape consists of three essential features, one of which results from the nature of the goods themselves and two of which are necessary to obtain a technical result, is registration of that shape as a trade mark precluded by Article 3(1)(e)(i) and/or (ii) of Directive 2008/95? 
3.Should Article 3(1)(e)(ii) of Directive 2008/95 be interpreted as precluding registration of shapes which are necessary to obtain a technical result with regard to the manner in which the goods are manufactured as opposed to the manner in which the goods function?
The UK Intellectual Property Office wants to know what you think about these questions, so the British government can decide whether to indulge in a spot of participation.  If you would like to comment on this case please email  policy@ipo.gov.uk by 17 June 2014 [sorry about the short notice: this Kat got to hear of this a few days ago, but hasn't had a chance till now to let everyone know].


Also on 17 June, TIPLO -- that's The Intellectual Property Lawyers Organisation -- is delighted to invite you to its evening event in The Old Court Room, Lincoln's Inn, London. Entitled "The Protection of Corporate Reputations", it's led by Martin Howe QC(8 New Square) and Justin Rushbrooke QC (5RB), who will consider the current state of the law for protecting corporate reputations. Martin will review the use of IP causes of action while Justin focuses on defamation and malicious falsehood, these being causes of action frequently overlooked by IP practitioners. In the chair: Mr Justice Arnold. Programme: 6.45pm registration and refreshments; 7.15pm dinner followed by meeting.  Click here for more information and to buy your tickets online.


Influential? Managing Intellectual Property magazine is compiling its annual list of the 50 most influential people in the field of intellectual property this year.  MIP doesn't stipulate whether the list is of people exercising a good influence or a not-so-good one [this small but subtle point may be of interest to European Patent Office employees]. In any event, if you want to participate in this process, here's the link.


The IP Trainees Ball.  Chloe Grover writes to remind the Kat, and readers of this weblog, that there is less than one week remaining to buy tickets to the ball.  The ticket deadline is 19 June 2014 unless your name is Cinderella, in which case presumably you can get in at the last minute without bothering to buy a ticket at all. Those who are not, and have no expectation of becoming, Cinderella should click here for their tickets now.  There is also a Facebook page ...

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