WTR 1000 2014
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    Lawyers react to Commission recommendations on groundless threats reform

    The Law Commission has published its proposals for reform of the groundless threats regime, a move which one practitioner feels will help further encourage a ‘negotiate first, sue later’ approach in UK trademark disputes. Read blog
    April 17 2014

    When two become one – the complications of joint mark ownership

    DC Comics and Marvel were in the news this week after a British author complained over a notice opposing the use of ‘Superhero’ in the title of his advice book "Business Zero to Superhero". In many respects this is a straight trademark dispute, but it does have an interesting dimension, the joint ownership of trademarks. Read blog
    April 16 2014

    Quebec Superior Court sides with brands on treatment of trademarks

    The Quebec Superior Court has ruled in Magasins Best Buy Ltée v Office Québécois de la langue française, a case that centres on whether stores with non-French commercial signs must additionally display generic terms describing the store’s product or service offering in French. Read blog
    April 14 2014

    More updatesUpdates

    United Kingdom

    ASOS mark remains valid - but court limits its specification

    In Maier v ASOS plc, the High Court has rejected a challenge to the mark ASOS, brought by a Swiss company that sells high-end cycling gear under the CTM ASSOS. The court found no real risk of confusion and held that the ASOS mark, owned by online fashion store ASOS, would not take undue advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character and repute of the CTM. However, the court limited the specification of the ASOS mark to exclude the types of goods sold by the Swiss company. Full text
    April 17 2014


    CDRP panel rules that personal names can be trade names

    Two related decisions of a panel under the CIRA CDRP have considered the extent to which an individual’s name can serve as a basis for a successful complaint. On balance, the decision appears incorrect on the letter of the CDRP and may open the doors to individuals asserting rights to their names under the CDRP. Full text
    April 17 2014


    Court considers unauthorised use of mark for app icon in iTunes store

    In OJSC RZD v Apple Inc, the Moscow City Commercial Court has considered the unauthorised use of a mark in the logo of an app in an online app store. The court indicated indirectly that it was the developer of the app that should have been named as defendant, rather than Apple. The case shows that carefully drafted licence agreements with developers will help avoid unnecessary disputes between domain name administrators and trademark holders. Full text
    April 17 2014

    European Union

    General Court: OHIM decision vitiated by failure to state reasons

    In Intesa Sanpaolo SpA v OHIM, the General Court has annulled a decision of the First Board of Appeal of OHIM, finding that it was vitiated by a failure to state the reasons identifying the services for which the mark on which the opposition was based had been registered and for which genuine use had been proven. Full text
    April 16 2014


    Federal Court confirms protection for colour trademarks

    In Rothmans Benson & Hedges Inc v Imperial Tobacco Products Limited, the Federal Court has reinforced the principle that a single colour as applied to the surface of a consumer product is capable of being registered as a trademark. The decision relates to two applications filed by Imperial Tobacco Products Limited for the colour orange applied to cigarette packages in 2D and 3D forms. Full text
    April 16 2014


    IP High Court lacks HEART in cancelling mark under Article 51(1)

    The IP High Court has upheld a decision of the Japan Patent Office cancelling the mark NURSE®/HEART/NURSE HEART for goods in Class 16. The court ruled that the trademark owner's subsequent use of HEART and HEART®, which were similar to the petitioner's HEART NURSING marks, intended to cause confusion with the petitioner's goods. This is one of the few cases in which a mark has been cancelled under Article 51(1) of the Trademark Law. Full text
    April 16 2014



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