Issue 13 - July 2022

Retail Scanner

Welcome to the Summer issue of the HGF Retail Scanner, keeping you updated on news and case law in the retail sector.

Sustainability continues to be a key concern. James Appleyard gives an overview of fashion circularity and Melissa Baumah looks at issues around refilling products in the CJEU Sodastream case. From a case law perspective, Kasper Radstake discusses recent cases involving the assessment of conceptual similarity and Lee Curtis looks further at the Advocate General’s opinion on marketplace platforms liability ahead of a decision from the CJEU involving Amazon. Suzan Ure and Lucy Pope delve into the metaverse exploring considerations around NFT ownership and the blockchain.

Who owns NFTs?

By Suzan Ure

NFTs have been increasing in popularity in recent years and with this, brand owners have been tapping into this market and its potential. In a recent case brought by Nike over NFTs against Stock X, Nike have clearly described the NFT opportunity as “a goldrush market”, however, with this they describe how it also has become a “virtual playground” which can lead to host of new problems…

A question of refills but also one of trade marks

By Melissa Buamah

Advocate General Giovanni Pitruzzelli provided an Opinion on 12th May 2022 in a case being heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union, originating from the Finnish national courts. The case involves the companies Mysoda and Sodastream and concerns the potential liability for trade mark infringement in relation to repackaging, relabelling and refilling products…

Fashion circularity might just be the solution to a sustainable fashion industry

By James Appleyard

One of the ways the fashion industry has attempted to lessen its impact on the globe has been through fashion circularity. It is easy to see how a circularity model can lessen the impact of clothes production on the environment. However, in order for this model to work, it requires a different approach to the fundamentals of fashion itself…

Ownership in the metaverse – a (virtual) reality or a real fiction?

By Lucy Pope

Some estimates state that more than $80 billion is spent on buying virtual goods each year, more than that spent on purchasing music. Much of this to date has been on in-game purchases but there is a rapidly growing market for the purchase of virtual goods outside of the computer games environment that may have more real world resale value…

Christian Louboutin and Amazon: cases of marketplace liability

By Lee Curtis

The Advocate General provided an Opinion on 2nd June 2022 on two joined cases going before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), originating from the Belgium and Luxembourg national courts, involving Amazon and Christian Louboutin concerning the liability of online marketplaces when selling products which allegedly infringe the IP rights of others…

Conceptual similarity – when is ‘well known’ enough?

By Kasper Radstake

Trade mark conflicts between two identical marks used for identical products are relatively rare. Most conflicts evolve around the question whether the marks in question are similar. If the marks are found similar and the goods and services under comparison are identical or similar, the younger mark infringes the earlier mark provided that there exists a likelihood of confusion…