Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing June 2024

July 5, 2024

The June issue of the Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing is now available for subscribers. 

The Court of Appeal has upheld two first instance decisions, one concerning patent revocation and one relating to the payment of trade mark royalties.

In Sycurio Ltd v PCI-PAL PLC & Anor [2024] EWCA Civ 606), the Court upheld an order to revoke a patent for ‘Signal detection and blocking for voice processing equipment’ on the ground of obviousness.

In Virgin Aviation TM Ltd & Anor v Alaska Airlines Inc (Formerly Virgin America Inc) [2024] EWCA Civ 622, it said that a first instance judge was correct to find that Alaska Airlines must continue to pay royalties to Virgin Group under a trade mark licence agreement, despite no longer using the Virgin brand.

In the High Court, Mrs Justice Bacon found that the use of easyCOSMETIC name and brand did not infringe easyGroup’s easy- trade marks. She also partly revoked one of easyGroup’s marks for lack of genuine use (easyGroup Ltd v Beauty Perfectionists Ltd & Ors [2024] EWHC 1441 (Ch)).

In a registered design case, Praesidiad Holding BVBA & Anor v Zaun Ltd [2024] EWHC 1549 (Pat), Mr Justice Zacaroli struck out a counterclaim for invalidity on the ground that it was an attempt to re-run an invalidity challenge decided by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

There have been two trade mark judgments from the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC). In Engineer.Ai Global Ltd v Appy Pie Ltd & Anor [2024] EWHC 1430 (IPEC), Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke found seven UK registered trade marks all of which included the word Builder to be invalid due to lack of distinctive character. In Morley's (Fast Foods) Ltd v Sivakumar & Ors [2024] EWHC 1369 (IPEC), the same judge ruled in favour of Morley’s, a south London fast food chain, in a trade mark infringement case against a rival called Metro’s.

The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) upheld the EU General Court’s judgment in an opposition case that raised questions about the effect of the Brexit transition period (Case C‑801/21 P, EUIPO v Indo European Foods Ltd [ECLI:EU:C:2024:528]) and further clarified the meaning of ‘communication to the public’ in the InfoSoc Directive (Case C‑135/23 Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte eV (GEMA) v GL [ECLI:EU:C:2024:526]).

The EU General Court has partly annulled the EUIPO Board of Appeal’s decision in a revocation case concerning McDonald’s EU trade mark registration for BIG MAC (Case T-58/23 Supermac’s (Holdings) Ltd v EUIPO [ECLI:EU:T:2024:360]).

Finally, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has made announcements regarding the Milan section of the central division and the appointment of new technical judges.

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