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NEWS

19
04
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Satan Shoes: Trademark Blasphemy or Free Speech? https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2021/04/13/satan-shoes-trademark-blasphemy-free-speech/id=132184/;
  2. Bad faith, intent of parodic use and trademarks - Swatch successfully appeals 'ONE MORE THING' opposition by Apple: https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2021/04/bad-faith-intent-of-parodic-use-and.html;
  3. TikTok sued for trademark infringement over editing tool: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/tiktok-sued-for-trademark-infringement-over-editing-tool-21272;
  4. Vietnam’s Luc Ngan lychee gets GI certification in Japan: https://www.asiaiplaw.com/section/news-analysis/vietnams-luc-ngan-lychee-gets-gi-certification-in-japan;
  5. 2022 WTO Young Professionals Programme (YPP): https://iptango.blogspot.com/2021/04/2022-wto-young-professionals-programme.html;
  6. IP suit against Qatar Airways takes flight in UK court: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/ip-suit-against-qatar-airways-takes-off-in-london-court-21270;
  7. Countries Like the Philippines are Unable to Utilize IP Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2021/04/18/countries-like-philippines-unable-utilize-ip-flexibilities-covid-19/id=132310/;
  8. Caterpillars in court as M&S sues Aldi over Colin cake ‘lookalike’: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/apr/15/ms-takes-aldi-to-court-over-colin-the-caterpillar-look-alike-cake;
  9. Tesla, ex-engineer settle lawsuit over Autopilot source code: https://www.reuters.com/world/china/tesla-ex-engineer-settle-lawsuit-over-autopilot-source-code-2021-04-16/;
  10. How to get COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries – and still keep patent benefits for drugmakers: https://theconversation.com/how-to-get-covid-19-vaccines-to-poor-countries-and-still-keep-patent-benefits-for-drugmakers-158384;
MORE

08
04
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. License to Copy: Your Software Code Isn’t Safe After Google v. Oracle

 

  1. The World’s First NFT House Sold for $500k and Then Prompted Claims of Copyright “Fraud”

 

  1. Second Circuit Delivers Blow for Fair Use in Warhol’s Prince Photograph Case

 

  1. EPO launches new Online Filing 2.0 service

 

  1. New EPO And EUIPO Study Highlights Significantly Improved Economic Performance For SME Companies That Own IP Rights

 

  1. Sequestrati oltre 15 milioni di prodotti recanti la falsa indicazione “made in italy” per un valore di 25 milioni di euro

 

  1. Arte o plagio? Nuovamente condannata l’arte “appropriativa” di Koons

 

  1. Patents on Transactions Using Cryptocurrency: Square versus PayPal
MORE

02
04
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

IP news – 02.04.2021

  1. "No company wants to be associated with human blood" – Nike’s Satan Shoes lawsuit for trademark infringement should come as no surprise

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/29/business/satan-shoes-nike-lil-nas-x/index.html

  1. From the Climate Crisis to China, What Companies Need to Focus on When it Comes to Brand Protection

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/from-the-climate-crisis-to-china-what-companies-need-to-focus-on-when-it-comes-to-brand-protection/

  1. From acclimate to “hack-climate”

https://rouse.com/insights/news/2021/from-acclimate-to-hack-climate

  1. As Leather Alternatives Find Fans in Fashion, Companies are Clamoring for Protection

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/as-mushroom-apple-based-textiles-find-fans-in-fashion-companies-are-clamoring-for-protection/

  1. How to win the fight against “legitimate” infringers in China?

https://rouse.com/insights/news/2021/how-to-win-the-fight-against-legitimate-infringers-in-china

  1. Coty v Amazon continues: latest decision highlights the right to inspection under German Trademark Law

https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/coty-v-amazon-continues-latest-decision-highlights-the-right-inspection-under-german-trademark-law

  1. Alibaba releases 2020 IP protection statistics as engagement with anti-counterfeiting alliance grows

https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/anti-counterfeiting/alibaba-releases-2020-ip-protection-statistics-engagement-anti-counterfeiting-alliance-grows

  1. Protection of Jewellery: A Combination of Trademark, Design and Copyright Law?

https://spicyip.com/2021/03/protection-of-jewellery-a-combination-of-trademark-design-and-copyright-law-part-ii.html

  1. An alternate dimension: Deepfakes

https://rouse.com/insights/news/2021/an-alternate-dimension-deepfakes

  1. Customs Union: First phase of new EU import control system – ICS2

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_1134

 

MORE

23
03
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

IP news – 22.03.2021

  1. Magnum Photos Is Threatening to Sue a Streetwear Company That Used Its Inflammatory Images of Historical Conflicts for a New Clothing Line
  • https://news.artnet.com/art-world/richardson-magnum-photos-1953356
  1. The rise of fake luxury goods and misuse of the "Corona" trademark
  1. Italy Can Evict Steve Bannon’s School for Far-Right ‘Gladiators’ From an 800-Year-Old Monastery, the Country’s Top Court Rules
  • https://news.artnet.com/art-world/italy-can-evict-steve-bannon-from-monastery-1952704
  1. Dior is Facing Pushback in Quest to Register the Design of its Saddle Bag as a Trademark
  1. EUIPO and Eurojust step up cooperation to tackle IP crime
  1. OECD-EUIPO report on sea transport
  • https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46/?XID=BHA4972
  1. Tiffany & Co. Says Costco Wants to “Relitigate” Punitive Damages, Jury Issues in Ongoing Case
  1. Tiger King’s Carole Baskins Faces New Trademark Infringement Battle
  • https://www.intellectualpropertynews.com/trademark-news/tiger-kings-carole-baskins-faces-new-trademark-infringement-battle/
  1. Vodafone Spain fined over €8m for GDPR breaches
  1. Apple to pay $308m over digital rights management infringement

