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27 June 2008

European Commission takes France and Germany to task

In Commission v France and Commission v Germany, the ECJ has held that France had failed to meet its obligations under the Community Design Regulation and that Germany had failed to take the necessary steps to comply with the IP Rights Enforcement Directive. Both France and Germany took measures shortly after the decisions were issued, which shows how effective such judgments can be.

27 June 2008

Lesters Delicatessen enjoined from using Lesters name

In Lesters Foods Ltd v Lesters Delicatessen and Hot Smoked Meat Inc, the Quebec Superior Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing Lesters Delicatessen and Hot Smoked Meat from using the name Lesters for the sale and marketing of smoked meat to the wholesale sector. The court's ruling with regard to damages is inconsistent with the recent appellate ruling in Nissan Canada.

25 June 2008

Measures against ambush marketing at Beijing Olympics announced

In order to protect the rights of the official sponsors of the Beijing Olympics and the Olympic brand itself, the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad has announced the implementation of a number of measures against ambush marketing. Among other things, all prominent advertising sites in Beijing will be controlled and priority will be given to Olympic sponsors.

20 June 2008

GALVALLOY and GALVALLIA are confusingly similar, says CFI

In Usinor SA v OHIM, the CFI has annulled a decision by the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had upheld an opposition to the registration of the mark GALVALLOY. The court held that there was a likelihood of confusion between GALVALLOY and the earlier mark GALVALLIA for galvanized metals, notwithstanding - or perhaps because of - the specialized nature of the relevant public.

30 September 2008

NAKED not registrable for condoms

The Hong Kong Trademarks Registry has refused to register the trademark NAKED for condoms on the grounds that it was descriptive and lacked distinctiveness. Among other things, the registrar held that consumers were likely to perceive the mark as describing a characteristic of the goods, rather than as a badge of origin.

26 September 2008

AKAI cancelled on unfair competition grounds

In Akai Electric Co Ltd v Akai Universal Industries Ltd, the Presidium of the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation has ordered the cancellation of the trademark AKAI on the grounds that the registration infringed the rights of well-known Japanese company Akai Electric Co Ltd in its company name.

25 September 2008

Suspension of opposition overturned in battle over colour purple

In Cadbury UK Ltd v Registrar of Trademarks, the Federal Court of Australia has set aside the registrar's decision to suspend the opposition proceedings in respect of the registration of Cadbury UK Limited's colour trademarks. Among other things, the court held that the suspension of the opposition proceedings for an indefinite period of time amounted to a denial of justice.

23 September 2008

Limits of enforceability of 3D marks highlighted

In Whirlpool Corporation v Kenwood Limited, the High Court has provided valuable guidance as to the limits of the enforceability of three-dimensional trademarks. Among other things, the court held that there was no likelihood of confusion between Whirlpool Corporation's KitchenAid Artisan mixer, the shape of which is registered as a Community trademark, and Kenwood Limited's K-Mix mixer.

19 September 2008

Shape of Coca-Cola bottle registered as three-dimensional mark

The IP High Court has reversed a decision of the Patent Office in which the latter had rejected the registration of the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle as a three-dimensional trademark. The court ruled that although the mark was descriptive under Article 3(1)(3) of the Trademark Law, it had acquired the degree of distinctiveness required under Article 3(2) of the law.

19 September 2008

Reliance on examiner’s suggestion does not necessarily avoid fraud claim

In Grand Canyon West Ranch LLC v Hualapai Tribe, in a precedential opinion, the TTAB has narrowed the margin left open in Medinol Ltd v Neuro Vasx Inc concerning which type of statements may constitute fraud on the USPTO. The decision shows that fraud may be found even if the incorrect statement results from reliance on suggestions of the trademark examining attorney.

16 September 2008

Mobil fails to prevent registration of MOBIS

In Mobil Petroleum Company Inc v Hyundai Mobis, the High Court has affirmed a decision dismissing an opposition filed by Mobil Petroleum Company Inc, the owner of the well-known MOBIL mark, against the registration of the mark MOBIS. The finding that the goods covered by the marks were dissimilar was decisive for the court in deciding that Mobil had not made out the grounds of opposition.

12 September 2008

USPTO considers whether to carve out exception to infringement of design

The US Patent and Trademark Office and Congress are re-examining the extent to which the design of a component part of an article of manufacture should be protected in view of recent cases before the International Trade Commission and comparisons with design protection regimes in the European Union.

10 September 2008

Patent Office clips WHITE STORK's wings

In a surprising decision, the Chamber of Patent Disputes of the Russian Patent Office has ordered the cancellation of the trademark WHITE STORK on the grounds that the mark had not been in use for the past three consecutive years. The reasons why the applicant initiated the cancellation action remain unknown.

08 September 2008

Law firm has standing to bring invalidity action on absolute grounds

In Lancôme Parfums et Beauté & Cie SNC v OHIM, the CFI has held that CMS Hasche Sigle, a law firm, was entitled to file an application for a declaration that the mark COLOR EDITION was invalid. Among other things, the CFI stated that under Article 55(1)(a) of the Community Trademark Regulation, an application for a declaration of invalidity may be filed by a broad range of applicants.

05 September 2008

Sweet victory for Haribo in PIRATOS Case

In Haribo Lakrids A/S v Hela Wine & Spirits, the Maritime and Commercial Court has held that the mark LOS PIRATAS, which was used by Hela Wine & Spirits to produce and sell spirits, was confusingly similar to Haribo's trademarks PIRATOS and SUPER PIRATOS. The court also concluded that the infringement was wilful and ordered Hela to pay compensation to Haribo.