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21 January 2010

SGNIC launches Chinese domain names

SGNIC, the domain name registry for Singapore, has announced the launch of second-level Chinese domain names. During Phase 2, which started on January 7 2010 and ends on February 18 2010, trademark owners may apply for second-level Chinese domain names under certain conditions.

20 January 2010

No likelihood of confusion between PRADAXA and IPRAXA for pharmaceuticals

In Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co KG v The Patent and Trademark Board of Appeal, the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court has upheld a decision of the Patent and Trademark Board of Appeal in which the latter had found that the trademarks PRADAXA and IPRAXA for pharmaceuticals were not confusingly similar.

15 January 2010

Louis Vuitton defeated on appeal in 'quatrefoil' case

In City Chain Stores (S) Pte Ltd v Louis Vuitton Malletier, the Court of Appeal of Singapore has overturned a decision of the trial judge in which the latter had found in favour of Louis Vuitton Malletier in a dispute involving its famous 'quatrefoil' device. Interestingly, the court considered two approaches to the issue of what would amount to infringement.

14 January 2010

Thomas Pritzker fails to obtain transfer of 'tpritzker.com'

In Pritzker v Brown, a WIPO panel has refused to order the transfer of the domain name 'tpritzker.com' to Thomas Pritzker. Among other things, the panel found that Pritzker had failed to establish common law trademark rights in the names T. Pritzker or Thomas Pritzker. The decision underlines that domain name cases involving personal names are not always as straightforward as they seem.

13 January 2010

Colour red protectable as unregistered mark with a reputation

The IP Division of the Court of Milan has confirmed that the colour of Ferrari Formula 1 cars (not limited to a specific nuance of red) was protectable as an unregistered trademark with a reputation. Among other things, the court ordered the seizure of unauthorized merchandising products (including clothes), holding that their red colour inevitably brought Ferrari to mind and could cause confusion with original products marketed by Ferrari's licensees.

11 January 2010

AFNIC incurs liability for failure to 'freeze' domain name

AFNIC, the registry for '.fr' domain names, has felt the chill of a French court decision over its failure to 'freeze' the domain name 'francelot.fr' upon the request of a disgruntled trademark owner. The court noted that AFNIC was obliged under its own charter to freeze a domain name if its registration constituted a violation of the terms of the charter.

14 October 2009

Sole director of restaurant found personally liable for infringement

In 2045978 Ontario Inc v Chaps Aldershot Inc, the Federal Court has found that Chaps Aldershot Inc and its president, secretary, treasurer and sole director Kevin Saunders had infringed the registered trademark CHAPS. Among other things, the court held that Saunders had "engaged in a deliberate, wilful and knowing pursuit of a course of conduct that he knew constituted infringement" of the mark.

13 October 2009

Supreme People's Court reshuffles IP jurisdiction

The Supreme People's Court of China has released a circular entitled "The Rules for Distributing Jurisdiction in Administrative IP Cases Concerning the Grant of Rights and the Recognition of Patents and Trademarks". The rules represent a significant step towards the establishment of a unified judicial system for the protection of IP rights.

12 October 2009

Two oppositions based on well-known marks rejected

In Nicklaus Companies LLC v Randazzo and Tiffany and Company v Koury, delegates of the registrar of trademarks have dismissed two separate oppositions against the registration of two trademarks, notwithstanding the international fame and reputation of the opponents and their respective marks.

12 October 2009

Google sued by BharatMatrimony over use of marks as keywords

The Madras High Court has granted an interim injunction restraining Google from infringing Consim Info Private Limited's registered trademarks, including BHARATMATRIMONY.COM, by using them as keywords in its AdWords system. The outcome of the case will be crucial for the future of the AdWords system in India.

12 October 2009

Exclamation mark is not registrable as a trademark, says CFI

In JOOP! GmbH v OHIM, the CFI has upheld a decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had found that JOOP! GmbH's exclamation mark symbol could not be registered as a Community trademark. Among other things, the CFI held that JOOP! had failed to prove that its mark had acquired distinctive character through use.

08 October 2009

New regulation on applications for assignment comes into force

The "Regulation on Issues in Relation to Applications for Trademark Assignments", which was issued by the China Trademark Office following an increase in the number of fraudulent trademark assignments, has come into force. The regulation specifies that in case of doubt, the office must require a notarized copy of a document identifying the assignor and the assignee.

06 October 2009

Passive website insufficient to confer jurisdiction, says court

In Lilly Icos LLC v Richie Laboratories Limited, the Delhi High Court has held that a passive presence on the Internet was insufficient to confer jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant. The court found that the website at issue was merely used to post information on the nature and purpose of the defendant's goods, and did not invite orders from consumers in Delhi.

09 March 2010

Requirements for revocation of trademarks explained

The Court of Appeal of Lisbon has upheld a decision of the Commercial Court of Lisbon in which the latter had found that the owner of the trademark SAIMA had successfully demonstrated that it had made genuine use of its mark during a period of five consecutive years. The application for the revocation of the mark was thus rejected.

08 March 2010

Door left open to 'own name' defence in relation to trading names

In Hotel Cipriani Srl v Cipriani (Grosvenor Street) Ltd, the Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the High Court on all grounds. Hotel Cipriani was thus successful in its action for trademark infringement against the Cipriani London restaurant. However, the Court of Appeal would not rule out that the so-called 'own name' defence to trademark infringement would never apply to the trading name of a company.