Maria Iskic
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Navigating the Challenges of Green Trademarks

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First published 19 April 2024 by Maria Iskic

As businesses increasingly integrate sustainability into their branding, «green trademarks» have become a strategic asset. However, the path to securing and maintaining these trademarks is fraught with some challenges. Here are some hurdles companies will need to navigate:

Avoiding Greenwashing - One of the primary challenges is the accusation of greenwashing. Companies must ensure their green claims are not only substantiated but also truly reflect environmental benefits. Misleading claims can damage brand reputation and lead to legal repercussions.

Complex Regulatory Landscape - The legal environment for green trademarks is complex and varies significantly between jurisdictions. Companies must navigate these varying regulations to ensure their trademarks are valid and enforceable both locally and internationally.

Consumer Skepticism - With a rise in environmental awareness, consumers are becoming more skeptical of green claims. Businesses need to build a strong, transparent case for their sustainability initiatives to foster trust and loyalty among consumers.

Innovation and Adaptation - The rapid pace of technological advancements and changing environmental standards can make it challenging for trademarks to remain relevant and reflective of current green practices. Continuous innovation and adaptation are crucial.

Cost Implications - Developing and maintaining green trademarks can involve significant costs, from R&D to marketing and legal fees. Smaller enterprises may find these costs particularly prohibitive.

Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of green trademarks are substantial, including brand differentiation, enhanced consumer trust, and alignment with global sustainability goals. Ideally, businesses should integrate these advantages into a comprehensive intellectual property strategy that protects both the technical innovations and the consumer-facing aspects of a sustainable product, positioning them at the forefront of sustainable development.

Matthias Salcher
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IP for amazing products

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First published 18 April 2024 by Matthias Salcher

The EU Directive 2019/904 aims to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment as well as to promote the transition to a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products and materials. (see Article 1 of EU 2019/904). Article 6 of this directive specifies that single-use plastic products that have caps and lids made of plastic may be placed on the market only if the caps and lids remain attached to the containers during the products’ intended use stage.

Various beverage manufacturers have reacted to this and redesigned the caps of their plastic bottles so that they remain attached to the bottle as required. The beverage company ACQUA MINERALE SAN BENEDETTO SPA has developed a particularly ingenious design, which is it protected at least by means of an EU design (application number 008965917).

The first image below shows the product and the second image shows a figure from the design application.

Directives and laws can and often are the starting point of innovative technological developments, which are to be protected by corresponding property rights.

In any case, this directive has led, in my opinion, not only to a reduction in the environmental impact of plastic products, but also to the development of a variety of beautifully designed new bottle caps.

The bottle cap shown below is a particularly beautiful piece of engineering.

Katerina Livi
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Everyday IP – acquired distinctiveness of chocolate brands in Switzerland

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First published 28 March 2024 by Katerina Livi

With Easter approaching, I recently found myself strolling though the supermarket with my kids and overheard them discussing which chocolate bunnies and/or chocolate eggs they would love to find in their baskets this year.

While also comparing the options myself, I quickly realized that there was no other company besides Lindt that offered chocolate bunnies in gold-coloured foil and that Ferrero`s products dominated the chocolate aisle of our supermarket.

While Lindt is the owner of the following three 3D marks, which represent the packaging of chocolate bunnies, Ferrero inter alia owns the following kinder (fig.) trademark: