Jaguar stands up to Puma, Google survives genericide case and the importance of transferring IP Assets!
30 April 2017 by Michael Downing
Google in the Appeals Court
This week we saw tech giant Google in the US Federal Appeals Court, facing a dispute dating back to 2012. The claim was Google should no longer be trademarked as it is synonymous with searching the internet. This is not the first time a large brand has lost its trademark due to the generic use of the term, for example Aspirin, Sellotape, Escalator and Thermos all lost their trademarks due to the product or service becoming common place. Google however were not ready to lose the battle and on Tuesday fought hard to keep their trademark. The compelling reason is Google is far more than just a search engine.
Jaguar Land Rover Trademark Success
In other news this month, car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover were successful in their opposition in the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against sports manufacturer Puma. For over 75 years the ‘Jaguar Leaper’ has been registered as a trademark in connection with motor vehicles and non-motor vehicles and accessories across the US and elsewhere. Puma filed an application to register a mark consisting of a Puma jumping over the world; the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board have now agreed that Puma ‘s mark would be identified as suggesting a connection with Jaguar.
Business change and trademarks
Business in the 21st century is constantly changing and opportunities arise for acquisition, expansion or sale. If your business is considering a change, then please remember your IP Assets! One of my former clients (from before I set up Downing IP) had gone through a particularly difficult trading period and transferred all the assets to a new company. However the trademarks were left behind and remained under the old defunct company name. This only came to light when the trademarks came due for renewal. Rather than renew a mark they no longer owned, their former advisors suggested they apply for a new trademark, but a competitor had taken advantage and had already jumped in with their own filing. The client looked me up, got in touch, and we negotiated with the Treasury Solicitor to acquire and renew the old trademark, and get ahead of the competitor. So if you are thinking of moving your assets, get in touch and we can ensure your IP Assets are correctly transferred.