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13 March 2006

Changes to TTAB proceedings mooted

The US Patent and Trademark Office is seeking comments on a proposed amendment to the rules for Trademark Trial and Appeal Board inter partes proceedings. Among other things, the proposed amendment would see the TTAB adopt a modified version of the initial disclosure requirement set out in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, reducing the number of interrogatories permitted.

22 June 2006

Jurisdiction not always available for sites accessible in France

The Paris Appeal Court has overturned a first instance judgment and has held that the French courts lacked jurisdiction to rule on a trademark infringement case against a Lebanese company using a French company's trademark on a Lebanese website accessible in France. Key to the decision was the fact that the website was not in French and was not directly offering goods or services for sale to French consumers.

22 June 2006

Leave to appeal in green colour mark case granted

Woolworths Ltd has been granted leave to appeal to the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court against orders made by a single judge that applications by BP plc to register the colour green as a trademark proceed to registration - even though since those orders were made the Australian registrar of trademarks registered the marks.

21 June 2006

New law clarifies how trademarks can be used in ads

A new Advertising Act is due to come into force on July 1 2006. The act contains important changes in the regulation of the use of exclusive IP rights in advertising, including where trademarks and service marks can and cannot be applied. The act also sets out a comprehensive definition of 'improper advertising'.

20 June 2006

Practice changes announced

The New Zealand Intellectual Property Office has recently changed its practice regarding its requirement for a colour limitation for series mark applications, and has also revised its policy in relation to the correction of priority details for convention applications. The change to the series mark colour limitation follows a review of international best practice.

19 June 2006

Tesco decision may pose more questions than it answers

The High Court of England and Wales has granted Tesco Stores summary judgment on its trademark infringement and passing off claims against Elogicom Limited. However, the route taken by the court to reach its verdict may pose more questions than it answers. Among other things, the basis of its finding under Section 10(2)(b) in respect of similarity of services appears to set the hurdle for similarity of services at an extraordinarily low level.

15 June 2006

ACIP issues review of trademark and business identifier laws

The Australian Advisory Council on Intellectual Property has issued its review of the relationship between trademarks and business, company and domain names. The review highlights that the lack of overall understanding of these identifiers leads to "expensive legal disputes, gross misconceptions and commercial uncertainty", and recommends a number of significant structural and procedural changes.

14 June 2006

'.in' Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy issued

India has introduced a dispute resolution policy for the '.in' country-code top-level domain. The new '.in' Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and the Rules of Procedure are based primarily on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy.

08 March 2006

Community 2-D mark refused despite German registration

The European Court of First Instance has upheld a decision to refuse Henkel KGaA's application to register the shape of a multi-coloured dishwasher tablet as a Community two-dimensional device mark. The court's decision contrasts with that of the German Federal Patent Court, which allowed registration of an identical mark in 1999.

02 March 2006

Prestige of Custo brand prevents unauthorized registration

The Colombian Trademark Office has denied registration to the mark CUSTO on the basis that the mark was confusingly similar to, among other things, the name of designer Angel-Custodio Dalmau Salmons. The Trademark Office considered the fame of the designer as a notorious fact that did not require evidence.

01 March 2006

Blow for Budvar in BUDWEISER battle

The Court of Appeal in Stockholm has issued a ruling in the long-running global battle between Czech brewer Budĕjovický Budvar NP and US rival Anheuser-Busch Inc. The court held that while the Czech company cannot use BUDWEISER as a trademark in Sweden, it can use the mark BUDVAR for its beer.

28 February 2006

Jeans counterfeiter hit with severe penalties

A Russian court has condemned the director of an entity involved in counterfeiting various fashion trademarks to 18 months in prison and has ordered the destruction of the seized items, worth Rb2.5 million (around $90,000). The criminal proceedings were initiated by the police as the damages incurred by the mark owners fell within the definition of 'severe damages'.

27 February 2006

Special legislation blocks ambush marketing at Winter Olympics

A new law was implemented to fight ambush marketing at the Winter Olympic Games that have just taken place in Turin. Under the law, only three official Olympic committees and agencies are allowed to use the Olympic symbols, as well as third parties that have obtained written authorization to do so from the International Olympic Committee.

27 February 2006

New law provides administrative enforcement remedies

The Intellectual Property Law, which will take effect from July 1 2006, was promulgated on December 12 2005. The new law addresses, among other things, issues of enforcement of IP rights through administrative remedies. The main remedies for rights holders that can be applied against infringers are warnings and monetary fines.

22 February 2006

Canadian company's opposition thrown out on grounds of fraud

In its first citable decision of 2006, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has dismissed an opposition filed by a Canadian company against an application brought by Toyota for the mark TUNDRA for "automobiles and structural parts thereof". Notably, the board also cancelled the Canadian company's registrations for TUNDRA upon finding that it had committed fraud in obtaining its three registrations for the mark.