Legal updates

Iceland
Supreme Court: defendant acted in bad faith when registering mark identical to appellant's foreign mark
In Samba LLC v Sushisamba ehf, the Supreme Court has upheld Samba LLC’s claim for the cancellation of Sushisamba ehf’s registration for the mark SUSHISAMBA. Among other things, the Supreme Court found that Samba LLC had proved beyond doubt that Sushisamba ehf knew or should have known of the existence of Samba LLC's foreign mark when it registered its own mark, and had acted in bad faith under Article 14, Paragraph 1, Item 9 of the Trademarks Act.
European Union
General Court confirms likelihood of confusion between marks containing 'alpha' for Class 5 goods
In Opko v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld a decision of the Fifth Board of Appeal of the EUIPO finding that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks ALPHAREN and ALPHA D3 for Class 5 goods. Among other things, the court found that, notwithstanding the relevant consumers' higher-than-average level of attention, the coincidence of the element 'alpha' had a significant impact on the perception of the marks on the part of those consumers.
Nigeria
Progress at last - Industrial Property Commission Bill passes second reading in Parliament
On January 19 2017 the Industrial Property Commission Bill passed its second reading at the House of Representatives. This is a major development which takes the country one step closer to the long-awaited bill becoming law in Nigeria. The bill represents a complete overhaul of the current system and will harmonise all the IP laws and bodies in the country.

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21 Feb 2017
Leading e-sports players must take trademark protection seriously or risk losing ownership of their gamertags
The e-sports industry is growing at a rapid pace and its most successful professional teams are starting to form effective brand protection strategies. However, two IP lawyers in the space warn that many individual players are ignoring the risks posed by not protecting their gamertags.
21 Feb 2017
Dispute between USPTO and controversial trademark filer ends
The founder of The Trademark Company, one of the most prolific trademark filers at the USPTO, has agreed to resign from practising before the office. The development ends a fractious relationship between the USPTO and one of its biggest customers.
20 Feb 2017
Analysing phish: new study reveals phishers are shifting their sights to new gTLDs and the cloud
A study by cybersecurity firm PhishLabs indicates that the volume of phishing attacks grew by almost one-third last year, with cloud storage brands set to overtake financial services as the top targets. Researchers also found that phishing perpetrators are increasingly turning to new gTLDs to dupe internet users.

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Use-based rights: perspectives on achieving registration in Australia

Section 58A of Australia’s Trademarks Act 1995 provides a basis for opponents to challenge the registration of trademarks accepted under prior continuous use. However, recent decisions indicate a shift away from a literal interpretation of this
Lena Balakrishnan and Kimberley Evans report

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Leading e-sports players must take trademark protection seriously or risk losing ownership of their gamertag.… https://t.co/hYcMJ2poJD

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Dispute between the @USPTO and controversial trademark filer @TrademarkCo ends. https://t.co/ZdfrkqZJSp #IP https://t.co/NXLsF2tqxg

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