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11 January 2010

AFNIC incurs liability for failure to 'freeze' domain name

AFNIC, the registry for '.fr' domain names, has felt the chill of a French court decision over its failure to 'freeze' the domain name '' upon the request of a disgruntled trademark owner. The court noted that AFNIC was obliged under its own charter to freeze a domain name if its registration constituted a violation of the terms of the charter.

14 October 2009

Sole director of restaurant found personally liable for infringement

In 2045978 Ontario Inc v Chaps Aldershot Inc, the Federal Court has found that Chaps Aldershot Inc and its president, secretary, treasurer and sole director Kevin Saunders had infringed the registered trademark CHAPS. Among other things, the court held that Saunders had "engaged in a deliberate, wilful and knowing pursuit of a course of conduct that he knew constituted infringement" of the mark.

13 October 2009

Supreme People's Court reshuffles IP jurisdiction

The Supreme People's Court of China has released a circular entitled "The Rules for Distributing Jurisdiction in Administrative IP Cases Concerning the Grant of Rights and the Recognition of Patents and Trademarks". The rules represent a significant step towards the establishment of a unified judicial system for the protection of IP rights.

12 October 2009

Two oppositions based on well-known marks rejected

In Nicklaus Companies LLC v Randazzo and Tiffany and Company v Koury, delegates of the registrar of trademarks have dismissed two separate oppositions against the registration of two trademarks, notwithstanding the international fame and reputation of the opponents and their respective marks.

12 October 2009

Google sued by BharatMatrimony over use of marks as keywords

The Madras High Court has granted an interim injunction restraining Google from infringing Consim Info Private Limited's registered trademarks, including BHARATMATRIMONY.COM, by using them as keywords in its AdWords system. The outcome of the case will be crucial for the future of the AdWords system in India.

12 October 2009

Exclamation mark is not registrable as a trademark, says CFI

In JOOP! GmbH v OHIM, the CFI has upheld a decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had found that JOOP! GmbH's exclamation mark symbol could not be registered as a Community trademark. Among other things, the CFI held that JOOP! had failed to prove that its mark had acquired distinctive character through use.

08 October 2009

New regulation on applications for assignment comes into force

The "Regulation on Issues in Relation to Applications for Trademark Assignments", which was issued by the China Trademark Office following an increase in the number of fraudulent trademark assignments, has come into force. The regulation specifies that in case of doubt, the office must require a notarized copy of a document identifying the assignor and the assignee.

06 October 2009

Passive website insufficient to confer jurisdiction, says court

In Lilly Icos LLC v Richie Laboratories Limited, the Delhi High Court has held that a passive presence on the Internet was insufficient to confer jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant. The court found that the website at issue was merely used to post information on the nature and purpose of the defendant's goods, and did not invite orders from consumers in Delhi.

09 March 2010

Requirements for revocation of trademarks explained

The Court of Appeal of Lisbon has upheld a decision of the Commercial Court of Lisbon in which the latter had found that the owner of the trademark SAIMA had successfully demonstrated that it had made genuine use of its mark during a period of five consecutive years. The application for the revocation of the mark was thus rejected.

08 March 2010

Door left open to 'own name' defence in relation to trading names

In Hotel Cipriani Srl v Cipriani (Grosvenor Street) Ltd, the Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the High Court on all grounds. Hotel Cipriani was thus successful in its action for trademark infringement against the Cipriani London restaurant. However, the Court of Appeal would not rule out that the so-called 'own name' defence to trademark infringement would never apply to the trading name of a company.

08 March 2010

Philip Morris decision provides clarity on dilution provisions

The Delhi High Court has dismissed ITC Limited's application for an injunction preventing Philip Morris from using a stylized M logo for its popular Marlboro brand of cigarettes. Among other things, the court held that, based on an overall assessment, ITC's W logo and Philip Morris's M logo were not identical or similar.

08 March 2010

SIPO's MERCATOR decision set aside for the second time

In Poslovni Sistem Mercator dd v Tabacofina-Vander Elst NV, the Administrative Court has set aside a decision of the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office in which the latter had, for the second time, dismissed Poslovni Sistem Mercator's opposition against the registration of the trademark MERCATOR for tobacco products. The case was again remitted to SIPO for further consideration.

01 March 2010

Different types of websites distinguished in passing-off action

In Effective Advertising Ltd v Interactive Advertising Ltd, the District Court of Nazareth has ruled that a distinction should be made when examining the evidence needed to establish reputation in a passing-off action on the basis of online use of a trademark. The court distinguished between websites that provide opinions and those that provide only factual/technical information.

23 November 2009

GOTTHARD held to be invalid for fuels

The Swiss Federal Court has upheld a decision of the Superior Court of the Canton of Uri in which the latter had found that the trademark GOTTHARD for fuels was invalid. Among other things, the Swiss Federal Court agreed with the lower court that the word 'Gotthard' could serve to designate the geographical origin of the goods.

19 November 2009

Transliteration of mark into another language does not warrant ownership

In Australian Medic-Care Company Ltd v Hamilton Pharmaceutical Pty Limited, the Federal Court has explored the issue of whether the sole distributor of certain pharmaceutical products was entitled to retain ownership of registered Chinese marks consisting of transliterated Chinese characters of the English product names. The court concluded that the Chinese marks were the distributor's own creations.