Posts

Showing posts from February, 2018

ASIN Numbers and Trade Marks - Birlea Furniture v Platinum

Image
Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (Judge Melissa Clarke)Birlea Furniture Ltd v Platinum Enterprise (UK) Ltd and another [2018] EWHC 26 (IPEC) (11 Jan 2018) 

Sites like Amazon offer unparalleled opportunities to both suppliers and consumers. To suppliers they offer a massive worldwide market that they could never access in any other way. Conversely, they offer consumers a wider choice of suppliers than would otherwise be available thereby enabling them to source products at the optimum price.

Sellers are allocated a unique identifier which Amazon calls an ASIN ("Amazon Standard Identification Number"). Such identifier allows consumers to specify the goods they need and identify the businesses that supply them. That's fine so long as the ASIN is used by the same supplier, the goods are from the same source or are fungible. However, difficulty can arise when a supplier seeks to brand goods to be supplied under someone else's identifier.

In Birlea Furnitu…

Transposing the Trade Secrets Directive into English Law: Confidentiality Agreements

Image
Jane Lambert

Patents subsist for 20 years, copyrights for the life of the author plus 70 years but the obligation neither to disclose nor make use of business or technical information that is disclosed in confidence can last indefinitely.  The recipe for Chartreuse is a case in point.  That distinctive liqueur has been emulated and occasionally counterfeited but never replicated.

All members of the World Trade Organization are obliged to protect undisclosed information from unauthorized use and disclosure by art 39 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPS") but different countries including different EU member states discharge that obligation in different ways. Such differences affect the functioning of the internal market.  To minimize those differences the European Council adopted the trade secrets directive (Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-ho…