 

 

MORE

15
03
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Virgin sues US rail company over alleged licensing breach
  2. British Advertising Watchdog is Cracking Down on Use of “Misleading” Instagram Filters
  3. USOPC sues Puma for trademark infringement
  4. Securing the secrets of sports data
  5. Nintendo’s Dog Simulator Infringes Speech Patent, New Suit Says
  6. Second medical use dosage regimen claim successfully traverses both insufficiency and "obvious-to-try" attacks (T 0799/16)
  7. Computer simulations may be patentable, EPO’s BoA says
See the full decision at:
  • https://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/99f4b971c9e3eb2fc125869400340179/$FILE/G_1_19_decision_of_the_Enlarged_Board_of_Appeal_of_10_March_2021_en.pdf
  1. Senators unveil bill to close 'patent gap' faced by women
  2. China must protect seed IP to spur investment, warns Sinochem
  3. Is Litigation Threatening to Burst the [Red]bubble? Courts Weigh in On IP Implications of Redbubble’s Unique Online Marketplace
    • https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2021/03/09/litigation-threatening-burst-redbubble-courts-weigh-ip-implications-redbubbles-unique-online-marketplace/id=130712/

 

MORE

09
03
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. A clash between AB InBev and Constellation Brands over CORONA
  2. “This article was automatically written by Tencent Dreamwriter robot”
  3. Artificial inventors – the EPO President requested to comment on the Dabus case
  4. Chanel Named in New Lawsuit After Allegedly Copying Patent-Protected Paper Designs for Store Displays
  5. “Chiara Ferragni ha copiato i Moon Boot: dovrà risarcire il gruppo Tecnica”: la sentenza del Tribunale di Milano
  6. Hands off my database!
  7. Peak Design congratulates Amazon for copying its signature sling bag so well
  8. INTA files two amicus briefs in Orwell trademark cases
  9. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in bitter Archewell trademark dispute in Philippines
  10. Designer Hayley Paige Loses Instagram Account in JLM Legal Fight
MORE

01
03
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Kat Von D Sued for Copyright Infringement over Miles Davis Tattoo: https://www.iprhelpdesk.eu/blog/ip-news-36;
  2. Intellectual property and COVID-19 medicines: why a WTO waiver may not be enough: https://theconversation.com/intellectual-property-and-covid-19-medicines-why-a-wto-waiver-may-not-be-enough-155920;
  3. Olympic Committee sues Puma over ‘war’ on TMs: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/olympic-committee-sues-puma-over-war-on-tms-21078;
  4. U.S. Copyright Office Issues New Final Rule on Group Registration for Albums: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2021/02/25/u-s-copyright-office-issues-new-final-rule-group-registration-albums/id=130321/;
  5. Taylor Swift countersues Evermore theme park over use of her music: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/feb/25/taylor-swift-countersues-evermore-theme-park-utah-over-use-of-her-music;
  6. Stephen King scores victory in ‘Dark Tower’ copyright case: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/stephen-king-scores-victory-in-dark-tower-copyright-case-21077;
  7. Patent term extension in China: https://ficpi.org/ip-news/patent-term-extension-china;
  8. IP waiver on Covid-19 vaccine, AI lacks ‘legal personality’ says USPTO to Court and more: https://www.bananaip.com/ip-news-center/ip-waiver-on-covid-19-vaccine-ai-lacks-legal-personality-says-uspto-to-court-and-more/;
  9. Supreme uses image of a revered Thai abbot in its latest collection without permission: https://www.asiaiplaw.com/section/news-analysis/supreme-uses-image-of-a-revered-thai-abbot-in-its-latest-collection-without-permission;
MORE

23
02
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Burberry Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Baneberry at Suzhou, China’s Intermediate People’s Court for Trademark Infringement:
  • https://www.natlawreview.com/article/burberry-wins-preliminary-injunction-against-baneberry-suzhou-china-s-intermediate;

 

  1. As LVMH’s Bernard Arnault Looks to SPACs, What are the Key Legal Issues at Play?:
  • https://www.thefashionlaw.com/as-lvmhs-bernard-arnault-looks-to-spacs-what-are-the-key-legal-issues-at-play/;

 

  1. Protecting Designs: Considerations for the Fashion Industry Post-Brexit:

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/protecting-designs-considerations-for-the-fashion-industry-post-brexit/;   

 

  1. Here we draw again: the never-ending debate around street art and its removal:

 

  1. Five considerations for the transposition and application of Article 17 of the DSM Directive:
  • https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2021/02/five-considerations-for-transposition.html;

 

  1. Pharma firm loses patent suit to stop generic HIV drug:

 

  1. Europe hints at patent grab from Big Pharma:
  • https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-patent-grab-big-pharma/;

 

  1. PNC Sues Plaid Over Alleged Trademark Infringement:
  • https://www.pymnts.com/innovation/2021/remote-work-hasnt-stopped-bank-of-america-inventors-from-filing-record-patents/;

 

  1. Teledentistry.com Partners with UNLV to Provide Patent-Pending Model of Uberized Teledentistry Services:

 

  1. Chanel is Suing an Accessories Company Over Jewelry Made from Authentic Logo-Bearing Buttons;
  • https://www.thefashionlaw.com/chanel-is-suing-shriver-duke-over-jewelry-made-from-authentic-logo-bearing-buttons/.

