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13 March 2014

ECJ issues decision in 'knife handle' cases

The ECJ has set aside decisions of the General Court in cases concerning two CTMs consisting of a 2D representation of knife handles. The General Court had annulled decisions of OHIM cancelling the marks on the ground that they consisted exclusively of the shape of goods which is necessary to obtain a technical result. Among other things, the ECJ held that the analysis of signs consisting of the shape of goods is not restricted to the shape as reproduced in the trademark application.

04 April 2014

Trademark legislation to be amended

Montenegro has drafted amendments to its trademark law in order to bring it into line with the EU trademark legislation. Among other things, the new law permits the cancellation of trademarks that have become generic, as well as of trademarks that are likely to cause confusion with existing marks. It is expected that the amendments will be adopted in the near future.

03 April 2014

Hotel industry giant succeeds in revocation action for non-use

A globally known brand of hotels and resorts has succeeded in revocation proceedings for non-use against a Bulgarian hospitality company. The Patent Office found that the evidence submitted by the Bulgarian company showed its intent to use the trademarks, but did not prove that the marks had been put to genuine use.

01 April 2014

Name of famous writer not registrable as trademark for writing instruments

The Federal Patent Court has reversed a decision of the Patent and Trademark Office and ordered the cancellation of the word mark MARK TWAIN for writing instruments. Among other things, the court held that, if the public perceives a mark as a dedication to a famous personality, then it does not function as an indication of origin.

01 April 2014

Court dismisses infringement action and rebukes plaintiff for following wrong procedure

The County Court of Harju has dismissed an action by ABC Kliima OÜ alleging that use of the figurative mark KODUKLIIMA by Kodukliima Grupp OÜ infringed its exclusive rights in the figurative mark ABC KODUKLIIMA SALONG. The court held that, before filing a court action, ABC Kliima should have followed the pre-court procedure at the Board of Appeal.

28 March 2014

Good-faith mistake may not be sufficient for registrar to grant extension of time

In V Hotel Pte Ltd v Jelco Properties Ltd, the registrar has rejected a request for restoration of a trademark application and extension of time to file evidence in opposition proceedings. The registrar held that a good-faith mistake, per se, may not be sufficient for the registrar to exercise his discretion to grant an extension of time. There must be some extenuating circumstances to explain the oversight or delay.

03 March 2014

Trademarks registry revamps its online platform

With India now a member of the Madrid Protocol, it is imperative for the Trademark Office to clear its backlog and speed up its digitisation drive. The office has recently taken several steps to improve its functioning - in particular, it has improved its web portal by introducing several new services for the benefit of brand owners and practitioners.

28 February 2014

Underdog scores victory against Twentieth Century Fox in Glee case

In Comic Enterprises Ltd v Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, in a victory for a true underdog, the High Court has ruled that Comic Enterprises Ltd’s figurative mark THE GLEE CLUB was infringed by Twentieth Century Fox’s use of 'glee' for its television series Glee and subsequent promotion/merchandising.

27 February 2014

Decision shows decisive impact of figurative elements in comparison of signs

In Mega Brands International, Luxembourg, Zweigniederlassung Zug v OHIM, the General Court has annulled a decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that there was a likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark MAGNEXT and the earlier word mark MAGNET 4. Contrary to the board, the court found that the figurative mark was “clearly divided into two parts”, ‘mag’ and ‘next’.

18 November 2013

Court confirms that directors may be held liable for company IP breaches

In Artexyl SARL v Geographical Norway ApS, the Maritime and Commercial Court has held that the sole proprietor and managing director of the defendant company incurred a separate liability for the IP violations committed by the company. The decision confirms the new trend in Denmark that natural persons may be held liable for IP violations performed by companies if certain conditions are met.

15 November 2013

Distinctiveness of foreign mark should be assessed based on relevant public's general knowledge

The Beijing Higher Court has upheld a decision of the Beijing Number 1 Intermediate Court in which the latter had found that the trademark CHROMA RICHE was not descriptive of “shampoos; hair spray; hair dyes and bleaching products; essential oils” in Class 3. The Higher Court held that the distinctiveness of a trademark consisting of foreign words should be assessed on the basis of the general knowledge of the relevant public in China.

14 November 2013

Trademark Office adopts 'absurd' practice for formalities examination

The Trademark Office has recently adopted extremely formalistic and rigid criteria during the formalities examination stage, requiring that the descriptions of the products or services match exactly those provided in the alphabetical list of products and services of the Nice Classification. This approach is causing important delays in the prosecution of trademark applications, and trademark owners are incurring extra costs.

13 November 2013

District court awards record damages for lost sales

In 2006 Bringwell Sverige AB had obtained an interim injunction against competitor Cederroth AB. In Cederroth AB v Bringwell Sverige AB, a district court has awarded the highest amount of damages for lost sales ever granted in Sweden - but not to Bringwell. The court granted a total of Skr20 million in damages to Cederroth, because an appeal court had ruled that no infringement had occurred.

12 November 2013

Community designs invalidated due to unauthorised use of copyright-protected work

In Viejo Valle SA v OHIM, the General Court has upheld decisions of the Third Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that two Community designs for crockery items were invalid. The board had found that the decoration of crockery items relied on by Établissements Coquet in support of its applications for a declaration of invalidity was protected under French copyright law, and that such decoration was the subject of unauthorised use in the designs.

11 November 2013

Old musician's aspirations crumble before CTM onslaught

In Powell v Turner, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has found that Andy Powell’s CTM WISHBONE ASH was valid and had been infringed by the defendant, Martin Turner. Powell had been a member of a large number of different band line-ups, each of which had traded as Wishbone Ash. Turner had been a member of some of those line-ups, and played in a band called Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash.