To all readers, Gong Xi Fa Cai and Happy Lunar New Year! Our team at Quality Oracle would like to wish you a prosperous new year and we hope it has been a joyous celebration for you thus far.
A short break over the holidays was what we needed — in the spirit of the Year of the Tiger, we’re coming back with more roaring IP news. Here’s what you might have glossed over during the Lunar New Year festivities, don’t miss them:
Nike files trademark suit in effort to protect IP rights in NFT marketplace
The popularity of NFTs exploded in 2021 and its public recognition is showing no signs of slowing down in the early days of the new year. We previously broke down the fundamentals of the elusive blockchain technology and since then, a large number of companies have capitalised on the value of NFTs. From auction house Christie’s to the likes of luxury fashion companies Louis Vuitton and Burberry, everyone seems keen to own a piece of the NFT pie.
Sportswear brand Nike is no exception: we reported in late 2021 that the American company has filed trademarks for virtual goods, such as virtual apparel and trainers, to be sold in the metaverse. Nike appeared to be taking IP protection in the virtual world seriously then, but the company has taken it up a notch with their latest move. A trademark lawsuit has been filed in early February 2022 by Nike against online reseller StockX with accusations detailing the sale and trading of unauthorised images of Nike’s footwear in the form of NFTs.
Nike claims that StockX has been ‘minting NFTs that prominently use Nike’s trademarks’ and ‘marketing those NFTs using Nike’s goodwill,’ in addition to selling the NFTs at ‘heavily inflated prices’ which the company believes to be misleading consumers regarding the investability of the NFTs. The sportswear giant is looking to stop StockX from further sales alongside seeking monetary damages (source).
Shopify files patent for virtual body measurement technology
A virtual fitting room seemed impossible until now as Shopify’s brand new patent inches us closer to that reality. In late January 2022, the Canadian e-commerce company was granted a patent by the USTPO for technology tailored to measure body size.
A computer-implemented method and system may include receiving one or more images of a body; determining one or more initial body measurements of the body based on the one or more images; determining at least one supplemental measurement of a portion of the body, the supplemental measurement determined at least in part using one or more sensors of a mobile device; and applying a correction factor to the one or more initial body measurements of the body based at least in part on the supplemental measurement to produce a corrected body measurement.
According to the patent report, the body measuring technology will rely on a combination of factors to eliminate measurement errors and determine the right fit for the customer. Shopify’s patent works according to the provision of images depicting the body, sensors from mobile phones to capture movement and additional feedback from the customer. (source)
Colin the Caterpillar saga comes to an end as Marks & Spencer and Aldi resolves copyright dispute
In April 2021, British retailer Marks & Spencer took legal action against German supermarket chain Aldi to protect trademarks involving their bestselling birthday cake Colin the Caterpillar. Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake came under fire as bearing strong similarities to the M&S version, particularly in its design and branding.
An M&S representative claimed that the goal to ‘protect the IP in [their] Colin the Caterpillar cake’ had been successful. Reports suggest that a deal has been confirmed by the two rivals which will see Aldi make changes to its Caterpillar cake design. Cuthbert the Caterpillar will not disappear from Aldi’s shelves, as Aldi’s official Twitter account confirms: ‘Getting out early on good behaviour, keep an eye out for Cuthy B this Spring 👀👀 x #FreeCuthbert’ (source)
Ring in the New Year with nothing but the best Intellectual Property protection with Quality Oracle. Get in touch to achieve your IP goals in 2022 on an affordable budget.