Category Archives: trademarks

Microsoft forced to rebrand following BskyB’s trademark triumph

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Microsoft has renamed its cloud storage service SkyDrive to OneDrive following a trademark infringement dispute with BSkyB, as discussed previously on our Azrights blog. The broadcaster first issued a complaint to the EU’s trademark office in June 2011, insisting Microsoft’s use of the word “sky” infringed its copyright. Microsoft released SkyDrive, formerly known as Windows [...]

Trademark protection of pantone 2685c not wrapped up by Cadbury

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Securing trademark protection for colours is notoriously difficult, as demonstrated by the recent Court of Appeal ruling in the litigation between Cadbury and Nestlé, concerning the trademark registration of pantone 2685c. Nestlé v. Cadbury In 1914, as a tribute to Queen Victoria, whose favourite colour was purple, Cadbury started to use the shade of purple known as [...]

Product Creation and Brand Protection: The Pitfalls of Duffins

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Spurred on by the popularity of cookery programmes such as The Great British Bakeoff, bakers have reportedly been expanding their product lines to include hybrid bakery products such as ‘duffins’ (doughnut fried muffins), ‘cronuts’, (donut fried croissants) and ‘townies’ (a combination of tart and brownie).  This flurry in product creation has turned out to be [...]

UGG Trademark Disputes

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Trademarks are territorial, which means you register them country by country wherever you do business. Although this is can be expensive, and it may be tempting when starting out, to think it’s easy enough, in theory, to trade in other countries under a different brand, UGG is an example of what can happen when a trademark is not [...]

What is Copyright?

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Copyright is a wide-ranging subject, and relevant to many creative and non-creative industries.  It is arguably the most universal of IP rights, covering written materials, music, art, logos, and computer programs, to name a few.  It protects most visual brand elements, such as logos, packaging and websites, though it may also be possible to register [...]

Protecting the Shire: Fry and McKellen step in to save the Hobbit

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Some may see it as unwarranted bullying, while others say it is to be expected.  Either way, the publicity arising from recent allegations of IP infringement have certainly thrown The Hobbit pub in Southampton firmly into the limelight.  The Saul Zaentz Company, owners of rights to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings brands, among [...]

When to know you need to rebrand

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The importance of the name you give your business was clearly brought home in an episode of Hotel Inspector about the Hotel Weyanoke in Eastbourne. A name that is so difficult to spell, or to pronounce is surely a liability. Quite rightly, the owners were persuaded by the Hotel Inspector to choose some alternative names. Surprisingly, they [...]

Painkillers and Product Recall

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The makers of Nurofen plus recently had to recall all remaining stock of the product, after it was discovered that some packs, in particular those in branches of Boots in Victoria, Beckenham and Bromley, contained the antipsychotic drug Seroquel. At first, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) put out a safety alert to [...]

Bands and Brands: (Some of) The original cast of Bucks Fizz strike out

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Recently, Robert Gubby (aka Bobby G) succeeded both in an opposition brought against his former band members in connection with their application to register the trade mark mark THE ORIGINAL BUCKS FIZZ, and in defending an action for revocation of the mark BUCKS FIZZ, owned by his wife Heidi Manton.  The case report is available [...]

Bacardi wins ‘Havana Club’ name battle

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A couple of weeks ago, Bacardi won a dispute against Pernod Ricard over the use of the brand name ‘Havana Club’ in the US Court of Appeals. The court ruled in favour of Bacardi, allowing the company to package and market its Havana Club rum in the US. This ruling follows an ongoing battle with [...]