Lawrence Graham's angle on intellectual property, media and sport issues.
Lawrence Graham LLp
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  • New "icon" to help consumers avoid being target practice for advertisers

    Consumers will soon be presented with a new weapon in the war against "Online Behavioural Advertising", a technique that allows companies to direct adverts at web users who have shown an interest in certain goods or services through their browsing history.

    The European Advertising Standards Alliance and the Internet Advertising Bureau of Europe are to introduce a new on-screen icon that will give users the option to choose what advertising is targeted at them.

    The plans which will come in to force by the summer, require those online adverts generated by cookies to include the below icon which will give ...

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  • Ofcom rules Tulisa tattoo not in breach of broadcasting rules

    Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has ruled that Tulisa Contostavlos's signature arm gesture on the popular ITV singing contest, The X Factor, in which she prominently displays a tattoo which reads "The Female Boss" and was alleged to be an attempt to promote her new perfume "TFB by Tulisa", did not breach Ofcom's Broadcasting Code (the "Code").

    However, Ofcom upheld complaints relating to the promotion of Tulisa's fragrance on the programme's spin-off show, The Xtra Factor, in which "undue prominence" had been given to the perfume in breach of the Code.  The particular area of concern related to the repeated reference to ...

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  • What to watch in 2012

    2012 is set to be a busy year with celebrations for the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee taking place.  However, the IP and media world's focus will be on the following issues over the coming 12 months:

     

    Ambush Marketing - The Olympic year has arrived and a number of businesses will be looking to take advantage of the Olympics in their advertising and marketing campaigns over the upcoming months.  We will be keeping a close eye on how LOCOG deal with businesses that fall foul of the rules governing ambush marketing. For more information on ambush marketing see our blog ...

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  • Groupon faces OFT investigation over breaches of UK advertising regulations

    Groupon.co.uk, the popular website offering vouchers and deals on a variety of products and services,  is set to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT").

    The website was referred to the OFT by the Advertising Standards Authority ("ASA") following the ASA's findings that the website had breached the CAP Code.

    The CAP Code is the UK Code of non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing, administered by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and enforced by the ASA.  It aims to ensure that advertising is legal, truthful, respects the principles of fair competition and is not misleading, ambiguous ...

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  • Top Brands of 2011

    Earlier this month, Interbrand released its top 100 brands for 2011 (you can see our blog on last year's results here).

     

    The report ranks the top 100 companies based on how a brand benefits its organisation.  Interbrand assess the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of the brand and the brand strength when compiling the list. 

     

    Coca Cola remained in top spot for the twelfth year running.  The top 10 remained broadly the same as 2010 except for one notable change.  Nokia which sat in 8th place last year has fallen to 14th ...

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  • London 2012 Games - Don't Get Ambushed!

    Today marks one year until the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012.  The excitement about the games will continue to build over the coming 12 months with many businesses, particularly in London, looking to take advantage of 'Olympic fever' in their advertising or marketing campaigns.  However, businesses must be careful not to fall foul of the rules governing ambush marketing.

    What is Ambush Marketing?

    Ambush marketing is a form of strategic marketing which is designed to capitalise upon the awareness, attention, goodwill, and other benefits, generated by having an association with an event without an official or direct connection to ...

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  • News of the World Over and Out

    The closure of the News of the World ("NOTW") newspaper following the phone hacking scandal has gained plenty of press over the last week but we wanted to address the specific IP implications of its closure.

     

    Brand Damage Control

     

    The closure of NOTW was a decisive move by its parent company, News International, to try and draw a line under the phone hacking scandal and to save the rest of News International's businesses, such as The Times and The Sun, from being tainted by their association with NOTW.  It was a sacrificial move by News International to protect ...

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  • High Court finds Formula for Confusion in Naming Dispute

    Last week, the High Court granted its decision in the Formula One 'Lotus' naming rights case. 

     

    This decision concerns the long-running battle between the Formula One racing team 'Team Lotus' and the sponsor of the Renault Formula One racing team, 'Group Lotus'.  The two companies have both laid claim to the 'Lotus' name in combination with the word 'team' within Formula One. 

     

    The Court held that Team Lotus were the owners of the goodwill in the 'Team Lotus' name and therefore had the right to use the name 'Team Lotus' in Formula One and can continue to use ...

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  • Press watchdog looks to regulate journalists' tweets

    The Press Complaints Commission ("PCC") is to hold a consultation to establish whether their regulatory powers should be extended to cover the content of journalists' and newspapers' Twitter feeds. 

    The PCC is an independent body which examines complaints from the public about the editorial content of UK newspapers and magazines and their websites.  However the PCC cannot currently handle complaints in relation to online material that is not on a newspaper or magazine's own website such as that which appears on social media sites such as Twitter.  Consequently, there is currently no form of redress through the PCC if a ...

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  • Interflora has flower power

    Advocate General (AG) Jaaskinen has delivered his long awaited verdict on whether M&S Plc's purchase from Google of various search words incorporating 'INTERFLORA', which resulted in their advertisement for flower deliveries being shown as a sponsored link, constitutes trade mark infringement. Interflora has come out smelling of roses, although as this is a non binding opinion, we will have to wait and see if the ECJ follows the AG's reasoning.

    Interflora brought proceedings against M&S and subsequently the High Court referred the case to ECJ for a preliminary ruling. The High Court initially asked 10 questions however, these were condensed ...

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