Glaxo’s purple inhalers fail to get trade mark protection

Like Cadbury before them, Glaxo’s hard-fought attempts to register a trade mark for a shade of purple have been rejected. In this case, Glaxo had sought to register the colour of its seretide inhalers and asthma treatments as a trade mark, by providing the description “Purple – Pantone: 2787C” and this sign: The General Court … Read more

COVID-19: Pressure Points: Supply Chain Difficulties – new global guide, including IP, advertising and collaboration issues

Herbert Smith Freehills has published a new global guide on supply chain difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions and solutions. Supply chain difficulties are at the heart of the pressures facing businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In our latest guide we look at supply chain pressure points and what is being and … Read more

COVID-19: Pressure Points: A Catalyst for Collaboration (Global)

As COVID-19 infiltrates every aspect of our daily lives and the world races to respond and to address the pandemic, there is a consistent theme which offers all of us hope. Collaboration. To combat the outbreak, we have seen the emergence of large numbers of companies joining to pool their resources and to cross-share their valuable know-how. Read more

CJEU finds Amazon not liable for direct infringement by unwittingly stocking infringing goods being sold through its website

In a decision published today, the Court of Justice of the European Union has found that Amazon is not liable for unwittingly stocking trade mark infringing goods by third-party sellers (Coty v Amazon C-567/18). The decision means a rejection of the concept of extending liability of platforms, such as Amazon, for direct trade mark infringement … Read more

Update on IP rights in the UK during the Brexit transition period and beyond

The UK has left the EU, but for IP rights in the UK everything is very much the same for the duration of the transition period (currently ending at 23.00 on 31 December 2020) during which the UK continues to be treated as part of the EU from the point of view of EU legislation. At the end of transition, the UK Government will provide replacement rights for what were previously EU-wide rights that were current at the end of transition, but all is not as straightforward as that might sound. Read more

OPEN INNOVATION & COLLABORATION: Triggering and managing innovation and collaboration & the IP, data and competition issues involved

Open Innovation: Forging innovation and collaboration In the first of a two-part series on open innovation, we explore how organisations can manage and benefit from the changing nature of innovation and collaboration. Open Innovation: IP, data and competition issues In part two, we look deeper into some specific issues that arise in the context of … Read more

Brexit & IP – status quo for the transition period; changes to come post-transition

From 23.00 on 31 January 2020, the UK will no longer a member state of the EU, although it will be treated as such for the duration of the transition period. From an IP point of view, the status quo will be maintained during the transition period (currently until the end of December 2020). Here we look at how the Withdrawal Agreement acts to preserve IP rights in the UK which were previously based on EU rights, and what changes are anticipated post-transition, as well as the aspirations of the Political Declaration. Read more

CJEU Decision in SkyKick offers relief to trade mark owners

The CJEU has today handed down a crucial decision as it seeks to provide clarification on important questions about the extent of the monopoly businesses can obtain legitimately through the registration of a trade mark. The CJEU held that a registered trade mark cannot be declared wholly or partly invalid as a result of a lack of clarity and precision of the terms used to designate the goods and services covered by that registration. Further, whilst invalidity on the ground of bad faith may be triggered where an applicant registers a mark without any intention to use it in relation to specified goods and services, bad faith will only be established in exceptional circumstances. This outcome is very helpful to existing trade mark proprietors and favours the existing status quo of the trade mark system. Read more

CJEU AG’s Opinion in Santen referral proposes to abandon Neurim

On 23 January 2020, AG Giovanni Pitruzzella provided his Opinion on the interpretation of Article 3(d) of Regulation (EC) No 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products ("SPC Regulation"). In doing so, AG Pitruzzella makes two proposals to the CJEU. His favoured proposal would significantly curtail the availability of SPCs for second medical uses of known and previously authorised compounds, as it strictly interprets the meaning of "product" under Article 1(b) and precludes an interpretation of Neurim according to which a marketing authorisation (“MA”) for a “different and new application of an old active ingredient” could be considered as the first MA of a previously authorised active ingredient. His alternative proposal permit SPCs in a wider set of circumstances by interpreting Neurim as allowing an SPC to be granted if the new MA “covers a new therapeutic indication of said active ingredient or relates to a use of it in which this active ingredient exerts a new pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action of its own”. Read more