The beginning of 2016 passed very quickly for us. We have prepared a brief report of the work made by us for the first quarter of 2016. We have identified the main tasks that were accomplished during the first quarter and publish them for public access.
Fashion world scandal
Representatives of BIJULES have resorted to EAPIP with a request for an expert opinion on the violation of intellectual property rights. The scandal that occurred in the second half of 2015 between Gucci and a New York-based fine jewelry brand, BIJULES went on for several months. The main point of the scandal is that Gucci showed nail rings in one of their collections. Journalists drew attention to the similarity of Gucci accessories to nail rings of the New York jewelry brand BIJULES and questioned the authorship of the idea of a new creative director of the fashion house, Alessandro Michele.
We have studied the essence of the claims and prepared a conclusion detailing the unsubstantiated claims against Gucci. In 2007, BIJULES indeed registered at the U.S. Federal Copyright Registry two works of fine art: the design of a gold and silver “serpent” nail ring created by Jules Kim. These rings are very popular among stars. They regularly appeared on the pages of beauty magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Elle.
However, the copyright protects only the form of expression of work and does not apply to the ideas expressed in the work. Thus, BIJULES has a monopoly on the image of certain ring design, but not on the idea of creating nail rings per se. The design of GUCCI rings has its distinctive features, such as decorative elements in the form of spikes, bees, and brand logo. This makes the claims against Gucci unfounded.
Illegal cancellation of the trademark
We were approached by Global Investigation Agency journalist Chris Hughes some time ago with a request for an expert opinion on copyright infringement.
The issue we have addressed is the legality of Redmond’s demands to prohibit the distribution of competitors’ items which contains the Multicook trademark from the sale, (Multicook is an intellectual property of Redmond).
Especially for this task, we invited experts who made a thorough study of the claim. Our experts, led by a respected lawyer Stijn Vanschoubroek, unanimously concluded that Redmond’s claims are legal, as the intellectual property protection is the main “task” of a trademark.
Recently, we have received information that the trademark of an American company operating in Russia has been revoked by the state-federal antimonopoly authority.
We got in touch with Chris Hughes, who confirmed this fact and added new information. He said that he has been under psychological pressure from Russia for a long time. He is almost certain that the representatives of the FSB are behind this together with certain people from Polaris management. Chris claims that this is a “counter-action” of Polaris to the investigation he made, as the company’s connection with the ROC and FSB was made public. What remains a simple fact of the state body intervention into the market competition.
In this regard, the chairman of EAPIP decided to understand how it turned out that our expert opinion did not coincide with the decision of FAS (Russia). We did another analysis and came to the point that our first conclusion was correct. Our concept is always finishing what we started. In this respect, we are filing an action against the decision of FAS on the illegal cancellation of the trademark and the attempt of state regulation of market competition.
Experts who made this conclusion came to the unanimous decision to conduct proceedings before the court and bring the case to a logical legal end. Processes of this type are lengthy. We expect that the decision on this case will be reached by late 2020 – early 2021.
Violations on YouTube
For the period of January 1 and March 31, 2016, we were contacted by 17 people who looked for assistance in protecting their intellectual property rights on YouTube. Mostly bloggers whose materials have been used for various purposes, without permission of the owners of the video.
We managed to resolve the issue of intellectual property rights infringement for 11 clients in the pre-trial order, by sending official legal requests to Youtube. We did not see any violation of intellectual property rights in 4 appeals. It was quite common when people who walked into the frame believed that their copyrights were infringed.
Two more trials are being awaited in the next 6 months in the U.S., involving our lawyers and representatives of YouTube LLC.
Note: This report does not contain information about customer cases who wished to remain anonymous.