 

MORE

16
02
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Aquariums or Phone booths or Both?

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c39cf898-e2d3-410e-a483-13b7825ea63d

 

  1. Models-as-authors: copyright ownership in fashion campaigns, which, due to the pandemic, are increasingly being shot through FaceTime

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/as-givenchy-campaign-stars-style-themselves-the-issue-of-authorship-and-ownership-abounds/

 

  1. Joint EPO-EUIPO report shows benefits of owning IP rights (especially if you are an SME)

https://www.epo.org/service-support/publications.html?pubid=225#tab3

 

  1. World Intellectual Property Day (April 26, 2021) devoted to IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market

https://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/

 

  1. How To Reduce Brexit-Related Counterfeiting Risk

https://www.trademarknow.com/blog/how-to-reduce-brexit-related-counterfeiting-risk

 

  1. Revolution is coming. With billions of devices connected to the internet, this ‘megatrend’ could re-shape IP forever

https://www.intellectualpropertymagazine.com/patent/revolution-is-coming-145409.htm?origin=internalSearch

 

  1. The Trademark: A Saleable, Robust and Surprisingly Flexible Asset
    https://www.thefashionlaw.com/the-trademark-a-saleable-robust-and-surprisingly-flexible-asset/

 

  1. Trade secrets: the ‘alternative IP’
    https://www.worldipreview.com/news/trade-secrets-benefits-of-the-alternative-ip-21031

 

  1. INTA announces 2021 Annual Meeting date, with hybrid event in Houston planned

https://www.inta.org/inta-announces-2021-annual-meeting-other-events/

 

  1. IPERICO 2020, i numeri del contrasto alla contraffazione in Italia

https://uibm.mise.gov.it/index.php/it/iperico-2020-i-numeri-del-contrasto-alla-contraffazione-in-italia

MORE

08
02
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. U.S. Customs Seized $1.3 Billion in Counterfeit Goods in 2020 – From COVID Kits to Dior Jordans
  • https://www.thefashionlaw.com/u-s-customs-seized-1-3-billion-in-counterfeit-goods-in-2020-from-covid-kits-to-dior-jordans/
  1. The 'goldfish phone booth' copyright case in Japan
  1. Minori sui social: il Garante privacy apre fascicolo su Facebook e Instagram. La verifica sarà estesa anche agli altri social
  • https://www.garanteprivacy.it/web/guest/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/9527301
  1. Trademark leaders expect increased consumer engagement with brands, creating an anti-counterfeiting opportunity
  1. Red Bull marks well known for sporting events
  1. The Museum of the Bible Must Once Again Return Artifacts, This Time an Entire Warehouse of 5,000 Egyptian Objects
  1. WeWoreWhat, Danielle Bernstein Want Infringement Suit Over “Copycat” Print Tossed Out of Court
  1. Olaplex, L’Oréal lose Fed Circuit appeals over haircare patent
  1. One-third of brands reported cyber IP attacks in 2020: report
  1. Amazon wins territorial trademark case at IPEC

 

 

MORE

29
01
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Ericsson launches fresh patent suit at Samsung

 

  1. Minaj-Chapman Copyright Settlement is a Warning to Artists

 

  1. Cypriot cheesemakers lose ‘BBQloumi’ dispute at EU court

 

  1. MLS, Beckham’s Miami Lose ‘Inter’ Name Trademark Ruling to Milan

See the full decision here: https://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91247160&pty=OPP&eno=25

 

  1. National Advertising Division Says Pre-Launch Investor Presentation Can Be Challenged Under Advertising Law

 

  1. INTA Files Amicus on Genuine Use of Collective Marks in EU

 

  1. Corbyn project aims to tackle IP rights covering Covid vaccines

 

  1. Protecting “The Chokwe Thinker”

 

  1. Licence Compatibility Checker: EC's Joinup Platform Introduces New Tool

 

  1. Print journalism under siege: podcasts to the rescue?
  • https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2021/01/print-journalism-under-siege-podcasts.html

 

 

MORE

18
01
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Unsung Florence Foster Jenkins screenwriter is entitled to joint authorship share.  

 

  1. Graffiti artist says North Face copied his design.

 

  1. Amazon under the spotlight in latest ‘Notorious Markets’ report

 

  1. Nazi Aryanisation of intellectual property - and contemporary efforts to restore it.

 

  1. British Airways facing potential £800m data breach suit.

 

  1. Jimi Hendrix family dispute escalates over use of name for music school.
  • https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/jan/13/jimi-hendrix-family-dispute-escalates-over-use-of-name-for-music-school.

