NFL Scores Partial Win in EU Trademark Opposition

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 15 November, 2017

"Superbowl UK."

Yes, you read that correctly. In August of last year, a British company called QL Partnership Limited filed a trademark application in the EU for "Superbowl UK" in classes 41 (entertainment services) and 43 (food and drink services). The mark consists of the words "Superbowl UK" along with "Tenpin Bowling At Its Best" in a smaller font, as shown below:

Nope, the US National Football League (NFL) has no plans for an American-style football championship to be held in the UK. In fact, the NFL opposed the mark claiming it infringes on its own "Super Bowl" trademark registration in classes 16, 25, 28, and 41. World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) reports that last week, the EU IPO ruled a "partial win" for the NFL, which succeeded in its opposition in class 41 (entertainment), but failed in its opposition to QL Partnership's filing in class 43 (food and drink) due to insufficient evidence.

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Topics: trademark infringement

'Call of Duty' Game Maker Sued by US Military Vehicle Manufacturer

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 10 November, 2017

US military vehicle manufacturer AM General filed a lawsuit against the maker of the 'Call of Duty' branded video games, Activision Blizzard Inc., claiming that images of its High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or HUMVEE) have been used for years in various titles in the video game series without its permission. The suit claims the infringing products have earned Activision more than $5 billion in revenue. Prior discussions regarding licensing fees were unsuccessful.

The AM General suit states that sales came "only at the expense of AM General and consumers who are deceived into believing that AM General licenses the games or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of the games." The heavy vehicle manufacturer claims its trademarks and trade dress are featured not only in the games, but also on related merchandise. The company seeks compensatory, punitive and triple damages, along with an injunction against further use of the HUMVEE in any Activision products.

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Topics: trademark infringement

Latest Court Ruling Favors Gucci in Ongoing Trademark Dispute with Forever 21

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 9 November, 2017

The latest court ruling in ongoing trademark litigation between Gucci and fashion retailer Forever 21 dismisses Forever 21's complaint against the luxury fashion house, but does allow the company to refile. A US District Judge's ruling said the court was "skeptical" that Forever 21 had presented sufficient facts to back its claims for the cancellation of Gucci's three-striped design trademarks.

This all began when Gucci sent a cease-and-desist letter to Forever 21 in December 2016 to stop Forever 21's sale of merchandise featuring blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripes that it claimed resembled the Gucci design marks that have been registered since 1988. Gucci sent Forever 21 two more cease-and-desist letters in January and February 2017.

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Topics: trademark infringement

H&M Sued for Trademark Infringement by Electronic Duo Classixx

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 25 October, 2017

Retailer H&M was sued for trademark infringement suits last week by electronic music duo Classixx for unauthorized use of the band's name on merchandise.

Classixx, made up of Michael David and Tyler Blake, claims that H&M used the band's name on clothing without authorization, while also stating in court documents that the retailer plays its music in its stores. Stereogum reports that fans of the group have queried the duo on Twitter about whether the merchandise was made in collaboration with H&M. Here's one example of a Tweet published by The Fashion Law:

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Topics: trademark infringement

Ritter Chocolate Maintains Its 3D Trademark in Germany

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

If you've ever eaten Ritter Sport chocolate from Germany, you know that it comes in a 4 x 4 square made up of 16 smaller squares.

Following a ruling of the German Federal Court of Justice only the maker of Ritter Sport — Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG — can sell square chocolate bars in Germany. Last week's ruling follows years of legal action, which began with Ritter suing Mondelēz International predecessor Kraft for infringing on its 3D trademark when it began selling a Milka-branded "double chocolate bar" made up of two large squares that could be broken into smaller squares. In that case, the court ruled in favor of Ritter, but then sided with Kraft when the case was appealed. Ritter then attempted an appeal to the German Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.

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Topics: trademark infringement


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