Have a break…perhaps they should!
Nestlé may have been successful in trade marking its slogan…but it appears the four-fingered chocolate bar is not distinctive enough to warrant protection of its shape.
The Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”), in a Judgment dated 25th July, upheld the General Court’s previous decision in 2016, wherein it annulled the earlier decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) which had erred in law when it found that the chocolate bar had acquired “distinctive character”. The CJEU held that a trade mark can only be protected as an EU trade mark if it can be demonstrated that it has acquired “distinctive character” across all EU member states. This high threshold may have implications on other EU trade marks that may be unable to provide evidence of “distinctive character” across all member states.
The matter will now return to the IPO, 16 years later, for a determination on whether to uphold its initial decision that the trade mark is valid.
It took years for Nestlé to register the slogan “Have a Break” as a trade mark, finally succeeding in 2006…is this a re-run?
There are no caps on the price of chocolate it appears as both Nestlé and Mondelēz have been ordered to pay their own legal bills.
A yellow card for footballers and their agents……let’s bring in another match official
There has been long running tension between HMRC and the way that footballers and their agents are remunerated. As the Professional Footballers’ Association wade into the debate, Helen McGhee discusses the problems arising from agents’ fees and image rights.
Keeping Your Confidences
Helen McGhee considers the legal rights which allow individuals and companies to resist the disclosure of confidential evidence, and the limitations surrounding legal privilege.
The new powers tackling promoters of avoidance schemes
Under new proposals in draft Finance Bill 2021, HMRC will have wider information powers and be able to impose tougher sanctions on those who continue to promote or enable tax avoidance schemes. Whilst a robust approach to tackle unacceptable behaviour by a minority of promoters is entirely welcome, the new rules would arguably impose unnecessary administrative burdens on those operating within the law.
Draft Finance Bill 2020–21—promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes
Helen McGhee, senior associate at Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, shares her insights on the Draft Finance Bill 2020–21 and its impact on promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes.
Apple and Ireland Win €13bn State Aid Appeal
The General Court of the European Union has today annulled the Commission’s decision regarding two Irish tax rulings in favour of Apple. The Commission had considered that the two rulings constituted State Aid, granting Apple €13bn in unlawful tax advantages.