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Patron Spirits International's shot across the bow misses the mark in protecting PYRAT's territory in rum market
International premium spirit giant Patron Spirits International, owner of the mark PYRAT in Class 33, has been unsuccessful in preventing Australian distillery and retail distributor Fernbrew Pty Ltd from registering the mark THE PIRATE BAY RUM COMPANY in Class 33. Among other things, the registrar’s delegate assessed the visual similarity between the marks as "virtually non-existent".
In adidas America Inc v Skechers USA Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s preliminary injunction prohibiting Skechers from selling two styles of shoe that allegedly infringed and diluted adidas’ Stan Smith trade dress and three-stripe trademark.
Toys-R-Us brand auction, EUIPO targets scammers and China’s crackdown on World Cup fakes: news round-up
In our latest round-up, we look at Harry Potter fans' upset at cease-and-desist letters related to fan festivals, the Benelux trademark reform that has come into force, how China is cracking down on World Cup fakes and the changing value of food brands.
In Christian Louboutin SAS v Abubaker, the Delhi High Court has dismissed Louboutin's request for an injunction against Abubaker for trademark infringement and passing off based on its registered ‘red sole’ marks. The court held that Louboutin's use of a single colour for a shoe sole did not qualify as a trademark under the Trademarks Act 1999.
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.
In Variety Stores Inc v Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has reversed summary judgment in a trademark infringement dispute over the use of the term 'Backyard' on grills, finding that the district court had erred because there were genuine issues of disputed fact concerning key factors in the 'likelihood of confusion' analysis.
During a session at last week’s ECTA Annual Conference, experts made some bold often startling predictions on where they see the trademark industry in 10 years. While some were unsurprising, such as how artificial intelligence and automation will improve efficiency, there were some unexpected suggestions, including how the role of law could change in the future.
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".
Proposed amendments to Trademarks Act's border enforcement provisions - what rights holders should know
The Intellectual Property (Border Enforcement) Bill was recently introduced in Parliament. Among other things, it aims to give effect to Singapore's obligations under the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement to strengthen border enforcement measures against infringing goods, and to circumscribe new powers for Customs to procure and provide information concerning seized goods.
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.
In Horowitz v 148 South Emerson Assocs LLC, which involved a licence agreement for use of the SLOPPY TUNA trademark for a restaurant, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has addressed for the first time whether attorneys’ fees should be included in an award of costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(d).
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.
New Andean Tribunal of Justice ruling on prejudicial interpretations - why the trademark community should take note
The Andean Tribunal of Justice has issued a ruling regarding requests for a prejudicial interpretation which allows the parties involved to participate in the process. Rights holders should take note of this development, as the mechanism of prejudicial interpretation concerns industrial property in the countries of the Andean Pact.
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.
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