Topic: Trademark

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The European Commission has its say: EU trade marks post-Brexit

On 28 February 2018, the European Commission released its draft withdrawal agreement setting out a proposal on the arrangements for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU (Withdrawal Agreement). The full text of the Withdrawal Agreement can be viewed here: European Commission’s Draft Withdrawal Agreement dated 28 February 2018 (see Title IV on Intellectual … Continue reading

Cybersquatters – How to protect your brand from unwanted ‘guests’ online

The internet is now the normal conduit for everyday personal, commercial and social transactions. It is more important than ever to ensure that your consumers know where to find your business online, and that no third parties are seeking to trade off your reputation in the online space. Domain names are the primary form of … Continue reading

Shocking your clients just became passé: US Court takes away the edge from scandalous brands

Thanks to two recent rulings of the US Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit Court, trade marks containing “disparaging”, “immoral” and “scandalous” matter are no longer barred from obtaining registration in the United States of America. In the past, the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) had the power … Continue reading

Cosmetic Warriors Lose Trademark Battle – No Use in “the Normal Course of Trade”

A Canadian trademark registered in association with goods must be used in “the normal course of trade”. Riches, McKenzie & Herbert LLP v. Cosmetic Warriors Limited, 2018 FC 63, considered whether Cosmetic Warriors’ registered trademark, LUSH, was used in association with t-shirts in the normal course of trade.  Cosmetic Warriors sold the t-shirts to employees for promotional purposes. On the evidence, Justice Manson concluded … Continue reading

Trade mark update: 11th Edition of the Nice Classification came into force on 1 January 2018

As many of you will know, the Nice Classification is the international system used to classify goods and services for trade mark purposes. The World Intellectual Property Office regularly updates and amends the Nice Classification in order to ensure that the lists remain current and include new products and services that come to market. On … Continue reading

What Brexit means for IP: The UK Law Society, the IP Bar, CIPA and CITMA weigh in on Brexit strategy

It’s no surprise that many in the professional and legal services industries are putting increasing thought into what the post-Brexit world will, or should, look like. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) in the UK has been the latest body to put its two cents (or pennies) into the mix. Brand owners from all … Continue reading

Brands Around the World: Best Practices Roundtable on Protecting Your Valuable Brand

On Monday, November 13, 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright’s New York office was pleased to host an international roundtable on best practices for brand protection. Moderated by Linda Merritt of our Dallas office, the event featured presentations by: Georgina Hey, Sydney Clare Jackman, London Karen MacDonald, Vancouver Daniel Marschollek, Frankfurt / Munich The roundtable brought together … Continue reading

Getting Ready for Change – Nice Classification Comes to Canada

In anticipation of the upcoming changes to the Trade-marks Act (the “Act”), now scheduled to take place in 2019, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) is inviting owners of registered trademarks that are due for renewals as of January 2018 to voluntarily categorize the goods and services covered by their registration based on the Nice Classification … Continue reading

‘Apples, Beatles and four decades of litigation’ – Cautionary tales for start-ups settling on a new brand name

Apple: the world’s most successful company, with an estimated worth of three-quarters of a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder that would-be tech entrepreneurs around the world are sitting around in black turtlenecks, jeans and New Balance sneakers, poring over Steve Jobs’ biography and trying to work out how they might emulate his success in their … Continue reading

Rebranding 4.0: Why authenticity matters to socially-aware consumers, and how to convey it

Increasingly affordable renewables, coupled with consumers’ sensitivity to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, are driving a profound shift in energy markets worldwide. Nowhere is this more apparent than in brand equity, and the trust levels displayed by the public towards traditional energy businesses versus green, dynamic start-ups. Rebranding is a powerful tool to close … Continue reading

Get your IP game on: intellectual property protection and video games

The video game industry around the world and in Canada is booming. Not only does this market create new and varied forms of entertainment, it also creates jobs and generates staggering sales revenues. Industry statistics for the United States show sales of computer and video games having increased from $10.1 billion in 2009 to $24.5 … Continue reading

Promoting an innovation economy – Australian Government responds to Productivity Commission’s report into IP arrangements

We recently published an article on the potential impact on the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements (Report) on Australia’s innovation economy. The Australian Government has now responded to the Report, supporting the Commission’s recommendations to reform the patent system, but stopping short of embracing the extensive copyright overhaul recommended in the Report, … Continue reading

Extending Brand Protection to Canada

Brand protection is important.  Foreign service providers interested in extending their brand equity to Canada will be encouraged by the Federal Court’s recent decision in AT&T Intellectual Property II, L.P v. Lecours, Hebert Avocats Inc., 2017 FC 734.  In this case, AT&T was able to protect its brand and maintain its Canadian trademark registration for … Continue reading

Protest Site Grounded for Using Adulterated Trademarks

In United Airlines, Inc. v. Cooperstock, 2017 FC 616, the Federal Court of Canada enjoined a disgruntled traveler from using colorable variations of United Airlines’ trademarks on a protest website he set up at Using an anagram of the official website as a domain name, the impugned material posted on the site included adulterated … Continue reading

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP hosts CIPO Consultations on Trademark Regulations

From June 19 to July 21, 2017, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) held public consultations on proposed amendments to the Trademark Regulations. The amendments, part of the modernization of Canada’s intellectual property framework, follow from changes made to the Trademarks Act to comply with the requirements of the Madrid Protocol, Singapore Treaty, and Nice … Continue reading

The Slants Win: SCOTUS rules “Disparaging” trademark provision unconstitutional

On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision, holding that the so-called “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act is an impermissible restriction on free speech under the First Amendment. The ruling is the culmination of years of litigation, and clears the way for Simon Shiao Tam and the Slants to … Continue reading

Maximise your IP to enhance franchise value

Franchising is, in essence, a business model built on intellectual property (IP) – it provides a useful forum for commercialising IP.  Franchisors gain by sharing use of their IP (including trade marks, patents, designs, copyright materials, know-how and/or confidential information) in return for a fee, and franchisees benefit by obtaining the benefit of an established … Continue reading

Beware the ghost of handshakes past – Could your IP licence survive termination?

What happens when an IP licence agreement is terminated? The obvious answer would of course be that the licence terminates too.  However, as the latest instalment in an ongoing saga involving the well-known PINK LADY brand of apples reminds us, imprecisely drafted licence agreements may come back to haunt unsuspecting licensors. How do you like … Continue reading

Important benefits for Canadian trademark registrations

While Canadian trademark owners can enforce their rights without obtaining a registration, there are a number of significant advantages to registering a trademark in Canada, including: The Right to the Exclusive Use of the Mark in Canada. Section 19 of the Trademarks Act gives the owner of a registered trademark the exclusive right to use … Continue reading

What’s in a name? How to protect yourself if your name is your personal brand

Cher, Prince, Oprah, Bono – all of these celebrities have one thing in common – the capacity to be recognised by nothing more than a single name. For businesses which are built on the success of a personal brand, a name can be a crucial component of being recognised by consumers. But the question remains: should … Continue reading