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14 October 2008

Nike kicks out HIKE from register

The registrar of trademarks has ordered the cancellation of the trademark HIKE for clothing on the grounds that there was a likelihood of confusion with the well-known trademark NIKE. Among other things, the registrar held that the slight visual and aural differences between NIKE and HIKE, as well as the marginal differences in marketing channels, were insufficient to avoid a likelihood of confusion.

07 October 2008

New practice for renewal of trade names

The Colombian Trademark Office has issued Legal Opinion 08048285, which changes the office's practice with regard to the deposit of trade names. The deposit and registration of trade names will no longer be considered to be equivalent, and deposits will remain valid indefinitely.

06 October 2008

KIDS ELD GARFI held to be confusingly similar to GARFIELD

The Re-examination and Evaluation Board of the Turkish Patent Institute has rejected an application for the registration of the trademark KIDS ELD GARFI. Among other things, the board held that the dominant element of the mark ('eld Garfi') was an anagram of the name Garfield, the well-known comics character, which is protected by both trademark and copyright law.

07 July 2008

No acquired distinctiveness for POST

The Swiss Administrative Court has affirmed a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in which the latter had refused to register the trademark POST on the grounds that it was devoid of distinctive character. Among other things, the court held that the Swiss Post had failed to prove that the mark POST had acquired distinctiveness through use.

02 July 2008

Revision of company names legislation will affect trademark law

Within the context of the revision of the Swiss Stock Corporation Law provision on limited liability companies, the law on company names is due to be substantially revised. Under the new law, it will be possible to register descriptive company names with the Register of Commerce, which will have an impact on trademark registration strategies.

02 July 2008

Name of television series can constitute trademark

The Trademarks Office has dismissed the opposition filed by Home Box Office Inc, the distributor of the Sex and the City series, against the registration of the trademark SIX IN THE CITY for dating services. The hearings officer nevertheless acknowledged the fact that the name of a television series can constitute a trademark.

01 July 2008

CFI chastises OHIM Board of Appeal in GABEL Case

In Gabel Industria Tessile SpA v OHIM, the CFI has reprimanded the Second Board of Appeal of OHIM for its handling of the case. The CFI held that the board had failed to rule on the action brought before it insofar as the action was directed at the refusal of the Opposition Division to register the mark GABEL in respect of goods in Class 24.

27 June 2008

European Commission takes France and Germany to task

In Commission v France and Commission v Germany, the ECJ has held that France had failed to meet its obligations under the Community Design Regulation and that Germany had failed to take the necessary steps to comply with the IP Rights Enforcement Directive. Both France and Germany took measures shortly after the decisions were issued, which shows how effective such judgments can be.

27 June 2008

Lesters Delicatessen enjoined from using Lesters name

In Lesters Foods Ltd v Lesters Delicatessen and Hot Smoked Meat Inc, the Quebec Superior Court has granted a permanent injunction preventing Lesters Delicatessen and Hot Smoked Meat from using the name Lesters for the sale and marketing of smoked meat to the wholesale sector. The court's ruling with regard to damages is inconsistent with the recent appellate ruling in Nissan Canada.

25 June 2008

Measures against ambush marketing at Beijing Olympics announced

In order to protect the rights of the official sponsors of the Beijing Olympics and the Olympic brand itself, the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad has announced the implementation of a number of measures against ambush marketing. Among other things, all prominent advertising sites in Beijing will be controlled and priority will be given to Olympic sponsors.

23 July 2008

'Ebel Paris' advertising campaign held to be misleading

The National Antitrust and Unfair Competition Agency has held that Grupo Transbel, a well-known cosmetics company, had engaged in unfair competition by running an advertising campaign that misled consumers into believing that there was a link between all goods bearing the mark EBEL and the city of Paris.

18 July 2008

Hugo Boss fails to prevent registration of BOSS mark

The registrar of trademarks has rejected oppositions filed by Hugo Boss AG against two applications by Suntory Kabushiki Kaisha to register the mark BOSS for goods in Classes 29 and 30. Although Suntory’s mark was found to be similar to those owned by Hugo Boss, the registrar held that consumers would not be confused into believing that Suntory’s goods originated from Hugo Boss.

18 July 2008

eBay defeats Tiffany’s counterfeit sales suit

In Tiffany (NJ) Inc v eBay Inc, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected Tiffany's trademark infringement claims against eBay Inc based on sales of counterfeit Tiffany products on eBay's auction platforms. Among other things, the court also held that eBay's purchase of sponsored search advertisements, as well as use of the TIFFANY marks in those advertisements, was permissible.

16 July 2008

Rules for obtaining certificates of registration amended

The Montenegro Intellectual Property Office has announced that it no longer accepts copies of Serbian trademark filings or validity certificates in order to obtain a certificate of registration in Montenegro. An original or a certified copy of the Serbian filing or validity certificate is now required.

15 July 2008

Lion Nathan gets its claws out in BAREFOOT Case

In E & J Gallo Winery v Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia has ordered that the trademark BAREFOOT be removed from the register on grounds of non-use. The decision highlights the importance of ensuring active use of trademarks in Australia through direct sales and advertising in order to maintain valid trademark rights.