Never too late: if you missed the IPKat last week!

What happened last week on IPKat (week ending 11 February 2018)? It is never too late to find out! Serendipitously coinciding with New York Fashion Week, IPKat had news of the latest opinion on the Louboutin shoes trademark, analysis of a Ralph Lauren polo trade mark dispute, and even a mention of the current height of fashion-cool, Kanye West.

Trade marks

The big news this week was the issue of a new opinion by Advocate General (AG) Szpunar on the Louboutin case, as reported by Kat Eleonora: BREAKING: in his new Opinion in Louboutin AG Szpunar (confirms and) advises CJEU to rule that a trade mark combining colour and shape may be refused or declared invalid. Certain elements of the media have reported the AG's new opinion as meaning that the Louboutin red sole trade mark as invalid, prompting a cry of "fake news" from Christian Louboutin. IPKat clarifies matters: The new AG Opinion in Louboutin: is it really bad news for the famous red sole?
A pair of Louboutins
Elsewhere in the fashion industry, Kat friend Penelope Ng from Bird & Bird ATMD analyses the recent unsuccessful invalidation action brought by Polo/Lauren against Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club Ltd, in Singapore: Yet another horse – The Polo/Lauren Company L.P. v Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club Ltd

Complete the look: Ralph Lauren Polo sweater
Kat friend Just Wang analyses another Singaporean opposition trade mark case, in which passing off was relied on as the single (and successful) ground of opposition: When passing off is enough to successfully oppose a trade mark.

In the conclusion of another trade mark battle, Mr Justice Arnold has handed down his decision in Sky v Skykick [2018] EWHC 155: BREAKING: Sky's the limit for CJEU references in Sky v SkyKick trade mark battle. According to Mr Justice Arnold himself, "[t]he case raises important issues of European trade mark law", which necessitates references to the CJEU on issues relating to (i) bad faith for filing with no intention to use and (ii) IP TRANSLATOR clarity issues. The claimants, Sky, argued that SkyKick infringed four of their EU trade marks (a mixture of "SKY" figurative and word marks), one UK trade mark (a "SKY" word mark) and committed passing off by use of the sign "SkyKick". SkyKick argued that the marks were wholly or partly invalid on the grounds that the specifications of the goods and services lacked clarity and precision and that the applications were made in bad faith. Stay tuned to IPKat for further analysis of the decision!

Marketing and brands

In still more fashion news, Guest Kat Nedim discusses the issue of Influencers and undisclosed sponsored activities, following concern by the Federal Trade Commission of Kayne West's social media campaign for Yeezy Season 6 ahead of New York Fashion week: Influencers and undisclosed sponsored activities: where do we stand?

IPKat was also happy last week to host an analysis by David Serras Pereira (SPAutores) of the recent Brands Finance Global 500 2018 ReportBrand Finance 500 … What’s the value of music IP?

This Kat values his music IP

Guest Kat Mathilde reports on publication by French publishing house Gallimard of the controversial anti-Semitic works of Louis-Ferdinand Céline, at the behest of the author's widow and in contravention of the author’s wishes: The Céline affair: what moral rights can and can’t do…even in France. According to French moral rights, the wishes of an author to withdraw his works after its publication should be protected.

Christmas may now be just a hazy memory, but Katfriend Angela Saltarelli (Chiomenti) reignites some festive cheer in a discussion of the recent ruling by the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) on whether Nativity scene statues are eligible for copyright protection: Can Nativity scene characters attract copyright protection under Italian law?

Nativity Kats
Plant varieties

GuestKat Frantzeska reports on the first application for a compulsory licensing of a community plant variety right (PVR): Blackcurrant, public interest and the first ever compulsory licensing application at the Community Plant Variety Office? Compulsory licenses are granted by the Community Plant Variety Office solely on the grounds of public interest, for example for the protection of life or health of humans, animals or plants. IPKat awaits issue of the decision on the application, expected late March 2018.

