Legal updates

European Union
Application for the word mark SCATTER SLOTS refused
The EU General Court has upheld decisions by the EU Intellectual Property Office and the Board of Appeal to reject the application for the word mark SCATTER SLOTS on the basis that it is descriptive, as it could be perceived by consumers as referring to services with slot machines.
International
Confusion with internationalised domain names
A Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) panel has denied the transfer of the ‘physiothérapie.com’ domain name, holding that the respondent had legitimate interests and that there was no evidence of bad faith. The decision underlines that UDRP complainants should prove that respondents registered the domain names at issue with the intention of profiting from the complainant’s goodwill and reputation.
China
China's nationwide campaign to protect foreign companies' IP rights
In August 2017 the China State Council published the Circular on Several Measures to Boost the Growth of Foreign Investment. The circular announced measures to ensure the growth and raise the quality of foreign investment by creating an environment that is more law-based, internationalised and convenient for foreign investors.

Blog

18 Jan 2018
News Chinese government questions “objectivity and credibility” of USTR’s Notorious Markets List
A week-long spat between Alibaba and the US Trade Representative (USTR) has turned into a full-blown diplomatic issue after the Chinese government publicly questioned the credibility of the Notorious Markets List. China’s Commerce Ministry also claimed the report lacks “solid evidence” to include the nine Chinese marketplaces accused of engaging in rampant IP infringement – a move that appears to call into question the accounts of brand owners tackling fake goods in China.
18 Jan 2018
Analysis More empathy needed in trademark enforcement, says café owner who labelled Coca-Cola a “corporate bully”
A New Zealand café owner who hit the headlines after branding Coca-Cola a “corporate bully” has said that she felt “backed into a corner” when she received a threatening cease-and-desist letter late last year. Speaking to World Trademark Review about the potential lessons from her dispute with the multinational corporation, Claire Rientjes suggested that trademark owners show more empathy and take a cooperative approach when enforcing their rights against small businesses.
17 Jan 2018
Analysis Alibaba on the offensive: warns brands not to trust Notorious Markets List, undecided on future cooperation
​​​​​​​Alibaba Group continues to talk tough in the wake of its online marketplace Taobao remaining on the Office of the US Trade Representative’s latest Notorious Markets List. Talking to World Trademark Review, an Alibaba spokesperson claims that brand owners should no longer trust the list and revealed that the company may not submit evidence for future reports.

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