Legal updates

China
New Balance wins Chinese trademark infringement case
The Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court has recently issued a decision ordering three Chinese defendants to pay Rmb10 million in damages and legal costs to the general agent for New Balance sports products in China for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The award is allegedly among the highest amount granted to a foreign rights holder in a trademark infringement case.
United States
Cheerios yellow box rejected for trademark registration
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) recently held that General Mills did not provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that its iconic yellow cereal box had acquired sufficient distinctiveness to allow registration. The TTAB ruled that consumers do not perceive the colour yellow to be a source indicator due to the substantial number of other cereal products in the marketplace which use yellow packaging.
European Union
X and XKING held to be confusingly similar
The European Court of Justice has upheld a finding of likelihood of confusion between Continental's XKING mark and Michelin's earlier X mark for tyres. The decision will be welcomed by owners of existing single-letter trademarks. However, new entrants into a market – and their trademark professionals providing clearance advice – should approach earlier single-letter marks with increased caution.

Blog

22 Sep 2017
Alibaba unveils brand advisory board; local commentators positive but seek additional detail
This week, Alibaba’s Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) announced the creation of a brand advisory board to facilitate greater collaboration between the ecommerce giant and AACA members on the protection of intellectual property rights. One brand protection leader for a major international company has welcomed the development, but hopes that “truly new” approaches to anti-counterfeiting are the result rather than extensions of current programmes.
22 Sep 2017
Netlix and Escobar family’s trademark tussle, registration fall in new gTLDs and IP in Westeros: news round-up
In today’s news round-up, we look at the trademark dispute between the Escobar family and Netflix, a lawsuit between two Fish IP firms, Gene Simmons’ pledge to trademark oxygen and the significant proportion of new gTLDs that have seen a drop in registrations in the past 12 months.
22 Sep 2017
Current approaches to online counterfeiting ineffective, international harmonisation needed, WIPO study suggests
A major new study of approaches to online trademark infringement has highlighted significant limitations in prevailing responses to the issue. Underscoring the manifold difficulties of tackling counterfeiting in a borderless online environment, it argues that only a more harmonised approach, based on consistent legal and technical standards, can make significant headway against the problem.

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Brexit, legal reforms and a financial squeeze: users have their say on EUIPO changes

It has been quite a year for trademarks in Europe, with further turbulence ahead. As the EU Intellectual Property Office looks to the future, we asked users to assess its current performance and predict whether imminent industry developments will help or hinder it
Trevor Little reports

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