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09 July 2010

Relevant public will attach little significance to meaning of descriptive words

In CM Capital Markets Holding SA v OHIM, the General Court has rejected CM Capital Markets Holding SA's oppositions to the registration of two marks including the words 'carbon capital markets'. Among other things, the court held that the relevant public would attach little significance to the meaning of the words ‘capital’ and ‘markets’, since they are descriptive of the services at issue.

09 July 2010

Federal Court rejects transcendence of fame argument

In Wrangler Apparel Corporation v Big Rock Brewery Limited Partnership, the Federal Court has upheld a decision of the Trademarks Opposition Board rejecting Wrangler Apparel Corporation's opposition to the registration of the mark WRANGLER for beer. Among other things, the court held that WRANGLER's fame did not transcend the clothing market to cover beer.

08 July 2010

Counterfeiter sentenced to one year's imprisonment

In State of Israel v Hammuda, the defendant has been sentenced to one year's imprisonment for trademark counterfeiting under the Israeli Trademarks Ordinance and forgery under the Penal Law. This sentence departs from the usual practice in trademark counterfeiting cases, thereby reflecting the gravity of the defendant's conduct.

06 July 2010

Parliament adopts five draft IP laws

The Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted five draft laws in the field of intellectual property. Among other things, the Draft Law on Trademarks abolishes the practice of substantive examination and introduces an opposition procedure. The draft laws are expected to enter into force by the end of the year.

06 July 2010

London Olympics Association Right plays role in cybersquatting case

A WIPO panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name '' to The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd. This case is significant in that it is based on the London Olympics Association Right - a sui generis statutory right under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 - and on trademark rights.

05 July 2010

Nickname may constitute legitimate interest in registering domain name

In Sandro Andy v Balzarin, Sandro Andy, a French fashion company, has failed to obtain the transfer of the domain name '' under the UDRP. Among other things, the WIPO panel accepted the respondent's argument that he had a legitimate interest in registering the domain name, as it corresponded to his nickname Sandro.

02 July 2010

Importance of actual confusion among relevant customers highlighted

In Caliber Automotive Liquidators Inc v Premier Chrysler Jeep Dodge LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has remanded for trial a finding of summary judgment that infomercials called 'Slasher Shows' were not confusingly similar to the marks SLASH-IT! SALES EVENT or SLASHER SALE. Among other things, the district court should not have overvalued the lack of confusion by the general public.

16 June 2010

Supreme Court gives boost to tertiary brand strategies

In Compagnie Gervais Danone v Glanbia Foods Society Limited, in an important decision for European brand owners, the Irish Supreme Court has unanimously confirmed that the use of a tertiary brand for a constituent ingredient in a product may qualify as genuine trademark use in relation to that product.

14 June 2010

IP attorneys reminded that creative arguments must have reasonable basis

In Franklin Mint Company v Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP, the Franklin Mint Company, which is known for its commemorative plates, has succeeded in its malicious prosecution claim against the lawyers representing the estate of the late Princess Diana. The case presents a cautionary tale for trademark lawyers: creative arguments must have a reasonable basis in the fundamental principles of trademark law.

11 June 2010

High Court upholds trademark co-existence agreement

In Omega Engineering Inc v Omega SA, the High Court has upheld the terms of a trademark co-existence agreement between two businesses using the same name by preventing one party from opposing a subsequent trademark application by the other. This judgment is encouraging to businesses that have entered into co-existence agreements in the past.

10 June 2010

Section 18 unavailable to require disclaimer beyond five-year anniversary

In Montecash LLC v Anzar Enterprises Inc, in a precedential opinion addressing a question of first impression, the TTAB has held that Section 18 of the Lanham Act, which grants the TTAB authority to restrict a registration, could not be applied to require the disclaimer of a generic term in a registration existing on the Principal Register for more than five years.

09 June 2010

OHIM decision annulled in dispute between STAR marks

In Wessang v OHIM, the General Court has annulled a decision of the Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks STAR FOODS and STAR SNACKS. Among other things, the court found that the board had erred in finding that, because the marks had a weak distinctive character, the differences between them were sufficient to neutralize the similarities.

08 June 2010

WIPO decision highlights cumulative requirements of third limb of UDRP

In Heraeus Kulzer GmbH v Stoll, German company Heraeus Kulzer GmbH, the owner of several VENUS marks for dental products, has failed to obtain the transfer of the domain name '' under the UDRP. The WIPO panel considered that, although Heraeus had established bad-faith use, it had failed to establish the cumulative requirement of bad-faith registration, thus failing to establish the third limb of the UDRP.

03 June 2010

Automobile giant cannot monopolize letter 'T'

In Super Cassettes Industries Ltd v Union of India, the Delhi High Court has set aside an order of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and affirmed an order of the deputy registrar, holding that there was no likelihood of confusion between Super Cassettes' T-SERIES mark and Tata's T mark.

03 June 2010

Gillette's stylized G mark held to lack distinctiveness

The Administrative Court has upheld a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refusing to register Gillette’s stylized 'G' for goods in Classes 3 and 8 on the grounds that it lacked distinctive character. Among other things, the court held that Gillette was required to prove that its stylized 'G' had acquired secondary meaning - and not merely that it had been frequently used in connection with the name Gillette.