Registered Community designs (RCDs) protect the shape and appearance of new products across the whole of the EU. However, RCDs only came into effect on 1 April 2003, which means that the body of case law concerning aspects of RCDs such as individual character is still developing. Since national court decisions on RCDs are rare, decisions by the EUIPO’s Invalidity Division provide a valuable source of information on how the validity of an RCD is interpreted. This blog covers invalidity decisions issued by the EUIPO during the fourth quarter of 2019, from 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019. Our previous blog covering the third quarter of 2019 can be found here.
Insights: Branding & Design
Harry and Meghan have had the spotlight of the world’s media on them in the last few weeks. But for us, it is great to see the level of interest that has been paid to their trade mark applications. It’s not just the IP blogs and trade journals that have been commenting on their efforts to secure legal protection for their brand – the SUSSEX ROYAL trade mark has been making headlines across the mainstream press as well, which is not surprising given the challenges ahead for the Sussexes’ applications.
As of 3 January 2020, the Hague System is in force in Israel, Samoa and Vietnam. This means that applicants can now seek design protection in these countries in a Hague System application, and that applicants based in these three countries can now take advantage of the benefits offered by seeking design protection through the Hague System.
A recent decision of the General Court demonstrates that a trade mark may be refused if it is considered to be contrary to public policy in one or more of the EU Member States, even though the grounds of refusal might not apply throughout the EU.
“Possibly the least poetic reason to ever make some art” – Banksy and the Gross Domestic Product Store
October 2019 saw the opening (and closing) of graffiti artist Banksy’s pop–up shop, Gross Domestic Product, in Croydon. According to the artist, the main motivation behind the opening of the store was, “possibly the least poetic reason to ever make some art” – a trade mark dispute.
A recent decision of the General Court provides a useful review of the requirements for proving genuine use of a mark, and also shows that use of a mark in a single Member State of the EU may be sufficient to prove genuine use of an EUTM. This has been the subject of some controversy over the years, with many cases demonstrating that even quite substantial use in a single Member State will not necessarily be sufficient where an EUTM is concerned.
A recent decision of the UK IPO in opposition proceedings illustrates the need to be able to supply appropriate and adequate evidence of use if an Opponent relies on an earlier right which has been registered for more than 5 years. It also serves as a reminder that you will not be awarded costs even if you are the winning party, unless you actually ask for them!
Registered Community designs (RCDs) and registered UK designs are used to protect the design of the shape and appearance of the whole or part of a new product. This article looks at a practical, real-life example of how a company has used registered designs to protect the design of a new product.