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digital fashion

The rise of digital fashion: A new area for community design rights?

The fashion industry is transforming from analog to digital. This evolution came about due to the increasing demand for sustainability and the influence of the gaming industry. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process by compelling the fashion industry to adjust to social distancing. While the use and sale of digital fashion creates a number of opportunities for fashion brands, it also opens the door to new disputes concerning the intellectual property rights attached to these digital products, especially design rights.

Non-Conventional Trademarks: the senses

Non-Conventional Trademarks Article #2: Trademarks that stimulate the senses

Trademark protection is invaluable within corporate intellectual property protection. First, there is a strong patrimonial value associated with trademark protection. Second, a trademark is the consumer’s point of reference within a vast and rapidly growing innovative and competitive world. A trademark offers recognizability and creates trust. It ensures that a consumer knowingly chooses a product or service from one company over the other. The investment in trademarks is therefore inextricably linked to the economic success of companies.

Non-conventional trademark – Color Mark

Non-conventional trademark – Part 1 – Color Mark

The route to registration for a sign is made up of several steps including an application to register it as a trademark. And within this application, and in order for it to be registered as a trademark, it must comply with a number of statutory rules.

If the most frequently occurring trademarks are “traditional” words, figurative and figurative marks with word elements, then a sign used in trade to identify the origin of products or services (the basic definition of a trademark) can also consist of non-traditional marks.

Without being too exhaustive, a list of “non-traditional” trademarks will include color marks, shape trademarks, sound marks, pattern marks, position marks, motion marks, multimedia marks or even hologram marks. In this article, we will focus on color and follow it with a series of articles on the other forms of non-conventional trademarks.

Good reputation of a trademark

They say that “You can’t buy a good reputation, you must earn it”… however this is not the whole truth

The advertising of tobacco and tobacco products has been prohibited in Belgium (Benelux?), at least with a few exceptions since 1999 and since 2021 altogether. Nonetheless, smoker or not, the public is quite familiar with the Marlboro brand which includes the “red rooftop” that is omnipresent on its packaging. And since the Marlboro-marks have a reputation, third parties should think twice before applying these on a product, whether these are cigarettes or something different entirely.

Indeed, a reputed trademark grants protection for identical and similar goods or services, but also for dissimilar goods or services. Provided that the signs are identical or similar, the earlier mark enjoys a reputation, and the use of the trademark applied for takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or reputation of the reputed mark without due cause. In this case, the owner of such a trademark can take actions, as shown below…

Can a pattern on a bus be protected as a trademark?

Can a pattern on a bus be protected as a trademark? An assessment of the distinctive character of non-traditional marks

A sign used in trade to identify the origin of products or services can consist of a ‘traditional’ word or figurative mark, on the one hand, or can have ‘non-traditional’ representation such as color, sound, multimedia or the position of visual element, on the other.
Nowadays, most IP Offices in the EU Member States are more lenient to accepting such non-traditional marks for registration. However as before, to be eligible for trademark registration, a sign must meet the requirement of distinctiveness.

The protection of modern databases under the sui generis database right

The protection of modern databases under the sui generis database right

Our digital economy has become more and more data driven. Databases today are increasingly generated and verified with the means of machines, sensors and other new technologies, for example Artificial Intelligence or the Internet of Things (“IoT”). In order to secure the competitiveness of digital sectors and markets there are legislative initiatives on a European level to guarantee the free-flow of data, such as the Data Act Proposal of the European Commission of 23 February 2022. This is a difficult task because of the existing legal framework in relation to the protection of certain types of data contained in databases, specifically under the so-called “sui generis right” of the maker of the database.

human rights is ip rights

Did you know that IP rights are recognized as human rights?

Article 27.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the following: “Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.”

The protection of intellectual property is essential to furthering innovation on a global scale. Without protection of ideas, inventions, products and services (and the ability to enforce those rights), individuals as well as businesses would most likely focus less on research and development.

Cloned trademark rights

Replacement – a way to get your cloned trademark rights in the UK covered by your international registration?

Since 1 January 2021, EU trademarks (EUTMs) are no longer protected trademarks in the UK due to Brexit. In light hereof, the UK IPO created a comparable UK trade mark for all right holders with an existing EUTM. Consequently, you might now have 2 national UK trademarks. One comparable UK trade mark and an international trademark registration designating the UK. To solve this duality, the old principle of replacement comes into play, but is this effective? Is replacement useful? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this principle?

metaverse domains

Metaverse Domains: Both a virtue and a vice for trademarks owners

You must have been living on Mars lately to not know that the metaverse is the next best thing. One can give several definitions to the metaverse, but – simply put – it is a network of interconnected 3D virtual spaces in which users can interact with each other via avatars. The fun thing about such a metaverse world, is that people can experience things which cannot be experienced, our which are at least more difficult to experience, in the real world. Via the metaverse you can for example walk across the Great Wall of China with one simple click of your mouse while doing the same thing in real life will cost more effort and money.