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Copyright Deadlock in Trademark Cases

Did you know that works subject to copyright protection can theoretically also be used as trademark signs? In most countries artistic work, a title of a book, or even a character name, can be used as a trademark - unless it falls under the provision of “descriptiveness and distinctiveness”.

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Recent Trademark Infringement Cases You May Have Missed In 2018/19

There have been some significant trademark disputes hitting the headlines in the last twelve months. In April 2019, lawyers for Erik Brunetti, owner of the popular brand FUCT, challenged the provisions of federal law that allows for “immoral or scandalous matter” to be refused trademark protection. Mr Brunetti believes his First Amendment rights are being infringed. And given the decision in Matel v Tam 582 U.S. ___ (2017) he may have a strong chance of success.

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Why INTA’s Unreal Campaign Matters

Everyone loves a bargain. There is something very satisfying about saying “I got it for only (fill in the cheap price)” when someone compliments you on your sassy new shoes or bag. And with the trade in counterfeit goods valued at US$917 billion a year, it is understandable that ordinary law-abiding consumers feel that resisting purchasing a ‘Chanel’ bag from a chap on a foreign beach won’t make any difference to the extent of the problem. Like global warming, the issue is too big and the damage too hidden to coerce people into changing their behaviour.

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All Are Equal In The Eyes Of USPTO: Celebrities, Sports Stars, and Trademarking Names


Michael Jordan retired from basketball in 2003. That’s 16 years ago. However, thanks to the ‘Jordan’ brand operated by Nike, he still earns around $100 million a year. Football legend David Beckham left the sport in 2013, but somehow, I don’t think he is relying on a British government pension. He is raking in around $75 million per annum, thanks mainly to deals with H&M and Adidas.

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How Well Do You Understand Trademarks?

Outside of the branding processes undertaken by trademark professionals, there exists a fundamental fallacy - everyone seems to think that they understand trademarks. From startups choosing to go it alone with their applications to others decrying the need for trademarks at all, confidence in innate knowledge and simplicity is at an all-time high. 

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Social Media Influence in the Trademark World

Social media, whether you view it as friend or foe, invades every part of our lives and brands were quick to become part of that narrative. This creates a number of challenges for the companies involved. Standing out amongst all the noise being a case in point.

However, this is far from being the only challenge associated with the use of social media by brands of all sizes. Joe Quigley of Rivet LLC shares some insights:

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The Trademarks of Christmas Past

Although the tradition of bearing Christmas gifts is as old as the Christianity itself, Christmas celebration traditions with a Christmas tree are traced back to the 16th century Germany, with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert popularizing it in the UK and the US closer to the end of the 19th century.

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How Long Does It Take To Register a Trademark in Canada?

One of the most frequently asked questions by those newer to the trademark world is “How long will it take to get my trademark registered?” Frustratingly, as with so very many things in the legal world, the real answer is “It depends”. There are genuine reasons why this should be so. Innumerable factors can impact your application to register a trademark and no promises can be made as to the time that your specific application will take. However, there are some indications that you can use to create a general guideline of what you might expect in Canada.

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