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The Problematic Process of Trademarking Trends

Trademarks are words, services, symbols or designs created to identify goods or services from one party to another.  They also seek to maintain the reputational value of a brand while helping to defend itself from counterfeiters or fraudsters. But thanks to the current ‘meme’ culture [...]

Hachette UK Acts Up Over ‘Five Go’ Theatre Comedy Show

If you’ve stepped foot into a bookshop within the last year or so, chances are you’ve seen the ‘grown-up’ parodies of Enid Blyton’s well-known Famous Five series adorning the shelves. Ever since Hachette UK acquired the rights to the books through Enid Blyton Entertainment, [...]

Just How Easy is it to Trademark a Hand Gesture?

If you’ve ever been to see a heavy metal concert, the chances are likely that at least once you have seen someone with their hand held aloft, their index and pinky fingers pointed upwards and their thumb perpendicular. It’s a common gesture that many people [...]

The Plain Packaging Dispute – is it in Violation of Tobacco Companies’ IP?

Over the last ten or twenty years, we have seen a significant and sustained crackdown on the way that tobacco companies are able to package and market their products. Since Canada became the first country to enforce graphic picture warnings on cigarette and tobacco [...]

#Hashtag Trademark Applications Rise 64% in Just One Year

It wasn’t too long ago that hashtags didn’t even exist, but since the birth of Twitter they’ve grown to become so much more than a tool to identify messages on a particular topic. They’ve become stand-alone marketing tools, used in adverts and advertising campaigns [...]

Hasbro Smells Opportunity as it Tries to Trademark Play-Doh Scent

Owned by Hasbro since 1991, Play-Doh is perhaps one of the most ubiquitous children’s toy products, and there have been more variations on the products than we could ever attempt to list. But for the first time, sensing an opportunity to further strengthen its [...]

Merely Descriptive vs Suggestive — The Unwritten Rule of Trademark Law

On the whole, trademark law is incredibly comprehensive, but there’s one important rule that’s still unwritten — how to distinguish between ‘merely descriptive’ and ‘suggestive’ trademarks.The difference between these two types of trademark can be contentious. A merely descriptive mark is something that gives the [...]