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Legal updates

European Union
General Court: presence of 'race' in mark creates immediate and clear connection with automobile sport
In bd breyton GmbH v OHIM, the General Court has upheld a decision of the First Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that the mark RACE GTP would be understood as a description of light alloy wheel rims suitable for racing. Among other things, the court rejected as irrelevant the argument that 'GTP' was very rarely used to denote 'grand touring prototype', holding that the word 'race' created an immediate and clear connection with automobile sport.
South Korea
Court confirms that store's appearance is protectable trade dress
In a case involving rival bakeries, the Seoul Central District Court has confirmed that a shop's general appearance is protectable trade dress under the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secrets Act. Among other things, the court held that the appearance and design elements claimed by the plaintiff as its trade dress had been produced through considerable effort and investment on its part for the purpose of distinguishing itself from other bakeries.
Global electronics and technology service provider successfully opposes registration of nearly identical mark
The Trademark Office has upheld an opposition filed by Sky Capital Limited, the owner of the figurative CTM OPPO for goods in Classes 9 and 28, against the registration of the figurative mark OPPO for goods in Class 9. Following OHIM’s practice, the Trademark Office ruled that the marks were identical.


26 Nov 2015
Nigeria expects “wave of IP commercialisation” as OAPI eyes possible expansion
An IP expert in Nigeria has told World Trademark Review that a recent trademark infringement lawsuit launched by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation could “spark a wave of IP commercialisation”, and has called for the country to join the African IP Organisation. A spokesperson for the latter has told us that the organisation is not currently in talks with Nigeria, but that the door is open for discussions.
25 Nov 2015
Brand owners may soon be able to apply for well-known status in India, but it will cost them
Authorities in India have released a draft update to the country’s Trademarks Rules. The new guidelines, if adopted, will double most of the fees involved in the trademark process, but they also provide a new avenue for rights holders to apply for well-known status.
24 Nov 2015
Merck leads trademark transactions list, illustrating the tangible financial benefits of a strong brand
Financial statements related to last year’s acquisition of the consumer care ‘over the counter’ business of US company Merck & Co reveal that the acquired brand portfolio was valued at $7.1bn. The figure means that it tops the list of the most valuable brands amongst those that changed hands in 2014.

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The price of fame and well-known marks

The need to establish confusion in order for a mark to enjoy protection can mean that sometimes fame is more of a curse than a blessing
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November 27

Friday infographic: Online enforcement and protection trends. https://t.co/gWba1GdP9y #IP #infographic https://t.co/UKiOK9DUh5

November 27

Lawsuit in Nigeria could spark “wave of IP commercialisation” as OAPI eyes expansion. https://t.co/SGcxz9C4Z3 #IP https://t.co/2BFVdT3eeZ

November 27

Brand owners could soon apply for well-known status in India, but it will cost them. https://t.co/KAsMCLgn7r #IP https://t.co/G2VXdZdNy6



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