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16 October 2008

Procedure to promote consistent examination announced

The US Patent and Trademark Office has announced a one-year pilot project to promote consistency by providing applicants with a mechanism to bring the inconsistent treatment of applications to the attention of the office. The mechanism is intended to address inconsistent treatment between or among an applicant's own applications.

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.

12 March 2008

Roundabout trade avoids trademark infringement, says court

In Eli Lilly and Co v 8PM Chemist Ltd, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales has overturned an interim injunction granted by the Chancery Division against 8PM Chemist Ltd. Among other things, the court held that genuine trademarked goods which were never released for free circulation within the European Union did not interfere with Eli Lilly and Co's right of first marketing.

12 March 2008

DD DIVO DIVA and DIVA CRAVATTE held to be confusingly similar

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has upheld an opposition filed by the owner of the trademark DIVA CRAVATTE against the registration of the mark DD DIVO DIVA for goods in Class 25 of the Nice Classification. Among other things, the court held that the marks DIVA CRAVATTE and DD DIVO DIVA were confusingly similar.

10 March 2008

JOBTEAMDANMARK falls at Olympic hurdle

The Commercial Court has upheld an opposition filed by the Danish Olympic Committee, the owner of the trademark TEAM DANMARK, against the application to register the mark JOBTEAMDANMARK. Among other things, the court held that the public could be misled into believing that TEAMDANMARK in combination with the word 'job' referred to employment services of the committee.

07 March 2008

DELIGHT AROMAS is not descriptive, says court

The Federal Administrative Court has allowed an appeal against the refusal to register the mark DELIGHT AROMAS. Among other things, the court held that the mark was not descriptive since its meaning would not be understood by the relevant public. The court's decision seems to limit significantly the current practice as to what can be considered as basic English vocabulary.

07 March 2008

Giorgio Armani's GA mark is confusingly similar to Gucci's GG logo

In GA Modefine SA v Guccio Gucci SpA, the Metropolitan Board of Appeal has refused to extend protection to Hungary of the international registration for GA Modefine SA's device mark GA on the grounds that it is confusingly similar to Guccio Gucci SpA's earlier device mark GG.

05 March 2008

Leave to appeal refused in GLENN OAKS Case

In Scotch Whisky Association v De Witt, the Federal Court has refused leave to appeal against a decision of a single judge of the court in relation to the GLENN OAKS mark. Among other things, the court held that, if necessary, the association would be able to apply for the cancellation of the registration of the GLENN OAKS mark once it was registered.

05 March 2008

American Express gets credit for MY LIFE. MY CARD

In American Express Co v Goetz, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a district court's decision finding that Stephen Goetz's use of the slogan 'My Life, My Card' did not confer any enforceable rights senior to American Express Co's MY LIFE. MY CARD mark. The decision illustrates how the marketing copy of a supplier of intermediate goods and services does not constitute trademark use.

19 May 2008

Daimler Chrysler successfully opposes FORADODGE application

In a precedential opinion, the TTAB has granted summary judgment in favour of Daimler Chrysler Corp in its opposition to an application for the mark FORADODGE. The TTAB held that the permanent injunction imposed by the Sixth Circuit was dispositive in the opposition proceedings, since it prohibited Maydak from using or registering the mark FORADODGE for any products and services.

15 May 2008

IPO issues practice notice on appeals to appointed person

The UK IPO has published a tribunal practice notice on appeals to the appointed person against decisions of the registrar in inter partes proceedings. In addition, the IPO has introduced Form TM33(P) for use in all legal proceedings before the Trademarks Tribunal.

15 May 2008

LA PEREGRINA and PILGRIM are confusingly similar, says TTAB

In In re La Peregrina Limited, in a precedential opinion, the TTAB has provided an analysis which may prove useful in considering the registrability of foreign language equivalents of English-language registrations. Among other things, the TTAB held that the meanings of the trademarks LA PEREGRINA (Spanish for 'the pilgrim') and PILGRIM were identical.

13 May 2008

No limit to prior art attack on validity, says Court of Appeal

In Green Lane Products Ltd v PMS International Group plc, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales has confirmed that any prior art can be relied on to attack the validity of a registered Community design. Even though the parties had settled their differences, the court decided to deliver the judgment as the case gave rise to points of law of general importance.

12 May 2008

Conference highlights challenges of IP rights enforcement

An IP session entitled "Enforcement of IP Rights in a Globalized Economy" was held on March 27 2008 during the Third Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association. Among other things, the chief judge of the Federal High Court stated that a lack of relevant case law and interpreters, and the limited effect of interlocutory orders hindered the enforcement of IP rights by the courts.