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27 November 2002

Nominet panel issues first reverse hijacking decision

For the first time, a Nominet panel has upheld a counterclaim of reverse domain name hijacking. The panellist, Steven Maier, found that the complainant in Cardpoint plc v Riga Industries was attempting to abuse the Dispute Resolution Service Policy to obtain a transfer of 'cardpoint.co.uk'.

26 November 2002

Italy responds to EU threats regarding Community trademark courts

The Italian government has amended a bill already before Parliament, providing for the designation of national courts that will have exclusive jurisdiction to hear Community trademark cases. The government was supposed to have made this designation in 1997.

21 November 2002

Website owner fights tooth and claw to protect pet trademark

Internet search engines Kanoodle, Google and Overture have been accused of trademark infringement and unfair competition in relation to their paid placement or 'pay for clicks' listings practices, which allow website owners to pay for their sites to be listed near the top of search results when certain key words are entered.

07 February 2003

Trademark Law amended to prevent piracy

Changes to the Russian Trademark Law have come into force. The amendments - which bring Russia one step closer to WTO membership - draw a clear line between genuine and counterfeit goods, and toughen the penalties for counterfeiting.

05 February 2003

Debate surrounds NATIVE TASTE lawsuit

Sari Pelita Sdn Bhd has filed suit in the High Court against Balasarasvathi A/P Nagaih and Madura Store Sdn Bhd, alleging that the defendants have been passing off their tea products as the plaintiff's by copying the plaintiff's packaging get-up and design. The case is likely to involve a review of Malaysian case law on trademarks.

03 February 2003

US Bancorp wins 'usbank.us' from search engine site

A National Arbitration Forum panellist has ordered the transfer of 'usbank.us' to US Bancorp Licensing. The panellist held that, although the registrant was using the domain name as a search engine, its primary intention was to sell it - evidence that the domain name had been registered in bad faith.

03 February 2003

Coexistence allowed, but limited, for similar marks in same class

In Microsules y Bernabo SA v Syncro Argentina SAQUIF, the Federal Court of Appeal in Buenos Aires has held that two confusingly similar trademarks for the same class of goods may coexist if the products are not sold in the same places.

31 January 2003

Antitrust authority refuses to rule on trademark dispute

The Central Preventive Commission has outlined new stricter criteria to delineate unfair competition claims from trademark infringement claims, thereby limiting antitrust authorities' jurisdiction in cases involving trademark infringement.

29 January 2003

Argentine courts implement TRIPs-approved temporary injunctions

Two recent cases - one involving the French company L'Oréal, the other involving US company American Home Products Corporation - indicate that the Argentine courts are rigorously applying the provisional measures provided by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

29 January 2003

New Spanish Trademark Law comes into force

New trademark legislation has come into force in Spain, replacing the Trademark Law of 1988. The new law takes into account various international agreements and EU trademark regulations, most notably the Community Trademark Directive.

28 January 2003

Gallo proves strength of mark with domain name transfer

US company E&J Gallo Winery has obtained the transfer of a country-code top-level domain name that infringed its trademark. National Arbitration Forum panellist Charles McCotter found that 'gallo.us' had been registered in bad faith as users were redirected to another site listing a wine directory.

20 March 2003

Court prunes back scope of limitation clause

In Zer.4.U.(2000) Ltd v A Sderot Hen Flowers, a district court has enjoined the defendant from using the domain name 'zer4me.co.il' on the basis that the plaintiff is the registered owner of the mark ZER4U. This is despite the fact that the plaintiff's registration includes a clause stating that the terms 'zer', '4' and 'u' may be registered by others.

17 March 2003

BELLSOUTH registrations signal shift in policy

Although Ecuador's Intellectual Property Law and Andean Community Decision 486 prohibit the registration of generic or technical terms as trademarks, the decision of the Intellectual Property Institute to register a number of marks submitted by BellSouth Corporation may indicate a change in the way this legislation is interpreted.

17 March 2003

ECJ defines trademark 'genuine use' in landmark case

The European Court of Justice has just set out the test to be applied when deciding whether or not a trademark has been put to genuine use. The court was ruling on questions referred by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in Ansul BV v Ajax Brandbeveiliging BV.

14 March 2003

Ontario court fines 'naked' cybersquatter

In eGalaxy Multimedia Inc v Bailey, for the first time ever, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ordered a defendant in a cybersquatting case to pay punitive damages. Barrie Bailey had registered three domain names incorporating the words 'naked news', which eGalaxy sought to register as a trademark.