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IP in the News - 4 August 2016


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Summary: Our regular update on developments in the world of IP, this week featuring a trade mark infringement claim faced by a rapper for the use of Burberry in his name, and a potential copyright infringement claim arising from Donald Trump’s use of Queen’s We are the Champions song as part of his political campaign despite the band’s objections.

Celebrities and Trade Marks

Rapper Burberry Perry (not his real name!) is being sued by Burberry in the US for use of the Burberry name. The rapper claims that he was given the name after he used to wear Burberry clothes all the time, but his debut album cover also featured very strikingly similar Burberry designs.

Whilst Burberry do in fact have a Burberry Acoustic music related website, even without that they would have been able to argue that the rapper was taking unfair advantage of and was detrimental to their reputation and goodwill in respect of dissimilar services, particularly given the strong language used on his album.

Music and Copyright

Queen has become the latest in a growing list of bands and artists who have objected to Donal Trump using their music as part of his political campaign. Trump played We Are The Champions at the Republican National Convention apparently without the band’s consent.

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