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Legal updates

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

24 Nov 2015

High Court grants injunction due to risk of dilution of Unilever's BIO-TEX mark

Denmark - In Unilever NV v Coop Danmark A/S, the High Court has found that the defendants had not violated Unilever's BIO-TEX mark by using the word mark D'OR-TEX for identical products. However, the court held that the defendants' D'Or-Tex products risked diluting the reputation and market position of BIO-TEX and granted an injunction in favour of Unilever. Read update

24 Nov 2015

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Ordinance - impact on the licensing of trademarks

Hong Kong - The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Ordinance (Cap 623), which will come into operation on January 1 2016, will have implications for IP contracts, such as trademark licensing. Among other things, any warranties concerning trademarks given by the trademark owner may be enforceable by the sub-licensee(s) directly in the event that any of the warranties are breached. Read update

24 Nov 2015

Bologna Court orders defendant to cancel domain name registration and remove any link to that domain name

Italy - The Specialised IP Division of the Court of Bologna has issued a preliminary injunction enjoining a hotel from using the sign Hotel Ink 124 and the domain name 'www.hotelink124.it', as these were confusingly similar to the earlier registered mark INC HOTEL, owned by an Italian chain of hotels. The decision is remarkable in that the defendant must not only cancel the domain name registration, but also remove any link to that domain name on other websites. Read update


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Issue 58