Trademark Watch: Louis Vuitton, KitKat, the Alamo and More

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Louis Vuitton Damier

Once a Trademark, Not Always a Trademark: Louis Vuitton has lost its rights to call its world-famous Damier checkerboard pattern its own. The European Union (EU) claims that it is too commonplace in the industry to be owned solely by LV.

KitKat Can’t Claim Contour: Cadbury wants to block Nestlé from trademarking the trapezoid chocolate finger shape of the KitKat bar in the EU. Nestle’s lawyer says the bar is “highly recognizable and much loved” in the UK. We are wondering what Cadbury has up its sleeve.

Alamo Fit for a Beer Bottle: According to the San Antonio Express-News, Alamo Beer Co. and Texian Brewing Co. were ordered to stop using the image of the Alamo on products and promotional materials. The Texas General Land Office stated that they are violating trademarks owned by the State of Texas. In a recent email to the publication, Alamo Beer CEO Eugene Simor shared that his company and the Texas General Land Office have come to a confidential settlement greement in which the company will continue to use the shape of The Alamo.

RadioShack Trademark on the Auction Block: Standard General only acquired the right to use the RadioShack name for six months. If Standard General does not keep the name, it will be auctioned off this month as part of RadioShack’s bankruptcy proceedings. If anyone is interested in buying the trademark, a word of caution: According to statutes, trademarks must be assigned together with the goodwill of a business. Otherwise, the trademark becomes invalid because it cannot live apart from the goods/services its represents.

Canada Updates Trademark Terms: Canada recently updated its trademark laws. According to Lexology, trademark applicants and owners in Canada will have to become more vigilant in monitoring their marks as one of the changes included in The New Act is term reduction from 15 years to 10 years. And to align Canada’s trademark language with most other countries, another change affects terminology such as removing the hyphen from “trade-mark,” replacing “mark” with “sign,” and replacing “wares” with “goods.”

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