The 26 June 2019 marked the third year that the UK has celebrated ‘British IP Day’. This day celebrates the UK’s contribution to the world of IP at large. The UK Intellectual Property Office (‘UKIPO’) has chosen to register the UK’s first moving multimedia mark for the Japanese electronic and communication company Toshiba. As a result, this year’s British IP Day sees the UKIPO’s recognition of the use technology as a vital way of making trade marks distinctive. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the UK has the legal foresight to understand that multimedia marks have become part of trade mark law in the digital age.
Since the UK has incorporated the provisions stated in the EU Directive 2015/2436 through the Trade Marks Regulation 2018, it no longer requires trade marks to have graphical representation. This has allowed for sound clips, motion multimedia marks, holograms, figurative marks (picture/ logo marks) and other similar marks to be registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (‘EUIPO’) or the UKIPO. The above can be done by submitting the relevant mark as an MP3, MP4, JPEG, OBJ, STL or X3D file. Subsequently, Toshiba was able to register it’s moving multimedia mark which encompassed its company logo.
At the moment, there has not been a vast influx of companies registering multimedia marks in Europe. However, as companies become more innovative in utilising new technologies in creating their trade marks enabling their consumers to recognise their goods/services more easily, the registration of multimedia marks is likely to increase.