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Intellectual Property

IP Bites: A Tantrum Involving A Chocolate Bunny

It has been a busy few days in intellectual property law, with three high-profile cases garnering media attention. The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland decided against Lidl in a trademark dispute involving chocolate bunnies. Ed Sheeran was required to appear before a jury in a related copyright infringement lawsuit. Last but not least, Google escaped a lawsuit for patent infringement in a story emphasising the value of avoiding early public disclosure.

Hoping mad: Lindt versus Lidl

With a ruling in Lindt’s favour on September 29, Switzerland’s top court ended a trademark dispute involving chocolate Easter bunnies between Swiss premium chocolate company Lindt & Sprüngli and German bargain retailer Lidl.

For one of its best-selling and most recognisable items, a milk chocolate rabbit wrapped in golden foil and collared with a red ribbon and bell, the chocolatier has held an EU 3D form trademark since 2001. As a result, the Swiss business sued Lidl in 2018 for promoting aesthetically similar snacks.

The Swiss Commercial Court last year dismissed the case, but the Federal Supreme Court reversed that decision in its conclusion. Interestingly, Lindt convinced the Supreme Court through survey evidence that the public had grown accustomed to their chocolate animal’s shape. The Supreme Court stated in a press release that the “global picture” of Lidl products and their “clear associations.” The form of the Lindt brand led him to find an essential possibility of confusion. Lidl can now sell his chocolate bunnies in Switzerland and has to melt them.

The decision summary ends, “Destruction is proportionate,” noting that destroying the chocolate itself isn’t always necessary.

While Lidl’s bunnies meet a sticky end, Lindt’s victory is sweet.

To appear in court for copyright infringement Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran will be in court again for suspected copyright infringement after winning a prior case in April this year. A British jury determined that the 2017 song “Shape of You” was not plagiarised. Still, a U.S. jury will have to decide whether the 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” plagiarises Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” after U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton denied the pop star’s request to have the case dismissed.

Even though Sheeran was sued in 2016 by the estate of co-writer of “Let’s Get It On,” Ed Townsend, the 2018 lawsuit brought by holding company Structured Asset Sales has been direct to trial. The troubled Sheeran and his co-writer Amy Wadge copied significant compositional elements for their song, including but not limited to “the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus. Sheeran commented on the conclusion of his British trial in April and shared a video statement on Instagram in which he claimed musical similarity was inevitable because there are “Pop music only employs a limited number of chords and sounds. If 60,000 songs are added to Spotify every day, coincidences are inevitable. There are only 12 notes available, which translates to 22 million songs per year.”

Although a court date has not yet been stable, Structured Asset Sales is anxious to begin for the USD 100 million in damages.

Against Google, Purdue University withdraws its lawsuit Intellectual property.

A patent infringement action against Google for allegedly violating intellectual property rights relating to smartphone battery-saving technologies has solved Purdue University’s research arm. The initial lawsuit was brought against Google in Waco, Texas, alleging that it violated a university patent for “systems and methods of detecting power issues.”

It is important to note that the patent grant at the centre of the controversy was a rare software-based patent. The university’s library, however, had unintentionally made a document describing the innovation public more than a year before the patent for the identical subject matter was submitted. I discovered This after transferring the case to San Francisco, California. As a result, the patent could have been more helpful.

The university “did what any honest, ethical patentee would do and commenced the process of disclaiming the patent as soon as they found error,” according to the counsel for Purdue.

This unexpected turn of events highlights how urgent it is to file a patent as soon as possible and how crucial it is to avoid early or accidental disclosure.



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