WIPO RESOLVES EURAIL DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE
Artists , Internet , Record Labels , Trade Mark / September 2003

TRADE MARK Record Companies, Artists, Mechandisers, Internet An administrative panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently decided a case under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) between Eurail (the European joint venture supplying tickets and passes for rail and ship travel in Europe) as Complainant and Epasses of San Francisco as Respondent. Eurail uses the names “Eurailticket” and “Eurail Pass” for its tickets and passes. It has registered “EURAIL” and “EURAILPASS” as trade-marks in the US and other countries. Epasses has a web site offering Eurail Passes and other tickets for use on railways in Europe. The dispute concerned the domain names www.eurail.biz, www.eurailpass.biz and www.eurailpasses.biz. which the Respondent registered. The Panel applied the three-part test set out under paragraph 4 of the UDRP. (1) It ruled that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trade-marks. (2) However, a distinction for the purpose of the second part of the test was made between eurailpass.biz and eurailpasses.biz on the one hand and eurail.biz on the other. In the former case, there was no evidence that Epasses use of the domain names and sites had been illegitimate, especially in view of its legitimate…

‘BLUE’ NAME DISPUTE RESULTS IN OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENT
Artists , Record Labels , Trade Mark / August 2003

TRADE MARK Artists, Record Labels Boy band BLUE have resolved their dispute with Scottish rock band BLUE over the use of the name with what can be best described as a ‘Mexican stand-off’ where both bands will continue using the same name. As part of the settlement, costs were awarded against the Scottish band but will not be applied for by the ‘New’ Blue or their label (EMI/Virgin) – provided the ‘Old’ Blue do not bring any trade mark application or other formalisation over use of the name. Formed in 1973, Old Blue had argued that their career was being hampered by the new boy band using the same name as them. The Old Blue last had a hit in 1977 when their single Gonna Capture Your Heart got to number 18 in the UK charts. The band have released sixteen singles and seven albums and are primarily a recording band selling CDs by mail order and the Internet. New Blue, formed in 2000, have had seven top 10 hits and three number 1 records in the UK charts in the last three years. Both bands had worked with rock legend Sir Elton John, who had been expected to give evidence. Mr…

FOOTBALL EMBLEMS ARE COPYRIGHT

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels Football Association Premier League Ltd and others -v- Panini UK Ltd The Court of Appeal has held that the badges and crests of individual English football clubs were the artistic works of the clubs and were entitled to copyright protection. The unlicensed inclusion of these badges, crests and emblems on the stickers of Panini’s Football 2003 Sticker Collection was not an ‘incidental inclusion’ in an artistic work within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and therefore an injunction was granted to restrain the defendant distributing those stickers and albums. Lord Justice Chadwick held that where an artistic work in which copyright subsisted appeared in a photograph – because it was part of the setting in which the photographer found his subject, then it could be properly said to be an integral part of the photograph. But to qualify as an exception to infringement, the inclusion of the work must be incidental and on the facts of the case, clearly the inclusion of the badges, crests and emblems was not incidental as it was the basic object of the defendant’s production of stickers and albums. Source: The Times, Law Report, 17 July 2003 See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/legalarchive…

ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS PROTECT ‘MAIL’ NEWSPAPER MARK

TRADE MARK Artists, Record Labels, Internet Associated Newspapers, owners of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard suceeded in a High Court action to prevent rival publishing group Express Newspapers from calling their planned new evening newspaper theEvening Mail or the London Evening Mail. Mr Justic Laddie held that the the proposed title could confuse the general public into believing that the new paper came from the Daily Mail’s stable rather than from a different publishing group. COMMENT : In the United Kingdom trade names and brands are protected both under legislation as statutes (under theTrade Mark Act 1994, EC Directive 89/105) or under the common law doctrine of ‘passing of’. Trade Mark legislation allows for registration of distinctive recognisable marks with an initial protection for twenty years, in effect giving the owner of a registered mark an effective licence for use and exploitation for this period. Protection can now be extended by registering the mark as a Community Trade Mark. Passing off protects traders’ reputation, goodwill or products. No registration is needed but a brand or name must be in established use. It was held in Spalding -v- Grange (1915) that ”no person is entitled to represent his goods as…

