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Romania Joins the Unitary Patent System

    Romania will join the Unitary Patent system with effect from 1 September 2024. This brings to 18 the number of countries participating in the Unitary Patent system (all of which are necessarily member states of the European Union). Consequently, European patents for which a request for unitary effect is registered from 1 September 2024 will automatically cover all 18 countries (i.e., including Romania). Such patents are referred to as “Unitary Patents”. It should be noted that the territorial…

Trade Mark Infringement and Director Liability: Hornby Street Ltd v Lifestyle Equities CV

Background Hornby Street Ltd was a company producing and selling clothing, footwear, and headgear goods bearing the mark SANTA MONICA POLO CLUB and featuring a logo depicting polo players on horseback. Lifestyle Equities CV and another (Lifestyle), owners of trade marks for BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB and a comparable polo player logo (see image below), sued Hornby Street Ltd for trade mark infringement on the basis that the mark being used was similar to their established trade mark rights and…

What is Trade Mark “Distinctive Character”?

What is Distinctive Character? By definition, a trade mark must be able to distinguish the goods and services of one business undertaking from those of another. This allows a consumer to choose between products from different sources when selecting one for purchase. When a trade mark application is filed, it is examined to determine whether it has sufficient distinctive character. But what does this mean, and how is it assessed? A recent decision taken by UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO)…

Chocolate Bar Moulds – Design Registration for “Snap Bar Mould” Held Invalid

On 22nd January 2024, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) issued a decision on a case which called into question the validity of a "snap bar mould", the subject of UK design registration no. 6136045 in the name of Paul Cardy (Mr Cardy). The design application had been filed on 10th May 2021 and showed a single image of a ‘"5-celled silicone snap bar mould". The illustration under the design registration was depicted below: A "snap bar" is a bar…
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