Trademarks

A new episode in the Rubik’s Cube saga

Rubik’s Brand v EUIPO – Simba Toys (Case T-601/17) by Laura Gastaldi, Lara Mastrangelo and Alessandra Tozzi Whether you are from the 20th century or a millennial, the Rubik’s cube will immediately bring you back in time. Indeed, such multicolored three-dimensional puzzle is one of the most popular toys of all times, with more than 350 million units sold worldwide. Yet, there are few things that not everybody knows about the Magic Cube. The first one is that it was not originally meant to be a toy: Ernõ Rubik, an Hungarian professor, invented it in 1974 in order to help …

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Sky v. Skykick, or on the meaning of “computer software”

On 16 October 2019, the Advocate General Tanchev issued his opinion in relation to one of the most interesting trademark disputes of the recent years, waiting for a preliminary ruling judgement before the CJEU.

The dispute involves Sky plc, Sky International AG and Sky UK Limited (“Sky”), active in the satellite and digital television broadcast service, against Skykick UK Limited and Skykick Inc (“Skykick”), which supply cloud migration information technology services.

According to the results of the main proceedings held before the High Court of Justice of the UK, Sky sued Skykick for having allegedly infringed its EU trademarks consisting in the word “SKY” through the use of the sign “Skykick” and its variants. Skykick defended its position by denying the trademark infringement alleged by Sky and by counterclaiming that Sky’s trademarks were invalidly registered, on the two grounds that (i) the specifications of goods and services lack clarity and precision and (ii) the relevant trademark applications were consequently made in bad faith.

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Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends – Fashion and Parody: a trendy combo?

The retail and fashion sectors need to deal with new legal issues due to the adoption of IoT technologies as a consequence of the rapid digital revolution of the industry.

The “wave” of the Internet of Things is heavily impacting the retail sector leading to new legal issues that have never been experienced by most fashion brands, and in general retail companies.

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Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends –  Monograms: just letters or powerful trademarks?

By Elena Varese e Lara Mastrangelo The Milan Fashion Week has just started and from today we are glad to host for the second time some highlights on the major fashion law trends of this season. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” used to claim Juliet in the famous Shakespeare’s play, but would a Louis Vuitton bag without its legendary monogram – or with a slightly different one – be as fashionable? To be honest, the tragic end of Shakespeare’s story might suggest that names – like it or not – have a significant value. This …

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Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends − New brand identity in the fashion industry: is the “sans-serification” the right move? 

In recent months many fashion companies have been restyling their brands by simplifying and minimizing their visual impact: big fashion industries are dropping unique fonts, words and design features − which until now have significantly contributed to differentiate their brands from their competitors’ ­− in favor of most popular and common fonts, such as sans-serif.

“Less is more”, we may say.

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Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends: Use and protection of fashion archives

The Milan Fashion Week has just started and from today we are glad to host some highlights on the major fashion law trends of this season.

Heritage is one of the major assets a fashion company holds and the ultimate tendency of this Fashion Week is to revamp old creations from the maison’s archives.

Firstly, it should be assessed whether the fashion company can use its own archives. This seems to be a plain question, however, in practice, it could happen that, despite being the owner of the physical copies of sketches and preparatory works of certain garments or motifs, the company does not hold the IP rights over such creations of the past.

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The fight against counterfeiting continues: the first Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List is now out.

After the public consultation launched last January, on 7 December 2018, the European Commission (EC) published the first Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, which provides examples of reported marketplaces or service providers located outside the EU and engaged in counterfeiting and piracy.

Such Watch List was highly expected by right holders and represents the last measure adopted by the EC against infringers, after the Overview of the functioning of the Memorandum of Understanding on the sale of counterfeit goods via the internet (MoU) in 2016 and the Guidelines for online platforms to tackle illegal content in 2017.

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