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22 March 2010

Forwarding agent found liable for trademark infringement and passing off

In Philip Morris Products SA v Ong Kien Hoe, the High Court has found in favour of Philip Morris Products SA in relation to its claim for trademark infringement and passing off against a forwarding agent. The judgment appears to suggest that even agents who unknowingly deal in counterfeit goods are unlikely to escape liability.

19 March 2010

First edition of Official Gazette published

The Montenegro IP Office has issued the first edition of the Official Gazette, which featured 100 registered trademarks and 50 patents. Two more editions are expected to be published this year. There are currently around 2,800 trademark applications pending before the office, while 20,000 Serbian trademarks have been automatically recognized.

17 March 2010

Apple loses battle for control of family of 'iMarks'

In Apple Inc v Wholesale Central Pty Ltd, a delegate of the registrar of trademarks has dismissed Apple Inc’s opposition to the registration of a device mark which consisted of a stylized representation of the word 'dopi'. Apple had opposed the registration because 'dopi' is 'iPod' spelt backwards. The delegate rejected Apple's argument that the representation of the letter 'I' in DOPI resulted in it being the dominant and distinctive feature of the mark.

17 March 2010

Vast reputation does not remove similarity requirement

In Lufthansa Airplus Servicekarten GmbH v OHIM, the General Court has upheld a decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the trademark A+ and Lufthansa's mark AIRPLUS INTERNATIONAL. The court found that the marks were so dissimilar that the opposition could not succeed, no matter what the size of Lufthansa's reputation.

16 March 2010

Decision set aside in case involving family of VOL marks

In the 12-year dispute between Glaxo Group Limited and Voltas Limited, the Delhi High Court has reversed an order of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board in which the latter had held that Glaxo's VOLMAX mark was confusingly similar to Voltas' trademark VOLTAS. Among other things, the court held that the IPAB had failed to apply the relevant test with respect to the concept of series or family of marks.

16 March 2010

Domain names are located where registry and registrar are located

In Office Depot Inc v Zuccarini, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was presented with the question of where a domain name was located for attachment purposes. The court concluded that, under California law, domain names are located where the registry is located for the purpose of asserting quasi in rem jurisdiction.

15 March 2010

BOX-1.DK held to infringe BOXIT

The Maritime and Commercial Court has issued its decision in Escot Fast Ejendom A/S v Box-1.dk ApS, which involved the trademarks BOXIT and BOX-1.DK for storage space letting services. The court found that BOX-1.DK infringed the registered trademark BOXIT, especially as the marks in daily use would be BOXIT and BOX-1.

02 June 2010

3D bottle shape marks held to be dissimilar

In Illva Saronno SPA v Beveland SA, the Fourth Board of Appeal of OHIM has held that there was no likelihood of confusion between two 3D marks consisting of rectangular bottles bearing the labels 'Amaretto Di Saronno' and 'Amaretto Real Conti', respectively. Among other things, the board held that the shapes of the bottles at issue were commonly used on the market.

01 June 2010

Wine and cocktails held to be different types of goods

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision of the Tallinn Circuit Court in which the latter had found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the trademark CHILL OUT for wine and a series of marks containing the word 'chill' for cocktail drinks.

01 June 2010

Consultation paper on EU Customs Regulation published

Following its review of the EU Customs Regulation, the European Commission has published a consultation paper entitled "Review of EU legislation on customs enforcement of intellectual property rights". If, following the public consultation procedure, it is considered appropriate, the commission will prepare a proposal to replace the regulation.

28 May 2010

Snack food producer fined over misleading 'Italian' ad

The Commission for the Protection of Competition has imposed a fine of €109,058 on Ital Food Industry AD, a Bulgarian producer of snack food. The commission found that Ital Food's television commercial for its Bruschette Maretti product was misleading because it led consumers to believe that the product originated from Italy.

24 May 2010

Trademark for hair care products rejected due to geographic meaning

The deputy registrar has rejected applications to register the word mark MOROCCAN OIL and the stylized mark MOROCCANOIL for hair care products on the grounds that the marks had a geographical meaning and were descriptive. The deputy registrar was unimpressed by the applicant's argument that it had coined the term 'Moroccan oil' for argan oil and that it was the first to use the term for hair care products.

20 May 2010

Complementary nature of financial goods and services scrutinized

In Trapeza Probank AE, also trading as Probank AE v Probanka dd, the Opposition Division of OHIM has upheld, in part, an opposition against the registration of the mark PROBANKA for goods and services in Classes 9, 35 and 36 on the grounds that there was a likelihood of confusion with the earlier Greek mark ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ PROBANK PROBANK for goods and services in Classes 9 and 36

30 June 2010

Rospatent guidelines on letters of consent issued

To ensure the uniform application of Part IV of the Civil Code, Rospatent has issued guidelines on the application of the provisions of the code relating to letters of consent. According to the guidelines, Rospatent has discretion to allow or refuse the registration of a trademark based on the existence of a letter of consent. However, the guidelines contradict case law of the arbitration courts and do not comply with the provisions of the code.

29 June 2010

Concern over new Trademark Office requirements for application forms

The China Trademark Office has published new requirements regarding the completion of application forms, which are due to take effect on July 1 2010. One of the new requirements is that application forms for trademark registration and opposition proceedings must be signed by the applicant, even if the latter has engaged an agent to handle the application on its behalf.