Legal updates

17 Jan 2018

China's nationwide campaign to protect foreign companies' IP rights

China - In August 2017 the China State Council published the Circular on Several Measures to Boost the Growth of Foreign Investment. The circular announced measures to ensure the growth and raise the quality of foreign investment by creating an environment that is more law-based, internationalised and convenient for foreign investors. Read update

17 Jan 2018

High degree of similarity defeats weak distinctive elements

European Union - The EU General Court has upheld the EU Intellectual Property Office Opposition Division decision to refuse Xiaomi Inc's application to register the EU trademark MI PAD for goods in Class 9 and services in Class 38, based on a likelihood of confusion with Apple’s IPAD mark. The decision highlights the importance given to the high degree of overall similarity between marks and their relevant goods and services, even where there are weak elements. Read update

16 Jan 2018

Mankind Pharma Limited wins MANKIND dispute

India - A court has ruled in favour of Mankind Pharma Limited and granted an ex parte order with costs against Mankind Merchandise Private Limited. It held that due to the plaintiff’s prior user and proprietary status and the lack of proper justification by the defendant for adopting and using the impugned mark, the defendant was permanently restrained from using the MANKIND trademark or trade name. Read update

16 Jan 2018

ENJOY and JOY held to be similar

Switzerland - The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has overturned a decision by the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, finding a likelihood of confusion between the marks JOY and ENJOY. The decision highlights that graphical depictions with specific font types generally do not help to eliminate the similarity of signs if the verbal elements are similar. Read update

15 Jan 2018

Hearing evidence from outside the EU in opposition proceedings

European Union - The EU General Court has annulled the EU Intellectual Property Office decision to dismiss Coca-Cola’s opposition against Modern Industrial & Trading Investment Co Ltd’s figurative MASTER mark. The court held that, as the mark was applied for as an EU trademark, there was a serious risk of free riding in the European Union. Read update

15 Jan 2018

Trademark case proves no PIK-NIK as court upholds cheese string mark

Estonia - The County Court of Harju has upheld a decision by the board of appeal that there was no likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark HIIRTE JUUSTU PIKNIKUPULGAD and the earlier PIK-NIK trademarks. It held that the marks as a whole were dissimilar visually, phonetically and semantically, and that the word combination ‘Piknikupulgad’ was descriptive, lacked distinctive character and had become customary in the Estonian language. Read update

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Issue 71