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22 November 2010

CIRA panel rules that evidence of actual confusion is needed under CDRP

In a dispute involving the domain name '', a CIRA panel has considered the test to determine whether a domain name is “confusingly similar” to a trademark under CIRA's Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. By setting an onus of actual confusion, the panel has rendered it exceedingly difficult for any complainant to establish confusing similarity under the policy.

15 November 2010

Rules applicable to '.fr' domain names found to be unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court has issued a decision calling for the complete redefinition of the existing French laws and regulations relating to domain names. Only a small number of laws and regulations relate directly to domain names, but the decision will nevertheless have wide implications for the legal framework as far as domain names are concerned.

13 December 2010

IP rights strategy listed in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan

The Chinese government has strengthened its commitment to the identification, growth and protection of intellectual property by listing IP rights as one of its areas of interest in the recently published 12th Five-Year Plan. With the implementation of this plan, there is no doubt that an already strong system will continue to fortify the rights of all IP owners, both foreign and domestic.

10 December 2010

Domain name decision improves online protection of IP rights

Bacardi, the owner of the MARTINI marks, has obtained three rulings in its favour with regard to the domain names '', '' and ''. The National Telecommunications and Post Committee found that the domain names had been registered and were being used in bad faith, despite the existence of a settlement agreement allowing the registration of ''.

09 December 2010

OHIM Board of Appeal finds single-letter mark registrable

In Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, the Second Board of Appeal of OHIM has allowed the registration of the trademark W. The board followed the decision of the ECJ in OHIM v BORCO-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co KG, which involved a mark consisting of the Greek letter 'α'.

03 December 2010

Figurative marks for wine similar due to strong phonetic similarity

In Codorniu Napa Inc v OHIM, the General Court has held that there was a likelihood of confusion between the trademark ARTESA NAPA VALLEY and the earlier trademark ARTESO, which both cover wines in Class 33. Among other things, the court recalled that there may be a likelihood of confusion between two signs even where the public perception is that the goods are produced in different places.

01 December 2010

Post-registration activity not to be taken into account in determining bad faith

In Warren Miller Entertainment Inc v Willi Vogl & Associates, a CIRA panellist has denied Warren Miller Entertainment Inc's request to transfer the domain name ''. Among other things, the panellist found that, as Willi Vogl & Associates had registered the domain name as a licensee of Warren Miller, the registration did not fall within any of the categories of bad faith.

09 November 2010

Passing-off claim fails due to lack of reputation in design

In Dadon-Yifrach v AT Snap Ltd, the Tel Aviv District Court has ruled that, although the defendants had, in effect, admitted to have copied the dress design of the plaintiff, the latter was not able to meet the evidentiary threshold required for establishing passing off since she could not prove that she had a reputation in the design. The plaintiff's claim for unjust enrichment also failed.

05 November 2010

Absolute ground for refusal under Article 7/1(b) interpreted narrowly

In a case involving an application for the registration of the mark DIVERSY, the Re-examination and Evaluation Board of the Patent Institute has interpreted Article 7/1(b) of the Trademark Decree Law in a narrow sense. This is a landmark decision, since many trademarks have remained unregistered due to the prevailing interpretation of Article 7/1(b).

02 November 2010

Drunk on incontestability: the Second Circuit says “not so fast”

In Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport v Spirits International NV, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed the district court’s grant of a motion to dismiss trademark claims in a case involving the STOLICHNAYA marks for vodka. Among other things, the district court had erred in concluding that any recorded assignment of an incontestable registration cannot be challenged.

29 October 2010

Common element in composite mark held not to have independent distinctive role

The German Federal Supreme Court has overturned a decision of the Stuttgart Regional Court, holding that there was no likelihood of confusion between the mark MIXI and the composite mark KOHLERMIXI. The Supreme Court held that the common element 'mixi' could not give rise to a likelihood of confusion, as it did not have an independent distinctive role in the composite mark.

14 July 2010

New police report reveals enforcement trends

The Chilean police force specialized in IP crimes has published a report covering the period from June 2009 to May 2010. Among other things, the report states that the number of actions for the enforcement of trademark and other IP rights has increased consistently.

13 July 2010

Mark rejected even though first part already registered as CTM

In Actega Terra GmbH v OHIM, the General Court has refused to register the word mark TERRAEFFEKT MATT & GLOSS for “lacquers, in particular for the graphic industry” on the grounds that it was descriptive. Among other things, the court pointed out that the fact that TERRAEFFEKT was already registered as a CTM was not binding.

13 July 2010

Court considers whether consignment transaction results in trademark use

In JAG Flocomponents NA v Archmetal Industries Corporation, the Federal Court has considered whether the delivery of goods from the Chinese manufacturer to the Canadian distributor, for sale on a consignment basis, effectively constituted use of a trademark in Canada. In doing so, the court made a distinction as to the nature of possession set out in Section 4 of the Trademarks Act.

12 July 2010

No likelihood of confusion between BUTLERS marks

In The Butler’s Pantry (Manufacturing) Limited v The Irish Chocolate Company Limited, the acting controller has dismissed an opposition filed by the owner of various BUTLERS marks against the registration of THE BUTLER’S PANTRY. Among other things, the acting controller held that the opponent had failed to show how use of the mark applied for might undermine its capacity to identify exclusively its goods.