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Showing posts from July, 2018

EU Trade Marks - No Break for KitKat: Société des produits Nestlé SA v Mondelez UK Holdings & Services Ltd.

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Jane Lambert

Court of Justice of the European Union (Judges L. Bay Larsen (President of the Chamber), J. Malenovský, M. Safjan, D. Šváby and M. Vilaras (Rapporteur)) Joined appeals C‑84/17 P, C‑85/17 P and C‑95/17 P, Société des produits Nestlé SA v Mondelez UK Holdings & Services Ltd. [2018] EUECJ C-84/17P, ECLI:EU:C:2018:596  25 July 2018


The issue before the Court of Justice of the European Union was whether it is necessary for a mark that is devoid of distinctive character to have acquired distinctiveness through use in each and every member state of the European Union in order to be registered as an EU trade mark, or whether it is enough to show that it has acquired distinctiveness through use in the EU as a whole.

The Mark
The mark that is the subject of this discussion is the 3-dimensional shape in the above photograph.  It was registered by the Société des produits Nestlé SA ("Nestlé") as an EU trade mark for sweets, bakery products, pastries, biscuits; cakes and wa…

Intellectual Property in the Gulf

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Jane Lambert

While British departure from the EU on 29 March 2019 may not be a racing certainty with growing calls for a second referendum it is still very likely. British businesses need to look for alternative markets and one with which the UK has very close commercial, diplomatic and cultural links are the Arabic speaking states on the shores of the Arabian (or, if you prefer, Persian) Gulf.

Six of those states have formed a political and economic union known as The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf which is generally abbreviated to Gulf Cooperation Council or "GCC".  Those states are Bahrain. Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  The combined population of those states is just over 54 million (33 million of whom are Saudi nationals).  The states' combined land area is just over 1 million square miles to which Saudi Arabia contributes 830,000 square miles.  Though the region's population is modest, per caput GDP is high…

Brexit - Why do I follow the Art 50 (2) Negotiations when I am an IP Lawyer?

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Jane Lambert

The answer is very simple.  The laws upon which my clients will rely to protect their intellectual assets in the future will depend to a large extent on the outcome of those negotiations.  If agreement can be reached on the terms upon which the UK leaves the EU there will be a transition period between 29 March 2019 and 31 Dec 2020 during which long term  arrangements for the future relationship between the UK and EU including the enforcement of intellectual property rights can be negotiated. If agreement cannot be reached there is a danger that important legislation such as  Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and judgments in civil and commercial matters will cease to apply to the UK after 29 March 2019.

At present, negotiations on a withdrawal agreement are finely balanced.  On the one hand, the EU's chief negotiator,Michel Barnier, said we were 80% of the way there in a press statement following the July 2018 General Affairs Council on 20 July 2018.  Howe…

Data Protection: Introduction to the Data Protection Act 2018

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Jane Lambert

It is well known that the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") came into force throughout the European Union on 25 May 2018.  What is less well known is that a new Data Protection Act 2018 came into force in the UK on the same day.  The Act complements the GDPR in that it repeals the Data Protection Act 1998 which had transposed the Data Protection Directive into English and Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish law.  The GDPR repealed the Directive but not member states' implementing legislation,  The 2018 Act also provides machinery for the enforcement of the GDPR and regulates personal data processing that falls outside the scope of the Regulation.

Where to find out more about the Act
I publish most of my articles on data protection in a separate blog called NIPC Data ProtectionNIPC Data Protection is already a comprehensive resource on English and EU data protection law.  It has direct links to the Act as well as the GDPR as well as the previous le…

Injunctions against ISPs - the Supreme Court decides who pays the Cost of Compliance: Cartier International and Others v BT and Others

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Jane Lambert
Supreme Court (Lords Mance, Kerr, Sumption, Mance and Hodge) Cartier International AG and others v British Telecommunications Plc and another[2018] 1 WLR 3259, [2018] WLR 3259, [2018] WLR (D) 354, [2018] UKSC 28
What this Appeal was about In Cartier International AG and others v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and others: [2015] EMLR 10, [2015] 1 All ER 949, [2015] 1 All ER (Comm) 641, [2015] RPC 175, [2014] EWHC 3354 (Ch), [2015] BUS LR 298, [2015] RPC 7, [2015] Bus LR 298, [2015] ETMR 1, [2014] WLR(D) 464 Mr Justice Arnold made an order requiring British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. and other internet service providers ("ISPs") to block access to certain websites which promoted the sale of counterfeit products under s.37 (1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981. I blogged about the case in Injunctions against ISPs Part VIII: Cartier International AG and Others v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and Others6 Jan 2015.
In order to comply with blocking orders such as Mr Justice Arnold&#…