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14 June 2006

'.in' Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy issued

India has introduced a dispute resolution policy for the '.in' country-code top-level domain. The new '.in' Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and the Rules of Procedure are based primarily on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy.

08 March 2006

Community 2-D mark refused despite German registration

The European Court of First Instance has upheld a decision to refuse Henkel KGaA's application to register the shape of a multi-coloured dishwasher tablet as a Community two-dimensional device mark. The court's decision contrasts with that of the German Federal Patent Court, which allowed registration of an identical mark in 1999.

02 March 2006

Prestige of Custo brand prevents unauthorized registration

The Colombian Trademark Office has denied registration to the mark CUSTO on the basis that the mark was confusingly similar to, among other things, the name of designer Angel-Custodio Dalmau Salmons. The Trademark Office considered the fame of the designer as a notorious fact that did not require evidence.

01 March 2006

Blow for Budvar in BUDWEISER battle

The Court of Appeal in Stockholm has issued a ruling in the long-running global battle between Czech brewer Budĕjovický Budvar NP and US rival Anheuser-Busch Inc. The court held that while the Czech company cannot use BUDWEISER as a trademark in Sweden, it can use the mark BUDVAR for its beer.

28 February 2006

Jeans counterfeiter hit with severe penalties

A Russian court has condemned the director of an entity involved in counterfeiting various fashion trademarks to 18 months in prison and has ordered the destruction of the seized items, worth Rb2.5 million (around $90,000). The criminal proceedings were initiated by the police as the damages incurred by the mark owners fell within the definition of 'severe damages'.

27 February 2006

Special legislation blocks ambush marketing at Winter Olympics

A new law was implemented to fight ambush marketing at the Winter Olympic Games that have just taken place in Turin. Under the law, only three official Olympic committees and agencies are allowed to use the Olympic symbols, as well as third parties that have obtained written authorization to do so from the International Olympic Committee.

27 February 2006

New law provides administrative enforcement remedies

The Intellectual Property Law, which will take effect from July 1 2006, was promulgated on December 12 2005. The new law addresses, among other things, issues of enforcement of IP rights through administrative remedies. The main remedies for rights holders that can be applied against infringers are warnings and monetary fines.

22 February 2006

Canadian company's opposition thrown out on grounds of fraud

In its first citable decision of 2006, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has dismissed an opposition filed by a Canadian company against an application brought by Toyota for the mark TUNDRA for "automobiles and structural parts thereof". Notably, the board also cancelled the Canadian company's registrations for TUNDRA upon finding that it had committed fraud in obtaining its three registrations for the mark.

25 May 2006

Cold water poured on AQUA infringement claim

In Aqua-Leisure Industries Inc v Impag Toys Europe BV, a Hong Kong court of first instance has dismissed the plaintiff's trademark infringement claim under the old Trademarks Ordinance on the grounds that the plaintiff's AQUA mark lacked the required distinctiveness to qualify as a trademark in respect of swimming products.

23 May 2006

Sun sets on ROYAL BUSINESS trademark

The Chilean Trademark Office has refused to allow the registration of the mark ROYAL BUSINESS. It held that the mark was likely to cause confusion with an earlier ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE trademark, noting that the 'ROYAL' element of the earlier mark has a prominent connection to the opponent, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group PLC.

23 May 2006

Coexistence agreement is no block on APPLE marks for music download

The High Court of England and Wales has handed down its decision in the latest round of a long-running battle between Apple Corps and Apple Computer Inc. The court held that Apple Computer had not breached the coexistence agreement in place between the parties and could accordingly continue to use its apple logo in relation to its iTunes music store and download service.

19 May 2006

Author's rights drive transfer of domain names

The Paris Appeals Court has confirmed that the title of a software program can be protected as a literary and artistic work, provided that it is original. In so doing, the court enforced the protection of the name of a software program entitled 'Carview', and ordered the transfer of 'carview.com' and 'carview.fr' to the company exploiting the software.

18 May 2006

First '.eu' ADR decision issued

The first decision under the '.eu' arbitration rules has been published. The '.eu' alternative dispute resolution panel found that the '.eu' registrar, EURid, had not erred in allowing the registration of the domain name 'pst.eu' based on a provisional Benelux trademark registration, even though the complainant had lodged an opposition against that trademark registration.

16 May 2006

Timeframe for assessment of scope of protection confirmed

In Levi Strauss & Co v Casucci SpA, the European Court of Justice has confirmed the relevant timeframe for assessing whether a sign infringes a registered mark. It held that in determining the scope of protection of a mark which has been lawfully acquired, a court must take into account the relevant public's perception of the mark at the time when the allegedly infringing use of the sign began.

11 May 2006

Bausch & Lomb Case may lead to increase in litigation in China

Bausch & Lomb has filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court against three optical companies for trademark infringement. Bausch & Lomb claims that the first defendant registered its trade name, USA Bausch & Lomb Limited, in Hong Kong in bad faith. If the court finds in Bausch & Lomb's favour, it is likely that a number of similar cases will be brought to the Chinese courts.