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LimeGreenIP News

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, protecting your IP rights is important, helping to protect and even increase the value of your development.

There are four main reasons to protect your real estate brand:

  • to prevent copying;
  • to create a branded, experiential destination for customers, tenants, and other users;
  • to increase revenue through licensing (for example through merchandise); and
  • to increase recognition of your brand and marketability of your development.

Conversely, if you are an investor/purchaser you should be looking to ensure that all the necessary IP rights are owned by the developer and transferred as part of the transaction. Here are some key things to consider in protecting these rights.

Trade Mark Rights

This covers, amongst other things, names, nicknames, and logos.

The name of the development, as well as any nicknames, can and should be protected by registration as well as any designs or logos used.

Registering trade marks will help to protect against damaging infringement and copycats.

There are many trade marks registered in retail and real estate services. It is a crowded market and that can make it difficult to register a trade mark which is sufficiently different to those already registered. Register the trade mark early. If the name of the development becomes synonymous with the area it’s in it may be difficult to register the name as geographical locations are not generally registrable and must be kept free for all to use.


Copyright arises automatically in certain original works and is ordinarily owned by the creator of the work. Copyright may arise in building plans, websites, photographs, virtual tours, and in software code, for example AR/VR used in apps.

Summary: Get ahead and stay ahead of your IP rights. IP rights are an important part of the development process and as the influence of tech and lifestyle branding continues to increase, the importance of IP rights and protecting your development brand continues to grow.

Click here to read the full Real Estate Horizons report. Our strategy is to anticipate and monitor how clients can adapt to change and be ready for the year ahead. Not only does our international network mean that we are adept at dealing with a wide range of cross-border issues, but our offices throughout the world have the knowledge to offer both global and local solutions, ranging from effective deal structuring to PropTech and investment in student accommodation.

Hogan Lovells named MIP Global Firm of the Year – Second year running!

Hogan Lovells global IPMT practice has been awarded the accolade of ‘Global IP Firm of the Year’ at the Managing Intellectual Property North America awards – becoming the first firm to win the award in consecutive years and the only firm to win it three times.

The award recognizes the strength of our global practice and the excellent work done by our teams in assisting clients on business critical matters. This is underpinned by MIP also awarding us:

  • Germany – Impact Case of the Year for our work on the DOCERAM v CeramTec Community design dispute
  • Germany – Patent: Contentious Firm of the Year
  • Russia – Patent: Contentious Firm of the Year
  • China – Foreign Firm of the Year
  • Japan – Foreign Firm of the Year

Commenting on our wins, Global Head of IPMT, Burkhart Goebel said:

We are delighted to be named Global IP Firm of the Year again, and to receive recognition for the strength of our local practices in Germany, Russia, China and Japan. The awards highlight our leadership in jurisdictions recognized by rights holders as important markets to protect their IP, as well as our ability to successfully navigate clients through more challenging and increasingly important jurisdictions.”

Join Us: Hogan Lovells Innovation Lounge

April 16 from 5:30 – 8:30pm || Hogan Lovells, Washington, D.C.

On April 16, join us for a networking event highlighting cutting-edge technology. Joining us are four industry trailblazers discussing a range of innovative technologies, research, and ideas. The conversation will explore existing and forthcoming legal issues associated with our panelists pioneering work. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served before the presentations and a cocktail reception will follow. Please register here.


Ryan Brown, Assistant General Counsel & Director, Legal Rosetta Stone

Ryan Brown is the Assistant General Counsel& Director, Legal at Rosetta Stone, a renowned education technology company that develops platforms and services for language and literacy. Ryan focuses on Global Employment and Labor Law, international transactions and business development, and data privacy and information security compliance.

Michael Fitzpatrick, Head of Regulatory Advocacy, General Electric

Michael Fitzpatrick is the Head of Regulatory Advocacy at global manufacturing and technology giant, GE. Michael is instrumental in developing regulatory strategy and advocacy across GE’s business groups, with a focus on emerging digital industrial policy issues affecting additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI), drones, spectrum, and the Future of Work.

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.UK right of registration – have you secured your .UK domain?

Nominet, the Registry responsible for operating the .UK country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for the United Kingdom, launched the registration of domain names directly under the .UK top level domain name extension back in June 2014.  Eligible registrants were given five years to secure their .UK domain names.  They only have a couple of months left as the reservation period is soon coming to an end.

Before June 2014, domain name registrations were only possible at the third level, under extensions such as .CO.UK, .ORG.UK, .NET.UK, .ME.UK, .LTD.UK or .PLC.UK.  When Nominet launched .UK domain names, it introduced a five-year grandfathering period giving registrants of existing third level domain names priority to secure the matching .UK equivalents.

However, not all registrants are eligible as the .UK rights reservation period applies to domain names registered before 28 October 2013.  There are a few additional points to note: Continue Reading

Join us: Women in Blockchain event – San Francisco

Our San Francisco office is hosting a “Women in Blockchain” panel on Wednesday, April 10. Mary Beth Buchanan, General Counsel for Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange, will kick off the event as the Keynote speaker.  An all-women panel, including speakers from Circle, BitFlyer, and Coinbase, will share their insights regarding developments and opportunities in crypto exchanges.

The evening will include a reception before and after, with refreshments and light bites. The event is a wonderful opportunity to network and learn more about blockchain and its potential applications. We hope you can join us!

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Venue: Our San Francisco office

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:15 pm PT

For registration or more details please contact Helen Trac. More information on this topic can be found on our Blockchain and DLT site and Blockchain toolkit on HL Engage.