 

  1. Unicolors is Seeking Supreme Court Intervention in Copyright Case Against H&M.

 

  1. BGH ‘Cigarette package’: Extension of undisclosed features in EU patent.

 

  1. As Fashion Embraces ESG, There Are Some Critical Legal Issues at Play.

 

  1. UKIPO declines to register Huawei’s ‘Mind Studio’ trademark
MORE

13
01
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Two copyright infringement cases: over a stylish woman silhouette and regarding Software code: http://www.iprhelpdesk.eu/blog/ip-news-30;
  2. Intellectual property after 1 January 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/intellectual-property-after-1-january-2021#history;
  3. 'ATHLON CUSTOM SPORTSWEAR’ found not confusingly similar to ‘DECATHLON’: https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2021/01/athlon-custom-sportswear-found-not.html;
  4. WhatsApp amends Privacy Policy to facilitate Third Party User Data access, Parliamentary Committee proposes changes to the Draft Data Protection Bill and more: https://www.bananaip.com/ip-news-center/whatsapp-amends-privacy-policy-to-facilitate-third-party-user-data-access-parliamentary-committee-proposes-changes-to-the-draft-data-protection-bill-and-more/;
  5. Boards of Appeal are competent to overturn a finding of fact at first instance (T 1604/16): https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2021/01/boards-of-appeal-are-competent-to.html;
  6. Netflix sued by Author for Copyright Infringement, Nicki Minaj sued for Copyright Infringement and more: https://www.bananaip.com/ip-news-center/netflix-sued-by-author-for-copyright-infringement-nicki-minaj-sued-for-copyright-infringement-and-more/;
  7. Chile and the Madrid Protocol: are we close yet? https://iptango.blogspot.com/2021/01/chile-and-madrid-protocol-are-we-close.html;
  8. Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Dispute In China: https://www.asiaiplaw.com/section/news-analysis/michael-jordan-wins-trademark-dispute-in-china;
MORE

05
01
21

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Pierre Cardin Leaves Behind a Legacy – and a Lesson – in Fashion Licensing:

 

  1. Hermès Prevails in Japanese Case Over Birkin Lookalikes, as Court Points to Resale Market as Key Factor:

 

  1. Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal cancels Crocs three-dimensional trade mark:

 

  1. A performance review: is copyright doing its job in the music industry?:

 

  1. Lipocine Announces Update on Jury Trial in Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Clarus Therapeutics:

 

  1. IBM and Airbnb reach settlement in patent lawsuit:

 

  1. Sony patent filing shows head acoustic biometrics, Apple granted patent for multi-user authentication:

 

  1. PNC Sues Plaid Over Alleged Trademark Infringement:

 

  1. WWE Files Applications For Six New Trademarks:

 

  1. Bandai Namco takes page from Sony to leverage intellectual property:

 

MORE

05
01
21

L'ambito di tutela delle DOP registrate alla luce della recente pronuncia della CGUE (CAUSA: C-490/19)

di Riccardo Caggia

 

Nella sentenza recentemente emessa all’esito della causa C-490/19 la Corte di Giustizia dell’Unione Europea (CGUE) ha avuto modo di pronunciarsi con riferimento all’ambito di tutela delle Denominazioni di Origine Protetta (DOP). Per il tramite della pronuncia citata, la CGUE ha chiarito come un prodotto che richiami determinate caratteristiche tipiche di un altro prodotto a marchio DOP sia in violazione dei diritti conferiti dalla Denominazione di Origine Protetta, così estendendone il relativo ambito di tutela.  

 

La sentenza in esame rappresenta l’epilogo di un procedimento che prende le mosse dal rinvio operato dalla Cour de Cassation francese (Giudice del rinvio) nell’ambito di una controversia giudiziaria iniziata dal Syndacat Interprofessionel de défense du fromage Morbier (Syndacat) nei confronti della Societé Fromagere du Livradois Sas. Il Syndacat, in particolare, contestava una concorrenza sleale e parassitaria da parte della Societé Fromagere du Livradois Sas, avendo quest’ultima commercializzato un proprio formaggio con caratteristiche estetiche tipiche del “Morbier” (i.e. apponendo la tipica striscia nera orizzontale cingente l’intera forma di tale tipo di formaggio). 

 

La CGUE si è, quindi, dovuta interrogare sull’interpretazione tanto dell’articolo 13, paragrafo 1, del Regolamento n. 510/2006 del Consiglio del 20 marzo 2006, relativo alla protezione delle indicazioni geografiche e delle denominazioni d’origine dei prodotti agricoli e alimentari, quanto dell’articolo 13, paragrafo 1, del Regolamento n. 1151/2012 del Parlamento Europeo e del Consiglio. La questione principale verteva, nello specifico, sullo stabilire se le norme citate dovessero essere interpretate nel senso di vietare l’uso, da parte di un terzo, di una denominazione registrata e se, più in particolare, tale eventuale divieto dovesse riguardare anche la riproduzione della forma o dell’aspetto che caratterizzano un prodotto oggetto di una denominazione registrata.

