Week´s news headlines – Sep. 30th 2016

Can You Trademark a Cocktail Recipe?

We find out if it’s possible to protect a drink from competitors.

Read more at:



To Sue or Not to Sue for Trademark Infringement

Infringement can strip the trademark of its value by causing “confusion among consumers” as to the identity and origin of the client’s product.

Read more at:



Patents in Brazil: Part 4 – prosecution and opposition

Are all types of subject matter patentable, and if not, what types are excluded?

No. According to Article 10 of the Patent Law, the following are not patentable:

“I. discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; II. purely abstract concepts; III. schemes, plans, principles or methods for commerce, accounting, financing, education, advertising, lottery and control; IV. literary, architectural, artistic and scientific works, or any aesthetic creation; V. computer programs per se; VI. presentation of information; VII. rules of a game;

Read more at:



Will Yahoo Feed the Patent Trolls?

Yahoo, like many tech companies, maintained a large portfolio of patents and patent applications.  However, when Verizon recently purchased Yahoo for about $5 billion, the sale only included a relatively small number of patents directed to Yahoo’s “core business.”  The remaining patents and applications, about 2600 in total, had been previously split off into a separate portfolio. Codenamed “Excalibur,” the portfolio would be put up for sale at a later date.

Read more at:



UK: Copyright protection for industrially produced artistic works extended

Recent changes to UK copyright law will see designers of ‘industrially produced’ artistic works afforded the same length of copyright protection as other copyright works, meaning an increase from the currently afforded 25 year term to 70 years from the death of the creator. This means that copyright protection for industrially produced artistic works which are over 25 years old will effectively be reinstated.

Read more at:



Copyright Infringement – Plaintiff Not Required to Prove Copies Are Unauthorized

Correcting a transcription error in a prior decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit confirmed that a plaintiff does not have to prove that infringing copies are unauthorized as part of a prima facie case of copyright infringement. Rather, license, first sale or any other type of authorization defense must be proven by the defendant. Muhammad-Ali v. Final Call, Inc., Case No. 15-2963 (7th Cir., Aug. 10, 2016) (Wood, J).

Read more at:



What Brexit means for U.K., E.U. intellectual property rights

The U.K. voted on June 23 to leave the E.U., which is the start of the process of withdrawal. The first official step will only occur when the U.K. invokes Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which allows a member country to notify the E.U. of its withdrawal and obliges the E.U. to begin the complex process of negotiating a withdrawal agreement. The U.K. will not likely leave the E.U. until the withdrawal agreement enters into force, which at a minimum is two years from the date of the notification of withdrawal. The European Council may also vote to extend the two-year period, a result that many think is inevitable.

Read more at:



Designers still at risk under new UK copyright law, warns intellectual property lawyer

Recent changes to UK copyright law might not give furniture designers the protections they expect, according to intellectual property lawyer Margaret Briffa.

The changes – which extend copyright for industrial design from 25 years after an item is first marketed to 70 years from the death of the creator – were considered a win for UK designers and brands whose products were replicated.

Read more at:



The Underwear Heist – A Tale of Intellectual Property Theft

On September 20, 2016, Intimateco, LLC filed suit against Bliss Lingerie Corp., its founder – the former Intimateco Vice President of Operations – and related parties for trademark and copyright infringement, and related claims, misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion of business records, identity theft, tortious interference with business expectations and other common law claims.

Read more at:



What is the Real Value Behind Your Trademark?

Despite the widespread reliance on trademarks within many industries, including fashion, many entrepreneurs lack a real understanding of what a trademark is, how it functions and what its real value is. Put simply, a trademark is any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one from those of another. It can be a designer’s brand name, as in the case of Prada or Proenza Schouler, but such protection also extends to brands’ logos, such as Chanel’s double “C” mark or Louis Vuitton’s monogram print.

Read more at:



Protecting unregistered trademarks

As in most countries, registration is the quickest and most cost-effective way to obtain trademark protection in China. As it takes just nine months and costs only $100, there is normally no reason not to register a trademark to ensure its protection.

Read more at:

Our specialties

aSee our main areas of expertise