Legal updates

25 Sep 2017

NAFDAC proposes life sentences for counterfeiters

Nigeria - The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control has recently submitted a bill to Parliament seeking to amend the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. Of particular interest is the proposal to impose life sentences for counterfeiters of regulated products in Nigeria. Read update

25 Sep 2017

Court awards Tiffany damages in Costco infringement case

United States - In the most recent development in the trademark infringement case between Costco and Tiffany, the court awarded Tiffany $11.1 million in trebled profits and an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages. The decision confirmed the availability of strong remedies for trademark infringement and counterfeiting, and is a beacon for rights holders on the issue of damages. Read update

22 Sep 2017

New Balance wins Chinese trademark infringement case

China - 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. Read update

22 Sep 2017

Cheerios yellow box rejected for trademark registration

United States - 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. Read update

21 Sep 2017

X and XKING held to be confusingly similar

European Union - 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. Read update

21 Sep 2017

Trademark changes following government response to IP inquiry

Australia - The government recently published its response to recommendations by the Productivity Commission following an inquiry into IP arrangements. It agreed with a reduced non-use period and regular challenges to contemporary geographical references, among other things. However, it did not support recommendation to remove presumption of registrability. Read update


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Issue 69