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21 September 2017

X and XKING held to be confusingly similar

The European Court of Justice has upheld a finding of likelihood of confusion between Continental's XKING mark and Michelin's earlier X mark for tyres. The decision will be welcomed by owners of existing single-letter trademarks. However, new entrants into a market – and their trademark professionals providing clearance advice – should approach earlier single-letter marks with increased caution.

20 September 2017

Thailand to join Madrid Protocol

From November 7 2017 it will be possible to file a trademark via the Madrid system or through a national application directly with the Department of Intellectual Property. The existing system is complicated, regimented and inconsistent; however, time will tell whether the Madrid system will make registration any easier.

18 September 2017

New design protection law

A new design law has been approved by Parliament and will come into force in August 2018. The new law will provide the legal basis for protection of designs, and will eventually replace the Patents and Designs Ordinance 1924. It aims to provide small and medium-sized local enterprises and individual designers, as well as global enterprises, with effective ways to protect their designs and enforce their rights.

15 September 2017

Advocate General has its say on Coty’s effort to prevent third party online sales

Can luxury brands be permitted to prevent their own authorised resellers from selling products through online third-party platforms? A recent opinion from Advocate General Wahl has gone some way to answer that question by holding that suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit authorised retailers from selling their products on third-party platforms such as Amazon or eBay.

14 September 2017

Opinion sought in ‘Champagner Sorbet’ case

The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne sued Aldi Süd for unauthorised use of the Champagne protected designation of origin (PDO). The case led to the European Court of Justice seeking an opinion as to whether the use of a PDO on the packaging of a product which benefits from such use constitutes exploitation.

13 September 2017

Amazon calls for end to ‘.amazon’ gTLD stand-off; demands prompt action to end dispute with governments

​​​​​​​Amazon has called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to “immediately approve” its application for the ‘.amazon’ generic top-level domain, noting that prompt action is necessary because “there is no sovereign right under international or national law to the name ‘Amazon”’, with an Independent  Review Process Panel having previously ruled that ICANN acted in a manner inconsistent with its bylaws when rejecting the company’s application. The move to end the stand-off over the string is one that all brands should monitor.

18 October 2017

German Federal Court rules on Google’s Image Search

The Federal Court of Justice has handed down a judgment of utmost importance for the exploitation of copyright on the Internet. The decision, which will become known and referred to under the name Thumbnail III, examined whether the display of preview images in search results constituted an act of making available a copyright work in the sense of the copyright law.

16 October 2017

Trademarks Act applies to counterfeit and grey market goods

In a recent case concerning the correct construction of Section 92(1) of the Trademarks Act 1994, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal and upheld the Crown Court decision that a High Court trial can proceed.

16 October 2017

Checked pattern held to be well-known trademark

In an unusual trademark case concerning a blue-and-white checked pattern used on bed linen, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court has ruled in favour of Hästens Sengar AB, which sued the Nordicform group of companies for infringement. The court held that the pattern had acquired distinctiveness through use and the relevant consumers were expected to show a high degree of attention due to the character and price of Hästens beds.

13 October 2017

Aldi involved in unusual case

The EU General Court has cancelled an opposition decision in the unusual Aldi v the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) case, on the grounds that the EUIPO Board of Appeal did not take into consideration the request for a stay because Aldi had filed a forfeiture for lack of use action. The decision leaves the EUIPO in a difficult situation if a request for a stay is made.

11 October 2017

Digital language databases more effective than dictionaries or media usage to defend against genericide: study

A recent study has analysed the three most common forms of evidence used in genericism cases and found that corpus linguistics (ie, the use of a digital language databases) could prove to be “more beneficial” for rights holders looking to protect their brand from the threat of genericide. However, the author urges cautions over its use, saying that courts should reconsider the use of linguistic data altogether and reclaim the primary significance test in genericism cases.

17 January 2018

China's nationwide campaign to protect foreign companies' IP rights

The China State Council has published the 'Circular on Several Measures to Boost the Growth of Foreign Investment'. It includes measures to raise the quality of foreign investment.

15 January 2018

"INTA can serve as the connector": new president on the association’s expanded anti-counterfeiting role

Tish Berard, 2018 president and chair of the board of directors at INTA, expands on the co-ordination role the association can play in the global fight against counterfeiting.

09 January 2018

Trademark litigation slump continues; the law firms capitalising on dispute-related work revealed

The latest tracker data from Lex Machina confirms that the litigation slump continued in 2017, with the 3,782 cases filed representing a nine-year low.

08 January 2018

adidas wins latest dispute against H&M in Hague Court

The District Court of The Hague has ruled in favour of adidas in the main proceedings of its saga against H&M regarding the companies' respective stripe marks.