BRITISH SINGER MISS KIER ALLEGES THAT HER CHARACTER RIGHTS ARE BEING USED WITHOUT CONSENT
Artists , Copyright , Trade Mark / June 2003

COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARK Artists, Merchandising The flamboyant British singer Lady Miss Kier believes a video game has stolen her image including her pink ponytailed hair, short skirt and knee-high boots and signature cry of “Ooh La La.” Miss Keir, who found fame with Deee-Lite, filed the suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court this week against the U.S. arm of video game publisher Sega, alleging the 2000 game “Space Channel 5” used her likeness for the ‘Ulala’ character without her permission and that the name of the character is based on Keir’s own signature ‘Oh La La’. Keir alleges that Sega approached her for permission but still used her image even after she declined to grant a licence to Sega . See http://www.forbes.com/technology/newswire/2003/04/30/rtr957273.html

ARSENAL VICTORY IN COURT OF APPEAL
Trade Mark / May 2003

TRADE MARK Merchandising The Court of Appeal has published its decision in the case of Arsenal Football Club Plc -v- Reed substantially overturning the decision of Mr Justice Laddie in the High Court. The Court of Appeal applied the European Court of Justice’s decision that where a third party used in the course of a trade a sign that was identical to a validly registered trademark on goods which were identical to those for which the trademark was registered then the registered owner could prevent this third party use. Mr Justice Laddie had held that the mark ‘Arsenal’ was a badge of allegience rather than indicating the origin of the goods and as Mr Reed had made it clear his goods were not official Arsenal FC goods then he was not infringing the club’s trademark. But the Court of Appeal held that whilst the mark may well be a badge of allegience – that though would not prevent its use by a third party and thus jeopardise the function of a trademark, namely the ability to guarantee origin. The Court therefore held that the High Court should have followed the ECJ’s decision and given judgement for Arsenal. Whilst not strictly…

TRADER FREE TO SELL CELTIC AND RANGER’S FAKES
Trade Mark / May 2003

TRADE MARK Merchandising A Scottish Court has confirmed the approach of Mr Justice Laddie in Reed -v- Arsenal Football Club when it allowed a street trader to continue selling branded ‘Celtic’ and ‘Rangers’ associated football club goods. The defendant, Joseph Gallacher, could have faced up to 10 years in jail when he was charged with breaching the Trademarks Act 1994 by selling unlicensed merchandise. Sheriff Laura Duncan halted his trial and acquitted Gallacher, ruling he was not “infringing” by using the clubs’ logos on his gear. The Sheriff (Judge) followed the Arsenal case – where it was successfully argued that unlicensed use of the club’s crest was allowable because it was “a badge of allegiance” and not a deliberate trademark breach. Following the decision, a delighted Gallacher claimed it was “another victory for the man on the street”. He said: “I did not believe I was doing anything wrong and that has judged to have been the case. The crests are a badge of allegiance and the clubs are finding it hard to explain otherwise”. Gallacher had told the court that he sold the goods from the back of his van on match days at the Ibrox and Celtic Park…

MISLEADING WEBSITE DIVERTED BUSINESS FROM ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE
Internet , Trade Mark / March 2003

TRADEMARK Internet, Merchandising A website name used by Campus Insurance Services diverted customers intending to buy policies from Endsleigh Insurance to Campus’s own sales pages. Campus registered the names www.ensleigh.com and www.ensleigh.co.uk hoping web users would misspell the word ‘Endsleigh’. It is believed that a large number of students did this and Campus have been ordered to produce details of the number of students diverted from their ‘Ensleigh’ pages to their main site who then bought home contents insurance. The Court held that Campus had infringed Endsleigh’s trademark in a deliberate attempt to fool customers into buying more expensive cover from Campus. Damages will be assessed at a later stage. See www.thetimesonline.co.uk/yourmoney

