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Legal updates

21 Nov 2014

General Court: simple line combining slants and curves is not distinctive

European Union - In Vans Inc v OHIM, the General Court has upheld a decision of the Fifth Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that a figurative sign consisting of a wavy line was devoid of any distinctive character and had not acquired distinctiveness through use. This case shows that, in order to claim successfully that a simple sign has acquired distinctive character, the owner must prove that a significant proportion of the relevant public has come to recognise the sign as an indicator of origin. Read update

21 Nov 2014

Delhi High Court interprets notion of 'carrying on business' in context of online sales

India - In World Wrestling Entertainment Inc v M/s Reshma Collection, the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has examined the scope of the expression “carries on business” under Section 134(2) of the Trademarks Act and Section 62(2) of the Copyright Act in the context of online activities. The decision is significant because the choice of forum in trademark and copyright infringement actions is often crucial for strategic reasons. Read update

21 Nov 2014

Patent Court rejects KIPO's examination guidelines for 3D trademarks

South Korea - Under KIPO’s amended examination guidelines for 3D marks, the distinctiveness of a 3D mark must be determined based only on the shape itself, without considering any other elements which may be part of the mark. In a recent case involving a 3D mark representing an artificial hip joint ball, the Patent Court has rejected KIPO’s methodology, holding that, when determining the distinctiveness of a 3D mark, one must consider the mark in its entirety. Read update

20 Nov 2014

IP rights holders should use eBay's VeRO system cautiously

United Kingdom - In Cassie Creations Limited v Blackmore, the High Court has declined to strike out an action for threats that arose from a notice issued under eBay’s VeRO Programme. Although the case will now go to a full trial, the ruling does confirm that it is arguable that the filing of such notices may be actionable threats. Read update

20 Nov 2014

Health Agency issues new resolution regarding medicine names

Brazil - ANVISA, the Brazilian Health Agency, has issued Resolution No 59, which governs the names of medicines, their complements and the formation of family of medicines. Among other things, the resolution provides that medicine names should ideally consist of a single word, and should be sufficiently distinct from earlier registered medicine names. Read update

20 Nov 2014

Norid and SIDN consider making '.bv' available to Dutch companies

Netherlands - Norid and SIDN - the registry operators for the Norwegian and Dutch ccTLDs - are in discussions about the possibility of making the ‘.bv’ domain name extension (the ccTLD for Bouvet Island) available to the Dutch market. In the Netherlands, the term ‘BV’ is the abbreviation of ‘Besloten Vennootschap’, the Dutch version of a private limited liability company; as such, ‘.bv’ holds a certain attraction for Dutch companies. Read update

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