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05 June 2009

Advocate general delivers opinion in Italian salami case

In Severi v Regione Emilia-Romagna, the advocate general has held, among other things, that the name of a food product containing a geographical reference for which an application has been made for registration as a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication cannot be assumed to be generic, unless the application has been rejected by the European Commission on the grounds that the name has become generic.

04 June 2009

Greek letter 'α' may have distinctive character, says CFI

In BORCO-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co KG v OHIM, the CFI has held that BORCO-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co KG's trademark, which consisted of the Greek letter 'α' in Times New Roman font, may have distinctive character. OHIM must now re-examine BORCO's application in light of this judgment, which may open up opportunities for other applicants seeking to register single-letter trademarks.

03 June 2009

eBay is not liable for trademark infringement by its users, says court

In L'Oréal SA v eBay International AG, the High Court has held that eBay was not liable for the sale of counterfeit products on its auction site, but that it could and should do more to prevent it. The other major issue was whether eBay's use of sponsored links to direct users to listings for infringing products amounted to trademark infringement. However, the court felt unable to decide this point without first seeking guidance from the ECJ.

15 July 2009

Mars loses Bounty shape mark case

In Mars Inc v OHIM, the CFI has upheld a decision of the Second Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had held that the Community trademark registration owned by Mars in respect of the three-dimensional shape of its well-known Bounty bar was invalid. Among other things, the CFI held that the board had been right to approach the issue of acquired distinctiveness on a country-by-country basis.

09 July 2009

Draft Trademark Law presented to Parliament

The proposed new Trademark Law, which was drafted by the Serbian Intellectual Property Office, has been approved by the Council of Ministers and has now been presented to Parliament. The main change is the introduction of an appeal procedure: under the proposed law, it will be possible to appeal decisions of the office to a body appointed by the Council of Ministers.

08 July 2009

Removal of UPCs constitutes trademark infringement, says Second Circuit

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has upheld the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction in a case in which the defendant had in its possession perfume in packaging having the unique production code removed. The decision shows that manipulation and mutilation of packaging can provide grounds for preliminary injunctive relief, even before a determination is reached as to the authenticity of the product.

08 July 2009

LOVECOSME story ends in victory for mark owner

The IP High Court has reversed a decision of the Patent Office in which the latter had invalidated the trademark LOVECOSME. The court ruled that the trademark LOVECOSME was not similar to the earlier registered LOVE trademarks in English or Japanese katakana characters under Article 4(1)(11) of the Trademark Law.

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 'gardenmaster.co.za' 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.