Legal updates

12 Dec 2017

IMMUNOSTAD invalidation appeal dismissed

European Union - The First Chamber of the General Court recently dismissed an appeal brought by Stada Arzneimittel AG against the EU Intellectual Property Office Board of Appeal’s decision to invalidate the mark IMMUNOSTAD for goods in Class 5, based on the likelihood of confusion with the earlier registered mark IMMUNOSTIM. It upheld the original ruling that the goods covered by the marks and the marks themselves were either identical or similar. Read update

12 Dec 2017

No time limit to cancel trademark registrations filed in bad faith

Israel - The Tel Aviv District Court recently rejected a trademark infringement claim which had been filed by the owner of a local furniture chain against the purported use of the mark HABITAT in Israel by the international furniture chain, Habitat International. The court held that several HABITAT registrations owned by the local furniture chain had been filed in bad faith in order to benefit from the international goodwill attached to the mark. Read update

11 Dec 2017

Enforcing single-letter marks as purely figurative

European Union - The EU General Court has dismissed eyewear manufacturer Oakley’s appeal against an EU trademark application on the grounds of likelihood of confusion and potential unfair advantage, based on its earlier mark consisting of a stylised letter ‘O’. The judgment confirms the difficulty in protecting single-letter marks, suggesting that it may be preferable to register them as purely figurative. Read update

11 Dec 2017

Trademark litigant must produce documents held by foreign subsidiary

United States - A US district court has held that Republic Technologies (NA), LLC could be compelled to produce documents located in France if they were relevant and within Republic’s control with regard to a declaratory judgment action against competing cigarette paper manufacturer HBI International. However, the court limited production to those documents that were used in or revealed the design process for products marketed and sold by Republic in the United States. Read update

08 Dec 2017

Court orders ‘anywhere in the world’ injunction against Twitter

Australia - A recent case concerned a Twitter user who had been tweeting financial information which was confidential to the plaintiff. The court issued an injunction against the account and the case demonstrates the willingness of the Australian courts to grant injunctions on an ‘anywhere in the world’ basis against social media operators. It may be particularly useful to parties seeking to enforce their IP rights where an infringement has occurred on social media. Read update

08 Dec 2017

TTAB finds PRETZEL CRISPS to be generic – again

United States - Frito-Lay opposed Princeton’s application for the mark PRETZEL CRISPS, claiming that it was generic and had not acquired distinctiveness. On remand, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board again held that consumers perceive PRETZEL CRISPS to be the common name for pretzel crackers and cancelled the registration on the Supplemental Register. It also sustained an opposition against the application to register the term on the Principal Register. Read update

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Issue 70