 

Ebbene, in una pronuncia dal carattere certamente innovativo, la Corte UE ha ritenuto di dover interpretare le norme in esame in un senso particolarmente estensivo, giungendo – quindi – a disporre il divieto di riproduzione anche delle caratteristiche estetiche dei prodotti protetti da DOP registrate ed enunciando, al contempo, i seguenti principi di diritto:

 

  1. L’articolo 13, paragrafo 1, del regolamento (CE) n. 510/2006 del Consiglio, del 20 marzo 2006, relativo alla protezione delle indicazioni geografiche e delle denominazioni d’origine dei prodotti agricoli e alimentari, e l’articolo 13, paragrafo 1, del regolamento (UE) n. 1151/2012 del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio, del 21 novembre 2012, sui regimi di qualità dei prodotti agricoli e alimentari, devono essere interpretati nel senso che essi non vietano solo l’uso, da parte di un terzo, della denominazione registrata”;

 

  1. “L’articolo 13, paragrafo 1, lettera d), del regolamento n. 510/2006 e l’articolo 13, paragrafo 1, lettera d), del regolamento n. 1151/2012 devono essere interpretati nel senso che essi vietano la riproduzione della forma o dell’aspetto che caratterizzano un prodotto oggetto di una denominazione registrata, qualora questa riproduzione possa indurre il consumatore a credere che il prodotto di cui trattasi sia oggetto di tale denominazione registrata. Occorre valutare se detta riproduzione possa indurre in errore il consumatore europeo, normalmente informato e ragionevolmente attento e avveduto, tenendo conto di tutti i fattori rilevanti nel caso di specie”.

 

La sentenza in esame si colloca, evidentemente, in una prospettiva di ampliamento dell’ambito di tutela conferito dalle Denominazioni di Origine Protetta, circostanza che – senza dubbio – risulterà particolarmente favorevole per tutti i titolari di tali diritti e, quindi, per la protezione – tra le altre cose – delle specialità agroalimentari. Sotto tale prospettiva, la decisione della CGUE merita apprezzamento, in quanto rende possibile intervenire nei confronti di condotte di concorrenza sleale e parassitaria particolarmente insidiose, ovverosia tutte quelle condotte che – mediante tentativi di decezione dei consumatori fondati sul richiamo dell’aspetto di prodotti DOP – pongano un serio rischio di diluire il prestigio e l’apprezzamento del mercato di cui godono prodotti caratterizzati da elevati standard di qualità come, per l’appunto, i prodotti a marchio DOP.

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28
12
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

 

  1. More Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games: A 2020 Update
  1. How the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic Changed IP Practice
  1. The Top Five European Patent Developments of 2020
  1. ABG Drops Counterfeiting Claim in Case Over New Balance’s “Vision” Sneakers
  1. 5 Years After its Parent Company Sued Alibaba – Twice, Gucci Launches on Chinese E-Commerce Platform
  1. Rihanna in copyright spat over Fenty Instagram ad
  1. Netflix settles copyright spat over Sherlock Holmes’ emotions
  1. Operazione “Bologna luxury”
  1. La frode delle mascherine Armani e Gucci nate contraffatte nelle sartorie illegali
  1. When a strong reputation does not guarantee distinctiveness

 

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28
12
20

Shiseido v. Amazon: i sistemi di distribuzione selettiva e le vendite online

di Giulia Pezzera

 

Il tema della distribuzione selettiva ha assunto un ruolo centrale nella tutela dei marchi, con particolare riferimento ai marchi di lusso.

 

È evidente che la reputazione di un marchio si manifesti anche tramite i canali di distribuzione utilizzati. Di conseguenza, i titolari dei marchi adottano sistemi di distribuzione che consentono di limitare la commercializzazione dei propri prodotti esclusivamente a quei rivenditori che siano stati preventivamente ammessi alla rete distributiva.

 

Tali sistemi, tuttavia, rischiano di pregiudicare la libera concorrenza. Da un lato, infatti, pongono degli ostacoli all’accesso al mercato ad alcune categorie di rivenditori, dall’altro limitano il bacino di clientela per i distributori ammessi al network autorizzato, che potranno rivendere i prodotti esclusivamente ai consumatori finali o agli altri appartenenti alla rete distributiva. Si è dunque reso necessario un contemperamento delle diverse esigenze, che ha condotto la giurisprudenza europea a subordinare la liceità dei sistemi di distribuzione selettiva ad alcuni requisiti, definiti “criteri Metro”, dal nome della società protagonista di una delle prime vicende oggetto di pronuncia pregiudiziale della Corte di Giustizia dell’Unione Europea in argomento (CGUE 25-10-1977, Metro SB-Großmärkte GmbH & Co. KG contro Commissione delle Comunità europee, Causa 26/76). Secondo tali requisiti, i sistemi di distribuzione selettiva non ricadono nell’ambito dei divieti derivanti dall’art. 101 del Trattato sul Funzionamento dell’Unione Europea (TFUE) qualora siano giustificati dalla natura dei prodotti oggetto di vendita (in particolare i prodotti di lusso o di alta tecnologia), siano adottati criteri di accesso oggettivi ed applicati in modo non discriminatorio e, al contempo, sia garantita la proporzionalità rispetto agli obiettivi perseguiti, adottando restrizioni che non vadano oltre il limite del necessario.

 

La violazione di un sistema di distribuzione selettiva è in grado di integrare uno dei “motivi legittimi” previsti all’art. 5 comma 2 c.p.i., che costituiscono una deroga al verificarsi dell’esaurimento del marchio, qualora tale violazione determini un danno al prestigio del marchio stesso. Ne consegue che il titolare potrà opporsi alla commercializzazione dei prodotti anche a seguito dell’immissione in commercio all’interno del territorio dell’Unione Europea.

