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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Who we all are...
Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
Question the trade mark judges 2024

MARQUES and the UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) are once again hosting a meeting with leading trade mark judges.

The meeting will take place on 13 March from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm at UCL IBIL in London.

The judges taking part this year are:

  • Virginia Melgar – Chairperson of the 5th Board of Appeal, EUIPO
  • The Honourable Mr Justice Mellor – High Court
  • Douglas Campbell KC - Deputy High Court Judge, Civil Recorder and Crime Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit
  • Allan James - Senior Hearing Officer and former Head of Trade Mark Tribunal, UKIPO

The panel will be chaired by the Rt Hon Professor Sir Robin Jacob, who will ask questions sent in by members of the audience.

Questions can be submitted for consideration until 6 March by email to Roland Mallinson.

In-person attendance at Question the Trade Mark Judges costs £30 for MARQUES members and certain other categories or £35 for a standard ticket. Discounted prices are available for students, academics and some other people.

Find out more and book your place on the UCL IBIL website here.

This meeting is part of MARQUES series of Meet the Judges events in various countries. See all upcoming MARQUES events here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.23
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Talking MARQUES on AI and IP

Episode 18 of the Talking MARQUES podcast is now available on the MARQUES website and on Spotify.

In this episode, Mila Misevska, Play n GO Marks Ltd, Malta (member of the MARQUES European Trade Mark Law and Practice Team and Jens Matthes, Allen & Overy LLP, Germany (member of the MARQUES Intellectual Asset Management Team) discuss the use of AI-based business tools in IP and other legal work.

The speakers share examples of how AI is already being used to improve productivity and efficiency. They also discuss the benefits of AI tools and the concerns that these tools raise.

With AI tools such as generative AI, large language models and machine learning set to becoming increasingly important in day-to-day work, this podcast is a must-listen for all IP practitioners.

You can find this and all previous episodes of Talking MARQUES on the MARQUES website and on Spotify.

The next episode of Talking MARQUES will be available in April.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 16.28
Tags: Talking MARQUES, podcast, AI,
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Fourth edition of Operation SHIELD

Operation SHIELD IV, a global effort targeting the trafficking of counterfeit and misused medicines and illicit doping substances, took place from April to October 2023.

According to Europol, it lead to 1,284 individuals being charged (of which there were 296 arrests and 988 under prosecution); 52 organised crime groups investigated, four underground labs dismantled and 92 websites shut down.

More than 600,000 packages were seized, with nearly 70,000 kilos of powders and raw material, over 11,000 litres of active ingredients, 121,000 vials and ampoules and over 12 million tablets and pills.

Operation SHIELD IV was led by law enforcement and other authorities in 30 countries and supported by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), EUIPO, Frontex, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and national medicine agencies.

In a statement, Europol said:

The trafficking of pharmaceuticals is a growing issue in the European Union and beyond. The investigations under SHIELD IV have highlighted a pattern of large scale trafficking which is highly lucrative for organised crime, which in turn incentivises more criminal groups to enter the trade. This crime area inflicts significant costs for the health and social care systems of EU Member States, as well as alarming effects on public health.

It also highlighted case studies in Greece and San Marino.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 15.44
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More details on the next MARQUES webinar
Monica Davò
Elisabetta Mina

MARQUES is hosting a webinar titled ‘Advertising slogans: highly creative, poorly protectable? Possible solutions’ on Wednesday 28 February.

Register for the webinar to get answers to questions such as:

  • How much do you know about the protection of advertising slogans?
  • Have you faced problems concerning the protection of advertising slogans?
  • Is self-regulation an alternative for the protection of advertising slogans?

MARQUES is pleased to say that the webinar will also feature a discussion with two representatives of the Institute for Advertising Self-Regulation (IAP) in Italy: Monica Davò and Elisabetta Mina. IAP’s members include major advertisers and broadcasters, such as Google and the Unione Italiana Food.

Monica Davò is responsible for the technical-legal area of the Institute and for all the activities of the Review Board (Complaints Committee). She is currently vice-chair of the Self-Regulatory Committee of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), which is the authoritative voice on advertising self-regulation in Europe. She lectures at various universities and holds seminars and conferences on advertising self-regulation.

Elisabetta Mina is partner at CARNELUTTI Law Firm and member of the firm's IP and litigation departments. She has long-standing experience in protecting and managing IP rights, with a particular focus on media, entertainment, cinema and TV, advertising, digital markets and tech assets. Currently she also holds an advising position at the IAP.

Sign up now to join the webinar. It will be led by Robert Horowitz of Baker & Hostetler LLP, USA and Juan Carlos Durand Grahammer of Durand Abogados, Peru (both members of the MARQUES Famous Well Known Marks Team) and will also include Rachel Krouse.

