The purpose of copyright is to protect original artistic works, but Banksy is well-known for his view that “copyright is for losers”, which may well be linked to the fact that he would likely lose his anonymity by asserting copyright over his works. He has instead sought protection from commercialisation by third parties of his works through various trade mark registrations. However, a recent decision by the EUIPO has put an end to his trade mark registration protecting one of his most famous pieces of art.
Continue Reading Banksy loses EU trade mark due to “bad faith”

On 29 July 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held​ that Red Bull’s signature blue and silver colour trademarks were invalid. This followed an earlier decision by the General Court of the European Union in 2017 which found that the graphic representation and description of the two colours were not sufficiently precise.

The threshold for successfully registering a trademark consisting of a single colour or combination of colours has been set purposefully high, in order to avoid situations where a large company is able to effectively monopolise a particular colour within a particular class of goods or services. A company seeking to register a colour trademark must demonstrate that their mark has acquired distinctiveness, and be able to describe it in a sufficiently clear and precise manner.Continue Reading European Court declares Red Bull’s colour trademarks invalid

The EU has published a trade mark reform package for 2016, comprising a new Community Trade Mark (CTM) Regulation and Trade Mark Directive.

The Regulation, which sets out the rules and procedures governing CTMs, will come into effect on 23 March 2016. The updated Trade Mark Directive will introduce a number of similar provisions in respect of national trade mark systems, however, its provisions will not come into effect until January 2019.Continue Reading Trade Mark Reform Scheduled for 2016

The EU General Court has refused to register the ‘Skype’ word and logo marks (the Skype marks) as Community Trade Marks (CTMs) in relation to a range of telecommunications and computer-related goods and services. The General Court’s decision is based upon a likelihood of confusion with Sky’s earlier word CTM SKY (the Sky mark).Continue Reading EU General Court finds risk of confusion between ‘Sky’ and ‘Skype’ marks

Canadian electronic DJ Deadmau5 (real name Joel Zimmerman) is currently locked in a heated trade mark dispute with entertainment Goliath Disney.

Zimmerman performs his shows while wearing a cartoonish oversized mouse mask with even more cartoonish oversized rounded ears. This symbol, which has been dubbed "Mau5head", also appears on his range of clothing and accessories, including everything from cups to USB keys. Deadmau5 and his Mau5head are recognised and followed by millions world-wide. In June 2013, Zimmerman sought to cement his creation by applying for trade mark protection with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Disney, fearing that its own intellectual property was

Continue Reading Of Mice and Men