DOORS DRUMMER TAKES ACTION AGAINST NEW ‘DOORS’
Artists , Copyright , Trade Mark / March 2003

TRADE MARK, COPYRIGHT Artists, Merchandising A reunion concert featuring two original members of the Doors has prompted a law suit from original drummer John Densmore in the Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract and unfair competition. Original keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger have teamed up with vocalist Ian Astbury (formerly of the Cult) and Stuart Copeland, drummer with the Police, to play a concert in Los Angeles. Densmore claims that the band’s name is owned as a partnership by the three living members and the late Jim Morrison’s wife, Pamela Courson and that each partner has a right of veto over use of the name. He claims that the ‘new’ Doors are misusing the band’s name and logo and will confuse the general public. Recent cases in the UK involving the use of original band names have included Sweet and Bucks Fizz. Seewww.news24.com/News24/Backpage COMMENT : This area of law has recently been explored in the UK by the High Court in the case of Byford -v- Oliver and Dawson (2003). This case involved the use of the name ‘Saxon’ by Biff Byford, the original singer with the British heavy metal band. Byford had been a band member since its formation in the late 1970s….

USE OF SIMILAR MARKS
Trade Mark / February 2003

TRADE MARKS Merchandising Davidoff et Cie SA -v- Gofkid Ltd (2003) European Court of Justice C292/00 (2003) This case concerned an action by Davidoff who distributed luxury cosmetics, clothing, tobacco, leather and other goods under the trade mark Davidoff which is registered in Germany and other countries. The defendants owned the markDurfee – registered in Germany later than the Davidoff mark. The marks had the same script and the same distinctive styling of the letter D and ff. At first instance the claim was refused as it was held that there was no risk of confusion between the marks. The ECJ held that despite there being no risk of confusion between the marks, Articles 4(4)(a) and 5(2) of the EEC trade mark Directive 89/104 provided specific protection for the first registered mark against a later mark which was identical with or similar to the first registered mark and which was intended to be used or was being used on goods or services similar or identical to the first registered mark. (The Times, 22 January 2003).

A SMELL CANNOT BE A TRADE MARK
Trade Mark / January 2003

TRADE MARK Merchandising Slecmann -v- Deutches Patent und Markenamt  European Court of Justice C273/00 (2002)  EC law provides that a trade mark may consist of any sign capable of being graphically represented particularly words including personal names designs letters numerals shapes of goods or their packaging provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings (EC 89/104) The Court’s decision was that a smell (defined as balsamically fruity with a slight hint of cinnamon) could not be registered as a trademark whether as a chemical formulae, a description in words or by depositing a sample. For background information on trade mark law see www.fjcleveland.com

CAN UNOFFICIAL MERCHANDISE BE PREVENTED?
Live Events , Trade Mark / December 2002

TRADE MARK Merchandising, The Live Concert Industry Reed -v- Arsenal FC (2002) The curious case against ‘unofficial’ merchandiser Mr Reed BY Arsenal Football Club (AFC) carries on. The initial hearing in the High Court, London, before Mr Justice Laddie resulted in an unexpected win for Mr Reed. The Court held that because Mr Reed made it quite clear that his goods were unofficial, AFC could not rely on the law of passing of or their registered trade marks for ‘Arsenal’ ‘Gunners’ (AFC’s nickname) and two logos to prevent Mr Reed selling his goods near the club’s ground. The European Court of Justice overturned this decision holding that the unauthorised use of ‘badges of allegiance’ were protected by trade mark law. Mr Reed’s use of the signs created an impression of a link between the goods he sold and AFC and AFC as the proprietor [of a registered mark] is entitled to prevent unauthorised use of their marks. See www.lawreports.co.uk ECJ: Case C-206/01 But in an unexpected twist the High Court ‘overturned’ the ECJ’s decision allowing Mr Reed to continue selling his ‘Gunner’s’ merchandise. The UK decision has sent tremors through the world of band merchandising with fears that a properly registered trademark will not protect…