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Intellectual Property Assets – Christmas Edition


At Christmas we are all wrapped up in our best thoughts, intending on making good deeds. We forget – for a few moments – about the little worries in life, taking a step back to analyse the year that will end soon.

We encounter interesting IP trivia each year. One example is represented by carols children sing every year for Christmas, transmitted from generation to generation. The first carols were published before 1978, so the subject of intellectual property was a little more difficult to discuss. At the time of publication, the copyright was guaranteed by an official copyright notice, supporting its protection for 28 years from the date it was guaranteed. A law issued in 1976 extended the term of renewal from 28 years to 47 years. The renewal term has undergone another modification, and in 1998 it was extended for another 20 years, reaching 95 years.

Another example is represented by some trademarks, through which brands make their names known, but especially their products. Thus, as a fun fact, words such as “Christmas” or even “Merry Christmas” are protected as trademarks. Even though the use of these protected words as trademarks can be interpreted as a trademark infringement, this is not true because these types of trademarks are protected as distinctive logo brands in specific classes. The only aspect that could be considered as being a trademark infringement is their reproduction in an identical format or in a one that creates confusion in its use in different fields. We must mention, however, that those who have ownership over these words and word combinations do not have exclusive rights over them.

As for patents, among the most interesting Christmas inventions, we believe the following are worth mentioning: Christmas tree stands, lightening devices, or systems using a string, artificial Christmas trees, Christmas trees decorations, miniature point-like light sources, application of lighting devices, and even circuit arrangements for controlling electric light sources.

Lastly, on a more cheerful note, we wish to you, all our clients, partners and readers, a Merry and Happy Christmas! We take this moment to reassure you of all our support in protecting your IP rights in order for you to have a prosperous 2020!



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