The popular song Waiting All Night by the band Rudimental was not copied from a 2007 song Can You Tell Me, performed by Kelly-Marie Smith, according to a ruling by Mr Justice Zacaroli on 11 August 2021 (Smith v Dryden & Ors  EWHC 2277 (IPEC)). Ms Smith brought the action for copyright infringement in the English IP Enterprise Court (IPEC), claiming that both the music and lyrics of Rudimental’s song constituted copyright infringement. Waiting All Night was primarily wri
Can confidential discussions between parties in the UK be disclosed in parallel litigation in the US?
The Court of Appeal was divided on this question in AutoStore Technology AS v Ocado Group Plc & Ors  EWCA Civ 1003, which arose as part of proceedings in which AutoStore is suing Ocado for patent infringement.
Discussions between the parties had taken place in 2018, and Ocado became aware that AutoStore intended to deploy information about these discussions before th
In what may be a record for an IP case in the UK, the trial in Lutec (UK) Ltd & Ors v Cascade Holdings Ltd & Anor  EWHC 1907 (Pat) lasted just over an hour. In his judgment published on 9 July 2021, Deputy High Court Judge David Stone found that four registered designs were infringed by two outdoor light fittings, known as the Helios Up Or Down light (Helios U/D) and the Helios Up And Down light (Helios U&D).
The judge attributed the rapid resolution to “thorough prepa
This Court of Appeal decision is a helpful reminder that a lack of evidence of actual confusion is not necessarily fatal to a finding of trade mark infringement. The two IP specialist judges and one of the few female judges in the Court of Appeal upheld a finding of likelihood of indirect confusion between EU and UK trade marks for EAGLE RARE (registered for, respectively "bourbon whiskey" and "whiskey" and other goods in class 33) and a bourbon whiskey sold under the name AM
Oatly has hit a brick wall in its attempt to stop third parties from selling oat milk using the word "OAT" plus the letter "Y". A decision in the IP Enterprise Court (IPEC) that the use of the PUREOATY name does not infringe registered trade marks for OATLY demonstrates the difficulty of enforcing marks that include a descriptive element. The case is Oatly AB v Glebe Farm Foods. Swedish company Oatly brought the action for infringement of five registered EU (now comparable UK
An application to register a trade mark can constitute passing off, according to a recent judgment by Deputy High Court Judge John Kimbell QC in a case concerning the Litecoin cryptocurrency. The litigation was brought by Litecoin Foundation Limited (Litecoin Foundation) against three defendants: Inshallah Limited, Nasjet Limited and John Pepin. Litecoin Foundation claimed it has a substantial reputation and goodwill in the UK in Litecoin, which it had promoted and developed.
We first wrote about the impact of Brexit on UK trade marks over a year ago. We are now over 6 months in since the UK's departure from the EU and rapidly approaching the end of the transitional arrangements. 30 September 2021 is the deadline for filing a new UK application and claiming priority from an earlier EU trade mark application. This only applies if the EU mark was filed on or before 31 December 2020. Other important changes Separate trade mark filings are now require
A common trade mark filing strategy in the UK and EU is to file a broad trade mark specification. A broad specification makes enforcement easier and allows room for the pivots that are common in new businesses. The down side of broad trade marks is that they block the register for future applicants. This issue has been put into the spotlight thanks to the longstanding litigation between Sky and SkyKick - previously discussed here. In the latest SkyKick judgment, the Court of
In short, "yes". Cybersquatters are a growing threat to brands. This trend has accelerated as e-commerce grows and consumers spend more time online. A new report suggests that cyber-squatters are cannier and more cunning than you might imagine.
For brand owners, resolving domain name issues and filing defensive registrations eats up considerable time and effort. But as many have found to their cost, ignoring cybersquatting can lead to consumer confusion, loss of sales, fraud
After the many logistical issues posed by both Brexit and the pandemic and with sustainability at the forefront of everyone's mind, it is perhaps not surprising that there has been a 130% increase in businesses accepted to use the MADE IN BRITAIN mark on their goods. (Many more have applied but not met the relevant criteria.) What is the legal framework that underpins this brand name and what exactly does "Made In Britain" mean? Can anyone use MADE IN BRITAIN? Made in Great B
One of the highlights of the pandemic has been the opportunity to catch up on a lifetime's worth of TV. Fortunately, there are some truly great TV shows including the comedy Silicon Valley. It is not for nothing that this great TV show has been described as a documentary! It confronts many of the business issues that face the tech industry in the US and beyond. One of my favourite episodes is a mini courtroom drama (a binding arbitration, if we're going to be precise). The ep
Influencers are advertisers. This has been clear for some time. But now influencers are trending for the wrong reasons as the Advertising Standards Authority starts to clamp down on the use of filters for beauty products and failure to identify paid content. Use of filters Advertisers should not use filters on photos promoting beauty products on Instagram if the filters are likely to mislead or exaggerate regarding the effect the product was capable of achieving. This was th
When is an online marketplace “targeting” consumers in a particular jurisdiction? This was the question that Mr Justice Michael Green wrestled with in his judgment in Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Amazon UK Services Ld & Ors  EWHC 118 (Ch). The case involved trade mark infringement and passing off claims brought against Amazon regarding the sale of goods bearing the Beverly Hills Polo Club trade marks on amazon.com. The claimants are familiar faces in the English High
Legal innovation is often equated with one of the incredible new AI tools that are unveiled at tech events on a regular basis. However, the key software package that lawyers use on a daily basis throughout the world remains Microsoft Office. Like it or loathe it, this is where legal innovation is for the vast majority of lawyers. This is a fact to be embraced and celebrated! Once you have a quick rummage under the Microsoft Office hood, there is an array of useful tools which
Defining terms Definitions make contracts easier to read. They are often known as "defined terms" and are a mini dictionary at the start of a contract. This means that, for example, rather than repeating the specific trade mark which is licensed, the "Trade Mark" is defined at the start and then the contract can simply refer to the Trade Mark in the rest of the document. Defined terms can save a lot of reading time and improve simplicity but if you get the definition wrong,
Lawyers help you grow your business. If you approach legal services in the right way, you can have a strong strategic alliance which grows with you. Here are some handy hints on how to instruct a lawyer: Don’t delay - burying your head in the sand leads to a more expensive legal bill. It may also mean that some legal options are lost forever. Get to know them - share your business vision and plans with your lawyer. It helps them give you the best strategic advice. Find the