 

In giurisprudenza si ritiene, in particolare, che tale pregiudizio si verifichi, ad esempio, qualora il distributore terzo non sia dotato di locali ritenuti adeguati, quando i prodotti recanti il marchio cui ci si riferisce siano esposti insieme a prodotti di diversa natura e di minor valore economico o qualora non siano garantiti adeguati servizi di assistenza pre e post vendita.

 

Tale impostazione, formatasi in relazione ai punti vendita tradizionali, può essere calata anche nell’ambito della vendita online, mantenendo le medesime finalità, ma assumendo – com’è ovvio – connotazioni diverse, dettate dalla particolarità di questo tipo di commercio.

 

È noto infatti che la vendita online ha assunto, in questo periodo storico, un ruolo fondamentale, rafforzato dalla presente situazione pandemica, durante la quale l’utilizzo dei servizi di e-commerce è notevolmente aumentato.  

 

Su tali questioni si è recentemente pronunciato, con ordinanza del 19 ottobre 2020, il Tribunale di Milano, nell’ambito del procedimento cautelare instaurato da Beauté Prestige International S.A., Shiseido Europe S.A. e Shiseido Italy S.p.A. (“Shiseido”) nei confronti di Amazon Europe Core S.a.r.l., Amazon EU S.a.r.l. e Amazon Services Europe S.a.r.l (“Amazon”).

 

Le ricorrenti, licenziatarie esclusive dei marchi “Narciso Rodriguez”, “Issey Miyake”, “Elie Saab”, “Dolce e Gabbana” e “Zadig & Voltaire”, hanno proposto procedimento urgente ante causam nei confronti di Amazon “per l’indebita promozione e offerta in vendita dei prodotti recanti i marchi di titolarità delle ricorrenti attraverso l’omonima piattaforma di e-commerce”. Le resistenti, che – si precisa – sono estranee al sistema di distribuzione selettiva adottato da Shiseido, non garantirebbero, secondo le ricorrenti, il rispetto dei requisiti necessari a salvaguardare il prestigio dei propri marchi, con conseguente danno alla relativa reputazione e notorietà.

 

Il Tribunale ha, anzitutto, richiamato la giurisprudenza comunitaria in tema di esaurimento del marchio e di sistemi di distribuzione selettiva, conformandosi a tali orientamenti. Dopodiché, l’attenzione è stata posta sul tema delle vendite online, confermando (anche in questo caso in linea con quanto già affermato dalla giurisprudenza europea) che, se da un lato sarebbe illegittimo un divieto assoluto alle vendite online (considerato una grave restrizione della concorrenza), dall’altro lato è lecito esigere il rispetto di alcuni standard qualitativi da parte del sito ove le vendite online sono poste in essere.

 

Si è, quindi, reso necessario valutare la questione sulla base di tre principali interrogativi: i) se i prodotti oggetto di lite potessero essere considerati articoli di lusso; ii) se il titolare dei marchi avesse predisposto un sistema di distribuzione selettiva valido; iii) se la vendita dei prodotti effettuata da Amazon tramite le proprie piattaforme potesse, effettivamente, arrecare un danno alla reputazione dei marchi.

 

Per quanto riguarda il primo aspetto, l’aura di prodotti di lusso è stata riconosciuta solamente nei confronti dei marchi “Narciso Rodriguez” e “Dolce e Gabbana”, facendo leva su alcuni indici tra cui la ricerca di materiali di alta qualità, la cura nel packaging, la presentazione al pubblico, l’accreditamento nel settore di riferimento ed il consolidato riconoscimento da parte della stampa specialistica. La valutazione successiva si è, quindi, limitata a questi due marchi.

Relativamente al secondo punto, il sistema di distribuzione selettiva di Shiseido è stato considerato adeguato a creare e mantenere un’immagine di lusso associata ai prodotti, sia per quanto riguarda i negozi “fisici” facenti parte del network distributivo, sia per quanto riguarda le vendite via Internet. Le ricorrenti, infatti, subordinano contrattualmente la possibilità di vendere i propri prodotti online ad una preventiva autorizzazione, che viene riconosciuta tenendo conto di alcuni criteri, in particolare la qualità grafica del sito, la predisposizione di una “zona di qualità dedicata”, la presenza di spazi dedicati ai prodotti di lusso e l’assenza di offerte in vendita di prodotti di diversa natura rispetto a quelli di profumeria e cosmetica.

 

Infine, per quanto riguarda il terzo punto, il Tribunale ha ritenuto che, in effetti, la vendita effettuata tramite Amazon leda gravemente il prestigio dei marchi “Narciso Rodriguez” e “Dolce e Gabbana”, accogliendo le doglianze avanzate dalle ricorrenti, a causa i) dell’assenza di negozi fisici che precluderebbe un idoneo servizio clienti in grado di informare il pubblico in modo adeguato; ii) dell’accostamento a prodotti eterogenei e di livello qualitativo non elevato; iii) della presenza di prodotti di altri brands, anche appartenenti a segmenti di mercato qualitativamente più bassi.

 

Il Tribunale ha quindi accolto – parzialmente – il ricorso, limitatamente ai marchi “Narciso Rodriguez” e “Dolce e Gabbana”, che, sulla base delle produzioni documentali, sono stati effettivamente ritenuti marchi di lusso, tali da subire un notevole danno al proprio prestigio a causa della vendita effettuata tramite Amazon.

