Welcome to our latest IP update – insight into the most recent cases and developments in IP law. We’ll uncover the news stories most relevant to you and provide insight into what they mean for your business.

To find out more, click here 

If you have any questions about the updates or any IP issues or challenges you’re facing, please contact Melanie McGuirk or Alexandria Winstanley.

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Welcome to our new look IP update – the latest insight into the cases and developments in IP law. We’ll uncover the news stories most relevant to you and provide insight into what they mean for your business.

To find out more, click here 

If you have any questions about the updates or any IP issues or challenges you’re facing, please contact Melanie McGuirk or Alexandria Winstanley.

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In the latest of our quarterly retail law updates, we look at the news and legal developments affecting the sector.

It covers the hot topic of user generated content and the legal implications for brands. We also look at the IP case which will have a far-reaching impact on 3D original product and garment designs, as well as a guest post from Mazars on the online sales tax.

Read our quarterly update here

If you would like to discuss these topics in more detail, or have any questions, contact partner, Melanie McGuirk on 07790 882567 or email melanie.mcguirk @pannonecorporate.com

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In our last update of 2021, we look at the IP stories and case updates making headlines across the UK and around the world.

In December’s edition of our monthly IP round-up, we delve into a Stormtrooper helmet NFT dispute between artists and a curator, the high-profile Supreme Court decision of Lloyd v Google, and Walmart’s issue with Kanye West’s Yeezy LLC. In a more festive theme, we also look at why John Lewis is being urged to donate the proceeds of its Christmas advert to charity, and the importance of clear wording of online promotions as shoppers hit the sales.

Read our monthly IP round up here.

If you would like to discuss these topics in more detail, have any questions or would like to receive our IP round-up directly to your inbox by email each month, contact Melanie or Amy:

Melanie McGuirk on 07790 882567 or email melanie.mcguirk@pannonecorporate.com

Amy Chandler on 07920 237674 or email amy.chandler@pannonecorporate.com

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In our latest IP round-up, our team shares the latest IP headlines and legal developments from the UK and around the world.

This month we cover the rise of social media copyright infringement claims, the news that Superdry sues Asos for ‘flagrantly’ copying its designs and ASA and CAP’s launch of guidance on advertising in-game purchases.

Read our monthly IP round up here: https://mailchi.mp/pannonecorporate/ip-round-up-october-2021

If you would like to discuss these topics in more detail or have any questions, contact Melanie or Amy:

Melanie McGuirk on 07790 882567 or email melanie.mcguirk @pannonecorporate.com

Amy Chandler 07920 237674 or email amy.chandler@pannonecorporate.com

 

 

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 The high-profile spat between Dolce and Gabbana and Diet Prada continues to create quite a stir among fashion circles – long after the now-infamous D&G ad campaign in 2018, which set this whole public affair in motion. The Italian brand has accused the self-professed ‘fashion watchdog’, Diet Prada, of fuelling a large-scale backlash to its misjudged ad, by unleashing a volley of social media content, as well as its contended “illegal publication of Stefano Gabbana’s private conversations” on Instagram.

 

Dolce and Gabbana alleges that by way of their heavily followed Instagram account, Diet Prada’s founders initiated a “smear campaign”, consisting of “serious and repeated defamatory conduct” aimed at harming the Italian brand to the value of €3 million in damages.

 

While the long-running legal battle is being played out in foreign courts, it poses some very pertinent questions that are as relevant to UK companies as they are to global brands – namely, the growing role social media is playing, not only in acting as a medium for defamatory comment, but being used as a tactic for applying pressure on the opposing side during legal proceedings.

 

Applying pressure in the hope of a settlement is nothing new; using such a public platform in which to do so is certainly a growing trend. Social media has popularised and accelerated many things in society – its vast reach, instant impact, and widespread adoption, makes it a perfect channel for engaging with untapped audiences and amplifying your message.

