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Posts about Trademark Law

Trademarking The World’s Famous Events

On 21 September 2019, over six million people descended on Munich to attend Oktoberfest, the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). Oktoberfest is also known as Wiesn, the common name for fairgrounds. Part of Bavarian culture since 1810, Oktoberfest is …

How China Is Dealing With Bad Faith Trademarks

In the world of trademarks, few things have driven Corporate Counsel and IP Attorneys crazier than China’s bad faith trademark epidemic. Filers seek to extract money for the transfer of marks (trademark squatting) or piggyback off the reputation of established brands.  Whatever t…

The Vienna Agreement Viewed Through Gendered Lenses

The Vienna Agreement was concluded in Vienna in 1973 and amended in 1985. It establishes a classification (the Vienna Classification) for marks that consist of, or contain, figurative elements. It is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Amendments To The Canadian Trademarks Act – What You Need To Know

On June 17, 2019, major amendments to Canada’s Trademarks Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. T-13) came into force. The amendments updated trademark regulations and brought Canada’s laws into line with the Madrid Protocol, the Nice Agreement and the Singapore Agreement (Treaties).  

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 distin…

Hands Off My Heritage: Cultural Appropriation And Trademarks

Walt Disney has faced uproar in parts of Africa for trademarking “hakuna matata”, a Swahili phrase meaning “no worries”. It has owned the trademark since 1994; however, as we shall see, the conversation on cultural appropriation has developed significantly in the last 20-odd year…

The Height Of Vulgarity

In saturated markets, many brands have to push the boundaries to be heard above the cacophony of marketing noise. Kmart’s ‘ship my pants’ and Kraft’s ‘get your chef together’ are genius examples of how using risqué wordplay can create catchy advertisements and brand awareness. Bu…