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LimeGreenIP News

Moscow: Asia IP seminar review

At the end of June, Hogan Lovells inaugurated its new office premises in Moscow with Partner Natalia Gulyaeva hosting the first seminar of our Russia-Asia IP series with Vietnam IP Counsel Nga Nguyen and Hogan Lovells Fidelity China Senior Associate Julia Peng.

More than 20 business leaders from the professional services, automotive, consumer products and technology industries enthusiastically expressed interest in understanding how foreign businesses deal with IP issues in Asia, from protecting and defending IP rights to monetizing IP benefits in this region.

During this interactive seminar, Natalia Gulyaeva provided a well-balanced overview on the wealth of opportunities that the Asia market is offering against the cultural challenges that Russian companies may encounter.

Nga Nguyen discussed effective IP enforcement and anti-counterfeiting actions in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar while Julia Peng presented the “whack-a-mole game” and “game of wits” strategies against counterfeits in China. Our speakers also shared case studies and practical tips for brand owners looking at doing business in Asia.

The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session with the audience demonstrating a great interest in protecting IP in Asia. The questions varied from methods of trap purchases in China to strategies of trademark prosecution in Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar and best practices of collaboration with the local Asian partners.

For more information, please consult the relevant trademark resources for Russia, China and Vietnam on LimeGreen IP – our free knowhow platform – or contact our speakers via their bio links above.

Why automotive companies in the connected car and autonomous driving industry need to review their trademark portfolios

With the momentum building in the trend towards connected and autonomously driven vehicles, automotive companies should review their trademark portfolios to ensure that their key marks are covered for goods and services in this space.

Dr. Andreas Renck, Alicante Office Managing Partner at Hogan Lovells, sees the established practice of classification of goods and services provided under a given brand as the foundation of any trademark portfolio. Companies in the United States and Europe use the World Intellectual Property Office’s Nice Classification (NCL) to classify their trademarks and thus ensure their protection. NCL comprises 45 categories under which applications can be classified; Classes 1 through 34 are for products, and 35 through 45 are for services. Under these classes, each mark must be designated for specific products and/or services.

In this hoganlovells.com interview, Dr. Renck discusses emerging issues that are impacting the traditional trademark registration process, and offers tips to help automotive companies protect their brands as the automotive and mobility industry continues to expand.

Access the interview transcript here

Total Brand Care: Protecting your brand when a product liability disaster strikes

Organizations invest a lot of time and money into creating and developing their brand, but a poorly handled product liability issue can leave your brand damaged, cause a loss in consumer faith and attract negative interest from regulators and the media – and that’s not to mention the negative impact on your share price. That’s why you must be prepared for a product liability issue before it occurs, so that you can act quickly and efficiently when facing multiple inquiries from regulators, customers, the media and insurers. An effective strategy places your brand in a strong position.

In Episode Two of our Total Brand Care series, Valerie Kenyon (Partner, London) and Phoebe Wilkinson (Partner, New York) talk to James Nurton about the steps you should take to prepare for when a product liability disaster strikes to ensure that your brand comes out on top.

Watch the full clip here.

You can find out more about our Total Brand Care offering on our website.

The EU Commission is set to address the challenges of three-dimensional printing

Additive manufacturing, more commonly called “three-dimensional printing” or simply “3D printing“, is a truly fascinating technology. Whilst the first experiments date back to the 1960s, with the first meaningful industrial applications following in the 1980s, only throughout the last couple of years has the technology really gained momentum. Meanwhile, the market is growing rapidly. The European Commission’s forecast for the EU sees a business worth about €10 billion by 2021. However, as is often the case with disruptive technologies, the lack of legal certainty, especially regarding intellectual property and civil liability, causes a problem. There is a risk that the market development could be impaired and hampered from reaching its full potential. Against this background, MEP Joëlle Bergeron has now taken the initiative of tackling the issue by introducing a proposal for a new regulatory framework.


In February 2017, Joëlle Bergeron suggested implementing a procedure on “three-dimensional printing, a challenge in the fields of intellectual property rights and civil liability” (2017/2007(INI)). Her report was first referred to and debated within the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), which then unanimously adopted the proposal on 20 June 2018 (see the details here). This was followed by a plenary vote on 3 July 2018. The parliamentarians adopted the initiative with an overwhelming majority: 631 votes out of 677 in favor, 27 against and 19 abstentions (see the video footage of the plenary session, from 5:32 onwards).

Notable is that the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) does not provide the Parliament with a right to introduce legislative initiatives. This is the Commission’s monopoly. However, according to Article 225 TFEU, the Parliament, acting by a majority of its component Members, has the right to request the Commission to submit any appropriate proposal on matters on which it considers that a Union act is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties. This is the process now being kicked-off by the plenary vote. Continue Reading

Brexit: Commission publishes important notice on impact on customs enforcement of IP rights

Last month, the European Commission published a notice to stakeholders on the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on customs enforcement of IP rights.  The underlying message is that, unless the UK and the EU agree otherwise, the UK will no longer be part of the EU rules on customs enforcement of IP rights post-Brexit. This is important for rights holders because customs enforcement is a critical tool in the fight against counterfeit goods*. Any rights holders who have made or are planning to make a UK application for customs enforcement that applies to one or more other EU member states may want to consider re-filing or making their application in another EU member state in order to be certain of getting the benefit of enforcement in the EU-27 post Brexit. It is not clear at this stage whether and in what form the EU and the UK will come to an agreement on customs enforcement as part of any wider deal on customs arrangements.

