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14 February 2008

IDEA and IKEA are not similar, says CFI

In Inter-Ikea Systems BV v OHIM, the CFI has upheld a decision by the Board of Appeal of OHIM which set aside a decision by the Cancellation Division declaring that the figurative mark IDEA was invalid. Among other things, the CFI held that as the verbal element 'idea' of the contested trademark is recognized immediately, this outweighs any aural similarity between IDEA and the earlier mark IKEA.

13 February 2008

A mark that has been revoked can be cancelled

In T-Mobile (UK) Ltd v O2 Holdings Ltd, the appointed person has held, among other things, that the fact that a party has made an application for revocation of a trademark on the grounds of non-use under Section 46 of the Trademarks Act does not as a matter of course preclude that party from subsequently applying for a declaration of invalidity of the same mark under Section 47.

12 February 2008

Court of Appeal denies protection to single colour

In British American Tobacco Kenya Ltd v Cut Tobacco Kenya Ltd, the Court of Appeal has held that there can be no proprietary rights in a particular colour and, in general, in words that are descriptive of goods. The case contains an interesting analysis of how the laws on trademark infringement and passing off are applied in Kenya.

12 February 2008

CFI ignores coexistence agreement in OMEGA Case

In Omega SA v OHIM, the CFI has dismissed an appeal against a decision to uphold an opposition against the registration of the combined figurative and word mark OMEGA. In doing so, the CFI explicitly ignored the coexistence agreement between the parties, stating that "[t]he agreement is irrelevant to the assessment of the likelihood of confusion in the present case".

06 February 2008

Customs trademark registration system introduced

The director general of the Paraguayan Customs Authority has announced the implementation of a procedure for the registration of trademarks and other IP rights with Customs. Due to the large amount of applications, the deadline for registration has been extended for an undetermined period of time.

05 February 2008

Seventh Circuit applies 'next to impossible' likelihood of confusion test

In Top Tobacco LP v North Atlantic Operating Company Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, relying on pictures of the competing tobacco products and their packaging, has affirmed that it was "next to impossible" to believe that any consumer, however careless, would confuse the origin of the products.

02 May 2008

Problems of new Customs trademark registration system highlighted

A roundtable entitled "Analysis on the implementation of the new trademark recordation system with Customs" has highlighted issues linked to the implementation of Resolution 101, which regulates the procedure for trademark registration with Customs in Paraguay. The procedure was introduced by Paraguayan Customs at the beginning of the year.

29 April 2008

Sweet victory for Ferrero Rocher in unfair competition case

The Supreme People's Court has held that the packaging of the Trésor Doré Jin Sha sweets was confusingly similar to that of Ferrero SpA's Ferrero Rocher chocolates, in violation of the Anti-unfair Competition Law. The court referred to the trademark legislation in determining the amount of damages.

28 April 2008

Government steps up fight against shadow companies

The government has announced a public consultation on the amendments to the Companies Ordinance. One of the amendments aims to tackle the issue of shadow companies. Among other things, the consultation document proposes that the registrar of companies be empowered to enforce a court order directing a shadow company to change its name on the grounds that it is similar to a registered trademark.

23 April 2008

'.my' second-level domain launch enters second phase

MYNIC, the registry for the '.my' domain, has launched the second phase of its second-level domain name service. Applications for registration are now open to the public. Pursuant to the MYNIC registration guidelines, second-level domain names must not be identical or confusingly similar to either a registered trademark or a business or company name in Malaysia.

21 April 2008

Product configuration cannot be registered based on inherent distinctiveness

In August Storck KG v Alfa Intuit Food Productions Ltd, the Israeli Supreme Court has held that the product configuration of Toffifee sweets (a chocolate sweet shaped like a ball cut into halves) was entitled to registration. However, the Supreme Court held that a product configuration cannot be registered on the basis of inherent distinctiveness.

21 April 2008

MONSTER Case highlights importance of trademark registration

In Hansen Beverage Company v Bickfords (Australia) Pty Ltd, Hansen Beverage Company has failed to stop Bickfords (Australia) Pty Ltd from selling its Monster Energy drink, even though Bickfords had deliberately copied Hansen's brand. Among other things, the Federal Court held that Hansen had failed to establish the requisite reputation of its MONSTER ENERGY mark in Australia.

27 February 2008

LUCKY DREAM strikes lucky

The Singapore Trademarks Registry has dismissed an opposition filed by the owner of the marks LUCKY STRIKE and LUCKIES against the application to register the mark LUCKY DREAM. Among other things, the registrar held that there was no real risk of deception or confusion which would lead customers to believe that goods bearing the mark LUCKY DREAM originated from the opponent.

26 February 2008

CHOIR OLYMPICS overcomes OLYMPIC hurdle

The Estonian Board of Appeal has dismissed an opposition filed by the Estonian Olympic Committee against the application to extend protection to Estonia of the international registration for the trademark CHOIR OLYMPICS. Among other things, the board found that there was no likelihood of confusion between CHOIR OLYMPICS and the marks of the International Olympic Committee.

22 February 2008

CIRA orders transfer of 'formica.ca'

A Canadian Internet Registration Authority panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name 'formica.ca' to the owner of the FORMICA mark. Among other things, the panel found that the registrant had no legitimate interest in the 'formica.ca' domain name.