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14 December 2016

The limited scope of Section 229 privilege

The Federal Court of Australia has outlined the limited scope of the privilege applicable to the work of registered trademark attorneys contained in Section 229 of the Trademarks Act 1995. Trademark attorneys should be aware that not all activities will fall within the scope of the privilege, which covers only communications made for the dominant purpose of providing IP advice.

26 October 2016

Brands unleash scathing review of ‘.feedback’ top-level domain; seek investigation against registry (updated)

A collective of brands filed a public interest commitment dispute resolution procedure (PICDRP) complaint with ICANN this week, seeking a review into an allegedly “escalating pattern of discriminatory, fraudulent and deceptive registry misconduct” by the operators of the ‘.feedback’ gTLD. The move marks an escalation of the long-standing tensions between trademark owners and the registry.

21 October 2016

High damages awarded in Yahoo! trademark infringement case

The recent judgment of the Delhi High Court which recognised and upheld the well-known trademark YAHOO of Yahoo! Inc, while passing an order of permanent injunction against the defendant and granting damages of Rs 3.2 million and costs of Rs 0.64 million in favour of the plaintiff, is an illustration of the recent trend to safeguard and protect the IP assets of a company.

21 October 2016

Sound marks – reality or fiction?

In a recent judgment the EU General Court confirmed the refusal of a sound mark application filed by the Brazilian company Globo Comunicação e Participações SA consisting of a telephone ringtone on the ground that, due to its banality, the mark was devoid of distinctive character.

20 October 2016

Reform of IP governance in Ukraine

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved Decree 585 that will launch the reform of state governance in the IP sphere. It is believed that the reform will ultimately result in the creation of a single national patent office instead of the existing two-tier model and will increase transparency and efficiency of governance in the IP sphere.

19 October 2016

Red Bull gets its interim injunction

The New Zealand Court of Appeal has issued a decision after Red Bull appealed the High Court's decision against an interim injunction to prevent Drink Red from selling a ready-mixed drink containing vodka and an energy drink, and an energy drink without alcohol.

14 October 2016

Merchandising rights at centre of emerging strategy for shooting down trademark squatters in China

Trademark squatting remains a major problem for brand owners in China. But recent court cases indicate that counsel are calling on merchandising rights as a new strategy for combating bad-faith filings in the country.

13 October 2016

Permanent injunction results in lack of standing

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the district court’s dismissal of claims challenging registrations of the marks ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE’S SMALL BUSINESS EXPO and ENTREPRENEUR EXPO.

12 December 2016

Celebrities involved in misleading ads no longer face jail

A panel group of ministers has approved a fine of up to Rs1 million and a one-year ban on celebrities who endorse products making unrealistic claims, but has dropped the controversial proposal to impose a jail term.

09 December 2016

General Court considers approach to dominant elements in KINDER dispute

In Excalibur City sro v EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) the EU General Court considered the correct approach to assessing the relative dominance and distinctiveness of different elements of composite marks for opposition purposes. In doing so, the court overturned the EUIPO Board of Appeal’s findings that marks containing the term ‘Merlin’s Kinderwelt’ were confusingly similar to the mark KINDER.

07 December 2016

5-Hour Energy Drink receives mixed results in closely timed state actions

The stamina of the ubiquitous 5-Hour Energy drink took somewhat of a crash in a recent decision by a state trial court in Washington, which found that Living Essentials – the manufacturer of the widely distributed supplement – violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act through deceptive representations of the benefits of its product.

07 December 2016

Kazakhstan drafts amendments to IP laws

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice has drafted a new law amending and supplementing a number of IP laws and regulations. The aim is to bring the country’s IP legislation fully into line with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s standards in the area of IP protection and with the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks.

02 December 2016

California Heritage Protection Act

California has adopted a new law that prohibits state parks from granting trademark or service mark rights in park names or names associated with historical, cultural or recreational resources to any businesses operating within the parks. From next year, any contract that violates this provision will be deemed unenforceable under California law.

01 December 2016

Battle of the masters

Two organisations with substantial reputations recently came head to head in a trademark battle in World Masters Games 2017 Limited v MasterCard International Incorporated. The decision indicated that all parties to proceedings needed to “tidy up their respective acts” as poor pleading and irrelevant evidence would be dealt with rigorously.

30 November 2016

General Court confirms BRAUWELT not registrable

The EU General Court recently held that BRAUWELT was not registrable for several goods and services and confirmed the EU Intellectual Property Office's previous rejections. Although not a landmark decision, it reminds practitioners of a number of points which should be observed in such proceedings.