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Legal updates

United States
Fifth Circuit gives WWE the green light to 'smackdown' counterfeiters
In World Wrestling Entertainment Inc v Unidentified Parties, which involved the sale of unauthorised WWE products, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated a district court decision refusing to issue ex parte seizure and temporary restraining orders. The Fifth Circuit found that the specific identities of the unnamed defendants were not as crucial to the evaluation of the case as the district court thought.
Singapore
Lower degree of protection for trademarks consisting of common names
In Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman Limited v Taylors Wines Pty Ltd, the IPOS has dismissed an opposition against the registration of two TAYLORS WAKEFIELD marks for wines in Class 33, finding that there was no likelihood of confusion with the earlier mark TAYLOR'S for identical goods. The decision reiterates the principle that trademarks consisting of common names and/or words of low distinctiveness are conferred a lower degree of protection.
Kenya
New regulations prohibit registration of LLPs whose names include registered mark
The Limited Liability Partnerships Regulations, which were issued by the attorney general pursuant to powers conferred by Section 35 of the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2011, have been published in the Kenya Gazette. The regulations contain a provision that would operate to provide greater certainty in situations where a company is registered using a name that is identical to a registered trademark belonging to a third party.

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24 Nov 2014
Politicising the poppy: Royal British Legion turns to trademark law
A British charity’s dispute with a far-right political party over the use of the red poppy image highlights both the difficulties facing cause-related not-for-profits when their message is politicised and how trademark law could come to the rescue.
21 Nov 2014
Huawei aims to build its US brand… with an unlikely partner
When Huawei and the Washington Redskins jointly announced a sponsorship and technology deal last month, commentators puzzled at the partnership between two businesses facing serious image problems. There are undeniable ironies at play but, for the Chinese telecoms giant, its first US sports sponsorship may be an early step in a much broader initiative to build its profile among US consumers, and highlights how such activities can help Chinese brands make a splash in the US market.
20 Nov 2014
ECJ kicks Golden Balls back to OHIM
The ECJ has handed down its judgment in Intra-Presse SAS v Golden Balls, partially setting aside the judgments of the General Court regarding the registration of GOLDEN BALLS as a CTM. With the trademark battle between Intra-Presse and Golden Balls entering its eighth year, OHIM must now reassess whether GOLDEN BALLS may be registered, giving consideration to whether its similarity with the mark BALLON D’OR, albeit low, is sufficient for the public to establish a link between the two marks.

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Using copyright to thwart trademark squatting in China

Brand owners targeted by trademark squatters, but with no previous history of conducting business in China can face an uphill struggle when proving prior rights in the country. Could copyright be the answer?
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November 24

Politicising the poppy: Royal British Legion turns to trademark law in dispute with far-right party Britain First. http://t.co/Dm7gfdd2ld

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Huawei aims to build its US brand… with an unlikely partner. http://t.co/horX4KxD1P #technology #redskins #nfl

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The ECJ has handed down its judgment in Intra-Presse SAS v Golden Balls... http://t.co/KUTEninm6h #trademarks #ballondor #ohim

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