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14 July 2008

Implementation of new IP standards

Two new standards on IP documentation and information have come into force. The first confirms terms frequently used in regard to intellectual property, while the second clarifies the classification and coding for IP documentation. However, the standards are not compulsory and no penalties apply for failure to comply with them.

11 July 2008

FOOT ACTION opposition kicked out

In The John David Group Plc v FL Retail Operations Limited, the acting controller has dismissed an opposition filed by FL Retail Operations LLC, the owner of the FOOTACTION mark in various countries, against the registration of the mark FOOT ACTION in Ireland. Among other things, the acting controller held that FL Retail had failed to show that its mark was well known in Ireland as of the relevant date.

09 June 2008

New Intellectual Property Law enters into force

Iran's new Intellectual Property Law, which represents a complete overhaul of the country's IP system, has entered into force. Among other things, the new law details the grounds on which an application for the registration of a trademark or a trademark registration may be contested.

03 June 2008

Not so HEFTY account of profits

In Intellectual Property Development Corporation Pty Ltd v Primary Distributors New Zealand, the Auckland High Court has allowed in part a claim for an account of profits for the unlawful sale of products bearing the mark HEFTY. Among other things, the court held that an account of profits was not available for the period during which the plaintiff was aware of the defendant's acts but failed to take action.

30 May 2008

New '.me' country-code domain name launched

The '.me' registry has launched the registration of the new Montenegrin '.me' country-code domain name. Although the cost of registration during the sunrise period was relatively high, trademark owners were advised to take advantage of this period to register their marks as domain names for defensive purposes. The new domain name is likely to have mass appeal for individuals.

29 May 2008

New Industrial Property Institute established

The Chilean Congress has approved a bill establishing a new Industrial Property Institute. The new institute, an autonomous agency with a legal personality and its own assets, will be in charge of the administration of industrial property in Chile. The bill, which was published in the Official Gazette on April 14 2008, must be implemented by the president of the republic within 180 days.

28 May 2008

Appellate court sets higher bar for defending registrations after non-use

In Scott Paper Ltd v Smart & Biggar, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that plans to reintroduce a trademark cannot be used to protect against expungement procedures under Section 45 of the Trademarks Act, even if those plans are concrete and ultimately executed. This decision sets a higher bar for defending trademark registrations after a period of non-use.

05 September 2008

Claims go up in smoke in HERBAQUIT LOZENGES Case

In Natural Answers Inc v SmithKline Beecham Corp, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favour of SmithKline Beecham Corp, the maker of a smoking-cessation product sold under the mark COMMIT LOZENGES. Among other things, the court held that plaintiff Natural Answers Inc had abandoned its HERBAQUIT LOZENGES mark.

03 September 2008

Parties are bound by arguments raised in opposition

The Trademarks Department Directorate of the Turkish Patent Institute has clarified that an argument raised on appeal cannot be taken into consideration if it was not raised in the original opposition proceedings. This is in line with the approach taken by the courts in actions seeking the annulment of decisions of the institute.

31 July 2008

New regulations on misleading marketing and unfair commercial practices

Two new sets of regulations, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations, have come into force. Both deal with unscrupulous advertising and marketing practices and introduce criminal penalties. The regulations aim to protect consumers and traders from unfair trading, and to improve enforcement.

31 July 2008

Argentina introduces '.tur.ar' sub-domain

NIC Argentina, the registry responsible for the regulation of the '.ar' country-code top-level domain, has announced the launch of the new sub-domain '.tur.ar'. The new extension will be aimed principally at travel agents, tour operators and other professional bodies involved in the tourism industry.

28 July 2008

New decree on border control measures published

Legislative Decree 1092/2008, which introduces border control measures for the protection of copyrights, trademark rights and related rights, has been published. Among other things, the Customs Administration may now carry out border control measures on its own initiative where it has reasonable grounds to suspect that certain goods are counterfeit or pirated.

18 March 2008

'Red Crystal' emblem provided with additional trademark protection

Bill C-61, which implements the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of August 12 1949 and Relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III), has entered into force. The bill makes changes to a number of existing laws, including the Trademarks Act.

18 March 2008

Appeal partially allowed in battle over BUDWEISER

In the latest instalment of the dispute between Budejovicky Budvar and Anheuser-Busch over the use of the BUDWEISER and BUD marks, the Chancery Division of the High Court has partially allowed an appeal by Budvar. Although the court upheld Anheuser’s application for a declaration that Budvar’s BUDWEISER registration was invalid in relation to beer, ale and porter, it held that this was not the case for malt beverages.

12 March 2008

Unusual combination of words held to be distinctive by IP & IT Court

In Avermedia Technologies Inc v Department of Intellectual Property, the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court has reversed a Board of Trademarks decision refusing to register the mark AVERMEDIA for goods in Class 9 on the grounds that it lacked distinctiveness. Among other things, the court held that AVERMEDIA does not directly refer to the character or quality of the relevant goods.