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In The Coca-Cola Company v Glacier Water Industries the High Court of Delhi has issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Glacier Water Industries from using Coca-Cola’s KINLEY mark and passing off its goods as those of Coca-Cola. In doing so, the court confirmed the protection afforded to well-known trademarks in India.
Following its accession to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial and Intellectual Property, Kuwait has recently introduced a new e-filing system for trademark applications. This update examines how Kuwait is modernising its trademark prosecution process in line with international best practices.
In Giro Travel Company v Andreas Stihl AG, the Second Board of Appeal of the EUIPO has found that a colour mark consisting of the colours orange and grey for chainsaws was invalid. The decision confirms that, despite the change in 2015 to remove the ‘graphic representation’ requirement, the Sieckmann criteria remain in play.
The Patent and Trademark Office has ordered the cancellation of a 3D trademark representing Crocs Inc's famous clog shoe in Classes 10 and 25. Among other things, the office found that the elements making up the mark were aesthetically functional and could not be exclusively appropriated.
Birkenstock's ‘patterned sole’ UK trademark has been held to be invalid for lack of distinctiveness. This case reaffirms the difficulty in defending a sub-brand (or unconventional) trademark and provides further case law in support of the position held in Nestle v Cadbury.
In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeals has held that the level of attention of the target consumers plays a significant role in the assessment of the likelihood of confusion. The court concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion between the trademarks A10.COM and A-101, as the goods and services in Classes 9 and 41 target cautious and selective consumers.
The Federal Administrative Court has held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the trademarks SIGNIFOR and SIGNASOL for pharmaceutical preparations in Class 5 despite finding that the goods were similar, that the marks were similar from a phonetic and visual point of view and that there was a certain conceptual similarity between them.
Rospatent has announced that a faster process for the expedited examination of trademarks and patents is now available. The new timeframe provides significant benefits for applicants, but brand owners must be aware of this change when building their strategies against potentially infringing applications.
In Makemytrip v Orbit, travel company MakeMyTrip sought to restrain use of the mark GETMYTRIP by competitor Orbit on the basis of its registered rights in the mark MAKEMYTRIP. The High Court of Delhi found, among other things, that MakeMyTrip was guilty of suppression of facts, and set aside the ex parte interim injunction granted in its favour.
Despite court's non-infringement ruling, TTAB affirms Section 2(d) refusal of MOAB for automobiles and parts
The TTAB has affirmed a Section 2(d) refusal to register the mark MOAB for motor vehicles, finding it likely to cause confusion with the mark MOAB INDUSTRIES for automotive conversion services. While the application was pending, a federal court ruled in favour of the applicant in a trademark infringement and unfair competition action brought by the registrant, but the TTAB found that the ruling had no estoppel effect on the determination of this ex parte appeal.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the Civil IP Court in which the latter assessed the similarity between two trademarks by taking into account generic words, which would not be normally considered in the examination of the likelihood of confusion. The decision also deals with the issue of how, and under which conditions, an earlier trademark may provide vested rights to its owner.
In a recent decision under the UDRP, a WIPO panel has denied the transfer of a domain name consisting of an identical reproduction of the complainant's trademark followed by the name of the country in which the complainant operated. It found insufficient evidence that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith in order to take advantage of the complainant's rights.
With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union scheduled to take place on March 30 2019, UK-based owners of '.eu' domain names should take note of the European Commission’s "Notice to stakeholders: withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules on '.eu' domain names". UK-based proprietors of '.eu' domain names should take necessary steps to avoid any negative impact to their domain name portfolio.
Qatar is currently seeking to reinforce its IP protection regime by providing a stronger legal basis for the protection of customer rights, in addition to improving and organising administrative filing systems. This update examines recent trademark-related developments in the country which reflect the approach taken by the government to achieve these goals.
WIPO has issued a press release revealing that cybersquatting cases in 2017 reached an all-time high. While the expansion of the domain name system has contributed to an increase in cybersquatting activity, in 2017 disputes relating to new gTLDs represented only 12% of all cases filed with WIPO. As in previous years, ‘.com’ remains the TLD with the highest number of disputed domain names.
General Court: relevant public's perception of mark on filing date is crucial to assess absolute grounds for refusal
In Safe Skies LLC v EUIPO the General Court has upheld a decision of the EUIPO, rejecting an application for a declaration of invalidity of the mark TSA LOCK. The court found that the applicant had not established that, at the relevant time, the relevant public had associated the capital letters ‘TSA’ with the Transportation Security Administration.
The decision of the registrar of trademarks, in which the application for ALEXANDER in Classes 18, 20 and 25 in the name of CKL Holdings NV was refused on the grounds of bad faith, has been upheld. The decision emphasises that the wider conduct of the applicant could be relevant to the assessment of whether an application was filed in bad faith.
The Board of Appeal has dismissed an opposition filed by the owner of the figurative mark SKYR in Class 29 against the registration of the figurative mark SKYR BALTAIS in the same class. Among other things, the board found that Estonian consumers would understand the word ‘Skyr’ as designating an Icelandic dairy product and that there were no alternatives for designating that product.
In Altunis-Trading, Gestão e Serviços Lda v EUIPO, Hotel Cipriani, a luxury restaurant established in Venice, has successfully opposed the application for the trademark CIPRIANI for drinks in Class 32 based on its earlier word mark HOTEL CIPRIANI, which covered, among others, bar and restaurant services in Class 43.
In a recent decision under the UDRP, a three-member panel not only denied the transfer of the domain name ‘ktg.com’, failing it on all three requirements, but also found reverse domain name hijacking. The case illustrates how difficult it may be, in the absence of any very well-established registered or unregistered trademark rights, to recuperate a valuable three-letter domain name.
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