Rachel Krouse

Rachel is the WPP Global Client Lead on Kimberly-Clark, overseeing a multi-agency ecosystem that provides integrated services across brand, advertising, media, comms and martech. She has over 18 years of experience working across a diverse portfolio of B2B and B2C brands, helping clients uncover new, meaningful ways to connect with their customers and consumers.   

Prior to Kimberly-Clark, Rachel spent six years running the Dell Technologies global business for VMLY&R (a marketing and communications company).  She was responsible for leading the team that helped Dell navigate the EMC merger in 2016, and subsequently launch its new master brand Dell Technologies to the world. Rachel worked across all business units within Dell Technologies and was pivotal in supporting the brand through numerous moments of inflection, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout her career, Rachel has played a key strategic role with clients such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Verizon, P&G, Wendy’s, and Lowe’s Home Improvement, helping them build their brands and drive positive business outcomes. Rachel is based in New York City, and lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters.

Registration for the webinar is just €100 (MARQUES members) or €135 (non-members).

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 12.15
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Impact of COVID-19 on EUTM filings

The EUIPO Observatory has published a report on trends in EUTM filings during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report is based on data from 2001 to 2022 and is available to download and read on EUIPO’s website here.

It indicates that EUTM filings showed significant resilience to the short-term turbulences created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the period covered, EUTM filings saw an average annual growth of 6.1%. In 2020, there was a notable increase in filings. However, in 2022 there was a 12.1% fall, the most significant dip during the whole period. The downturn was predominantly due to reductions from the EU Member States and China, where filings fell by 10,000 and 12,500 applications respectively.

The report indicates that trade mark filings not only reflect economic conditions but can indicate business confidence and expectations of future economic performances, serving as a barometer of economic sentiment.

The report also includes a breakdown of filings across Nice classes, showing the uneven impact of the pandemic. In 2020, only 35% of goods classes saw a downturn compared to 70% of service classes.

Among other trends highlighted by the study were a long-term growth in filings from EU Member States with a brief pandemic-induced hiccup.

The study did not analyse the effect of other events that influenced Europe’s economy in 2022, such as the war in Ukraine and the resulting bout of high inflation.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 16.47
Tags: COVID-19, pandemic, EUIPO, EUTM,
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New paper on trade marks in the metaverse

The MARQUES Cyberspace Team has published an overview of developments in trade mark law and practice as they shift to accommodate the new landscape of the metaverse, virtual goods and services, and NFTs.

The paper is available to download from the Team’s page on the MARQUES website (log-in required).

It defines the terms metaverse and NFT, discusses the classification of virtual goods and services as trade marks by EUIPO and the UKIPO, and summarises recent decisions relating to NFTs from Italy, the United States and Turkey. These include the Juventus, Hermès International, Yuga Labs, Nike, Miramax and FWRD cases.

The paper will be updated periodically with new decisions as they arise.

To find out more about this topic, please contact a member of the MARQUES Cyberspace Team.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 15.59
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Counterfeiting in clothing, cosmetics and toys quantified

Counterfeit goods cost clothing, cosmetics and toy industries €16 billion and nearly 200,000 jobs a year in Europe, according to the latest study published by EUIPO.

The study draws on data from 2018 to 2021. It found that sales of legitimate clothing/footwear, cosmetics and toys lost €12 billion, €3 billion and €1 billion a year, respectively.

Other findings of the study included:

  • Losses to the legitimate clothing industry represented 5.2% of clothing sales in the EU. Due to sales lost due to counterfeiting, the clothing industry employed 160,000 fewer people each year
  • Loss of cosmetics sales amounted to 4.8% of total sales and resulted in almost 32,000 lost jobs
  • The toy sector suffers the highest ratio of sales lost due to counterfeiting (8.7%) and employed 3,600 fewer people due to counterfeiting

The estimates of losses are based on econometric models that relate counterfeiting indicators to sales forecasting errors, defined as unexpected changes in sales in three sectors in the EU market. Each sector is analysed separately.

Across the three sectors, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Austria incurred the largest losses, with nearly €8 billion in reduced sales of genuine goods.

Germany alone accounts for one-third of all lost sales in the EU in the toy sector. However, in cosmetics, the French industry is most affected in absolute terms, with €800 million in lost sales.

EUIPO Executive Director João Negrão said: “Counterfeit goods have real costs – for consumers, for brands and for our economies. This latest study shows the very real costs when it comes to lost revenue and jobs in the EU. The findings on counterfeiting highlight the valuable work the EUIPO is conducting through the Observatory and the important collaboration we have with EUROPOL, the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF and the European Commission to identify and stamp out fake goods in the EU.”

Download and read the executive summary and the full study on EUIPO’s website here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 17.33
Tags: Counterfeits, clothing, toys, cosmetics, EUIPO,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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