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26 March 2008

SIPO's request for review rejected by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has rejected a request for review of an Administrative Court decision filed by the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office. The Supreme Court held that SIPO had no legal standing to request the review under the provisions of the new Act on Administrative Disputes.

25 March 2008

Customs not up to the mark in WELLA Case

The Commercial Court has dismissed an action filed by the Customs Authority on the grounds that the latter had failed to prove that hair care products bearing the mark WELLAFLEX infringed the trademarks WELLA and WELLAFLEX. The decision highlights the fact that the authority must establish a chain of evidence in order to prove that goods are counterfeit.

25 March 2008

Debate on time limits in cancellation actions put to an end

The General Assembly of the Court of Appeals has put an end to the debate as to the interpretation of the term 'date of registration' in Articles 14 and 42 of the Trademark Law 556. The court held that the date on which the last act of the registration procedure is carried out shall be deemed to be the date of registration of a trademark for the purpose of determining the limitation period in cancellation actions.

20 February 2008

Advocate General delivers opinion on comparative advertising

Advocate General Mengozzi has delivered his opinion on questions on comparative advertising referred to the ECJ by an English court in O2 Holdings Limited v Hutchison 3G Limited. Should the ECJ follow Mengozzi's opinion, disputes about the use of trademarks in comparative advertising will be considered in light of the Comparative Advertising Directive, rather than trademark infringement principles.

19 February 2008

YouTube obtains cancellation of ''

The National Telecommunications and Post Committee, the authority responsible for the supervision of the administration of domain names in Greece, has ordered the cancellation of the domain name ''. Among other things, the committee recognized that the YOUTUBE mark was famous and notorious in Greece.

18 February 2008

Irreparable harm must be demonstrated in injunction cases

In Hyundai Auto Canada v Cross Canada Auto Body Supply (West) Limited, the Federal Court of Appeal has confirmed that, in the absence of clear evidence of irreparable harm which cannot be compensated in damages, the courts will refuse to grant interlocutory injunctions.

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".

24 January 2008

CIRA orders transfer of domain name based on residual goodwill

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority has ordered the transfer of '' to the successor in title of the Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit on the grounds that it had residual goodwill in the MPSHU mark. Pursuant to this decision, a successor in title of a dissolved organization can now claim rights in a non-registered mark based on residual goodwill.

24 January 2008

Opponent wins the battle only to lose the war

The recently established Supreme Court has determined its first trademark case in Austin Nichols & Co Inc v Stichting Lodestar. The main issue was the weight to be placed on the decision of the commissioner of trademarks in an opposition. The Supreme Court held that while the extent of the consideration given to the decision appealed from is a matter of judgment, the appellate court must form its own view.

23 January 2008

COLORADO removed from register for lack of distinctiveness

In Colorado Groups Limited v Strandbags Groups Pty Ltd, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has ordered the cancellation of the registration of the trademark COLORADO in respect of backpacks. Among other things, the court held that the word 'Colorado' lacked inherent distinctiveness and that it had a signification that made it likely that other legitimate traders might want to use it.

22 January 2008


The acting controller has dismissed an opposition filed by Cuisine de France Limited against the registration of the mark CUISINE EXPRESS based on the earlier registered trademark CUISINE DE FRANCE. Among other things, the acting controller held that the fact that both marks commence with the word 'cuisine' is counterbalanced by the clear visual differences between 'de France' and 'express'.

15 January 2008

The North Face decision leaves market operator in the cold

The Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court has ordered the Silk Street Clothing Market Limited, the operator of the Silk Street Market in Beijing, to cease infringing The North Face Apparel Corp's trademark THE NORTH FACE (and design). Among other things, the court held that the operator had the duty to supervise strictly the business activities within its management.