Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has officially become the first organisation to register a distinctive multimedia motion mark (a moving trademark) as per changes to the UK trademark law which came into force in January 2019.

On British IP Day, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) granted the first ever multimedia trademark: a one-second moving image that features Toshiba’s logo zooming out before polygons representing origami appear and disappear around it.

So, what’s the significance?

According to Tim Moss, UKIPO CEO, it signifies the start of a new era in IP law that reflects the digital age we live in.

Trademarks are likely to become increasingly innovative in the digital age, as organisations explore imaginative ways of reflecting their distinctive brand personalities using creative IP,” he said. “Under the amended trademark law, submission of motion marks, hologram trademarks and sound marks via multimedia format now enables examiners to see exactly what the creator of the mark intended.”

While it was possible for brands to register motion marks prior to the legislative change at the start of the year, submissions needed to be illustrated graphically, making the task of registering a motion mark much more demanding.

The new system, by contrast, allows for applicants to simply submit a moving, hologram or audio trademark by means of a multimedia file – provided that the trade mark applied for is presented in a manner which is clear and precise, as well as compliant with the rest of the Sieckmann criteria.

This opens the door to a wave of new possibilities and represents a seismic step forward in trademark law to mirror the different technological mediums we now use as brands to differentiate ourselves in the market and connect with customers. Trademark law now also enables the Intellectual Property Office to determine the technical specifications for electronically filed trademarks, which means specifications can be quickly adapted to align with potential advances in technology.

Reflecting on this landmark in intellectual property law, Toshiba Europe communications head Matt McDowell said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be the first brand to legally protect our motion mark in the UK using a multimedia graphic representation. The Toshiba brand is synonymous with innovation and reliability and this initiative further demonstrates that our brand identity guides the business in both our communications and our behaviours in delivering our brand promise.

At 360 Law Group, our specialist consultants are always thinking one step ahead to ensure our clients’ intellectual property is safeguarded. Should you need assistance or bespoke advice on protecting your unique brand or enforcing your IP rights, simply get in touch with a member of our team at your convenience to schedule an appointment.

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