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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Breaking The Internet: Will The EU Make The (Copy)Right Decision?

In a dramatic turn of events, the European Parliament has voted against the first considerable update to copyright legislation in almost twenty years.

The proposed “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” was intended to harmonise aspects of copyright law across EU member states and has fostered much public debate since its inception. Although approved by the European Parliament Committee of Legal Affairs in June, the proposals were narrowly defeated by 318 votes to 278 when they went to the European Parliament on 5 July 2018.

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The Bayswater And The Belief

A case involving the iconic luxury handbag designer Mulberry has looked at the law around discrimination on the grounds of a rather unusual philosophical belief.

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Can you spot a fake?

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” or so the saying goes.

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The Secret To Success: Protecting Your Trade Secrets

As mentioned in a recent blog, the means of protecting trade secrets in the EU is changing. 

In 2016 the EU adopted the Trade Secrets Directive, which has been implemented into UK law this month by the Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018. The Directive aims to harmonise the law in this area to ensure that a minimum standard of protection exists across the EU.


Trade secrets: why protect them?

Trade secrets can be the lifeblood of any business.

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Success For Christian Louboutin In Long-Running Trade Mark Battle

Luxury French shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, appears to be close to winning a five-year legal battle to enforce the trade mark of his brand’s distinctive red soles.  Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), ruled in favour of the designer after he sought to prevent Dutch high street retailer Van Haren from selling its own version of red-soled high-heeled footwear.

Although a trade mark of a colour is not wholly unusual in the US, with brands such as UPS and Tiffany & Co successfully gaining such protections, the EU courts have been stricter and sho

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IP And Brexit - Are We On The Cliff Edge Of A Fashion Nightmare?

A report into the implications Brexit may have on the UK’s intellectual property industry paints a bleak picture. 

The authors of the report, the Alliance for Intellectual Property, are a UK-based coalition of 20 organisations with an interest in ensuring intellectual property rights receive the protection they need and deserve.  The report highlights a number of areas in which they say “urgent attention” is required by the Government to avoid certain “cliff edge” risks from occurring.    

The Alliance has taken some encouragement from the fac

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Learning From The Mistakes Of Others

In my first blog in this short series I discussed the pitfalls associated with the issue of groundless threats; determining ownership of copyright and negative publicity arising from issue of cease and desist letters.  Continuing the theme of learning from the past mistakes of others, this blog will consider: risk of losing unused trade marks; the implications of a loss of confidential information and the importance of not forgetting the poor cousins of IP law - moral rights.

Again, I would

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Can You Keep A (Trade) Secret?

Whether it’s a surprise birthday present, an unexpected trip away or a broken vase in the living room, we all have secrets and we know how to keep them (however hard it may be!).  However, can the same be said for trade secrets?  From rumours of the KFC recipe being transported in armoured high-security cars, to the IRN-BRU recipe custodians never travelling on the same plane, it’s clear that trade secrets are no ordinary secrets.  Businesses around the world are prepared to go to extreme lengths to ensure theirs remain protected.

But short of these

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Learning From Our Mistakes

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”.

There is no disputing the wisdom inherent in the quote often attributed to Einstein, even if there has been some lively academic debate as to whether or not this was his own work.  Did even Einstein infringe copyright?  In my 20 years of practice in intellectual property law, I have seen many of the same mistakes repeated over and again – fortunately not always by the same person!

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How To Avoid A Counterfeit Christmas

With Christmas day fast approaching some will have already finished their gift buying. But for the rest of us there will inevitably be the last minute Christmas Eve dash to the shops. Buying the right gift is always tricky but, perhaps worse than forgetting to buy a present, would be getting something which wasn’t as it first appeared. So how can we avoid being fooled, and make sure counterfeit goods don’t appear under our Christmas tree?

Counterfeit goods are big business – but at what cost?

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