In Interflora v Marks & Spencer (Case C-323/09), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has held that a trademark owner is entitled to object to the use of its mark as a keyword if internet users cannot tell whether the goods originate from the trademark owner or a third party. However, the ECJ recognised that advertisers can legitimately present themselves as commercial alternatives to the trademark owner – a positive finding for online search engines.
The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) has introduced a mediation service as an alternative to appealing to the Boards of Appeal in trademark and design cases. The service is offered by a team of specially trained mediators drawn from OHIM’s staff. The statement announcing the launch indicated that “mediation is a new departure for OHIM and one that is being offered following interest expressed by users”. Speaking after the launch, MARQUES representative Tove Graulund said that the announcement took the organisation by surprise.
In Budejovicky Budvar, narodni podnik v Anheuser-Busch Inc (Case C-482/09), the ECJ has ruled that Anheuser-Busch must continue to share the BUDWEISER trademark with Budejovický Budvar when marketing its products in the United Kingdom.
On October 1 2011 Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States signed the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Japan. However, the European Union, Mexico and Switzerland – the other negotiating parties – have yet to sign, while a US senator has called for clarification over the ratification process.
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