A UK trademark dispute over “FIT KITCHEN”

One interesting trademark dispute from the UK gives us some valuable insights about the UK practice and legislation subtleties when it comes to trademark invalidation.

In the case at hand Fit Kitchen Limited is the owner of the registered FIT KITCHEN trademark used for website food delivery services.

Another UK company Scratch Meals started to use the same mark for ready meals distributed to supermarkets.

A lawsuit followed. The Scratch Meals defense position was that there is no trademark infringement because the earlier mark was registered in bad faith. The argument for this was the fact that Fit Kitchen Limited applied for the mark six days before to be dissolved as a company.

Fit Kitchen Limited, however, proved that they weren’t aware of that fact because they didn’t receive the official notice for this. What’s more immediately after being informed they applied to restore the company.

Scratch Meals than claimed that in a case where a trademark was filed by a dissolved company it has to be owned by the Crown.

However, the court dismissed this claim because it wasn’t stating initially.

Finally the court considered that the earlier mark wasn’t filed in bad faith. From that point of view the mark was valid and taking into account that it was identical to the later mark, for identical and similar goods and services, there was a trademark infringement.

One strong point for this conclusion was evidence submitted by Fit Kitchen Limited for consumers who were confused between both brands in the market.

This case shows clearly how important is a preliminary trademark clearance search. The search has to be done before the relevant brand is launched in order for any legal conflicts to be avoided.

If you are interested to learn how you can conduct such searches on your own, check this Udemy course – Complete course on trademark search, for example.

Source: Simon Bennett and Scott Steinberg – Fox Williams LLP for Lexology.

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Kraków Intellectual Property Law Summer School – 2018

1200px-Collegium_novum_fasadaThe Jagiellonian University announced its 2018 Kraków Intellectual Property Law Summer School. The programme will take place from September 17 to 22, 2018 and it will be conducted in English.

The programme provides an opportunity to acquire deeper knowledge of intellectual property law. This year the topic of the Summer School will be “Manoeuvring between limitations, exceptions, and infringements of IPRs”. The programme will consist of well-known lecturers in the area of intellectual property from foreign and Polish universities, as well as workshops, case studies, group discussions on selected topics relating to IPR limitations, exceptions and infringements.

The deadline for registration is July 31, 2018. An early bird rate applies for registration made before May 28, 2018.

More information can be found here.

Important moments when you draft agreements

draft-stampThe requirements for preparing a good draft for agreement, including such related to intellectual property, require serious preparation, analysis, planning and communication.
There are a lot of cases where the parties involved into agreement negotiations do not provide comprehensive information about the nature of the deal, its characteristics and the expected results from it. This approach is wrong, underestimating the details can lead to bad results, which is contrary to the purpose of any agreement, namely to solve problems.
IP Draughts published an interesting article with some basic tips and hints for writing correct agreements, such as:
– Applicable law:
– Use an accurate agreement template;
– Proper identification of the Parties;
More information can be found here.