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14 July 2010

New police report reveals enforcement trends

The Chilean police force specialized in IP crimes has published a report covering the period from June 2009 to May 2010. Among other things, the report states that the number of actions for the enforcement of trademark and other IP rights has increased consistently.

13 July 2010

Mark rejected even though first part already registered as CTM

In Actega Terra GmbH v OHIM, the General Court has refused to register the word mark TERRAEFFEKT MATT & GLOSS for “lacquers, in particular for the graphic industry” on the grounds that it was descriptive. Among other things, the court pointed out that the fact that TERRAEFFEKT was already registered as a CTM was not binding.

13 July 2010

Court considers whether consignment transaction results in trademark use

In JAG Flocomponents NA v Archmetal Industries Corporation, the Federal Court has considered whether the delivery of goods from the Chinese manufacturer to the Canadian distributor, for sale on a consignment basis, effectively constituted use of a trademark in Canada. In doing so, the court made a distinction as to the nature of possession set out in Section 4 of the Trademarks Act.

12 July 2010

No likelihood of confusion between BUTLERS marks

In The Butler’s Pantry (Manufacturing) Limited v The Irish Chocolate Company Limited, the acting controller has dismissed an opposition filed by the owner of various BUTLERS marks against the registration of THE BUTLER’S PANTRY. Among other things, the acting controller held that the opponent had failed to show how use of the mark applied for might undermine its capacity to identify exclusively its goods.

09 July 2010

Relevant public will attach little significance to meaning of descriptive words

In CM Capital Markets Holding SA v OHIM, the General Court has rejected CM Capital Markets Holding SA's oppositions to the registration of two marks including the words 'carbon capital markets'. Among other things, the court held that the relevant public would attach little significance to the meaning of the words ‘capital’ and ‘markets’, since they are descriptive of the services at issue.

09 July 2010

Federal Court rejects transcendence of fame argument

In Wrangler Apparel Corporation v Big Rock Brewery Limited Partnership, the Federal Court has upheld a decision of the Trademarks Opposition Board rejecting Wrangler Apparel Corporation's opposition to the registration of the mark WRANGLER for beer. Among other things, the court held that WRANGLER's fame did not transcend the clothing market to cover beer.

08 July 2010

Counterfeiter sentenced to one year's imprisonment

In State of Israel v Hammuda, the defendant has been sentenced to one year's imprisonment for trademark counterfeiting under the Israeli Trademarks Ordinance and forgery under the Penal Law. This sentence departs from the usual practice in trademark counterfeiting cases, thereby reflecting the gravity of the defendant's conduct.

06 July 2010

Parliament adopts five draft IP laws

The Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted five draft laws in the field of intellectual property. Among other things, the Draft Law on Trademarks abolishes the practice of substantive examination and introduces an opposition procedure. The draft laws are expected to enter into force by the end of the year.

06 July 2010

London Olympics Association Right plays role in cybersquatting case

A WIPO panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name '' to The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd. This case is significant in that it is based on the London Olympics Association Right - a sui generis statutory right under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 - and on trademark rights.

05 July 2010

Nickname may constitute legitimate interest in registering domain name

In Sandro Andy v Balzarin, Sandro Andy, a French fashion company, has failed to obtain the transfer of the domain name '' under the UDRP. Among other things, the WIPO panel accepted the respondent's argument that he had a legitimate interest in registering the domain name, as it corresponded to his nickname Sandro.

02 July 2010

Importance of actual confusion among relevant customers highlighted

In Caliber Automotive Liquidators Inc v Premier Chrysler Jeep Dodge LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has remanded for trial a finding of summary judgment that infomercials called 'Slasher Shows' were not confusingly similar to the marks SLASH-IT! SALES EVENT or SLASHER SALE. Among other things, the district court should not have overvalued the lack of confusion by the general public.

16 June 2010

Supreme Court gives boost to tertiary brand strategies

In Compagnie Gervais Danone v Glanbia Foods Society Limited, in an important decision for European brand owners, the Irish Supreme Court has unanimously confirmed that the use of a tertiary brand for a constituent ingredient in a product may qualify as genuine trademark use in relation to that product.

14 June 2010

IP attorneys reminded that creative arguments must have reasonable basis

In Franklin Mint Company v Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP, the Franklin Mint Company, which is known for its commemorative plates, has succeeded in its malicious prosecution claim against the lawyers representing the estate of the late Princess Diana. The case presents a cautionary tale for trademark lawyers: creative arguments must have a reasonable basis in the fundamental principles of trademark law.

11 June 2010

High Court upholds trademark co-existence agreement

In Omega Engineering Inc v Omega SA, the High Court has upheld the terms of a trademark co-existence agreement between two businesses using the same name by preventing one party from opposing a subsequent trademark application by the other. This judgment is encouraging to businesses that have entered into co-existence agreements in the past.

10 June 2010

Section 18 unavailable to require disclaimer beyond five-year anniversary

In Montecash LLC v Anzar Enterprises Inc, in a precedential opinion addressing a question of first impression, the TTAB has held that Section 18 of the Lanham Act, which grants the TTAB authority to restrict a registration, could not be applied to require the disclaimer of a generic term in a registration existing on the Principal Register for more than five years.