Customs Applications made post-Brexit

As matters presently stand, when the UK leaves the EU, applicants for enforcement by customs authorities of IP rights will no longer be able to submit EU applications to UK customs authorities. EU applications submitted in one of the EU-27 Member States will remain valid in the EU27 as of the withdrawal date even if the customs authorities of the United Kingdom are amongst the customs authorities requested to take action. Continue Reading

Total Brand Care: Brand creation – get it right from the start

A strong brand can be one of your most valuable assets.  It’s a tool to communicate, build loyalty and drive new revenue.  But effective brand management is not just about trademarks – there are many other legal issues that can impact positively or negatively on your brand’s reputation and value.  Businesses must break down the silos between marketing, business and legal departments to ensure that there is a consistent approach to brand management.  A holistic and collaborative strategy will save you time and money in the long-run.

In this first installment of our Total Brand Care video series, Lloyd Parker, Head of IP – Asia Pacific and Middle East, and Office Managing Partner for our Tokyo office, talks to James Nurton about the idea behind the Hogan Lovells Total Brand Care concept and why brand management is more important than ever in today’s globalized and digital world.  Lloyd provides an insight into what makes a strong brand and why it’s critical to get brand creation right from the start – involving stakeholders from across the organization.

Watch the full clip here.

You can find out more about our Total Brand Care offering on our website.

UKIPO responds to consultation on implementing Trade Marks Directive

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published its response to its consultation on the implementation of the Trade Marks Directive 2015 (the “Directive”), which ran from the 19th of February to the 16th of April of this year. The consultation focused on the proposed wording of the draft Trade Marks Regulations 2018 (which will implement the Directive). The Directive aims to harmonise the conditions for obtaining and continuing to hold a registered trade mark so that they are, in the main, identical in Member States. The UKIPO says that its policy is to limit the amendments to UK trade mark law to those which are necessary but nevertheless there are a number of substantive changes to UK trade marks law being proposed. We outline the most significant proposed changes below:

Article 3: Removal of requirement for graphic representation

The Directive has removed the requirement in Article 3 for marks to be ‘graphically represented’. The new requirement is that marks be represented in a clear and precise manner. This means non-standard marks, such as sounds, colours and smells can be represented more accurately using new technology. In its response the IPO says that it intends to enable applications to be submitted “using the widest range of digital file formats that is technically possible with our current systems”. Further guidance on filing requirements for new mark types and acceptable file formats will be published in the coming months. Continue Reading

European Parliament votes to reject controversial Copyright Directive proposal

In a dramatic turn of events, the European Parliament has today voted to reject the compromise position on the controversial draft DSM Copyright Directive, which was adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament on 20 June 2018. A debate on the draft Directive by the whole European Parliament is now set to take place on 10-13 September 2018.

The background to today’s vote is that, as announced immediately after the JURI Committee vote on 20 June, the Committee’s decision was challenged by a group of 84 MEPs led by Greens vice-Chair Julia Reda and three parliamentary political groups. To do this, they triggered the Rule 69c (2) paragraph 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament. As a result, the Committee decision to proceed with negotiations with the Council and the Commission on the basis of the adopted report was put to the vote.

The negotiation mandate was ultimately revoked by the Parliament, with 318 votes out of 627 MEPs against the opening of the interinstitutional negotiations, 278 in favor and 31 abstentions. It is now for the whole Parliament to examine the controversial provisions, and eventually decide to open the interinstitutional negotiations. Continue Reading

.PT a frontrunner in Europe

The Association DNS.PT, the Portuguese Registry responsible for running the .PT country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), recently announced a new record for .PT domain name registrations that outstripped parallel European domain name growth threefold.

On 17 May 2018, DNS.PT announced that new registrations under .PT reached 44,782 and this was only in relation to the first quarter of 2018.  In April 2018 alone, there were 9,010 new .PT domain name registrations.

Luisa Gueifão, Chair of the DNS.PT Association’s Board of Directors, stated that;

Since Associação DNS.PT assumed the role of the Portuguese ccTLD Registry, .PT has been one of the three fastest growing domains in Europe.  Last year the growth was 12% compared to the European scenario of 4%, so the good performance and experience makes DNS.PT a reference that serves as a model and inspiration for many other European countries.”

There are 1.1 million domain names currently registered under .PT and the Registry believes that the continued growth and strength of .PT domain name registrations can, in part, be attributed to the role that it has been playing with regard to the promotion of the Internet and the digital economy in Portugal”.  In particular DNS.PT has supported projects that help “increase the digital literacy levels and combat info-exclusion and digital divide”.  According to Luisa Gueifão, “it is fundamental to think about the Internet without forgetting the people“.

To visit the .PT Registry’s website, please click here.

This post is selected from our Anchovy News publication: Anchovy® is our comprehensive and centralised online brand protection service for global domain name strategy, including new gTLDs together with portfolio management and global enforcement using a unique and exclusive online platform developed in-house. For more information please contact us at  anchovynews@hoganlovells.com 

‘Polo’ wins enhanced distinctiveness”chukkers” to offset weak distinctive character

In this EUTM case the General Court (GC) decided for The Polo/Lauren Company LP, concluding that alleged weak distinctive character of the earlier mark in regard to certain goods was amply compensated by the enhanced distinctive character that the earlier mark has acquired through the use in trade.

1st Chukker: In 2014, the EUTM applicant sought to register the word “HPC POLO” for goods in class 18 and 25 among others. The Polo/Lauren Company LP filed an opposition pursuant to Article 8.1(b) and 8(5) EUTMR (now Regulation 2017/1001) based on its earlier EUTM “POLO”, covering goods in class 18 and 25. Due to the identity between the goods and the similarity of the signs the Opposition Division (OD) found a likelihood of confusion and upheld the opposition on the basis of Article 8.1(b), without considering the grounds of opposition of Article 8.5. Continue Reading