 

Va peraltro specificato che, al fine di poter giungere a tali conclusioni, si è reso necessario considerare anche il ruolo attivamente svolto dalle resistenti. Infatti, la recente sentenza della Corte di Giustizia (Coty v. Amazon, C-576/18), ha escluso che gli operatori che si occupino della semplice attività di stoccaggio di prodotti che violano i diritti connessi ad un marchio siano responsabili di tale lesione. Il Tribunale – dopo aver specificato che la distinzione tra hosting provider attivo e passivo sia rilevante solo da un punto di vista risarcitorio e, dunque, non in sede cautelare – ha specificato che, nel caso concreto, non sembrerebbe che Amazon abbia rivestito un ruolo meramente passivo, considerato che i) ha talvolta operato quale venditore diretto dei prodotti oggetto di lite e ii) ha svolto un ruolo attivo quanto ai servizi di intermediazione (gestione dello stoccaggio, spedizione dei prodotti, gestione del servizio clienti, dell’attività promozionale). Tale ruolo, inoltre, è stato ritenuto in grado di determinare nei consumatori la convinzione dell’esistenza di un legame tra Amazon e Shiseido.

 

Tutto quanto sopra considerato, i giudici hanno quindi ritenuto che Amazon abbia svolto, nel caso di specie, il ruolo di hosting provider attivo, con la conseguenza che non possa essere esonerata dalla responsabilità di cui all’art. 16 del d.lgs. 70/2003, ossia – appunto – dalla responsabilità gravante su chi svolga attività di hosting.

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IP assets to foster sustainable business models in the fashion industry

The importance of IP assets to leverage the environmental, social, and economic impacts of sustainable innovations, also in the circular economy, is currently a much-debated topic in the fashion industry.

Indeed, companies are increasingly pursuing sustainable business models to reduce negative social and environmental impact and stimulate sustainable production and consumption by relying on innovative products or green technologies, which typically involve some combination of formal (e.g., patents, trademarks) and informal (e.g., know-how, data, trade secrets) IP tools.

 

Although different degrees of IP protection can be associated to sustainability-focused fashion business approaches, it is crucial that IP strategies are aligned with business models to ensure better decisions for creating and delivering sustainable value (people, profit, and planet) and broader stakeholder value.

 

IP for Sustainable Value Propositions

The value proposition of a sustainable business model focuses on superior customer value, coupled with clear benefits for society and/or the environment while delivering a profit.

Against this background, IP generation (in-house R&D, co-development, etc.) and sharing (controlled and selected licensing or sharing free of charge) are suitable to address:

  • value propositions targeting social sustainability, which may involve offering products, services, and technologies for social groups that have not been served before. An example is represented by Tommy Hilfiger’s collection for disabled people, Tommy Adaptive, which includes essential fashion pieces with modifications such as adjustable hems, one-handed zippers, side-seam openings, adjustable waists, and magnetic buttons to make the fashionable designs disability-friendly.
  • innovative products, services, and technologies seeking to improve the environmental impact, which embed different features that involve several IP assets in the form of patented inventions, design rights, trade secrets, and trademarks. The footwear company ACBC, for instance, patented ZipShoe, a sole with a reduced ecological footprint which allows the creation of many different shoes.
  • profitability and sustainable economic benefits, as IP is at the core of protecting companies’ investments, their brand, and their offerings.

 

IP for Sustainable Value Creation

The value creation in a sustainable business model takes into consideration sustainable practices related to key stakeholders, activities, and resources. IP assets play a crucial role as a signaling tool to attract investors, collaboration partners, and suppliers, in terms of:

  • IP access and knowledge sharing through partners’ collaborations, to acquire technologies, know-how, and IP rights related to sustainable innovations. In this regard, sustainable brand collaborations can be a great opportunity for knowledge-sharing between businesses. Many social and environmental innovations in the fashion industry are still nascent or unproven at scale but combining the expertise of smaller pioneering brands with the size and platform of larger businesses can foster better practices. A prominent example features Elvis & Kresse five-year partnership with Burberry, launched in 2017 to save and use at least 120 tonnes of leather offcuts produced each year for a range of luxury products.
  • Sharing innovations, e.g. through memberships, licensing, or other agreements, to help companies move towards sustainability pathways.
  • IP licensing by working hand-in-hand with suppliers, who can be licensed IP rights to turn supplier relationships into strategic partnerships aimed at addressing sustainability challenges.
  • IP generation for improvement through R&D either by in-house or collaborative technology development. Such activity is key not only to generate IP assets (e.g., patents, design rights, know-how) but also to improve operational processes.
  • IP pooling, pledging, and sharing through engagement in open innovation projects. Collective efforts, based on trust, can reduce costs, accelerate innovation and share unused knowledge and innovative ideas. This view inspired Yoox Net-a-Porter and Prince Charles’s Foundation in the creation of an artisanal collection by harnessing A.I. tools thanks to Politecnico di Milano’s research laboratory.
  • Knowledge and know-how of human capital with reference to employees. The latter are considered the most relevant resources in many companies, not only to perform R&D activities to generate IP assets but also to contribute to the execution of sustainable-related activities.

