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Legal updates

26 Nov 2015

Decision shows importance of considering possible existence of specialised sub-group among relevant public

European Union - In Research Engineering & Manufacturing Inc v OHIM, the General Court has upheld a decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that the mark TRILOBULAR was descriptive and devoid of distinctive character. Among other things, the court recalled that OHIM is entitled to take account of the presence, within the general public, of a narrower class composed of persons to whom the goods are particularly intended. Read update

26 Nov 2015

TPI upholds opposition based solely on applicant's bad faith

Turkey - The Turkish Patent Institute has upheld Arbonne International LLC’s opposition against the registration of the figurative mark ARBONNE based solely on the bad faith of the applicant under Article 35 of the Decree Law No 556, and dismissed the other grounds of opposition. The decision is significant as the TPI usually upholds a ground of opposition under Article 35 when it is coupled with other grounds for refusal. Read update

26 Nov 2015

ADOPI asks Supreme Court to resolve conflict of jurisdiction

Dominican Republic - The Dominican Association of Intellectual Property has asked the Supreme Court to resolve a conflict of jurisdiction created by the interpretation of the 2010 Constitution. The association wants the Supreme Court to clarify which court has jurisdiction to hear appeals from ONAPI decisions. It is concerned that it might no longer be possible to appeal such decisions to the Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals, which has become specialised in trademark matters over the years. Read update

25 Nov 2015

General Court: OHIM should have carried out overall assessment of likelihood of confusion between vodka marks

European Union - In CEDC International v OHIM, the General Court has annulled two decisions of the Fourth Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had found that the figurative marks WISENT and WISENT VODKA for goods in Class 33 were not similar to an earlier 3D mark covering identical goods. Among other things, the court held that the board's decisions were vitiated by errors in the assessment of the visual and conceptual similarity of the marks at issue. Read update

25 Nov 2015

Appeal Board allows registration of mark consisting of Swedish words based on internet searches

Russia - The Appeal Board of the Patent Office has upheld an appeal against the refusal to register the trademark SVENSKA HANDELSBANKEN (roughly meaning 'Swedish Commercial Bank') for services in Classes 35, 36 and 45. Relying only on internet searches, the Appeal Board found that the word combination 'Svenska Handelsbanken' had no clear translation. Read update

25 Nov 2015

New Cybercrime Act: impact for trademark owners

Nigeria - The new Cybercrime Act has recently been signed into law. Section 25 of the act, which concerns cybersquatting, seems to be quite advantageous to IP rights owners. Pursuant to this section, domain names deriving from registered trademarks are protected, and the infringement of rights tied to these domain names is punishable under the law. Read update


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Issue 58