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11 December 2017

Trademark litigant must produce documents held by foreign subsidiary

A US district court has held that Republic Technologies (NA), LLC could be compelled to produce documents located in France if they were relevant and within Republic’s control with regard to a declaratory judgment action against competing cigarette paper manufacturer HBI International. However, the court limited production to those documents that were used in or revealed the design process for products marketed and sold by Republic in the United States.

08 December 2017

TTAB finds PRETZEL CRISPS to be generic – again

Frito-Lay opposed Princeton’s application for the mark PRETZEL CRISPS, claiming that it was generic and had not acquired distinctiveness. On remand, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board again held that consumers perceive PRETZEL CRISPS to be the common name for pretzel crackers and cancelled the registration on the Supplemental Register. It also sustained an opposition against the application to register the term on the Principal Register.

07 December 2017

Unfair Competition Law amendments

The Unfair Competition Law has been amended for the first time since its introduction in 1993, resulting in some important changes to IP law which will come into effect on January 1 2018. The amended law includes the introduction of an effective system for changing an infringing trade name in order to prevent an infringer refusing to change its name.

29 November 2017

Claranet loses appeal in EU General Court

The EU General Court has upheld an EUIPO Board of Appeal decision which found a likelihood of confusion between the marks CLARANET and CLARO.

09 November 2017

Controversial clause deleted from China’s new domain name rules

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued the final version of the Rules on the Administration of Internet Domain Names, which came into effect on November 1 2017. The most notable change in the new rules is the deletion of the controversial Article 37 of the draft, which provided that any domain name with a website hosted in China must be registered with a Chinese domain name registrar.

06 November 2017

Is SRI KRISHNA SWEETS mark a trademark inheritance?

Sri Krishna Sweets is a popular Indian sweet manufacturer based in Coimbatore. The case involved a trademark dispute between two brothers and their claim to use the SRI KRISHNA SWEETS mark by virtue of their equal share in the mark as part of their inheritance from their father. The court relied on earlier jurisprudence to maintain the balance of convenience and ordered the parties to maintain the status quo.

24 May 2017

TTAB rules against US Marine Corps due to lack of evidence

Peter Healy applied to register the mark MARINE ONE DOWN for computer game software. The US Marine Corps filed a notice of opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, claiming that Healy’s mark created a likelihood of confusion. Although the board found that the Marine Corps had standing, its claims were ultimately rejected due to alleged lack of sufficient evidence.

23 May 2017

Trademarks on the silver screen, CPA’s busy summer and ‘.sucks’ in the trademark family: INTA 2017 day three report

For many INTA 2017 Annual Meeting delegates, the busiest days are over and the end is in sight; but determined not to let the long days and nights wear us down, the World Trademark Review editorial team of Trevor Little, Joff Wild and Tim Lince have been running between sessions, meetings and receptions – with a few stops for coffee along the way – to bring you the latest stories and insights from Tuesday’s proceedings.

23 May 2017

Imposing greater pressure on IP infringers through multiple legal actions

After initiating a criminal action against an individual trademark counterfeiter, the plaintiff in a recent case filed a follow-up civil lawsuit against the counterfeiter and his company on the grounds of trademark counterfeiting and trade dress infringement. Through this civil lawsuit, the plaintiff stopped the trade dress infringement and put greater pressure on the counterfeiter.

23 May 2017

Australian courts protect HARBOUR LIGHTS trademark

On appeal to the full court of the Federal Court, Accor Australia and New Zealand Hospitality Pty Limited has succeeded in protecting the name of a residential apartment complex as a trademark. That mark has been protected in relation to services dealing with the sale, leasing and letting of those apartments and holiday accommodation services.

22 May 2017

Donburi or dog’s dinner? Zuma versus Dine in with Zuma

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has found that the reputation of a high-end Japanese restaurant’s trademarks would be tarnished by use of the same name on dog food, regardless of the latter's human-grade ingredients, and that the own name defence could not succeed when deployed by a dog. The case demonstrates how the courts will readily provide protection where the substantial reputation enjoyed by a high-end brand is affected by a defendant’s use in a rather different arena.

18 May 2017

USPTO steps up efforts to remove deadwood from the register; proposes “streamlined” cancellation proceedings

As part of its efforts to declutter the US trademark register, the United States Patent & Trademark Office is looking to establish a “streamlined version” of the current cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Reaction to the proposal on social media has been broadly positive, with one IP expert further telling World Trademark Review that the move is a “logical” one.

17 May 2017

Dominancy test determines trademark similarity

A recent Supreme Court decision shows how the Philippines courts must look at elements of the dominancy test to determine trademark similarity. In Seri Somboonsakdikul vs Orlane SA, the Supreme Court ruled that LOLANE was not a colourable imitation of ORLANE due to distinct visual and aural differences that were discerned using the dominancy test.

17 May 2017

Proof of bad-faith registration crucial, UDRP panel rules

A Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy panel has denied the transfer of a domain name, mainly based on a lack of evidence about the respondent’s bad faith on registering it. The decision demonstrates that when a trademark owner is not that well known, it is crucial to provide solid evidence demonstrating goodwill and reputation at the time of the registration of the domain name at issue.

15 May 2017

Research suggests budgets “holding steady” but more is being required of trademark departments

A new study from Lecorpio suggests that, for the majority of trademark teams, budgets for prosecution and policing are unchanged year on year. However, drilling down it becomes clear that many departments remain under pressure to do more with the same level of resources.