 

IP for Sustainable Value Delivery

The value delivery considers sustainable practices in terms of how the value reaches different customer segments, customer relationships, and channels for a positive environmental and social impact.

The role of IP assets comes into play within the following B2B strategies:

  • IP generation and protection for own exploitation in the target market segment.
  • IP licensing and IP transfer to attract IP-seeking business customers: companies may commercialize their IP instead of products in the market for this customer segment involving companies.
  • Trademark licensing and co-branding for value delivery in new markets. For instance, in 2019 Reformation worked with New Balance to create a new, eco-friendly version of the 574 and X-90 sneakers, based on recycled polyester and Bloom algae foam. The project featured on Lyst’s top collaborations of 2019 and was a sell-out success that generated a waiting list of more than 11,000 customers. It benefitted both brands in different ways: giving Reformation visibility in the eyes of footwear consumers and boosting New Balance’s sustainability credentials.
  • Reuse of freely accessible online platforms, domain names, and open access contents as channels to deliver sustainable social value to customers.
  • IP sharing, end-of-life cycle, and post-sale service in B2B market: companies establish agreements to provide services in order to deliver more value, by allowing IP access to help extend product lifetime through repairing, recycling, and remanufacturing services, which are aligned to the circular economy principles.

 

Four IP-related activities are especially relevant for customer relationships.

  • use of open-source IP sharing involving users (in particular, expert customers) in the innovation process, in terms of addressing collective interests and scaling-up sustainable solutions.
  • open-source IP sharing and crowdsourcing to retain customers: obtaining valuable feedback from customers for sustainable solutions through crowdsourcing may help strengthen the relationship with customers.
  • sharing of IP, product end-life cycle, and related post-sale service towards sustainable value delivery.
  • use of trademarks and certification marks for communicating sustainability messages to relevant customer segments. This strategy involves ownership and own use of IP, particularly trademark as a branding tool to convey brand messages to build customer relationships. More information can be found in our previous articleSustainable fashion: do “green” trademarks actually communicate CSR commitments or just provide misleading information?”, discussing the role of trademarks for sustainability.

 

 

For a more in-depth analysis of the integration between IP and sustainable business models, also beyond the fashion industry, please consult the main source for this article:

Hernández-Chea, R.; Vimalnath, P.; Bocken, N.; Tietze, F.; Eppinger, E. Integrating Intellectual Property and Sustainable Business Models: The SBM-IP Canvas. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8871.

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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. As Face Masks, Shields Become a Fashion Category of Their Own, Brands Are Rushing to File Trademark Applications

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/as-face-masks-shields-become-a-fashion-category-of-their-own-brands-are-rushing-to-file-trademark-applications/

  1. COVID-19 Vaccines: Patent Ownership and the Barriers to Equitable Access

https://spicyip.com/2020/12/covid-19-vaccines-patent-ownership-and-the-barriers-to-equitable-access.html

  1. The Biden administration’s trade policy: what will it mean for IP?

https://www.worldipreview.com/article/the-biden-administration-s-trade-policy-what-will-it-mean-for-ip

  1. What a Decision Over Ferrari’s “Testarossa” Trademarks Means for Luxury Brands in the Resale Economy

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/what-the-decision-in-a-case-over-ferrari-testarossa-trademarks-means-for-luxury-brands-in-the-resale-economy/

  1. ITC breaks new ground in IPR decision

https://www.worldipreview.com/article/itc-breaks-new-ground-in-ipr-decision

  1. Senators ask USPTO to close ‘archaic’ patent gender gap

https://www.worldipreview.com/news/senators-ask-uspto-to-close-archaic-patent-gender-gap-20509

  1. Nike and Warren Lotas Settle Trademark Suit Over “Illegal Fake” Sneakers

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/nike-and-warren-lotas-settle-suit-over-illegal-fake-sneakers/

  1. Bentley Motors lose ‘David v Goliath’ trademark appeal against a small family company called Bentley Clothing.

https://www.intellectualpropertymagazine.com/trademark/bentley-motors-lose-david-v-goliath-trademark-appeal-144975.htm#.X9tZqBf3DKo.twitter

  1. Trademark office officials found to have forged documents and then attempted to defraud companies with bogus services over Chinese social media platforms

https://www.intellectualpropertymagazine.com/world/china/chinese-trademark-office-found-to-have-forged-documents--1.htm

  1. Sequestrati 1.400 litri complessivi di champagne, olio e alcol non tracciati e contraffatti - 2 denunciati

http://www.gdf.gov.it/stampa/ultime-notizie/anno-2020/dicembre/c

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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. In a Blow to Experience-Art Emporium Meow Wolf, a Judge Allows an Artist’s Copyright Lawsuit to Proceed
  1. Se Gio Ponti finisce su una tovaglia
  1. 14th edition of the ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap Published
  1. EPO Study: Innovation in Smart Connected Objects on the Rise
  1. Patents and royalties battle with Samsung hits Ericsson shares
  1. Apple is sued by rival over alleged App Store monopoly
  1. EUIPO-KIPO Exchange on new technologies and AI
  1. Chappelle's Show on Netflix - the unforgiving tension between an artist and the creations he does not own
  1. Angry Birds vs Angry Chicken: Trademark Case Filed With USPTO
  1. Nike and Warren Lotas Settle Trademark Suit Over “Illegal Fake” Sneakers

 

 

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