IP Two Minute Monthly - October 2013

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Here are our summaries for last month which shouldn’t take you more than two minutes to read.

TV PROGRAMMES, STREAMING AND COPYRIGHT

Following the European Court ruling in the case, TVCatchUp has now been ordered by the High Court to stop streaming over 20 ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 channels to mobile devices. Whilst it was also ordered not to stream some of the channels on its internet-based service, it was permitted to continue to do so in respect of the main public service channels, due to a specific defence under UK copyright law.

COLOURS AND TRADE MARKS

The Court of Appeal overturned a previous ruling that Cadbury were able to obtain a trade mark relating to the colour purple. The mark was found to lack clarity because it didn’t just cover the colour purple for packaging, but also included the wording “or being the predominant colour”. This effectively meant that the trade mark could cover a wide range of other colours and visual material. Pure colour marks should still, however, be capable of trade mark protection.

SCRABBLE AND TRADE MARKS

The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision we reported previously that Mattel’s trade mark for a Scrabble tile was invalid. The trade mark was not a “sign” and lacked clarity as it potentially covered any combination of letters and numbers on a tile, since it showed an image of a blank tile with text stating that the tile bore a letter and a number between 1 and 10.

COPYRIGHT AND JURISDICTION

The European Court ruled in the Pinckney case that a French citizen could take copyright infringement proceedings in France in respect of a CD made in Austria and sold in the UK on a website which happened to be accessible in France. However, the French Court could only decide on the damages payable for the infringements in France.

DEVICES, DESCRIPTIVENESS AND TRADE MARKS

The owners of the red RELAX Community Trade Mark for bed-related products was unsuccessful in opposing a later Community trade mark application for the grey bear device mark for similar goods. The OHIM Board of Appeal ruled that the word Relax would be seen by consumers as purely descriptive, so that the focus should be on the device elements and the colour.

GENERIC TOP LEVEL DOMAIN NAMES

Facebook suspended the domain name ‘.facebok.pw’ under the Uniform Rapid Suspension policy, its first use for gTLDs as the first gTLDs went live this month. Do contact us if you wish to use the Trademark Clearinghouse and/or set up a domain name watching service.

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