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13 April 2010

Draft amendment to Trademarks and Geographical Indications Law adopted

Bulgaria’s National Assembly has adopted the Draft Law Amending the Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications. Under the new system, trademark applications will be examined on absolute grounds only and third parties will have three months from the date of publication to file a written opposition. The law will enter into force in June this year.

12 April 2010

Board exceeds jurisdiction by limiting scope of protection of opponent's mark

In Molson Canada 2005 v Anheuser-Busch Incorporated, the Federal Court has ruled that the Trademarks Opposition Board had exceeded its jurisdiction by limiting the scope of protection afforded to Molson Canada 2005’s trademark in its opposition against the registration of the mark BUDWEISER (and design) by Anheuser-Busch Incorporated for use in association with beer and various merchandising products.

09 April 2010

No likelihood of confusion found despite identical goods

In Mirto Corporación Empresarial SL v OHIM, the General Court has upheld a decision of the Second Board of Appeal of OHIM finding that there was no likelihood of confusion between MIRTILLINO and MIRTO for identical goods. Among other things, the court held that the additional syllables in MIRTILLINO distinguished it from MIRTO, even if the first syllable was what most attracted the attention of the average consumer.

08 April 2010

Trademark law reform enacted

The Norwegian Parliament has passed the bill on the new Trademarks Act. One of main novelties is the introduction of a procedure for the administrative re-examination of registered trademarks. It is hoped that the procedure will represent a cheaper and simpler way of invalidating marks. The act will enter into force no later than July 1 2010.

31 March 2010

Mark will not be associated with eponymous Belgian town

The Board of Appeal has annulled a decision of the Estonian Patent Office in which the latter had refused to register the trademark SPA for mineral and aerated waters. Among other things, the office had found that the word 'spa' designated the geographical origin of the goods - namely, the Belgian town of Spa.

29 March 2010

Administrative opposition procedure introduced

Regulation 33/2010, which implemented Legislative Decree 30/2005 (the Italian Industrial Property Code), came into force on March 10 2010, exactly five years after the legislative decree was issued. The main innovation is the introduction of an administrative opposition procedure for domestic trademark applications inspired by opposition proceedings at the European level.

26 March 2010

Ex officio border measures implemented

Pursuant to its obligations under the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, the Peruvian government has implemented ex officio border measures. Among other things, if Customs has reasons to presume that certain goods are counterfeit, pirated or confusingly similar to goods protected by IP rights, it may order the suspension of clearance of the goods.

26 March 2010

Descriptive use of registered trademark allowed

In Nature's Blend Pty Ltd v Nestlé Australia Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia has ruled that Nestlé Australia Ltd's use of the phrase 'luscious lips' for its Retro Party Mix confectionery range was purely descriptive of the relevant products and, therefore, did not infringe the trademark LUSCIOUS LIPS for confectionery products.

24 March 2010

GLAMOUR mark held not to have acquired distinctiveness through use

In Ozone Community Corp v Advance Magazine Publishers Inc, the High Court of Singapore has allowed an appeal by Ozone Community Corp against the decision of the principal assistant registrar of trademarks to refuse Ozone’s application to register the mark HYSTERIC GLAMOUR. Ozone’s application had been opposed by Advance Magazine Publishers Inc, the owner of the GLAMOUR mark.

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.