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01 March 2017

After calling out “malicious” infringement complaints, Alibaba now points the finger at China's “ambiguous counterfeiting laws”

E-commerce giant Alibaba has criticised China’s IP laws and enforcement infrastructure, calling on authorities in its home country to impose stricter criminal penalties for counterfeiting amid mounting disapproval of the company’s own stance on the issue.

24 April 2017

No protection in Switzerland for obscene trademarks

The Swiss Administrative Court recently confirmed a Federal Institute of Intellectual Property decision denying protection to an obscene trademark, as it was considered contrary to morality. The decision highlights that the morality standard in Switzerland remains high, even though the court highlighted that the understanding has been relaxed in recent years.

21 April 2017

OAPI in “period of transition” as new director general appointed; anti-Madrid collective “goes into hiding”

The African Intellectual Property Organisation has confirmed to World Trademark Review that its director general, Paulin Edou Edou, will be leaving at the end of July, with his successor beginning in August.

03 February 2017

Setback for Toyota: Delhi High Court sets aside permanent injunction preventing Prius Auto from using PRIUS mark

In Prius Auto Industries Ltd v Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has set aside a permanent injunction granted by a single judge preventing Prius Auto from using the mark PRIUS. Among other things, the Division Bench found that Toyota had failed to establish the trans-border reputation of its PRIUS mark in India at the time when Prius Auto adopted the same name.

02 February 2017

Amid hopes of a more pro-IP White House, CADNA re-enters the trademark policy fray

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) – the lobby group that was at the forefront of advocating for trademark owner interests in the run up to the new gTLDs programme – is again pushing for amendments to US anti-cybersquatting laws in light of the country’s new Republican-dominated government.

02 February 2017

Producer of distilled beverages fails to obtain cancellation of expired mark for bitters

The Fourth Board of Appeal of the EUIPO has dismissed an appeal by Vilniaus degtine, a producer of distilled beverages, against the refusal to cancel a figurative mark owned by competitor Stumbras. Although Vilniaus degtine was found to have a legitimate interest in continuing the proceedings despite the fact that the mark had expired, the board held that the mark was distinctive as a whole, and that there was no evidence that Stumbras had acted in bad faith when filing the application.

01 February 2017

Intended use of contested mark may constitute bar to registration

The UKIPO has upheld an opposition by Molson Coors - which claimed unregistered common law rights in the marks BLACK LABEL and CARLING BLACK LABEL - against an application by Cold Black Label for the figurative mark COLD BLACK LABEL for beers. This decision demonstrates that intended use of a contested mark may constitute a bar to registration and can have the same effect as the actual use of a mark similar or identical to an earlier mark.

31 January 2017

UDRP is not convenient recourse for business disputes

In a recent decision under the UDRP, a panel has denied the transfer of a domain name and declined to decide whether the three elements of the UDRP had been satisfied, as it was evident that the case was not an instance of cybersquatting but, rather, a business dispute between ex-partners involving substantive legal issues beyond the scope of the UDRP.

30 January 2017

Executive Branch issues legislative decree modifying IP laws

The Executive Branch has introduced major amendments to the Peruvian IP regime through the issuance of Legislative Decree No 1309. 

25 January 2017

Does Louis Vuitton lack a sense of humour? The parody defence is no laughing matter for brand owners

In Louis Vuitton Malletier SA v My Other Bag Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave tote bag manufacturer My Other Bag an early Christmas present by tossing out luxury giant Louis Vuitton’s claims of trademark infringement, copyright infringement and trademark dilution, and agreeing with the District Court’s finding that My Other Bag was shielded from liability by the parody defence.

17 February 2017

Moscow Arbitration Court issues unexpected decision in domain name case

The Moscow Arbitration Court has dismissed an infringement action filed by OSRAM GmbH, the owner of the international mark LEDVANCE, regarding the domain name 'ledvance.ru' because the limitation period had expired. Surprisingly, the court found that OSRAM should have searched the directory of '.ru' domain names between December 2010 and December 2013 and that, by not filing an infringement action within that period, it had lost the right to seek protection in court.

16 February 2017

Implementation of opposition proceedings - an update almost six months on

On August 29 2016 opposition proceedings became available in Mexico. Almost six months on, this update considers how opposition proceedings have been implemented by IMPI. It is expected that the first trademark applications against which oppositions have been filed will receive a final resolution from IMPI by late 2017.

15 February 2017

Administrative Court confirms refusal of 2D mark claiming the colour pink for Class 10 goods

The Administrative Court has dismissed an appeal by CeramTec GmbH, a German manufacturer of high-performance ceramics, against a decision of the FIIP refusing protection to a 2D mark claiming the colour pink for prostheses in Class 10. Among other things, the court held that, although CeramTec had established that no other manufacturer of prostheses used the colour pink, the colour pink itself was not sufficient to render the mark distinctive.

13 February 2017

General Court finds no likelihood of confusion between CHOCOLATE and CHOCO LOVE

In Sun System v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld a decision of the First Board of Appeal of the EUIPO finding that there was no likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark CHOCO LOVE for solariums in Class 10, tanning apparatus in Class 11 and solarium services in Class 44, and the earlier word mark CHOCOLATE for tanning apparatus and lamps in Classes 10 and 11.

10 February 2017

Alibaba calls out persistent IP abusers – receives criticism for "blaming the victims" (updated)

Alibaba Group has taken a hard line against users that file false or misleading IP infringement complaints, claiming that 24% of all complaints it receives are deemed “malicious” and “a drain on the group’s efforts to stamp out counterfeits”. Highlighting its strong stance on the matter, it confirmed it had barred one company from lodging complaints due to repeated misuses of its complaints platform. However, one commentator claims that the problem is of the ecommerce giant’s own making.