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14 July 2008

Implementation of new IP standards

Two new standards on IP documentation and information have come into force. The first confirms terms frequently used in regard to intellectual property, while the second clarifies the classification and coding for IP documentation. However, the standards are not compulsory and no penalties apply for failure to comply with them.

11 July 2008

FOOT ACTION opposition kicked out

In The John David Group Plc v FL Retail Operations Limited, the acting controller has dismissed an opposition filed by FL Retail Operations LLC, the owner of the FOOTACTION mark in various countries, against the registration of the mark FOOT ACTION in Ireland. Among other things, the acting controller held that FL Retail had failed to show that its mark was well known in Ireland as of the relevant date.

07 July 2008

No acquired distinctiveness for POST

The Swiss Administrative Court has affirmed a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in which the latter had refused to register the trademark POST on the grounds that it was devoid of distinctive character. Among other things, the court held that the Swiss Post had failed to prove that the mark POST had acquired distinctiveness through use.

12 November 2008

Infringer bears burden of proving lawful revenues, says Seventh Circuit

In WMS Gaming Inc v WPC Gaming Productions Ltd, addressing the issue of the legal standard for trademark infringement damages under the equitable accounting of profits remedy, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that the infringer was liable for the entire amount of its gross sales, minus any deductions and expenses proven by the infringer.

12 November 2008

[email protected] held to be valid for IT goods and services

In HUP Uslugi Polska sp zoo v OHIM, the CFI has upheld a decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had rejected an application for a declaration that Manpower Inc’s trademark [email protected] for IT goods and services was invalid. Among other things, the CFI held that the mark did not convey a clear message concerning the goods and services in question or their characteristics.

07 November 2008

K-Y SENSUAL SILK remains on register

In Geneva Marketing (1998) Limited v Johnson & Johnson, the High Court of New Zealand has refused to declare that the trademark K-Y SENSUAL SILK was invalid. Among other things, the court held that Johnson & Johnson’s use of the mark K-Y SENSUAL SILK was not likely to cause confusion or deception with Geneva Marketing (1998) Limited’s trademark SYLK.

05 November 2008

Domain name parking may constitute abusive registration

In Mxit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd v Steyn, the alternative dispute resolution body for '.za' domain names has found for the first time that domain name parking can constitute an abusive registration in certain circumstances. The decision also confirmed that the relevant date for showing such rights to a name or mark is the date of the complaint, and not the registration date of the disputed domain name.

04 November 2008

‘.mp’ extension opens to personal identity and social networking

Saipan DataCom Inc, the registry for the '.mp' country-code top-level domain, has announced that it is promoting '.mp' for personal identity and social networking through the sub-domain ''. Challenges to registrations made during the sunrise period can be submitted during the sunrise challenge period, which ends on November 7 2008.

03 November 2008

KARL JURAK is primarily a surname, says Federal Court

In Matol Biotech Laboratories Ltd v Jurak Holdings Ltd, the Federal Court has approved a decision of the Opposition Board in which the latter had upheld Jurak Holdings Ltd’s opposition against the registration of the trademark KARL JURAK. Among other things, the court held that the average consumer would view the mark as being primarily a surname.

31 July 2008

New regulations on misleading marketing and unfair commercial practices

Two new sets of regulations, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations, have come into force. Both deal with unscrupulous advertising and marketing practices and introduce criminal penalties. The regulations aim to protect consumers and traders from unfair trading, and to improve enforcement.

31 July 2008

Argentina introduces '' sub-domain

NIC Argentina, the registry responsible for the regulation of the '.ar' country-code top-level domain, has announced the launch of the new sub-domain ''. The new extension will be aimed principally at travel agents, tour operators and other professional bodies involved in the tourism industry.

28 July 2008

New decree on border control measures published

Legislative Decree 1092/2008, which introduces border control measures for the protection of copyrights, trademark rights and related rights, has been published. Among other things, the Customs Administration may now carry out border control measures on its own initiative where it has reasonable grounds to suspect that certain goods are counterfeit or pirated.

23 July 2008

'Ebel Paris' advertising campaign held to be misleading

The National Antitrust and Unfair Competition Agency has held that Grupo Transbel, a well-known cosmetics company, had engaged in unfair competition by running an advertising campaign that misled consumers into believing that there was a link between all goods bearing the mark EBEL and the city of Paris.

17 October 2008

Quality of counterfeit product is irrelevant, says Court of Appeal

In a case involving fake Nokia mobile phone covers, the Madrid Court of Appeal has held that the accused was guilty of design and trademark infringement in violation of Articles 273(3) and 274(2) of the Criminal Code. Among other things, the court held that the quality of a counterfeit product is irrelevant when analyzing whether use of a trademark or design constitutes a criminal offence.

17 October 2008

Scotch whisky recognized as geographical indication

The Chinese Trademark Office has recognized scotch whisky as a geographical indication by registering it as a collective trademark in China. The Scotch Whisky Association may now enforce its rights over the SCOTCH WHISKY trademark in respect of products that are sold as scotch whisky but are not manufactured in Scotland.