You can search trademarks by images in Ireland and Slovakia

office-3295561_960_720.jpgEUIPO announced the new improved capabilities of TMView trademark databases, which now give options for image search of trademarks in Ireland and Slovakia. In that way, the number of countries, that allow such access to their local databases for implementation of such searches, become 13.

The option for visual search is a relatively new one but on the other hand quite useful because it gives more ground for better assessment in the case of trademark prior searches.

For more information here.


AI will help with searching trademark images

pexels-photo-577585.jpegAs a recent move, WIPO has announced AI improvements in its software for searching trademark images.

According to the information, the new software will increase significantly the accuracy of the results.

The new technology results in a narrower and more precise group of potentially similar marks, facilitating greater certainty in strategic planning for brand expansion into new markets. With fewer results to scrutinize, this also translates into labor-cost savings for trademark examiners, attorneys and paralegals, industry practitioners and researchers. 

In order to be used you need to enter the Global Brand Database and to choose Concept Strategy from the Image Tab.


WIPO gives a concrete example for the abilities of the new AI software:


Breaking news – Images, schools, copyright and a hot European court decision

photo-1489486501123-5c1af10d0be6The European court has issued an important decision in case C‑161/17 Land Nordrhein-Westfalen срещу Dirk Renckhoff, which concerns the following:

Mr Renckhoff, the applicant who brought the proceedings before the Landgericht Hamburg (Hamburg Regional Court, Germany), is a photographer. Stadt Waltrop (City of Waltrop, Germany) which was originally the defendant at first instance, but which is no longer a party to the dispute in the main proceedings, has responsibility for the Gesamtschule Waltrop (Waltrop secondary school, ‘the school’). The Land of Nord Rhine-Westphalia, also a defendant at first instance, has responsibility for the educational supervision of the school and is the employer of the teaching staff working there.

From 25 March 2009, it was possible to access on the school website a presentation written by one of the school’s pupils as part of a language workshop it organised which included, by way of illustration, a photograph taken by Mr Renckhoff (‘the photographer’) that that pupil had downloaded from an online travel portal (‘the online travel portal’). The photograph was posted on the online travel portal without any restrictive measures preventing it from being downloaded. Below the photograph the pupil included a reference to that online portal.

Mr Renckhoff claims that he gave a right of use exclusively to the operators of the online travel portal and that the posting of the photograph on the school website infringes his copyright. He requested the court with jurisdiction at first instance to prohibit the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, on pain of a financial penalty, from reproducing/having reproduced and/or making available/having made available to the public the photo and, in the alternative, from allowing school students to reproduce the photo for purposes of posting it on the internet. He also claimed payment of damages from the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia of EUR 400.

Since Mr Renckhoff’s action was upheld in part, the Land of North Rhine- Westphalia was ordered to remove the photograph from the school website and to pay EUR 300 plus interest.

Both parties appealed against that judgment before the Oberlandesgericht Hamburg (Higher Regional Court, Hamburg, Germany), which held, inter alia, that the photograph was protected by copyright and that posting it on the school website was an infringement of the reproduction right and the right to make available to the public held by Mr Renckhoff. That court found that the fact that the photograph was already accessible to the public without restriction on the internet before the acts at issue was irrelevant, since the reproduction of the photograph on the server and the making available to the public on the school website which followed led to a ‘disconnection’ with the initial publication on the online travel portal.

Hearing an appeal on point of law, the referring court considers that the outcome of that appeal depends on the interpretation of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29. In particular, that court has doubts as to whether the requirement, laid down in the case-law, according to which the communication to the public concerned must have been made to a ‘new’ public has been satisfied.

In those circumstances, the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany) decided to stay proceedings and refer the following question to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘Does the inclusion of a work — which is freely accessible to all internet users on a third-party website with the consent of the copyright holder — on a person’s own publicly accessible website constitute a making available of that work to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of [Directive 2001/29] if the work is first copied onto a server and is uploaded from there to that person’s own website?’

The Court’s decision:

The concept of ‘communication to the public’, within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, must be interpreted as meaning that it covers the posting on one website of a photograph previously posted, without any restriction preventing it from being downloaded and with the consent of the copyright holder, on another website.

Conclusions: This decision gives clarification on whether if you use a publicly available work from one website to another, this will constitute a copyright infringement. According to the court obviously, this is the case.

Image: Javier Quesada on Unsplash.

Do you want advanced options for trademark image searching? Here what TMView gives you

pexels-photo-1157858EUIPO reports about the expansion of the TMView database functionality. What’s new is the fact that you can search for trademark images in the national databases of Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Greece.

This chance gives now the opportunity for image search among 7 million trademarks.

Apart from this, now you can search even for an element of a trademark image which comes as an advanced option.

For more information here.



Google removes ‘view image’ button and reach a deal with Getty


Google announced that the ‘view image’ button for searching images will be not available in future. This decision is a result of a deal with Getty, which try to iron out some of the problems that the authors of images face on the internet.

As a consequence, Google will be able to access the Getty’s content for all of its services.

Although the ‘view image’ button will become something from the past, the visit’ button will remain at consumers disposal giving them a direct link to the source of the relevant images.

For more information here.


French heritage and its commercial use – a court decision

louvre-530058_960_720The Constitutional Court in France has ruled that the last amendments in the Heritage Code are legal and constitutional.

These amendments concern the following:

The use, for commercial purposes, of the image of buildings constituting national domains, on any media, is subject to the prior authorization of the custodian [French term is “gestionnaire”] of the relevant portion of the national domain.  Such authorization may take the form of a unilateral deed or a contract, whether or not in conjunction with financial terms.

The fee shall take into account the advantages of any kind obtained by the holder of the authorization.

The authorization contemplated by the first paragraph is not required where the image is used in the context of the exercise of a public service mission or for ends that are cultural, artistic, pedagogical, for teaching, research, informational and by way of illustration of current events.”

The case was initiated by Wikimedia France which claimed that these amendments as stated are at variance with the French Constitution in particular with the freedom to carry on business, as well as the right of property, and the principle of equality before the law.

According to the Court, however, the above-mentioned amendments are constitutional because they give options for free use of heritage images in case of education, cultural activities, informational purposes and such related to a public service mission.

For more information here.

Source: The 1709 blog.