Legal updates

29 May 2015

No likelihood of confusion between GREEN'S and AMBAR-GREEN for beer

European Union - In La Zaragozana v OHIM, the General Court has upheld a decision of the Fifth Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that there was no risk of confusion between the figurative mark GREEN'S and the mark AMBAR-GREEN for identical goods (beer). Among other things, the court agreed with the Board of Appeal that the earlier mark AMBAR-GREEN would be perceived by the relevant public as a line of organic beers under the AMBAR mark. Read update

29 May 2015

Court of Appeal confirms broad scope of industrial design protection

Canada - Recent case law had precluded enforcement of an industrial design where features common between the design and the accused article included functional purposes. However, in Zero Spill Systems Inc v Heide, the Federal Court of Appeal has addressed this limitation on enforcement by holding that features of a design may be both functional/useful and aesthetic/visually appealing. Read update

29 May 2015

Applicants allowed to amend applications according to reason for refusal

Saudi Arabia - The Trademark Office has added a new option that allows trademark applicants to amend their applications according to the reason for rejection issued by the registrar, without the need to file an appeal. The amendment must be made within 10 days from the date of notification of rejection. Read update

28 May 2015

New Balance ordered to pay $16 million in damages to Chinese businessman

China - In a recent case that has attracted significant attention, the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court has ordered Xin Bai Lun Trade (China) Ltd, a subsidiary of New Balance, to pay Rmb98 million (approximately $15.8 million) in compensation to the owner of the registered mark XIN BAI LUN. Controversially, the court determined that the amount of damages should be half of Xin Bai Lun China’s net income from 2011 to 2013. Read update

28 May 2015

Functionally non-protectable: Federal Circuit nixes Apple's trade dress claims against Samsung

United States - In Apple v Samsung, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has become the latest court to weigh in on the smartphone war between Apple and Samsung. The Federal Circuit overturned the jury’s verdict that Samsung infringed Apple’s trade dress, finding that each of Apple’s asserted trade dress designs was functional and non-protectable. Read update

28 May 2015

Cyrillic TLD '.бел' is launched

Belarus - The sunrise period for registration of the recently launched Cyrillic top-level domain ‘.бел’ is underway, ending on May 31 2015. The landrush period will run from June 1 to September 30, while the general availability period will start on October 1. Registration will be available for domain names in Russian and Belarusian. Read update


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