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02 March 2006

Prestige of Custo brand prevents unauthorized registration

The Colombian Trademark Office has denied registration to the mark CUSTO on the basis that the mark was confusingly similar to, among other things, the name of designer Angel-Custodio Dalmau Salmons. The Trademark Office considered the fame of the designer as a notorious fact that did not require evidence.

01 March 2006

Blow for Budvar in BUDWEISER battle

The Court of Appeal in Stockholm has issued a ruling in the long-running global battle between Czech brewer Budĕjovický Budvar NP and US rival Anheuser-Busch Inc. The court held that while the Czech company cannot use BUDWEISER as a trademark in Sweden, it can use the mark BUDVAR for its beer.

28 February 2006

Jeans counterfeiter hit with severe penalties

A Russian court has condemned the director of an entity involved in counterfeiting various fashion trademarks to 18 months in prison and has ordered the destruction of the seized items, worth Rb2.5 million (around $90,000). The criminal proceedings were initiated by the police as the damages incurred by the mark owners fell within the definition of 'severe damages'.

27 February 2006

Special legislation blocks ambush marketing at Winter Olympics

A new law was implemented to fight ambush marketing at the Winter Olympic Games that have just taken place in Turin. Under the law, only three official Olympic committees and agencies are allowed to use the Olympic symbols, as well as third parties that have obtained written authorization to do so from the International Olympic Committee.

27 February 2006

New law provides administrative enforcement remedies

The Intellectual Property Law, which will take effect from July 1 2006, was promulgated on December 12 2005. The new law addresses, among other things, issues of enforcement of IP rights through administrative remedies. The main remedies for rights holders that can be applied against infringers are warnings and monetary fines.

22 February 2006

Canadian company's opposition thrown out on grounds of fraud

In its first citable decision of 2006, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has dismissed an opposition filed by a Canadian company against an application brought by Toyota for the mark TUNDRA for "automobiles and structural parts thereof". Notably, the board also cancelled the Canadian company's registrations for TUNDRA upon finding that it had committed fraud in obtaining its three registrations for the mark.

21 February 2006

Companies within same group cannot hold confusingly similar marks

The Colombian Trademark Office has issued a resolution clarifying that identical or confusingly similar trademarks cannot be registered in the names of separate companies within the same corporate group. The trademark office stated that the use of identical or similar marks by such companies should be established through licensing.

02 February 2006

Landmark ruling overturns territorial jurisdiction practice

The Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling on territorial jurisdiction that is likely to have a major impact on IP enforcement in India. Overturning long-standing prior practice, the Supreme Court stated that in composite actions (involving infringement of trademark and copyright, and passing off) the territorial jurisdiction of a court can only be invoked if the defendant resides or carries on business in the territory of that court.

01 February 2006

Dominant graphic element saves KINJI BY SPA from KINNIE opposition

In Simonds Farsons Cisk plc v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has dismissed the opposition by the owner of the KINNIE mark to the registration of KINJI BY SPA. The court held that the graphic elements of KINJI BY SPA (including a cartoon raccoon) were dominant and their suggestive power sufficiently strong to counter any phonetic similarity with the word mark KINNIE.

31 January 2006

ONLINE BUS decision gives indication of use requirements

In GFK AG v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has issued a decision clarifying a number of issues as part of an opposition action against the registration of ONLINE BUS as a Community trademark. Among other things, the court held that despite the fact that the opponent had not used its opposing mark in the form registered, the use qualified as valid use.

30 January 2006

No threat of ruling in favour of citigroup.co.uk cybersquatter

In Global Projects Management Limited v Citigroup Inc, the High Court of England and Wales has granted summary judgment in favour of Citigroup Inc in a case that arose from a threats action brought by Global Projects Management Limited after Citigroup commenced proceedings for the transfer of the domain name 'citigroup.co.uk'.

27 January 2006

Neutrogena fails to rinse TAR-GEL mark off of the register

The Federal Court of Appeals has dismissed an action filed by Neutrogena Corporation calling for the cancellation of the trademark TAR-GEL. Neutrogena filed the motion following the owner of the TAR-GEL mark's opposition to Neutrogena's application to register T/GEL. The court concluded that Neutrogena had failed to prove that the TAR-GEL mark owner knew of its T/GEL mark prior to registering TAR-GEL in Argentina.

27 January 2006

Starbucks's well-known marks win out over local name registration

Starbucks has won a legal battle in Shanghai over use as a company name by a local café of the mark XINGBAKE - the Chinese translation of the STARBUCKS mark. The court confirmed that Starbucks's registered STARBUCKS and XINGBAKE marks are well known in the People's Republic of China due to extensive advertising and use, which commenced prior to the local café's registration of its company name.

26 January 2006

Review of WhenU pop-up case refused by Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court has refused to grant certiorari to review the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's ruling in 1-800 Contacts Inc v WhenU.com Inc, in which the Second Circuit held that the use of a company's domain name to trigger contextually relevant internet advertising does not qualify as trademark use under the Lanham Act.

08 November 2005

GREENTYRE mark owner's complaint hits the skids

In Green Tyre Company Plc v Shannon Group, a WIPO panel has dismissed a complaint filed by the owner of the GREENTYRE mark and has refused to order the transfer of 'greentyre.com' from a former distributor of the trademark owner's products, despite undisputed evidence that the registrant had promised to transfer the domain name.