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03 July 2009

Statutory damages for passing off awarded in fight over MIG mark

In Geil v Migdor, the Tel Aviv District Court has awarded statutory damages for passing off to the owner of the trademark MIG for publication of a newspaper under the name MIG by a third party before the mark was registered, but refused to award compensation for infringement of the mark after its registration, as it was no longer in use for newspapers.

02 July 2009

Divergent approaches render action unsuitable for summary judgment

In Daimler AG v Sany Group Co Ltd, the High Court has dismissed Daimler AG's application for summary judgment in a dispute over the use of a three-pointed device. The case highlights the divergent approaches taken by the UK Intellectual Property Office and OHIM to class headings.

01 July 2009

Punitive damages for IP infringement recognized for the first time

The Supreme People’s Court has, for the first time, recognized a form of punitive damages for IP rights infringement. Under Article 5 of the Opinion on the Implementation of the National IP Strategy, the Chinese courts may raise compensation awards for the purposes of deterring infringement and lowering the costs of IP enforcement in certain cases.

28 September 2009

Puma defeated in 'copycat' shoe case

In Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport v Global Warming (Pty) Limited, the Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport's appeal against a decision of the High Court in a case involving Global Warming (Pty) Limited's use of a stripe device and the words 'DT New York' on a sports shoe. The case raises serious questions as to the protection available to device marks in South Africa.

25 September 2009

Hermès fails to prove infringement of rights in Birkin bag

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court has issued two decisions in cases involving Hermès International SA's rights in the Birkin bag. In both cases, the court held that the bags imported by the defendants did not infringe Hermès's copyright and trademark rights in the Birkin bag.

24 September 2009

Registrant forced to relinquish domain name despite rights in mark

In Masstores (Pty) Ltd v Dore (Revolutionary Marketing CC), an adjudicator at the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law has ruled that the registration of '' was abusive despite the fact that the registrant had been using the trademark GARDENMASTER for longer than the complainant.

21 September 2009

MARNI and MANI can coexist, says Supreme Court

In Marni International SA v Department of Intellectual Property, the Supreme Court of Thailand has held that Marni International SA's trademark MARNI could coexist with Armani's earlier registered trademark MANI under Section 27(1) of the Trademark Act 1991. The decision is significant in that it provides a clear interpretation of Section 27(1).

18 September 2009

Supreme Court cancels Lego's 3D mark

The German Federal Supreme Court has affirmed decisions of the Federal Patent Court in which the latter had ordered that Lego Group's three-dimensional trademark for its toy brick be cancelled. The Supreme Court agreed with the lower court's finding that the shape of the Lego brick was functional under Section 3(2)(2) of the Trademark Act.

18 September 2009

ECJ ruling raises questions over GI protection for 'Bud'

In the long-running dispute between Czech brewer Budĕjovický Budvar, národní podnik, the producer of Budweiser Budvar and Budĕjovický Budvar beer, and Rudolf Ammersin GmbH, which markets American Bud beer produced by US brewer Anheuser-Busch, the ECJ has issued its latest ruling on the protection of the designation 'Bud' as a geographical indication.

18 September 2009

NUDE owner fails to stop launch of StellaNude perfume

In Nude Brands Ltd v Stella McCartney Limited, the High Court has rejected Nude Brands Limited's application for an interim injunction to stop the launch of the new StellaNude perfume. Among other things, the court ruled that the case for the validity of Nude Brands' NUDE mark was clearly arguable.

29 July 2009

Yahoo! sued for trademark infringement in email advertisements

Mary Kay Inc, a leading manufacturer and wholesale distributor of cosmetic products, has filed a trademark infringement action against Yahoo! Inc based on Yahoo!'s Shortcuts feature. Through this feature, hyperlinks and associated pop-up advertisements appear in email messages without the sender’s knowledge. This seems to be the first time that a company has filed suit based on links in personal emails.

22 July 2009

BATTLECAM held to be descriptive for computer game software

In In re Petroglyph Games Inc, the TTAB has reversed the examiner's decision to require the applicant to amend its identification of goods in a case where a computer game feature had been specified as 'computer game software'. However, the TTAB affirmed the refusal to register the mark on the grounds that it merely described a feature of the applicant’s video game.

21 July 2009

LIBRO and LIBERO held to be dissimilar for certain goods and services

The CFI has upheld a decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had found that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks LIBRO and LIBERO with regard to certain goods and services. However, the CFI confirmed, among other things, that "apparatus for the recording, transmission or reproduction of sound and images” in Class 9 is not similar to “computer software” in the same class.

21 July 2009

Smartnumber owner has no right in a 'name', says WIPO

In Multi-National Concepts Pty Ltd v 1300 Directory Pty Ltd, a WIPO panellist has taken a strict view as to the rights that an owner has in its 'smartnumber'. The panellist concluded that the complainant, which owned rights in the smartnumbers corresponding to the disputed domain names, had no rights in any relevant 'name' under the '.au' Dispute Resolution Policy.

20 July 2009

Official trademark search results to be submitted with all applications

The Venezuelan Trademarks Office has issued an official announcement stating that effective from May 5 2009, applicants must provide the official search results together with their trademark application. Failure to comply with this new requirement will result in the rejection of the application.