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Category Archives: Trademarks & Brands

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The A-CBDs of Registering Hemp-Related Trademarks: New Guidance from the USPTO

Brand owners seeking to register cannabis-related trademarks take note: the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued guidance regarding the effects of the 2018 Farm Bill on the registration of trademarks for goods and services involving hemp. As background, the previous definition of “marijuana” in the federal Controlled Substances Act had a limited exclusion

Post-INTA roundup: China’s evolving IP landscape

During this year’s 2019 INTA Annual Meeting, our Greater China IP team discussed the following key issues around China’s evolving IP landscape. What’s in store for brand owners in China? Partner, Helen Xia discussed recent updates on strategies to curb trademark hijacking and factors leading up to this phenomenon. In recent years, China has had a

Germany: Filling a trademarked dispenser with goods from third-party manufacturers may constitute trademark infringement – Tork

In the case “Tork”, for which the judgement was released earlier this year, the Federal Supreme Court (FSC) had to decide to what extent “aiding and abetting trademark infringement” is constituted if paper towels are advertised as being suitable for a particular dispenser. Background The plaintiff sells hygiene products worldwide, including a trademark-protected paper towel

U.S. – Bankrupt brands can’t revoke trademark licenses, says SCOTUS

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that bankrupt trademark licensors cannot use federal bankruptcy law to rescind the rights of their trademark licensees to continue use of duly licensed trademarks. The decision settles a long-simmering circuit split on a question that the International Trademark Association has labelled “the most significant unresolved legal issue in trademark

Germany: Trademark exhaustion not overcome by unusual resale packaging – beauty for less

In its case “beauty for less”, for which the judgement was released earlier this year, the Federal Supreme Court (FSC) ruled that a trademark owner cannot oppose resale advertising with the argument that the advertising is unusual in the industry sector. Background The plaintiff is a licensee of several European Union trademarks claiming protection for

Hogan Lovells a sponsor at the WPB at INTA 2019, Julia Anne Matheson and Anna Kurian Shaw recognized

We were delighted to be one of the sponsors of The Women’s Power Breakfast (WPB) at the INTA 2019 Annual Meeting. IPMT partners, Julia Anne Matheson  and Anna Kurian Shaw attended the invitation-only event on the firm’s behalf on Wednesday, May 22.  The Women’s Power Breakfast, the brainchild of former INTA Executive Director Robin Rolfe,

USPTO reiterates commitment to detect and prevent fraudulent foreign trademark applications

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has recently reiterated its commitment to stemming the tide of inaccurate and fraudulent trademark applications originating primarily from China.  On May 9th, the Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu, testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, and fraudulent foreign trademark applications

Lightning fast IP reform in China: Trademark Law and Anti-Unfair Competition Law amended

On 23 April 2019, both China’s Trademark Law (“TML“) and its Anti-Unfair Competition Law (“AUCL“) were amended.  The amendments to the TML are aimed at curbing bad faith trademarks and increasing damages for infringement, while the changes to the AUCL are aimed at improving the protection for trade secrets. The changes to the TML will

Webinar recording: From homes to stadiums – Brand presence in esports

Last month, our IP Outlook webinar series looked at the emerging opportunities and risks for brand owners exploring opportunities in the esports market: from innovative advertising and marketing activities during tournaments and within games, sponsorship of tournaments or teams, to merchandise and fan items. The recording of the webinar is now available to watch here. What

N.D. California Straightens Out Competitor’s Use of Infringing Hashtags: #newdevelopments in Using Trademarks as Hashtags

The Northern District of California recently released an order that sheds new light on how courts grapple with the constantly-increasing use of trademarks as hashtags. Align Technology, Inc., provider of the Invisalign teeth-straightening-system, also produces the iTero Element intraoral scanner that allows dentists to obtain three-dimensional scans of a patient’s mouth, teeth, and gums. To

Influencer promo guide: Best practices for drug and device firms

In our “Influencer promo guide: Best practices for drug and device firms”, we offered a list of best practices for medical device and pharmaceutical companies interested in taking advantage of the benefits of social media influencers for advertising their products, while adhering to FDA regulations. How can these companies be mindful of FDA rules while

EU: “Der Grüne Punkt” is not a trademark used for packaged goods

“Der Grüne Punkt” is a concept that presumably everyone in Germany is familiar with; recently, the financing symbol for participation in the dual collection and recovery systems was the subject matter of proceedings before the General Court (GC). The General Court’s main task was to examine the question of whether proven use of the trademark

Spring fever at the IP Lounge 3.0 on influencer marketing

On 11 April 2019 our Düsseldorf office hosted its third IP Lounge. The IP Lounge is an event planned and hosted by our younger associates and particularly addresses “Young Professionals” to provide a time and place to get to know each other and exchange ideas. This time, the hot-topic “Influencer-Marketing” was discussed. Dr. Ricarda Braun,

District Court of Hamburg: Swabian whisky not allowed to use the word “glen” in its name

Since 2013, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has tried to prohibit the Swabian whisky producer Waldhornbrennerei, which is based in Berglen near Stuttgart, from using the trade mark “Glen Buchenbach”. After the case was referred to the CJEU, the District Court of Hamburg [Landgericht – LG] ruled in favour of the Scottish association, stating that

The Curse of Shoeless Joe Continues: TTAB Finds White Sox Fan Lacked Bona Fide Intent-To-Use

For any baseball fans already preparing to capitalize when their favorite team wins their next World Series game, you may strike out before getting up to bat at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). In a recent precedential decision, the TTAB found that “a mere

Real Estate Horizons: The Power of the Brand

Real Estate Horizons is a snapshot of key legal topics and market trends across the globe. This post higlights the importance of IP rights in this sector. With property developments increasingly focusing on experience and becoming “destinations” or lifestyle brands in their own right, branding has become an essential element of the development process. Therefore,

Polish Patent Office publishes guidelines on new types of trademarks

Following the enactment of the Act amending the Industrial Property Law of 20 February 2019 which implements the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2015/2436 of 16 December 2015, the Polish Patent Office (PPO) has recently published guidelines (in Polish) concerning new types of trademarks. In the guidelines, the PPO points

Consumer Horizons 2019 – IP in the mix

The Consumer industry is evolving at lightning speed, and the way consumer companies operate is shifting. From issues in supply chain to the digitalization of the consumer experience, companies are rapidly changing to keep up with consumer demands. Last year businesses in the consumer industry saw a wave of unprecedented disruption and transformation, and 2019

UPDATE – TTB’s proposed labeling modernization: What alcoholic beverage companies need to know

Recently, an interdisciplinary team from our IPMT and Food Regulatory practices discussed a pending proposed rulemaking from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the primary federal agency that regulates alcohol beverages. On November 26, 2018 TTB proposed modernizing its labeling and advertising regulations with the goal of making the current regulations simpler

German courts set advertising stage for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Although the opening ceremony of the next Olympic Games in Tokyo is still more than a year away, recent decisions of the German courts are already preparing the stage for commercial and advertising activities evolving around them. The courts are defining to which extent non-official advertising partners may use the Olympic designations “Olympiade”, (“Olympics”) “Olympia”