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Trademarks, Data Sharing and Sexual Harrasement

Iceland, Facebook, WhatsApp and a Charity making the news

Iceland vs Iceland: who will win the trademark dispute?

Frozen food grocer Iceland could face a lawsuit from the Icelandic government, which calling for a ban on using the name in the European Union.

According to the Icelandic press, Promote Iceland, the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and SA Business Iceland are considering a lawsuit against the supermarket chain.

Plans for the legal action are being drawn up by patent attorneys Arnason Faktor who will decide whether to launch the action next Tuesday.

The grocer reportedly protests when Promote Iceland attempt to register the country’s name as a trademark in product categories which overlap with the supermarket’s own goods.

When the supermarket attempts to exclude the country from using the name as a trademark, it benefits from the country’s positive media coverage.
This follows a massively successful Twitter campaign for the supermarket off the back of the Icelandic football team’s success.

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WhatsApp banned from sharing data with Facebook in Germany

WhatsApp’s hugely controversial data sharing deal with Facebook is now also officially banned in Germany.

The two companies announced last month that WhatsApp would start handing over data about its users to Facebook. Facebook would then use that data to help its ads, generating more information about the people using it.

That agreement caused huge outrage, with many people arguing that such an arrangement shouldn’t be allowed. What’s more, it caused embarrassment for WhatsApp, which has in the past committed to keeping data private and not using its platform for ads.

Those criticisms have now been echoed by the Hamburg data protection commissioner, which has issued an administrative order that officially bans Facebook from sharing information with WhatsApp across Germany.

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Charity employee awarded £90,000 after sexual harassment left her with PTSD

Tribunal hears woman was left feeling “powerless” and fearing for her safety following verbal and physical abuse.

A former employee at an anti-abuse charity has been awarded £90,000 after a prolonged campaign of sexual harassment by her manager that left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ali Khan, founder of Glasgow-based charity Roshni, verbally and physically abused a female employee, the tribunal heard. The harassment began after the employee rejected Khan’s advances. Khan then reduced her working hours and issued a final written warning – but refused to let her leave her job.

Khan then made “sexually explicit remarks” to the employee, the tribunal heard. He also threatened to reveal intimate details about her to her family and post a video of them online in an attempt to “damage her prospects”. He also allegedly made threats of violence towards her family.

The charity did not intervene and, as a result, the employee installed an emergency police telephone line in her house.

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