UK litigation

IPKat is awaiting the outcome of the allocation of costs of injunctions in the UK Supreme Court Cartier case (IPKat: here). In the meantime, join IPKat in perusal of a review by Sir Richard Arnold of Martin Husovec's Injunctions against Intermediaries in the European Union: Accountable But Not Liable? (Cambridge University Press) for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (Oxford University Press), reproduced by IPKat with kind permission of the author: Costs of intermediary injunctions: Sir Richard Arnold's review of a recent publication.


Is the current patent system the best way to encourage meaningful research? IPKat has never shied away from such questions. How about innovation prizes as opposed to patent protection? (IPKat: here) or a patent system more focused on rewarding a slower, deliberative and logical approach to innovation? (IPKat: here). Now, Kat Neil analyses the recent report by Nobel laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz et al in which the alternatives to the patent system are explored: Alternative ways for financing and incentivizing research: a Nobel laureate and his colleagues state their case. Perhaps a more balanced and economically sound analysis than that provided elsewhere? (IPKat: here).

Finally, don't miss Merpel's report on the recent IP inclusive event: Event Report: IP inclusive - Inappropriate Behaviour. Many thanks to Andrea Brewster of IP Inclusive for her contribution in the comments.

Author: Rose Hughes


Never Too Late 181 [week ending 4 February] Book review: ‘Copyright and Information Privacy: Conflicting Rights in Balance’ | A legislative initiative that merits attention: Mandatory mediation in Greece in trademark, patent and industrial designs infringement disputes | Austria refers Facebook ‘Hate-Speech’ case to the CJEU | Protection of traditional knowledge and cultural expressions: the case of 'Maasai IP' | A spectrum of specificity - Article 3(a) of SPC Regulation | Can ‘public morals’ prevent the use of religious symbols and motifs in advertising? No, says the European Court of Human Rights | BMG v Cox - when does an ISP lose its safe harbour protection? | Embrace my beloved frog, as a guardian.

Never Too Late 180 [week ending 28 January] EPO revokes CRISPR patent – a clear cut case of invalid priority?|Blocking injunctions and their costs: some details of the forthcoming Supreme Court round of Cartier | When does copyright protection arise in works of applied art and industrial models and designs? A new CJEU reference | Trial sequence in SEP litigation - time for a rejig? | Bad faith confirmed for ALEXANDER trade mark application? | Is a circular logo for coffee confusingly similar to the Starbucks’ one? Yes, says the General Court | Fine-tuning the SPC Regulation; a never-ending story?

Never Too Late 179 [week ending 21 January] Scents and trade marks - The EU reform of olfactory marks and advances in odour recognition techniques| French government claims back « » (as trade mark and domain name) | Swedish Patents and Market Court of Appeal requests CJEU to clarify notion of ‘shape, or another characteristic, which gives substantial value to the goods’| New presidency of the Council of the European Union ... new position on the EU copyright reform? | Image rights and the unauthorized use of one's own portrait on cigarette packs| Presentation of information: Is the EPO stretching the line for patentable subject-matter, again? | Prosecution history - as relevant as any inventor evidence?".

Never too Late 178 [week ending 14 January] A Merck-y appeal is remitted to the High Court | Into fashion law? Here's a call for papers for JIPLP special fashion law issue | When two minds became one (at least for a while): the collaborative genius of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky | French Supreme Court in Finasteride second-medical use litigation acknowledges patentability of dosage regime claims | Alibaba released the 2017 Annual Report on Intellectual Property Protection | Córdoba - The CJEU to re-visit the Right of Communication to the Public | Swedish Supreme Court confirms that domain names constitute property that can be seized by the state | Multilateralism v Bilateralism: What’s in it for international IP regulation?

Never too late: if you missed the IPKat last week! Never too late: if you missed the IPKat last week! Reviewed by Rose Hughes on Friday, February 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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