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05 September 2008

Claims go up in smoke in HERBAQUIT LOZENGES Case

In Natural Answers Inc v SmithKline Beecham Corp, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favour of SmithKline Beecham Corp, the maker of a smoking-cessation product sold under the mark COMMIT LOZENGES. Among other things, the court held that plaintiff Natural Answers Inc had abandoned its HERBAQUIT LOZENGES mark.

03 September 2008

Parties are bound by arguments raised in opposition

The Trademarks Department Directorate of the Turkish Patent Institute has clarified that an argument raised on appeal cannot be taken into consideration if it was not raised in the original opposition proceedings. This is in line with the approach taken by the courts in actions seeking the annulment of decisions of the institute.

18 July 2008

Hugo Boss fails to prevent registration of BOSS mark

The registrar of trademarks has rejected oppositions filed by Hugo Boss AG against two applications by Suntory Kabushiki Kaisha to register the mark BOSS for goods in Classes 29 and 30. Although Suntory’s mark was found to be similar to those owned by Hugo Boss, the registrar held that consumers would not be confused into believing that Suntory’s goods originated from Hugo Boss.

18 July 2008

eBay defeats Tiffany’s counterfeit sales suit

In Tiffany (NJ) Inc v eBay Inc, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected Tiffany's trademark infringement claims against eBay Inc based on sales of counterfeit Tiffany products on eBay's auction platforms. Among other things, the court also held that eBay's purchase of sponsored search advertisements, as well as use of the TIFFANY marks in those advertisements, was permissible.

16 July 2008

Rules for obtaining certificates of registration amended

The Montenegro Intellectual Property Office has announced that it no longer accepts copies of Serbian trademark filings or validity certificates in order to obtain a certificate of registration in Montenegro. An original or a certified copy of the Serbian filing or validity certificate is now required.

15 July 2008

Lion Nathan gets its claws out in BAREFOOT Case

In E & J Gallo Winery v Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia has ordered that the trademark BAREFOOT be removed from the register on grounds of non-use. The decision highlights the importance of ensuring active use of trademarks in Australia through direct sales and advertising in order to maintain valid trademark rights.

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.