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13 June 2017

INSTASITE held too descriptive for EU trademark registration

The EU General Court has upheld a decision by the EU Intellectual Property Office Board of Appeal not to register INSTASITE in Classes 9 and 36 on the grounds that the mark applied for was descriptive of the goods and services covered, and devoid of any distinctive character.

12 June 2017

Nestlé loses latest appeal in Kit Kat 3D trademark battle

Nestlé has been dealt another blow in its ongoing battle to register the shape of its Kit Kat chocolate bar as a UK trademark. The Court of Appeal has recently dismissed Nestlé’s appeal which sought to overturn an earlier High Court finding that Nestlé’s three-dimensional Kit Kat shape trademark had not acquired distinctive character.

08 June 2017

Going it alone: Cayman Islands to create local trademark registry, further calls to join Paris Convention

The new Cayman Islands trademarks law will be implemented on August 1, transforming how international brand owners attain protection in the Caribbean jurisdiction. 

07 June 2017

After USPTO director's surprise resignation, the trademark credentials of her successor need to be considered

In a surprise move, Michelle Lee, director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, has resigned after four years in the role. The discussion over her replacement will no doubt focus on the patent background of potential candidates. However, it is important that trademarks are not lost in the mix.

07 June 2017

The colourless globe

A recent decision of the EU General Court regarding the signs GLOBO MEDIA and TV GLOBO PORTUGAL illustrates the importance of differences between a sign as registered and as actually used in trade.

06 June 2017

Family name on barbecue sauce sparks trademark feud

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) recently decided on a dispute between factions of the Azeka family over the right to use the family name for ribs and sauce. The TTAB denied the applicant registration of a mark deemed to be merely a surname, while the opposer was held to have abandoned the identical mark.

02 June 2017

CAESAR mark successfully blocks application for Caesarstone

In 2016 Caesarstone appealed the decision of the principal assistant registrar to allow an opposition filed by Ceramiche Caesar against an application for its house mark. The High Court upheld the appeal, but the Court of Appeal disagreed with the High Court’s rulings. This decision clarifies that, notwithstanding the differences in length and structure, the distinctive and dominant component of a mark would still be the core consideration in determining similarity.

31 May 2017

Law firm behind Trademarkia to focus on quality as it eyes aggressive international expansion

LegalForce RAPC, the law firm behind the Trademarkia search engine, has revealed to World Trademark Review that it is moving into the “next phase of the company” by implementing quality initiatives, forging new law firm partnerships and conducting an international recruitment drive. The move is an effort to bring more work in-house and diversify its global offering – and will add further competition to the legal services space.

17 May 2017

Dominancy test determines trademark similarity

A recent Supreme Court decision shows how the Philippines courts must look at elements of the dominancy test to determine trademark similarity. In Seri Somboonsakdikul vs Orlane SA, the Supreme Court ruled that LOLANE was not a colourable imitation of ORLANE due to distinct visual and aural differences that were discerned using the dominancy test.

17 May 2017

Proof of bad-faith registration crucial, UDRP panel rules

A Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy panel has denied the transfer of a domain name, mainly based on a lack of evidence about the respondent’s bad faith on registering it. The decision demonstrates that when a trademark owner is not that well known, it is crucial to provide solid evidence demonstrating goodwill and reputation at the time of the registration of the domain name at issue.

15 May 2017

Research suggests budgets “holding steady” but more is being required of trademark departments

A new study from Lecorpio suggests that, for the majority of trademark teams, budgets for prosecution and policing are unchanged year on year. However, drilling down it becomes clear that many departments remain under pressure to do more with the same level of resources.

15 May 2017

Paris Court of Appeal clarifies confusion

The Paris Court of Appeal recently found that, among other things, use of the domain name 'lecomptoirducoton.fr' had resulted in both trademark infringement and unfair competition in relation to the trademark COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS. According to the court, when a domain name is not identical to a trademark, the likelihood of confusion between the two signs should be assessed. This assessment includes a likelihood of association, which should be evaluated internationally.

11 May 2017

The eyes have it

In a recent Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy decision, a World Intellectual Property Organisation panel ordered the transfer of a domain name registered seven years ago containing ordinary English words, after the respondent confessed to knowledge of the complainant and disclaimers on the website were found to emphasise this knowledge.

10 May 2017

Court of Appeal upholds enforcement of pharmaceutical trademark against parallel importers

A recent Court of Appeal judgment has clarified the interaction of trademark rights and EU rules on the free movement of goods. The decision confirms that trademark owners have a legitimate interest in the enforcement of their marks against imported goods that they have not placed on the market and over which they have no control.

05 May 2017

Entry into force of new Regulation on the Implementation of the Industrial Property Code

Following the Industrial Property Code’s entry into force at the beginning of the year, the new Regulation on the Implementation of the Industrial Property Code has now been published in the Official Gazette and has also entered into force.