EUIPO issues a Comparative Case Study on Alternative Resolution Systems for Domain Name Disputes

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently published a Comparative Case Study on Alternative Resolution Systems for Domain Name Disputes which highlights the main similarities and differences between various Dispute Resolution Procedures (DRPs), analysing in particular the different procedures, fees, timelines and case statistics.  The study also compared the likely outcomes of a few selected DRPs in relation to various pre-defined case scenarios.  The objective of the study was to compare and contrast the key characteristics of each DRP and bring greater clarity for all interested parties.

The study focused on the following Top Level Domains: all legacy generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) as well as new gTLDs (all subject to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy), and also the following country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs): .AU (Australia), .DK (Denmark), .EU (European Union), .IT (Italy), .UK (United Kingdom), .CN (China), .JP (Japan), .NL (The Netherlands), and .US (United States).  In all, ten different systems were examined. For example, regarding the .UK dispute resolution system run by Nominet, the study noted that mediated and summary decision cases take around 60 days, whereas full decision cases can take up to 100 days.  If there was no response, a complainant could ask the Expert to make a summary decision.  In 2017, Nominet received 712 complaints of which 247 resulted in transfer, 39 were denied, 182 were settled and 244 never reached a decision (for example because they were withdrawn or the fees were not paid).

Also by way of example, the study analysed the Chinese dispute resolution system.  The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) are the official providers accepting complaints, and the procedure takes around 50-60 days.  In 2017, 75 cases were received by HKIAC and 66 of them were decided in favour of the complainant.  The same year, 58 cases were received by CIETAC and 52 were decided in favour of the complainant. Continue Reading

China breaks new ground with Foreign Investment Law-related IP reform

In a recent move involving both the Chinese legislature (the National People’s Congress) and the executive branch (the State Council), China has overhauled two of its most important pieces of legislation governing inbound IP-related investments.

The first major change was the adoption of the new Foreign Investment Law (“FIL”) on 15 March 2019 (full text in Chinese here, English version available upon request). The new FIL will enter into force on 1 January 2020, and the existing legislation that has formed the backbone of Foreign Direct Investment regulation since the 1980s (currently scattered over three laws) will be repealed on the same day. This note will focus on IP-related developments under the FIL, while a separate note will cover the corporate law implications of the FIL.

In a development that clearly is related to one of the main bones of contention in the ongoing US-China trade talks, the new FIL contains certain explicit assurances in relation to IP protection for foreign investors, including in relation to alleged forced transfers of IP in order to gain market access rights.

The second major change linked to the passing of the FIL was the repeal, with immediate effect, of some of the most controversial and restrictive IP-related provisions of the Technology Import and Export Administrative Regulations and the Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Venture Law Implementing Regulations by administrative decree issued by the State Council on 2 March 2019, and promulgated on 18 March 2019. This change is crucial to most cross-border transactions involving licenses and transfers of technology, and has been long-awaited by foreign investors who often saw it as a barrier to bringing their IP into China.

To read the full article, please click here.

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 out that a trademark can now be represented in any form, using commonly available technology, provided it can be displayed in the trademark register in a “clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable, and objective” manner. When filing a trademark application, one should indicate the type of trademark from the following list:

  • word
  • word-graphic
  • graphic
  • three-dimensional
  • position
  • pattern
  • colour/combination of colours
  • sound
  • motion
  • multimedia
  • holographic
  • “other”

If the applicant fails to indicate any of the above-mentioned categories, the PPO will ascribe a type to the trademark application at its discretion. The applicant can contest this decision within a deadline set by the PPO.

According to the guidelines, a trademark representation cannot be replaced by providing a description of the mark in question, or by attaching a sample of the product. The requirements for conventional trademark types such as word, word-graphic, three-dimensional, position, pattern, or colour marks do not differ significantly from those indicated in the prior guidelines. The PPO now also accepts MP3 and MP4 file formats which enables registration of multimedia trademarks and simplifies the application process with respect to sound, motion, and holographic trademarks.

Concerning the category “other “ for marks which do not fall into any of the afore-mentioned categories, such as, for example, olfactory, or flavour marks, the PPO does not foresee any possibility for registering them considering the current state of technology.

Earlier this year, our European shared recordings of our webinar sessions focusing on the implementation of the EU Trade Marks Directive and its impact across various Member States including Poland. As follow-up, we published an info-sheet which covers the key developments  and includes a quick-reference comparative table. This post updates the information on guidance for new types of marks in Poland.

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 promises challenges of similar or greater magnitude.

In this year’s edition of Consumer Horizons, the Hogan Lovells global Consumer team identifies trends that will impact food and beverages companies, fashion and luxury goods producers, retailers, consumer electronics manufacturers, and other consumer companies throughout 2019.

Our team breaks down disruptive technology, sustainability and corporate responsibility practices, privacy and consumer data issues, shifting sales models, supply and sourcing matters, M&A and capital markets, and more – all with a look at global perspectives. IP-related developments in this publication include:

Download Consumer Horizons 2019 by registering here

For further information, please visit our Consumer Industry page on HoganLovells.com

DSM Watch: Copyright Directive press publishers’ rights: final edition of Article 11 is now Article 15

Yesterday (26 March 2019) the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, the EP’s adopted text will become EU law. Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws. DSM Watch has already overviewed the whole Directive here, and looked at Article 13 on liability of user-uploaded content services (re-numbered Article 17 in the adopted text) here. Now we take a deeper dive into the heavily debated Article 11 on a new press publishers’ right (re-numbered Article 15 in the adopted text).

On the one hand, Article 15 is supposed to have a major impact on the digital single market as it provides press publishers a way to seek compensation when companies like search engines and news aggregators display excerpts of their news articles, allowing them to demand license fees. On the other hand, the provision may have an impact on smaller aggregators and media monitoring services, which may be afraid of the administrative burden that is created by the new Directive. Continue Reading