Latest Legal News

X Marks the Spot in IP Battle

Trade marks are jealously protected by their owners. A recent case shows how even seemingly uncontroversial trade marks can be found to infringe existing trade marks and proves the need for care in such circumstances. The case involved tyre giants...

Use It or Lose It

Having a trade mark is all well and good, but a recent case should serve as a reminder that failing to use trade marks may lead to them being lost. The case involved a trade mark for a cigarette brand which was registered to a tobacco company in the USA. ...

Do You Know Who Actually Owns the Patents You Depend On?

A great many companies depend on patents for their profitability, and doubts over ownership of intellectual property (IP) rights can put their very survival in jeopardy. This point was illustrated in a case that concerned a number of patents in respect of...

Court Robust in Protection of Motor Giant Trade Mark

Motor giant BMW, challenging a decision over the use of its trade mark with which it disagreed, has won its appeal in the Court of Appeal . The dispute was over the use of BMW trade marks by a small London garage business, Technosport, which repairs and...

Place Name Trade Mark Prevents Confusion

Newspapers periodically contain stories about the restrictions on use of terms that are geographically well known, for example the restriction on the use of the word 'Champagne' to describe sparkling wine. In addition to geographical restrictions, proper...

Shape Change Not Inventive

For a patent to be valid, it is not sufficient that it is simply something new. There has to be an inventive step over the 'prior art', so that the item or process for which the patent is sought is not an obvious development. This test is at the heart of...

Internet Search Confusion Not Enough for Trade Mark Infringement

Argos is a well-known retailer in the UK and owns its trade name. However, the argos.com web domain is owned by a US company which specialises in computer-aided design and that company uses 'Argos' on its website as well as in its domain name. Argos took...

Pioneering Psychologist Blocks Abusive Use of His Name Online

A recent case in which web searches for a pioneering psychologist led to a website selling shoes and clothes shows the extent to which Nominet, the Internet watchdog, will act to protect the rights that people have in their own names. The psychologist had a...

High Court Keeps Commercially Sensitive Product Information Secret

Litigation often requires disclosure of highly sensitive commercial details. However, as one intellectual property case concerning a mapping database showed , the courts do have sophisticated means of keeping such information under wraps. A company had...

Developing Others' Ideas Can Itself Be Novel and Inventive

Patents that merely repeat pre-existing ideas are invalid – there has to be something novel about an invention to secure patent protection. However, that does not mean that developments based on the work of others cannot themselves be novel and...

Customer Details Email Leads to Fine for Ex-Employee

When an employee left her recruitment agency employer, she took the dubious step of emailing to her private email address the personal data of about 100 of her clients and contacts. She subsequently used the data to contact them in connection with her new...

Business Sales and Domain Rights

Buying and selling a business can be a complex matter and engaging a professional to make sure that deals are watertight and all the necessary actions are taken is a sound investment. In one case where that did not happen , a costly dispute developed...

Branded Goods Sold Without Authority Can Lead to Prosecution

It is well known that the sale of counterfeit goods is a criminal offence and prosecutions are by no means unusual. A recent case looked at the position in which goods protected by a registered trade mark are offered for sale with the brand owner's...

Backups Not For Sale

Backup copies of software are made routinely, and the sale of software no longer used is also commonplace, despite the fact that in many cases the software licence is not legally transferable. However, what would the position be if the original purchaser...

Shape Must Convey Brand to Create Goodwill

Many household objects are of a similar shape and even where the shape of an object made by a manufacturer has a particular style, the existence of intellectual property rights in that style will depend on it being unique to the point that potential...

Trade Mark Validity - It All Depends

A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has implications for the owners of trade marks which are only used in part of the EU. The nub of the ruling is that if a court in the EU finds that an EU trade mark may cause confusion...

TalkTalk's Fine for Data Protection Breaches - What it Means for You

The recent fine levied on TalkTalk by the Information Commissioner shows the great importance of having an effective data protection regime in operation in any business. TalkTalk was fined £400,000 – the largest ever fine of its type –...

Renault Squashes Internet Entrepreneur in Web Domain Dispute

Building brands is a lengthy and very costly process and it is hardly surprising that brand owners take a very dim view of others benefiting from their goodwill. In one case, car manufacturer Renault came down hard on a businessman who used its name and well...

IP Investment Exceeds Physical Investment

Anyone doubting the importance of intellectual property (IP) in the modern economy will be surprised by the contents of a recent report from the Intellectual Property Office that investment in research and development, software and design in 2014 was, at...

Online Trader Price Fixing Leads to £160,000 Fine

A company which deals in sports and entertainment products such as posters and stickers has pleaded guilty to breaching competition law by creating a cartel through collusion on pricing to ensure that it did not undercut the prices offered by an online...

Fake BMW Goods Lead to Jail

Recent jail terms for the counterfeiting of goods, after a financial investigation by the Intellectual Property Office, show clearly the dangers of dealing in goods which are counterfeit or breach the trade marks or other intellectual property (IP) rights of...

EU General Data Protection Regulation

In the UK, the Data Protection Act 1998 sets out the principles of data protection in compliance with European legislation. The more recent approval of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has imposed some changes on the operation of UK data...

Trade Mark Rip-Offs - Landlords Beware!

It is well known that counterfeit copies of leading brands are fairly commonplace, especially in online shops. Many will also know that Internet service providers can be required to deny access to websites which are found to be dealing in 'knock-off' goods. ...

Web Knock-Offs - Stopping the Rot

The Internet is a market for all sorts of goods – including 'knock-off' copies of well-known brands. These are widely available through e-commerce websites around the world. In 2011, the UK brought in legislation which allows Internet service...

Combination of Small Steps Provides Patent Validity

Air travellers will be familiar with the X-ray scanners used as part of the security measures in airports, and the international market for such systems is massive. One of the leading names in the industry is Rapiscan, whose devices are widely used in many...
  • Page 1 of 5