This week’s roundup includes two forays into the world of music trade mark battles and news from the Argentine IP office.
Yoko Ono versus John Lemon
John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono is suing a small start-up based in East London for “abusing and misusing the legacy of John Lennon to sell their soda.”
The owner of the start-up says: They are trying to find a case because of the similarity of the name, but these are two different names, two different brands. All of us involved with this product are start-ups and we couldn’t take on someone who is worth many, many millions.”
Despite his insistence that UK sales of the product, which is manufactured in Poland, have in no way been linked to John Lennon’s image or name, fighting the law suit is impossible. The founder must now sell off his stock before a ban is imposed on 30 October.
IP fee rises in Argentina
Argentina’s IP office, the Argentine National Institute of Industrial property, has implemented a new set of fee increases. Split over two stages, the full range of changes will come into effect from 1 October and will cause some fees to rise by more than 50%.
The first wave of changes started in August, and will affect fees for trade marks, patents, utility models and industrial designs via Resolution 311-E/2017. Name changes and recording assignments will see fees increase by 100%, while the average increase will be around 40%.
Gene Simmons defiant on trade marks
In June this year, Gene Simmons from Kiss, the famously litigious rock super group, attempted to register a common hand gesture as a trade mark.
The ‘devil horn’ hand gesture has been used by music fans for decades, and Simmons came under a lot of fire for his trade mark application. Despite the fact that he withdrew it just two weeks after filing, he’s now told a Canadian magazine that: “If I could, I would trade mark the air you breathe.”