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21 April 2017

OAPI in “period of transition” as new director general appointed; anti-Madrid collective “goes into hiding”

The African Intellectual Property Organisation has confirmed to World Trademark Review that its director general, Paulin Edou Edou, will be leaving at the end of July, with his successor beginning in August.

19 April 2017

Paris court decision shows that court proceedings against domain name holder may be useful tool to tackle identity theft

The Paris Court of First Instance has ordered the transfer of a domain name consisting of the name of a person whose identity had been misused, most likely fraudulently. The decision illustrates that court proceedings against a domain name holder may be a very useful tool to tackle identity theft – contrary to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as the UDRP, which often do not allow for the protection of personal names per se.

18 April 2017

Use of EUTM by third party may constitute genuine use even where proprietor's consent must be deduced

In Windrush AKA LLP v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld a decision of the First Board of Appeal of the EUIPO in which the latter had found that there was genuine use of the mark THE SPECIALS for CDs. The court found that the board had rightly deduced that there was consent on the part of the trademark owner – the founder of UK band The Specials – to use of the mark by a record company.

13 April 2017

Halving of Chinese trademark fees provides immediate costs benefit for counsel, but raises squatting concerns

Reversing a trend towards increases seen across several Asian jurisdictions of late, the China Trademark Office of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce has slashed user fees by half. While the reduction is welcome in terms of budgets, many trademark counsel will be concerned about a potential increase in indirect enforcement costs should squatters try to take advantage of the lower fees.

17 February 2017

Moscow Arbitration Court issues unexpected decision in domain name case

The Moscow Arbitration Court has dismissed an infringement action filed by OSRAM GmbH, the owner of the international mark LEDVANCE, regarding the domain name 'ledvance.ru' because the limitation period had expired. Surprisingly, the court found that OSRAM should have searched the directory of '.ru' domain names between December 2010 and December 2013 and that, by not filing an infringement action within that period, it had lost the right to seek protection in court.

16 February 2017

Implementation of opposition proceedings - an update almost six months on

On August 29 2016 opposition proceedings became available in Mexico. Almost six months on, this update considers how opposition proceedings have been implemented by IMPI. It is expected that the first trademark applications against which oppositions have been filed will receive a final resolution from IMPI by late 2017.

15 February 2017

Administrative Court confirms refusal of 2D mark claiming the colour pink for Class 10 goods

The Administrative Court has dismissed an appeal by CeramTec GmbH, a German manufacturer of high-performance ceramics, against a decision of the FIIP refusing protection to a 2D mark claiming the colour pink for prostheses in Class 10. Among other things, the court held that, although CeramTec had established that no other manufacturer of prostheses used the colour pink, the colour pink itself was not sufficient to render the mark distinctive.

13 February 2017

General Court finds no likelihood of confusion between CHOCOLATE and CHOCO LOVE

In Sun System v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld a decision of the First Board of Appeal of the EUIPO finding that there was no likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark CHOCO LOVE for solariums in Class 10, tanning apparatus in Class 11 and solarium services in Class 44, and the earlier word mark CHOCOLATE for tanning apparatus and lamps in Classes 10 and 11.

10 February 2017

Alibaba calls out persistent IP abusers – receives criticism for "blaming the victims" (updated)

Alibaba Group has taken a hard line against users that file false or misleading IP infringement complaints, claiming that 24% of all complaints it receives are deemed “malicious” and “a drain on the group’s efforts to stamp out counterfeits”. Highlighting its strong stance on the matter, it confirmed it had barred one company from lodging complaints due to repeated misuses of its complaints platform. However, one commentator claims that the problem is of the ecommerce giant’s own making.

29 March 2017

As ‘Brexit Day’ arrives, now is the time for brands to identify what IP rights could be affected

The United Kingdom government officially triggered Article 50 at lunchtime today, beginning the two-year process of negotiations that will lead to the UK leaving the European Union. While uncertainty still reigns, the impact on trademarks and designs could be significant – and with Brexit now a certainty, brand owners should ensure they know exactly what rights could be affected once ‘leaving day’ arrives.

23 March 2017

15 years at the top: China’s trademark office received a record-breaking 3.7 million applications last year

The State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) – the regulatory body that encompasses China’s national trademark office – announced some headline figures for 2016 yesterday. China continues to lead the world in trademark filings and year-to-year growth shows no sign of slowing down.

21 March 2017

Supreme Court rules against Lacoste in battle over crocodile mark

In Crocodile International PTE Ltd v Lacoste, the Supreme Court has ruled that one of Lacoste’s trademarks must be removed from the trademark register because Lacoste has not used it. Interestingly, the court ruled that, if a trademark has not been used, there is no discretion not to revoke it.

15 March 2017

A quarter million in punitive damages upheld in Chanel counterfeit appeal

In Lam v Chanel, the Federal Court of Appeal has confirmed awards of compensatory and punitive damages, plus costs, for four instances of selling counterfeit CHANEL goods between 2011 and 2013. This decision represents an important tool in the arsenal of rights holders seeking restitution from sellers of counterfeits, especially recidivist infringers.

12 January 2017

Church's appeal to a higher authority prevails over adidas

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed the TTAB’s decision that the sale and transfer of goods in an Illinois church bookstore were de minimis and insufficient to constitute interstate commerce. The court considered whether an intrastate sale to an out-of-state resident satisfied the ‘use in commerce’ requirement under the Lanham Act, and the decision demonstrates a more generous standard of analysis.

11 January 2017

Trademark trends and challenges: have your say on the state of the industry

Corporate and law firm professionals are being invited to participate in the ninth annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey, which measures the pulse of the industry, tracks industry trends and identifies how trademark practice is evolving to counter new threats and exploit new opportunities. Participation in the survey is free of charge and designed to give counsel – both in-house and in private practice – the opportunity to have their say on the state of the industry.