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United States
5-Hour Energy Drink receives mixed results in closely timed state actions
The stamina of the ubiquitous 5-Hour Energy drink took somewhat of a crash in a recent decision by a state trial court in Washington, which found that Living Essentials – the manufacturer of the widely distributed supplement – violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act through deceptive representations of the benefits of its product.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan drafts amendments to IP laws
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice has drafted a new law amending and supplementing a number of IP laws and regulations. The aim is to bring the country’s IP legislation fully into line with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s standards in the area of IP protection and with the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks.
United Kingdom
Descriptive or distinctive? Birkenstock sole pattern held to be invalid
An application for a declaration of invalidity against the registration of the Birkenstock sole pattern has succeeded on the basis of lack of distinctiveness, but failed on the grounds of descriptiveness, customary use and shape. The decision underlines the differences between descriptive and distinctive character.

Blog

07 Dec 2016
China may prohibit ‘counterfeit hunters’ – but encouraging consumers to root out fakes should not be given up
The rise of ‘counterfeit hunters’, ‘fake busters’ or ‘professional consumers’ was anticipated by some market observers before and after China reformed its consumer protection laws. Now, the Chinese government is considering a revision of the law that would prohibit the payment of fraudulent sales compensation to individuals seeking them “for commercial purposes”.
06 Dec 2016
Just one week remains to make nominations for the WTR Industry Awards 2017
The nominations window for the WTR Industry Awards 2017 closes on December 13. Act now to ensure that the leading in-house trademark departments, groups and individuals receive the recognition they deserve.
05 Dec 2016
Expert suggests EU digital single market points towards one pan-European IP system
Last week’s International Trademark Association Digital World Conference featured many discussions focused on the digital single market that the European Union is looking to implement. While issues around copyright have spurred the most IP-related concerns from brand owners during the ongoing negotiations, one speaker suggested that the "natural result of the European project" will be a future move to a single European system of trademarks and patents – with national registered rights eventually faded out.

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The dominant feature test: not so Lucky after all

Recent decisions involving the application of established trademark principles in infringement and opposition proceedings in South Africa are proving a cause of some concern

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