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29 April 2009

NASDAQ’s reputation extends to the general public, says ECJ

In Antartica Srl v OHIM, the ECJ has upheld a decision of the CFI in which the latter had found that use of the figurative trademark NASDAQ took unfair advantage of the reputation of The Nasdaq Stock Market's earlier trademark NASDAQ. The ECJ agreed with the CFI that the reputation of the earlier mark reached further than the professional public specializing in financial information.

12 June 2009

No infringement found in wine label dispute

In Udesen Danmark v Excellent Wine Danmark A/S, the Maritime and Commercial Court has held that Excellent Wine Danmark A/S's sale of wine in bottles with pewter labels reading 'Hunter's Choice', 'Congratulations' and 'Golfer's Reserve' was not contrary to Section 4 of the Trademarks Act or Section 1 of the Marketing Practices Act.

11 June 2009

TTAB re-designates Zanella v Nordstrom fraud decision as precedential

In an atypical move that will be welcomed by registrants, the TTAB has re-designated its October 2008 decision in Zanella Ltd v Nordstrom Inc from non-precedential to precedential. The issue in this case was whether fraud (or the filing of a factually incorrect application or affidavit) in the USPTO can be “cured” and the registration perfected after the trademark application matures into a registration.

10 June 2009

F1 loses the race against F1H2O

The Administrative Court has upheld a decision of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in which the latter had found that the trademark F1H2O was not confusingly similar to the earlier registered trademark F1. The decision seems to contradict previous case law in which the institute had found that the F1 mark was well known.

10 June 2009

Battle between Intel and Pentium Fund moves to federal court

Pentium Fund Ltd has filed a complaint for declaratory relief against Intel Corporation in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to stop the transfer of the domain names 'pentiumfund.com', 'pentiumfund.net' and 'pentiumfund.org' from Pentium Fund to Intel. This filing came after a WIPO three-member panel ordered the transfer of the domain names in a decision issued under the UDRP.

05 June 2009

Advocate general delivers opinion in Italian salami case

In Severi v Regione Emilia-Romagna, the advocate general has held, among other things, that the name of a food product containing a geographical reference for which an application has been made for registration as a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication cannot be assumed to be generic, unless the application has been rejected by the European Commission on the grounds that the name has become generic.

04 June 2009

Greek letter 'α' may have distinctive character, says CFI

In BORCO-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co KG v OHIM, the CFI has held that BORCO-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co KG's trademark, which consisted of the Greek letter 'α' in Times New Roman font, may have distinctive character. OHIM must now re-examine BORCO's application in light of this judgment, which may open up opportunities for other applicants seeking to register single-letter trademarks.

03 June 2009

eBay is not liable for trademark infringement by its users, says court

In L'Oréal SA v eBay International AG, the High Court has held that eBay was not liable for the sale of counterfeit products on its auction site, but that it could and should do more to prevent it. The other major issue was whether eBay's use of sponsored links to direct users to listings for infringing products amounted to trademark infringement. However, the court felt unable to decide this point without first seeking guidance from the ECJ.

15 July 2009

Mars loses Bounty shape mark case

In Mars Inc v OHIM, the CFI has upheld a decision of the Second Board of Appeal of OHIM in which the latter had held that the Community trademark registration owned by Mars in respect of the three-dimensional shape of its well-known Bounty bar was invalid. Among other things, the CFI held that the board had been right to approach the issue of acquired distinctiveness on a country-by-country basis.

09 July 2009

Draft Trademark Law presented to Parliament

The proposed new Trademark Law, which was drafted by the Serbian Intellectual Property Office, has been approved by the Council of Ministers and has now been presented to Parliament. The main change is the introduction of an appeal procedure: under the proposed law, it will be possible to appeal decisions of the office to a body appointed by the Council of Ministers.

08 July 2009

Removal of UPCs constitutes trademark infringement, says Second Circuit

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has upheld the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction in a case in which the defendant had in its possession perfume in packaging having the unique production code removed. The decision shows that manipulation and mutilation of packaging can provide grounds for preliminary injunctive relief, even before a determination is reached as to the authenticity of the product.

08 July 2009

LOVECOSME story ends in victory for mark owner

The IP High Court has reversed a decision of the Patent Office in which the latter had invalidated the trademark LOVECOSME. The court ruled that the trademark LOVECOSME was not similar to the earlier registered LOVE trademarks in English or Japanese katakana characters under Article 4(1)(11) of the Trademark Law.

03 July 2009

Statutory damages for passing off awarded in fight over MIG mark

In Geil v Migdor, the Tel Aviv District Court has awarded statutory damages for passing off to the owner of the trademark MIG for publication of a newspaper under the name MIG by a third party before the mark was registered, but refused to award compensation for infringement of the mark after its registration, as it was no longer in use for newspapers.

02 July 2009

Divergent approaches render action unsuitable for summary judgment

In Daimler AG v Sany Group Co Ltd, the High Court has dismissed Daimler AG's application for summary judgment in a dispute over the use of a three-pointed device. The case highlights the divergent approaches taken by the UK Intellectual Property Office and OHIM to class headings.

01 July 2009

Punitive damages for IP infringement recognized for the first time

The Supreme People’s Court has, for the first time, recognized a form of punitive damages for IP rights infringement. Under Article 5 of the Opinion on the Implementation of the National IP Strategy, the Chinese courts may raise compensation awards for the purposes of deterring infringement and lowering the costs of IP enforcement in certain cases.