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Brand owners should prepare for rush to register moving images and sounds

by on November 1, 2018 in Best advertising story, Digital Marketing, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Retail

Brand owners should prepare for rush to register moving images and sounds

Registering trade marks for moving images has long been an incredibly laborious task in the UK, but new laws due to take effect in less than three months’ time will make the process much easier.

So what will these new laws mean for brand owners and how can they prepare to take advantage of them?

Current UK law means that, in order to register a trade mark for a moving image, the applicant has to first create a 2D flicker book of multiple still images, as well as an accompanying detailed description of the mark’s movement.

However, legal changes, being implemented as part of an EU directive and due to take effect on 14 January 2019,  mean that brand owners will be able to submit a single digital file instead.

Moving images and sounds

The changes are intended to modernise trade mark law and make the process far more accessible, by removing the requirement for trade marks to be capable of graphical representation.

In readiness for the changes, the UK Intellectual Property Office has indicated that any applications related to moving images and sounds should ideally be made in MP3 or MP4 formats.

The new laws have been in place at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) since October 2017 and some early Community Trade Mark applications related to moving images have now been accepted for registration. Among them, Vodafone has had a short film of a moving logo and the words ‘the future is exciting’ accepted for registration and, subject to any challenges, this should be officially registered in the next few months.

Innovative hologram

Parisian kitchenware and foodie bookshop, La Cocotte, owns an EU trade mark registration for an innovative hologram which uses the words ‘let the aroma rain down la cocotte’. The hologram is intended for use in the categories of paper goods and printed materials.

These early examples of pan-European registrations for moving images and holograms highlight an exciting opportunity for brand owners, who will soon be able to register similar marks in the UK. It is likely that we will see a rush to register moving images and sounds early in the New Year, as many brands have been preparing applications ahead of time. It is therefore important that any brand owners who haven’t yet begun the process, review their intellectual property strategies ahead of time.

These changes are long overdue, particularly with the rise of e-commerce making online visibility all the more important to brand owners. The ability to own dynamic brand assets, such as moving logos, sounds, holograms and filmic sequences, will not only help them to stand out online, but it will also give them a new weapon in their armoury to fight copycats.

Mark Caddle is a trade mark attorney at intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers

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