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    We're taking a summer break – but first an update on our Star Wars story

    Rocketing up the top 10 like the Millennium Falcon jumping into hyperspace, yesterday’s blog on the UK Passport Office’s decision to reject a passport application because the applicant's signature, which reads 'L Skywalker', infringed a trademark quickly became the most-read blog of the last month. WTR Daily is about to wind down for its summer break, but before we go, here are the top 10 news stories for July – and an update from the US State Department on whether it would have taken the same approach as the UK office. Read blog
    August 01 2014

    The force is with famous trademarks in dispute over name change (updated)

    (This article has been updated – the new information is italicised at the end of the article) The decision by the UK's Passport Office to reject a passport application because the applicant's signature, which reads 'L Skywalker', infringed a trademark is an unusual incident, and throws up the issue of how stringently passport examiners check trademarks. Read blog
    July 31 2014

    Anti-counterfeiting apps on the rise, but consumer take-up remains a challenge

    Over the past 18 months, a number of technological innovations placing the fight against counterfeiting in the hands of brands and consumers have hit the market. Such developments are wholly positive, but building consumer take-up is likely to be a long-term game. Read blog
    July 29 2014

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    European Union

    General Court: Board of Appeal not 'too demanding' with regard to proof of use

    In Nanu-Nana Joachim Hoepp GmbH & Co KG v OHIM, the General Court has considered how to assess the evidential value of sworn statements for the purposes of furnishing proof of genuine use of a CTM. Among other things, the court held that the Board of Appeal had not been “too demanding” in its assessment of the veracity and credibility of the evidence submitted. Full text
    August 01 2014


    Athens IP Court recognises that 'Vara' shoe buckle is famous trademark

    The Athens IP Court has held that the 'Vara' shoe buckle, which has been closely associated with shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo for more than 30 years, has become a famous trademark in Greece. Although there had been no instances of consumer confusion in this case, the court held that the defendant had enjoyed gains deriving from the unfair exploitation of the fame, repute and distinctive character of the 'Vara' buckle. Full text
    August 01 2014


    Bombay High Court restrains defendant from using metatags similar to plaintiff's mark

    In People Interactive (I) Pvt Ltd v Gaurav Jerry, the Bombay High Court has issued an ex parte ad interim order restraining the first defendant from using the mark SHAADIHISHAADI.COM, including as part of a domain name or in metatags, on the ground that such use infringed the plaintiff’s mark SHAADI.COM. The court also directed defendant GoDaddy to cancel the first defendant's registration for the corresponding domain name. Full text
    August 01 2014


    Federal Supreme Court considers standards of distinctiveness and descriptiveness

    The Federal Supreme Court has confirmed a decision of the Federal Patent Court in which the latter had invalidated the German part of the international trademark HOT. Among other things, the court stated that, when a trademark has several meanings, all of which are descriptive of the registered goods, the interpretative effort resulting from these different meanings is not, as such, sufficient to give the mark distinctive character. Full text
    July 31 2014


    Philip Morris loses 'activate' appeal against Japan Tobacco

    In Philip Morris Products SA v Japan Tobacco Inc, in proceedings between two rival applications, the district court has upheld the registrar’s decision to proceed with the examination of Japan Tobacco’s ACTIVATE FRESHNESS mark for cigarettes, and to refuse Philip Morris' application for a mark containing the words 'activate' and 'fresh'. Among other things, the court held that Philip Morris had failed to show that it had chosen its mark in good faith. Full text
    July 31 2014


    Court considers distinctiveness of compound noun

    In Gagnaeyðing Ltd v Pétur Axel Valgeirsson, the Norðurland eystra District Court has considered whether the defendant’s use of the name Gagnaeyðing Norðurlands infringed the plaintiff’s rights in the mark GAGNAEYÐING ('gagn' means ‘data’, while 'eyðing' means ‘destruction’). Among other things, the court found that the word 'gagnaeyðing' had acquired distinctiveness through use over a period of 20 years. Full text
    July 31 2014



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