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IP Annual Review: Trade Marks, Designs & Copyright

Issue 3: March 2020

IP Annual Review: Trade Marks, Designs & Copyright

Editor's Note

Welcome to our Annual Review of developments relating to trade marks, copyright and designs during 2019.


Trade Marks

Compared to previous years, trade mark law and practice in 2019 focused to a much lesser extent on questions of infringement and enforcement. Instead, the key cases raised questions relating to clarity and precision of trade mark specifications (and whether this can be a ground of invalidity of a registered mark), and alleged bad faith during the trade mark application process.



The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. The EU and UK reached a revised Withdrawal Agreement which includes a transition period ending on 31 December 2020. During the transition period, the status quo continues to apply in relation to IP rights, with EU trade marks and designs continuing to extend to the UK.



In a continuing trend, 2019 saw the CJEU issue a series of decisions following referrals from Member State national courts on various issues under the Copyright Directive and related Directives. This looks set to continue in 2020 with the CJEU due to hear more copyright referrals.



Alongside an important referral to the CJEU relating to 'first disclosure' for Unregistered Community Designs, the implications of the Supreme Court's Trunki decision continue to be felt in the UK Courts.


Other developments

Other interesting developments over the last year relate to competition law considerations in relation to brands and online marketplaces.

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