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    Trademarking a tragedy: the need to defend against rogue trademarks of tragic events

    The entire world was in a state of shock, disbelief and sadness last Thursday at the news that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 had been shot out of the sky over war torn fields in Ukraine. Some individuals, though, saw the tragedy as something else entirely: an opportunity to register trademarks. Read blog
    July 24 2014

    Social media marketers ‘need regular trademark training’

    A lot of talk about online trademark protection is of brands protecting themselves from infringement, but the changing nature of brands engaging with consumers on social media requires marketing staff to take regular IP training to avoid any legal or trademark hiccups themselves. Read blog
    July 23 2014

    Proposed amendment to Russian trademark law receives mixed response

    Russia’s Federation Council on Intellectual Property is proposing an amendment to Russian trademark law that would stop naturalistic images of products and descriptive trademarks as the basis for distinctiveness. WTR discovers a very mixed response to the proposed changes. Read blog
    July 21 2014

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    US company Tesla sued for trademark infringement

    US company Tesla Motors Inc, a manufacturer of electric cars, has been sued by Chinese businessman Zhan Baosheng, the owner of the TESLA mark in China. Baosheng is demanding that Tesla stop all sales and marketing activities in China and that all showrooms and supercharging facilities be shut down. He is also demanding that Tesla pay him $3,850,000 in compensation for trademark infringement. Full text
    July 25 2014


    Supreme Court rules on 'use' of a trademark

    In Mon.Zon v Layher, the Supreme Court of Sweden has considered the scope of the exclusive rights conferred by Article 4 of the Trademark Act. Among other things, the court held that, although Mon.Zon had used Layher’s trademark in relation to identical goods and in the course of trade, there was no risk of harming any of the trademark’s functions. Consequently, Layher could not prevent Mon.Zon from using its trademark. Full text
    July 25 2014


    Supreme Court: generic or common words may be distinctive

    The Supreme Court has held that Club 21 Private Limited’s trademark CLUB 21 was registrable for goods and services in Classes 16, 25 and 35. The registrar and the Board of Trademarks had refused to register the mark on the ground that it lacked distinctiveness. Among other things, the Supreme Court stated that the provisions of the Trademark Act do not stipulate that a generic word or a word with a general meaning cannot be distinctive. Full text
    July 25 2014


    Federal Supreme Court considers requirements for cancellation of mark on absolute grounds

    In cancellation proceedings against the mark SMARTBOOK, the Federal Supreme Court has held that the existence of absolute grounds must be established at the time of application, and that descriptive use of the mark after the filing date or the registration date does not prove that the mark was descriptive at the time of application. Full text
    July 24 2014


    Supreme Court: two types of oppositions were available when country was part of Andean Community

    The Supreme Court has considered whether oppositions under the Venezuelan Industrial Property Act were available during the period when Venezuela was a member of the Andean Community (the country withdrew from the community in 2006). The court concluded that there were two different types of oppositions, which were both valid. Full text
    July 24 2014


    Draft amendment to trademark legislation introduced

    The Industrial Property Office in the Ministry of Trade and Industry has prepared a draft law to amend Law No 04/L-026 on Trademarks. With these amendments, the government seeks to harmonise the protection of industrial property in Kosovo with the relevant directives of the European Union, as part of the legislative reform required by the negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and Kosovo. Full text
    July 24 2014



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