WhatsApp – problems in Norway

Facebook faced unexpected problems to register the following figurative trademark in Norway for its well-known app WhatsApp:

This mark was filed for the following Nice classes: software in Class 9, telecommunication services in Class 38, computer software in Class 42, and encryption and security services in Class 45.

The Norwegian Industrial Property Office refused registration for this sign based on absolute grounds: lack of distinctive character. According to the Office this sign representing a receiver is widespread used as indication for contacts which consumers can use to communicate with companies etc. It refers not only to phones, but to emails, chats and so on.

The decision was appealed. Facebook argued that this sign was very famous in Norway and what’s more the app itself was number one as a choice by the consumers in the country. The company submitted evidence in that regard.

The Board of Appeal wasn’t impressed and dismissed the evidence as insufficient. The reason was that in most of the submitted documents the sign above was been combined with the word part WhatsApp. According to the Board this was not enough in order acquired distinctiveness to be proved for the sign alone.

Source: AWA – Lars Platou for Lexology.


Blog’s and social media posts with easier copyright registration in the US

The US Copyright Office announced it new form for registration of copyrighted works. It will allow authors of short posts in blogs or social media to register their works faster and easily.

However, in order to receive a registration, all works never mind how short they are, have to meet all requirements of the Copyright law for such protection.

As it is well-known, although copyright registration is not mandatory in the US, it provides authors with some advantages when it comes to lawsuits for copyright infringements.

According to the announcement:

Applicants may register up to fifty short online literary works per application. To qualify, each work must contain at least 50 but no more than 17,500 words. The works must be created by the same individual, or jointly by the same individuals, and each creator must be named as the copyright claimant or claimants for each work. The works must all be published online within a three-calendar-month period. If the Office registers the claim, the registration will cover each work as a separate work of authorship.

For more information here.

If you want to learn what is the connection between photography and copyright, including how to register a photo with the US Patent Office, check this upcoming Udemy course – Photography and copyright – A Complete guide for photographers.

Mexico joins the Hague Agreement

mexico-1460659_1920WIPO reports about the accession of Mexico to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.

As it is known, this Agreement allows one industrial design to be registered in different Member States based on one application and one fee.

The Agreement will come into force for Mexico on 06.06.2020.

South Africa joins the Madrid Protocol soon

south-africa-1184103_1920Marques Class 46  announced that South Africa is on its way to join the Madrid Protocol for international registration of trademarks. The accession was approved by the Parliament and now is waiting for such approval by the President too.

As it is well-known, the Madrid System allows the international filing of trademarks based on a single application and fee. This news is a great relief for all foreign businesses that operate in South Africa or want to do that because they will be able to protect their trademarks easily.

Samoa joins the Hague Agreement for registration of designs

1.jpgWIPO reports about the accession of Samoa to the Hague Agreement for international registration of industrial designs. In the way, the country becomes the 72nd Member State of the agreement, which will enter into for on 02.01.2020.

As it is well-known, the Hague system allows international protection of designs based on a single application for the designated countries and paying one fee for that purpose.