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02 October 2008

Opposition may continue based on converted rights

In Cardiva SL v Cardima Inc, the Grand Board of Appeal of OHIM has held that an opposition originally based on a Community trademark application which is later converted into national trademark applications and registrations can be maintained on the basis of those converted rights. The decision is likely to be welcomed by most trademark owners and practitioners.

02 October 2008

GREDDY Case highlights importance of being first to use mark

In Trust Co Ltd v Amornpornwiwat, the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court has held that Trust Co Ltd had a better right to the trademark GREDDY, even though the defendant was the first to apply for the registration of the mark in Thailand. Among other things, the court held that Trust Co was the owner of the mark because it was the first to use it in Thailand in relation to its goods.

02 October 2008

New registry for ‘.ae’ domain names established

The responsibility for the '.ae' country-code top-level domain has been transferred to a new entity, the .aeDA. Among other things, the .aeDA proposes to work only with accredited registrars. Therefore, domain name holders with '.ae' domain names in their portfolios should undertake a review to determine whether a change of registrar(s) is required.

01 October 2008

PUREBABY decision: the end of the essential feature test?

In In the matter of Trademark Application 738606 in the name of Purebaby Pty Ltd, the hearings officer has held that the mark PUREBABY was not confusingly similar to the earlier registered trademark PURE. The decision indicates that the essential feature test set out in De Cordova v Vick may no longer be of much relevance when considering the similarity of marks.

25 November 2008

Frequent publication of Trademarks Journal: unexpected problems

The Nigerian Trademarks and Patents Registry has published three Trademarks Journals so far this year, which represents an unprecedented achievement. However, as the register is administered manually, the more frequent publication of the journal has created unexpected problems for trademark owners, in particular with regard to oppositions.

21 November 2008

Metatag use leads to award of profits and attorneys' fees

In Venture Tape Corporation v McGills Glass Warehouse, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has considered whether the unauthorized use of a trademark as a metatag constituted use upon which a finding of trademark infringement liability could be based. Answering in the affirmative, the court held that the defendant was liable for damages and for the payment of the plaintiff’s attorneys' fees.

21 November 2008

Advocate General delivers opinion in Zovirax repackaging case

Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston has delivered her opinion in The Wellcome Foundation Ltd v Paranova Pharmazeutika Handels GmbH, a dispute involving the repackaging of ZOVIRAX-branded products. Among other things, the advocate general considered the issue of giving notice of intention to import repackaged products.

20 November 2008

LAURA BIAGOTTI AQUA DI ROMA held to be deceptive

The Swiss Administrative Court has affirmed a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in which the latter had refused to extend protection to Switzerland of the international registration for the figurative mark LAURA BIAGOTTI AQUA DI ROMA for perfumery on the grounds that such registration would be deceptive for goods not originating from Italy.

18 November 2008

‘’ extension launched

EuroDNS, the Luxembourg-based registrar responsible for the Dutch ‘’ domain name space, has announced the launch of ‘’ through a sunrise period divided into two phases. During the first phase, which starts today, owners of a ‘.nl’ domain name have the right to register the equivalent of that domain name under ‘’ with priority.

17 November 2008

IMPI recognizes 12th appellation of origin

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property has issued a declaration of protection of the appellation of origin 'chile habanero de Yucatán' (chilli pepper from the Mexican state of Yucatán). IMPI has also recognized the Cuban appellation of origin ‘habanos’ for cigars produced in Cuba after refusing to do so for 40 years.

13 November 2008

VOGUE mark partially invalidated

The Polish Patent Office has partially invalidated Advance Magazine Publishers Inc's registered trademark VOGUE for goods in Classes 18 and 25 of the Nice Classification (including clothing and shoes). Among other things, the office held that the publishing of a fashion magazine did not provide evidence of use of the mark for such goods.

13 November 2008

AFRI-COLA registered for certain goods

The Swiss Administrative Court has partially overturned a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and has allowed the registration of the trademark AFRI-COLA for certain goods in Class 30 of the Nice Classification on the grounds that the mark did not function as a geographical denomination with respect to such goods.

13 November 2008

Bad faith recognized as grounds for invalidation

The General Assembly of the Court of Appeals has held that a registered trademark may be invalidated on the grounds of bad faith. The general assembly stated that even though bad faith is not listed in the grounds for invalidation in Article 42 of Decree Law 556, a trademark may be invalidated based on the principles of good faith set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code.

02 July 2008

Revision of company names legislation will affect trademark law

Within the context of the revision of the Swiss Stock Corporation Law provision on limited liability companies, the law on company names is due to be substantially revised. Under the new law, it will be possible to register descriptive company names with the Register of Commerce, which will have an impact on trademark registration strategies.

02 July 2008

Name of television series can constitute trademark

The Trademarks Office has dismissed the opposition filed by Home Box Office Inc, the distributor of the Sex and the City series, against the registration of the trademark SIX IN THE CITY for dating services. The hearings officer nevertheless acknowledged the fact that the name of a television series can constitute a trademark.