BREXIT successfully registered as EU trade mark
A UK based company, Brexit Drinks Ltd applied to trade mark ‘BREXIT’ for products including cigarettes, brewery, food supplements and energy drinks.
The EUIPO board of appeal found no grounds to refuse the registration as a trade mark in classes 5, 32 and 34. An objection had been raised on the grounds that the trade mark was both offensive and descriptive and that “It represents an attempt to play down the importance of BREXIT as a serious momentum in modern European history.” However, the board of appeal ruled that a trade mark registration can’t be refused because the idea might offend a certain group.
Battle over ‘Notorious’ trade mark
Irish MMA (mixed martial arts) star Conor McGregor has run into problems with his plan to launch a whiskey brand using his fighting moniker – Notorious.
After his massively publicised fight with Floyd Mayweather, McGregor announced his whiskey was coming soon. However, founder of Carlow Brewing Company Seamus O’Hara is looking to block McGregor from registering the Notorious trade mark in Europe.
O’Hara owns a European trade mark for Notorious in two different categories – beers/non-alcoholic drinks and spirits. He states that McGregor’s trade mark is identical to his and in the same product categories. If he wins, McGregor may be forced to change the name of his product.
Starbucks V The End
Starbucks released a Unicorn frap in April 2017 to capitalise on the social media food trend. A café in New York, The End, had created the original that sparked the trend, selling it in 2016 and applying for the trade mark in January 2017.
The End argued that Starbucks released its unicorn drink to overshadow theirs, therefore creating consumer confusion and launched a law suit against Starbucks. They asked for $10 million, and while no figures have been released, they settled out of court.
New crime report launched
Earlier this month, the Intellectual property Office (IPO) and IP Crime Group (IPCG) launched a new intellectual property crime report.
Called IP Crime and Enforcement Report, it highlights current and emerging threats of counterfeiting and piracy. The report uses statistics and information on enforcement from UK agencies including Trading Standards, Customs and the police, as well as industry bodies.
Figures include 443 people being found guilty last year under the Trade Marks Act and 47 people found guilty of offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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