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25 May 2006

Cold water poured on AQUA infringement claim

In Aqua-Leisure Industries Inc v Impag Toys Europe BV, a Hong Kong court of first instance has dismissed the plaintiff's trademark infringement claim under the old Trademarks Ordinance on the grounds that the plaintiff's AQUA mark lacked the required distinctiveness to qualify as a trademark in respect of swimming products.

08 September 2006

KOPEIKA mark owner gets run for its money in cancellation backfire

The Chamber of Patent Disputes has cancelled the registration of the mark KOPEIKA (meaning 'kopeck', the subdivision of the rouble) for services relating to the provision of food and drink on the grounds that it was identical to the earlier mark KOPEIKA registered for similar services. The decision, which was reached following a counterclaim by the defendant, serves as a reminder that one should be careful in bringing a cancellation action.

07 September 2006

Supreme Court set to sink its teeth into Euro Excellence Case

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted Euro-Excellence Inc leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal's decision in Kraft Canada Inc v Euro Excellence Inc. The decision will be awaited with interest as the Federal Court of Appeal's ruling suggested that IP right owners may be better off relying on copyright rather than their trademark registrations when seeking to prevent parallel imports.

04 September 2006

National Council proposes updating criminal procedure for IP crimes

The National Council against Piracy and Intellectual Property Crimes has presented a bill that would modify the Criminal Code's provisions on IP crimes. The bill would, among other things, update reporting procedures for seized goods and give judges greater authority to order the destruction of infringing goods.

28 July 2006

Court puts the brakes on HARLEYWOOD application

In H-D Michigan Inc v MPH Group Inc, the Federal Court has overturned a decision of the Trademark Office's Opposition Board, thereby maintaining the opposition by the owner of the HARLEY-DAVIDSON mark against an application to register the mark HARLEYWOOD for restaurant services and clothing. The court found that the applicant did not have any inherent reason for including the element 'HARLEY' in its mark.

27 July 2006

Large-scale counterfeiting case tipped to reach the Danish courts

The Danish police and Customs are finalizing their investigation into the criminal activities of a large-scale infringer of over 30 world-famous brands, including Burberry, Chanel, Christian Dior Couture, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Harley Davidson, Louis Vuitton and Prada. It is likely that the public prosecutor, in light of the scale of the infringement, will press formal charges against the counterfeiter, who will face up to six years in prison.

25 July 2006

Second COLORADO Case issued

The Federal Court of Australia has issued a second ruling in a case involving use of a COLORADO mark. In the first case, the court had found that the defendant's use of COLORADO on backpacks infringed the plaintiff's rights. However, in the case at hand, it has ruled that the defendant's use of the mark on bags, wallets, purses and belts was not infringing.

23 May 2006

Sun sets on ROYAL BUSINESS trademark

The Chilean Trademark Office has refused to allow the registration of the mark ROYAL BUSINESS. It held that the mark was likely to cause confusion with an earlier ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE trademark, noting that the 'ROYAL' element of the earlier mark has a prominent connection to the opponent, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group PLC.

23 May 2006

Coexistence agreement is no block on APPLE marks for music download

The High Court of England and Wales has handed down its decision in the latest round of a long-running battle between Apple Corps and Apple Computer Inc. The court held that Apple Computer had not breached the coexistence agreement in place between the parties and could accordingly continue to use its apple logo in relation to its iTunes music store and download service.

19 May 2006

Author's rights drive transfer of domain names

The Paris Appeals Court has confirmed that the title of a software program can be protected as a literary and artistic work, provided that it is original. In so doing, the court enforced the protection of the name of a software program entitled 'Carview', and ordered the transfer of 'carview.com' and 'carview.fr' to the company exploiting the software.

18 May 2006

First '.eu' ADR decision issued

The first decision under the '.eu' arbitration rules has been published. The '.eu' alternative dispute resolution panel found that the '.eu' registrar, EURid, had not erred in allowing the registration of the domain name 'pst.eu' based on a provisional Benelux trademark registration, even though the complainant had lodged an opposition against that trademark registration.

16 May 2006

Timeframe for assessment of scope of protection confirmed

In Levi Strauss & Co v Casucci SpA, the European Court of Justice has confirmed the relevant timeframe for assessing whether a sign infringes a registered mark. It held that in determining the scope of protection of a mark which has been lawfully acquired, a court must take into account the relevant public's perception of the mark at the time when the allegedly infringing use of the sign began.

11 May 2006

Bausch & Lomb Case may lead to increase in litigation in China

Bausch & Lomb has filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court against three optical companies for trademark infringement. Bausch & Lomb claims that the first defendant registered its trade name, USA Bausch & Lomb Limited, in Hong Kong in bad faith. If the court finds in Bausch & Lomb's favour, it is likely that a number of similar cases will be brought to the Chinese courts.

24 July 2006

Trademark troublemaker sanctioned by TTAB

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has sanctioned an individual for filing an extraordinary number of extension requests to oppose trademark applications and failing to show good cause for these actions. Leo Stoller's aggressive tactics in asserting dubious trademark rights against trademark applicants and users has already resulted in sanctions and harsh criticism by federal courts and the board.

21 July 2006

Practice notice on registrability of non-English words issued

Following the recent ECJ decision in Matratzen Concord AG v Hukla Germany AG, the UK Patent Office has released a Practice Amendment Notice (PAN 12/06) on the registrability of non-English words. The notice seeks to provide guidelines on how the registrar is likely to respond to certain applications to register non-English words as trademarks.