 

However, there’s a big disclaimer that comes with using this method to interact with people – whether you’re a business or an individual. Defamation occurs when someone causes substantial harm to the reputation of another by publicising a false statement – inappropriate or ill-considered written words, posting private correspondence in which allegations about someone else are made, sharing, forwarding or commenting on news or gossip, will all potentially be grounds for a libel case.

 

It’s so commonplace to use the likes of Instagram as a means of communicating with people, it becomes second nature to share material on the platform; it’s vital however that companies think twice about using social media channels as a pressure tactic in an ongoing legal case, or as a means of attacking competitors given the risk such behaviour could expose you to.

 

It’s essential to tread carefully when using social media and other media outlets for any form of publicity, whatever the motivation, and equally important to recognise when it’s happening to you as a business. When does a social media post cross the line? Where do the boundaries lie? Has something happened which harms your or your business’ reputation? Can you legitimately object and challenge the way in which a competitor has spoken about you on-line?  Once subject to targeted attack, the erosion of your reputation can be difficult to recover from.

 

As a business, it’s important to understand your rights when it comes to instances of defamation and the breach of privacy of your staff and directors, and to engage in PR and other business strategies appropriately through the right channels. Dolce and Gabbana’s bitter duel with Diet Prada has been played out in a very public way over a number of years. Businesses need to avoid airing their dirty (even if fashionable) laundry in public – it is ultimately and inherently unattractive, being publicity for all the wrong reasons. Instead, harnessing the power of social media positively to facilitate the creation or exchange of information in order to promote a business is much more likely to give that business greater longevity and credibility.

 

 

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Whether a startup business or one with a longstanding history, some of the most important aspects of your business can be those which are easily overlooked. In addition to those tangible assets that are on the balance sheet, the intellectual property underpinning your business is often of vital importance. In the modern world, intellectual property can be one of the most valuable assets that a company has. Putting in place simple steps to defend it is vital for the continuing success of a business.

1 – Register Everything

First and foremost, registering your intellectual property should be the first line of defence. In the UK, registering a trademark or design right is in most cases very cost effective and straight forward and will assist in the protection of your brand and bespoke products. Inventions which may be commercially successful should also justify the greater costs of registering a patent.

The Intellectual Property Office is the government body responsible for all IP rights in the UK. You can find much helpful information on its website as regards how to register your IP.

Remember, you own the intellectual property if you create something protectable.  If an employee creates something in the course of their employment, the business who employs that employee will own any IP subsisting in the creation. There may be cases where you or your business have bought rights from the original creator or owner in order to make sure that you control them.

2 – Monitor Competitor Behaviour

Keeping a keen eye on the activity in the market is key if you want to spot any misuse of your IP. New companies and new products trying to piggyback on your rights to shortcut the time and cost you have invested in your brand or products can be the easiest to spot, but you may even find cases of long-standing competitors skirting the line of infringement.

Having one individual conduct periodic searches online and in trade specific sources is only a small task, but it can be extremely beneficial if misuse of your IP is uncovered before the infringement becomes material.

3 – Documentation

Comprehensive and thorough documenting and record keeping is one of the best defences when it comes to your IP. In the event that a matter becomes contentious, these documents will comprise the evidence and proof which supports your case. Ensuring such data or documents are dated or time stamped and the author clearly recorded should be a priority in terms of normal housekeeping.

4 – Object To and Challenge Unlawful Use of Your IP

Even with the above best practice put into place, there will always remain a likelihood of your IP being infringed or misused. For this reason, you need to be prepared to defend your business and maintain the integrity of your IP when infringement or misuse is discovered. Sometimes something as simple as a cease and desist letter can work, as many companies or individuals will fear further repercussions or full-blown legal action if they do not explore a resolution of the dispute with you on sensible commercial terms. Injunctions and court action may also be required depending on the severity of the infringement.

 

Do you need more information or guidance in regards to IP? Contact the Pannone Corporate team today, either on 0800 131 3355 for our Manchester office or by filling out the contact form.

 

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