Region: South Africa

Sole device marks get the boot

In <i>A P Lubbe NO v Millennium Style (Pty) Limited</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa has dismissed an application by the appellants to restrain the respondent from using various trademarks comprising design features applied to the soles of footwear. The court cancelled the appellants' own device marks, noting that they would be perceived by the public as sole tread designs, and not as trademarks.

23 March 2007

Device mark injunction application kicked out by High Court

The Cape of Good Hope Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa has dismissed Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport's application for an injunction preventing the use of a device mark on shoes by local manufacturer and distributor Global Warming (Pty) Limited. The court held that there were significant distinguishing features between the local company's mark and marks used by Puma on its shoes.

21 March 2007

LOTTO Case applications heard by Cape High Court

The Cape High Court has heard two simultaneous applications in relation to rights in the LOTTO trademark. The first was by the operator of the LOTTO national lottery to restrain Online Lottery Services (Pty) Limited from trading as LOTTOFUN, and from making use of this trademark. The second was by Online Lottery Services to cancel the LOTTO registration on the basis that it did not constitute a trademark.

19 March 2007

ADR regulations promulgated for '' domain name disputes

Alternative Dispute Resolution regulations have been promulgated by the minister of communications in South Africa under Section 69, read with Section 94, of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002. Legitimate right owners will be able to use the ADR procedure as soon as accredited domain name service providers have been appointed by the '.za' Domain Name Authority.

13 December 2006

Publisher gets away with use of Wegbreek magazine title

In <i>Media 24 Bpk v Ramsay Son & Parker</i>, the Cape Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa has resolved a long-standing dispute between the publishers of two outdoor lifestyle magazines. The court held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the magazine title <i>Weg</i>, which is also the subject of a trademark registration, and the title <i>Wegbreek</i> as the addition of the word <i>'breek'</i> to the word <i>'weg' </i>introduced sufficient phonetic and visual differences.

15 November 2006

Bottle mark cancellation confirmed by Supreme Court

In <i>Die Bergkelder Beperk v Vredendal Koöp Wynmakery</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has cancelled a container mark registration for a wine bottle. The court explained that since containers are not usually perceived to be source indicators, a container must, in order to be able to fulfil a trademark function, at least differ "significantly from the norm or custom of the sector".

22 May 2006

BMW succeeding in driving out unauthorized use

In its fourth successful High Court case in the recent past, BMW AG has been granted interdicts against a retailer of "replacement" components to fit BMW vehicles. The court found that the retailer had used certain of BMW's registered, and well-known unregistered, trademarks without authorization in contravention of Section 34 of the Trademarks Act.

11 April 2006

Free speech ruling sees withdrawal of '' Case

In light of a Constitutional Court decision earlier this year, which confirmed that the right to free speech takes precedence over a trademark holder's rights, South African telecommunications giant Telkom SA Limited has withdrawn its trademark infringement case against an individual who was using the domain name '' for a website critical of Telkom's practices.

02 December 2005

Ruling leaves rights in THE GAP open to question

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled on the drawn-out conflict relating to the trademark THE GAP between US company The Gap Inc and the South African A M Moolla Group. Although the court ordered the removal from the Trademarks Register of numerous THE GAP marks owned by the South African entity, it did not expressly restrain that entity from using the marks.

26 October 2005

Packaging row turns sour for Master Foods

Tiger Brands Limited has succeeded in an appeal to the Advertising Standards Authority's Appeal Committee, overturning an earlier ruling that the packaging of its Indulgent Sparkles range of hard boiled sweets with soft centres was an imitation of the packaging of Master Foods SA (Pty) Ltd's Streamers range of similar sweets.

06 September 2005

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