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An investigation from World Trademark Review has explored the evolving tactics of misleading and often malicious websites that pose as articles from well-known news outlets. Common trends include the use of cryptocurrency and Elon Musk to lure in users, with one expert telling us that tackling hoax articles targeting brands or public figures can feel like “a game of whack-a-mole”.
In Scotch Whisky Association v Klotz, which concerned the interpretation of Articles 16(a) to (c) of Regulation 110/2008, the CJEU has held that, order to decide whether there is an ‘evocation’ prohibited by EU law, the national court must determine whether consumers think directly of the protected geographical indication ‘Scotch Whisky’ when they see a comparable product bearing the designation ‘Glen’.
Croatia repeals Board of Appeals - IP Office decisions must now be challenged before Administrative Court
The Croatian Parliament has passed the Law on Amendments to the Trademark Law, which repealed the Board of Appeals. Decisions of the IP Office can no longer be challenged before the Board of Appeals: aggrieved parties must now file an administrative lawsuit before the Administrative Court in Zagreb. The Board of Appeals will continue to operate until all pending appeal cases are resolved.
In a blow for rights holders, the UK Supreme Court has decided that internet service providers (ISPs) should not bear the implementation costs for website blocking orders. Although the court endorsed the availability of blocking orders for rights holders, it reversed the costs position, finding that rights holders should indemnify the ISPs for the reasonable costs of implementing the orders.
ICANN steps up GDPR clarity bid, Squire Patton Boggs resolves China dispute, and insights from ECTA 2018: news round-up
In our latest round-up, we look at various insights from ECTA’s 37th annual conference, Squire Patton Boggs resolving a dispute in China over use of its name and related domain name, a potential disagreement between Jack Daniel’s and a Chambord estate, the Financial Times winning a trademark dispute, and how domain registrations for sports betting are on the rise.
The CJEU has annulled decisions of the General Court in which the latter had confirmed that there was a likelihood of confusion between five marks including the word ‘master’, which L’Oréal sought to register in Class 3, and Guinot’s earlier mark MASTERS COLORS PARIS. The CJEU found that the General Court had failed to respond to L’Oréal’s arguments in a structured, sufficient and well-reasoned manner.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup gets underway in Russia today, and major brands sponsors and non-sponsors alike have already kicked off efforts to benefit from the buzz surrounding the tournament. Meanwhile, the authorities have commenced policing for infringement, with the Federal Antimonopoly Service having initiated cases centred on the misuse of FIFA’s marks.
In Martinez t/a Prick v Prick Me Baby One More Time Ltd t/a Prick, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has held that there was no passing off by a shop selling cacti under the name Prick of goodwill arising from tattooing and piercing services offered under the same name. The court considered that the burden of demonstrating a misrepresentation in this case, given the very different fields of activities, was "a heavy one".
The UK Supreme Court has handed down its decision in the Cartier website blocking case, siding with internet service providers (ISPs) and ruling that brand owners should indemnify ISPs for the costs of implementing blocking injunctions. While a blow to rights holders, industry commentators argue that such injunctions remain a key weapon in the fight against online infringement.
Messi scores trademark goal as General Court finds no likelihood of confusion between MESSI and MASSI
The General Court has found that there was no likelihood of confusion between footballer Lionel Messi’s mark MESSI and the earlier mark MASSI, despite the identity of the goods at issue and the phonetic and visual similarity between the marks. The court applied the rule of neutralisation, whereby conceptual differences may counteract the visual or phonetic similarities between the signs.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has today issued its decision in Louboutin v Van Haren Schoenen BV (Case C-163/16), ruling that it cannot be held that a sign consists of a shape where the registration did not seek to protect that shape but rather sought to protect the application of a colour to a specific part of a product. The move has been welcomed by the fashion house, which notes it strengthens the protection of the company’s red soles mark.
The Vilnius District Court has dismissed GW Pharma Limited’s action for the invalidation of the mark SATIMED for goods and services in Classes 3, 5 and 42, and the mark SATIVERA for goods in Class 3, based on the earlier registered marks SATIVEX. Among other things, the court found that the common element ‘sati’ is only weakly distinctive, as it is often used in relation to products containing ‘cannabis sativa’.
In Prada SA v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld the decision of the Second Board of Appeal of the EUIPO, thereby allowing the registration of Indonesia-based hotel The Rich Prada International’s trademark THE RICH PRADA, in spite of Italian fashion house Prada's "exceptional reputation" in its PRADA mark.
“I wish the US president had opposed my trademark” applicant of registered Trump mark on treating IP as art
A popular author and professional speaker has successfully registered a trademark for GRABBA THE TRUMP in the UK, a combining of terms related to both US President Donald Trump and a character from the Star Wars universe. Talking to World Trademark Review, the applicant states that he hoped Trump would oppose the mark and that he enjoys provoking major brands with his trademark applications.
In Flatworld Solutions PvT Ltd v EUIPO the General Court has annulled a EUIPO Fourth Board of Appeal decision which found that Outsource Professional Services Ltd had not acted in bad faith when applying for the registration of OUTSOURCE 2 INDIA. Among other things, the court found that the company had intended to exploit the economic potential that could be mined from the unregistered mark OUTSOURCE2INDIA.
The EUIPO has released a new report, compiling research since 2013, to present a comprehensive and updated picture of the scope and impact of IP rights infringement in the European Union.
The CJEU has handed down its decision in the opposition proceedings involving luxury French fashion house Kenzo and Mr Kenzo Tsujimoto, owner of US-based winery Kenzo Estate. The judgment serves as a reminder that there is no entitlement to register an EUTM based upon one’s own name.
The new Law on Customs Measures for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights has now entered into force in Kosovo, introducing important changes intended to align local customs procedures with Regulation 608/2013. Among other things, the new law further streamlines the simplified procedure for the destruction of counterfeit goods and introduces the small consignment procedure.
In Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v BENI, the Court of Appeals has ruled that the import and sale of genuine goods bearing registered trademarks without the authorisation of the trademark owner constitutes trademark infringement. This is the first time that Kosovo’s courts have considered the issue of parallel imports.
The cassation court has confirmed that Black Friday Ltd, the owner of BLACK FRIDAY for services in Class 35, had abused its rights by suing an association of online shops for using the words 'Real Black Friday' and the domain name 'realblackfriday.ru'. Among other things, the court found that the designation 'Black Friday' had been used in many countries before the priority date of the trademark.
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