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29 April 2008

Sweet victory for Ferrero Rocher in unfair competition case

The Supreme People's Court has held that the packaging of the Trésor Doré Jin Sha sweets was confusingly similar to that of Ferrero SpA's Ferrero Rocher chocolates, in violation of the Anti-unfair Competition Law. The court referred to the trademark legislation in determining the amount of damages.

28 April 2008

Government steps up fight against shadow companies

The government has announced a public consultation on the amendments to the Companies Ordinance. One of the amendments aims to tackle the issue of shadow companies. Among other things, the consultation document proposes that the registrar of companies be empowered to enforce a court order directing a shadow company to change its name on the grounds that it is similar to a registered trademark.

23 April 2008

'.my' second-level domain launch enters second phase

MYNIC, the registry for the '.my' domain, has launched the second phase of its second-level domain name service. Applications for registration are now open to the public. Pursuant to the MYNIC registration guidelines, second-level domain names must not be identical or confusingly similar to either a registered trademark or a business or company name in Malaysia.

21 April 2008

Product configuration cannot be registered based on inherent distinctiveness

In August Storck KG v Alfa Intuit Food Productions Ltd, the Israeli Supreme Court has held that the product configuration of Toffifee sweets (a chocolate sweet shaped like a ball cut into halves) was entitled to registration. However, the Supreme Court held that a product configuration cannot be registered on the basis of inherent distinctiveness.

21 April 2008

MONSTER Case highlights importance of trademark registration

In Hansen Beverage Company v Bickfords (Australia) Pty Ltd, Hansen Beverage Company has failed to stop Bickfords (Australia) Pty Ltd from selling its Monster Energy drink, even though Bickfords had deliberately copied Hansen's brand. Among other things, the Federal Court held that Hansen had failed to establish the requisite reputation of its MONSTER ENERGY mark in Australia.

27 February 2008

LUCKY DREAM strikes lucky

The Singapore Trademarks Registry has dismissed an opposition filed by the owner of the marks LUCKY STRIKE and LUCKIES against the application to register the mark LUCKY DREAM. Among other things, the registrar held that there was no real risk of deception or confusion which would lead customers to believe that goods bearing the mark LUCKY DREAM originated from the opponent.

26 February 2008

CHOIR OLYMPICS overcomes OLYMPIC hurdle

The Estonian Board of Appeal has dismissed an opposition filed by the Estonian Olympic Committee against the application to extend protection to Estonia of the international registration for the trademark CHOIR OLYMPICS. Among other things, the board found that there was no likelihood of confusion between CHOIR OLYMPICS and the marks of the International Olympic Committee.

22 February 2008

CIRA orders transfer of 'formica.ca'

A Canadian Internet Registration Authority panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name 'formica.ca' to the owner of the FORMICA mark. Among other things, the panel found that the registrant had no legitimate interest in the 'formica.ca' domain name.

22 February 2008

Honda Engine Case remanded for retrial

The Supreme Civil Court has remanded to the Court of Appeals a case involving the alleged infringement of the configuration of Honda Motors Co Ltd's GX160 engine based only on rights acquired through use. The Supreme Court delivered a thorough analysis of rights acquired through use in Greece.

20 February 2008

Advocate General delivers opinion on comparative advertising

Advocate General Mengozzi has delivered his opinion on questions on comparative advertising referred to the ECJ by an English court in O2 Holdings Limited v Hutchison 3G Limited. Should the ECJ follow Mengozzi's opinion, disputes about the use of trademarks in comparative advertising will be considered in light of the Comparative Advertising Directive, rather than trademark infringement principles.

19 February 2008

YouTube obtains cancellation of 'youtube.gr'

The National Telecommunications and Post Committee, the authority responsible for the supervision of the administration of domain names in Greece, has ordered the cancellation of the domain name 'youtube.gr'. Among other things, the committee recognized that the YOUTUBE mark was famous and notorious in Greece.

03 June 2008

Not so HEFTY account of profits

In Intellectual Property Development Corporation Pty Ltd v Primary Distributors New Zealand, the Auckland High Court has allowed in part a claim for an account of profits for the unlawful sale of products bearing the mark HEFTY. Among other things, the court held that an account of profits was not available for the period during which the plaintiff was aware of the defendant's acts but failed to take action.

30 May 2008

New '.me' country-code domain name launched

The '.me' registry has launched the registration of the new Montenegrin '.me' country-code domain name. Although the cost of registration during the sunrise period was relatively high, trademark owners were advised to take advantage of this period to register their marks as domain names for defensive purposes. The new domain name is likely to have mass appeal for individuals.

29 May 2008

New Industrial Property Institute established

The Chilean Congress has approved a bill establishing a new Industrial Property Institute. The new institute, an autonomous agency with a legal personality and its own assets, will be in charge of the administration of industrial property in Chile. The bill, which was published in the Official Gazette on April 14 2008, must be implemented by the president of the republic within 180 days.

28 May 2008

Appellate court sets higher bar for defending registrations after non-use

In Scott Paper Ltd v Smart & Biggar, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that plans to reintroduce a trademark cannot be used to protect against expungement procedures under Section 45 of the Trademarks Act, even if those plans are concrete and ultimately executed. This decision sets a higher bar for defending trademark registrations after a period of non-use.