Louis Vuitton received a favorable decision from the EU General Court (“General Court”) in June 2020 which may assist brand owners seeking IP protection of their decorative patterns. The decision confirms the distinctive character an EU trade mark must possess in order to benefit from protection throughout the EU as
The Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 2028 Olympic & Paralympic Games (LA28) has recently unveiled the official LA28 emblem, which, for the first time, is an animated emblem consisting of multiple logos (shown below). “Built for the digital age”, LA28 has designed the emblem to “evolve over time, reflecting [Los Angeles’] spirit of limitless possibility”.
The emblem is designed to represent a “collection of voices”, to showcase the fact that “Los Angeles is an infinite canvas that represents millions of people and hundreds of languages”. Therefore, the animated emblem involves 26 interchanging “A” logos, each “A” also existing as a stand-alone logo with its own animation. Click here to view the website and LA28 “A” logo top left corner of site.
Further “A” logos will be designed and released over the next eight years before the 2028 Summer Olympics commence.
The use of an animated emblem incites interesting intellectual property questions, such as how an animation can be protected by trade mark law.
In Australia, it is possible to register a movement trade mark. Movement marks are a more unusual form of trade mark, which involve a visual animation with movement as the defining feature. Nevertheless, the same principles and requirements of more common trade marks apply: the applicant must provide clear representations which show all the features of the trade mark.
The application must be accompanied by a description of the trade mark which clearly describes all the features of the trade mark, as well as a copy of the actual trade mark in the form of a video clip (MPEG (.mpg) format required). An example of an acceptable description has been included in Part 21.9 of the Trade Marks Office Manual of Practice and Procedure:
The trade mark is a movement mark. It consists of a yellow balloon with a face drawn on it which floats from the bottom left corner of the screen to the top right corner, while the facial expression changes over the course of the traverse from frowning to smiling. The trade mark appears in the video clip attached to the application.
Many well-recognised brands have registered movement trade marks in Australia, such as:
However, anyone can register a movement trade mark in Australia, including smaller businesses and individuals. An example includes:
Both the LA28 animated emblem and each individual animated “A” logo could be registered as movement marks in Australia.
However, it would be prudent to register the emblem in multiple forms. As the static individual logos are expected to be printed on official merchandise, it would be wise to also register each individual logo as a separate device trade mark. This would allow the static versions of each logo to also be protected.
It should be noted that because LA28 has implied that further “A” logos will be released in future, and therefore the animated emblem will continue to evolve, that each new animation and static logo would need to be registered as an individual trade mark. This would ensure that LA28 could protect their intellectual property rights for all variations of the LA emblem.
The LA28 animated logo, as a fresh and modern concept, is likely to inspire further movement marks to be registered with IP Australia and around the world in the near future. It will be interesting to watch intellectual property law develop in response to the novel issues which will arise as a result of this progression.