This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 19 October 2014

What do fancy gentlemen’s outfitter Thomas Pink and ladies underwear retailer Victoria’s Secret have in common? According to Walker Morris, it is the pair’s shared use of the trademark PINK on their products.

The firm outlines the recent court battle between the two, in which Thomas Pink brought a trademark infringement claim against Victoria’s Secret for its use of the word PINK on a range that includes fragrances, toiletries, bags and clothing.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Birss held that consumers in Europe might come to associate the claimant, Thomas Pink, with the ‘sexy’ mass market goods and underwear sold by the defendant. As a result, it would tarnish the former’s luxurious reputation. Over time, it could also be a detriment to the distinctive character of Thomas Pink’s mark. Click here for more information.

Meanwhile, Collyer Bristow has turned to the controversial topic of cyber harassment. The firm outlines the suggestions put forward by University of Maryland professor Danielle Citron in her new book, Hate Crimes in Cyber Space.

One of Citron’s arguments is that internet service providers, which have historically claimed to be mere conduits for cyber-bullying tactics, should instead be responsible guardians of the web.

The firm gives the example of Facebook, which recently became embroiled in a dispute with a group of celebrity drag queens over their alleged right to hold accounts under pseudonyms rather than their real names.

It says that the same problem to have hampered the drag queens also worries job seekers and applicants for training contracts, many of which use online aliases for privacy reasons.

As a result, it argues that Facebook needs to find a way of reconciling its ‘real-name policy’ with its users’ right to privacy. Click here for more information.

Last but not least, Kazakhstan-based firm GRATA lists the recently proposed legal changes relating to foreign involvement in the Russian mass media.

On 1 October 2014, the Federation Council approved the draft Federal Law ‘On the Introduction of Amendments to the Federal Law on Mass Media’. The document proposes that restrictions be made on the participation of foreign entities in the media, both directly and indirectly.

That would mean that foreign states, organisations or individuals would be banned from any involvement in the production or publishing of media, and prohibited from exerting any control over any Russian nationals that work in the industry. No foreign investor would be able to hold more than 20 per cent of any Russian media business.

Any breach could result in the restriction of corporate rights of media institutions, or the suspension of their activities by court ruling. The terms are subject to being signed by president Vladimir Putin but, in theory, could enter into force on 1 January 2016. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm
DLA Piper: Fiscal aid — a potential time bombDownload
Carey Olsen: Employee benefit trusts — why they continue to be a useful tool for companies looking to deliver benefits to their employeesDownload
GRATA Law Firm: Restrictions on the participation of foreign persons in Russian mass mediaDownload
Walker Morris: Luxury fashion items and trademark infringementDownload
LK Shields Solicitors: Changes to the regulation and control of media mergers and media business in IrelandDownload
More law firms

Top five briefings by practice area
Litigation: Another reminder that parties who refuse to mediate do so at their peril…Download
Financial services: Financial remedy proceedings and funding your divorceDownload
Employment: Employees ‘go into work when ill’Download
Information technology: Hate crimes and drag queens in cyber spaceDownload
Real estate: Land and buildings transaction tax: rates and thresholds announcedDownload
More practice areas

Top five briefings by region
Asia-Pacific: Mining company one day, technology company the next: explaining the hype around reverse takeovers/backdoor listingsDownload
Middle East & Africa: DIFC employment law 2014: legal certainty — lacking clarityDownload
Offshore: Jersey’s new charities lawDownload
Europe & UK: Owning a French residential property in France: some tax considerationsDownload
US & The Americas: Healthcare industry compliance in a shifting world: putting it all togetherDownload
More regions