Legal updates

European Union
Kit Kat decision sets high bar for proving acquired distinctiveness of shape marks
In Mondelez v EUIPO, the General Court has ruled that the EUIPO must re-examine whether Nestlé’s 3D mark for the shape of its four-fingered Kit Kat bar had acquired distinctiveness in all EU member states for all the goods covered by the mark. The decision will not be welcomed by applicants for shape marks, who now face the prospect of incurring significant costs in compiling evidence that their mark has acquired distinctiveness in all 28 EU member states.
Ireland
TITANIC QUARTER revoked due to "clear absence of evidence of use"
In Property Renaissance Limited v Titanic Trademark Limited, Property Renaissance Limited has obtained the revocation of the word mark TITANIC QUARTER, registered in the name of Titanic Trademark Limited in Classes 36, 41 and 42, on the basis that the mark had not been put to genuine use in Ireland.
Australia
Federal Court decision provides guidance on several useful aspects for practitioners
In Insight Radiology v Insight Clinical, Insight Clinical enjoyed a substantial victory in its claims that Insight Radiology’s conduct constituted trademark infringement, passing off and misleading or deceptive conduct. This decision has several useful aspects for practitioners, including its exploration of how a questionable claim to ownership of a trademark application may be cured by assignment, as well as the threshold level of reputation required for a Section 60 opposition.

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19 Jan 2017
European arm of top Asia-Pacific trademark player King & Wood Mallesons enters administration
The London office of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) – a general practice firm with top-rated trademark credentials, previously touted as “the first global law firm headquartered in Asia” – entered administration this week. In the aftermath of what is reported to be the largest ever law firm collapse in the UK, KWM has established a new business to maintain a strategic presence in Europe.
18 Jan 2017
eBay expands on plans for “network of professional authenticators” in fight against counterfeiters
Online marketplace giant eBay will launch an authentication program – entitled eBay Authenticate – later in the year in an effort to “boost consumer confidence when purchasing high-end merchandise”. Talking to World Trademark Review, an eBay spokesperson confirmed the company will be “working closely with brands” on the initiative. One commentator, however, fears that the move will do little to quell the availability of fakes.
17 Jan 2017
One-fifth of foreign applicants’ judicial challenges against Chinese trademark office decisions are successful
Data on administrative disputes at the Beijing IP Court indicates that foreign parties have enjoyed particular success in recent years in reversing unfavourable decisions made by the Trademark Office of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, China’s trademark-issuing agency.

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Cannabis marks in jeopardy – is your industry next?

Nearly 600 applications for ‘cannabis’ marks languish before the US Patent and Trademark Office, yet its patent arm happily grants protection for inventions which use the drug. Where does this disconnect come from and could other industries be vulnerable?
Gregory Wesner, Fran Jagla and Adriane Scola report

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