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19 October 2009

'Moron in a hurry' test does not apply to nuclear industry, says court

In Atomic Energy of Canada Limited v AREVA NP Canada Ltd, the Federal Court has held that there was no likelihood of confusion between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's 'flying A' mark and AREVA NP Canada Ltd's 'A' design. Of particular significance was the finding that the 'hasty impression' test was not appropriate in the context of the provision of nuclear goods and services.

19 October 2009

eBay's use of LVMH's marks as keywords is infringing, says court

In LVMH Group v eBay Inc, the Paris Court of First Instance has held that eBay was liable for trademark infringement for using trademarks owned by the LVMH Group as keywords to trigger sponsored links. Among other things, the court held that eBay's use of the marks as keywords constituted a promotional strategy to attract internet users to its auction sites.

08 December 2009

Generic case brings a tear to Bausch & Lomb's eye

In Alcon Inc v Bausch & Lomb (Australia) Pty Ltd, the Federal Court has held that Bausch & Lomb (Australia) Pty Ltd had infringed Alcon Inc's registration for the BSS mark by using the letters 'BSS' on bottles of ophthalmic irrigating solution. Among other things, the court found that the BSS mark was not merely descriptive of 'balanced salt solution' and had not become generic.

03 December 2009

Plaintiff has its cake, but may not eat it too

In One True Vine LLC v The Wine Group LLC, the US District Court for the Northern District of California has granted One True Vine LLC's motion to amend its federal registration for LAYER CAKE to delete certain goods, which it admitted it had never used in connection with the mark. Nevertheless, the court held that the defendant's counterclaim to cancel the registration on the grounds of fraud was not moot.

03 December 2009

Alteration of playing cards does not amount to trademark infringement

The Supreme Court has held that the alteration and sale of trademarked playing cards did not amount to trademark infringement. The defendants purchased genuine cards and then used invisible dye to write the suits and numbers on the back of the cards, so that players wearing special contact lenses can read the details of the cards. The court concluded that these changes did not affect the function of the trademark as a source identifier.

01 December 2009

Application for cancellation dismissed in golfers' playoff

In South African Junior Golf Association v The Registrar of Companies, the Western Cape High Court has dismissed the South African Golf Association's application for the cancellation of the South African Junior Golf Association's trademark SOUTH AFRICAN JUNIOR GOLF ASSOCIATION. Among other things, the court stated that the two bodies did not render the same service.

30 November 2009

KLINTEX and CLITEX held to be confusingly similar

The Ministry of Commerce has upheld a decision of the Venezuelan Trademark Office in which the latter had refused to register the trademark KLINTEX on the grounds that there was a likelihood of confusion with the trademark CLITEX. The ministry rejected the argument that both marks could coexist on the market because KLINTEX is used for cleaning products, while CLITEX is used for pharmaceuticals and perfumes.

27 November 2009

First Amendment not a defence to infringement by innuendo, says court

In Pfizer Inc v Sachs, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has granted Pfizer Inc's motion for summary judgment on its trademark infringement and dilution claims against an advertiser who had used the VIVA VIAGRA mark on a decommissioned missile. The court found that the advertiser's use of VIVA VIAGRA was not protected under the First Amendment.

21 January 2010

SGNIC launches Chinese domain names

SGNIC, the domain name registry for Singapore, has announced the launch of second-level Chinese domain names. During Phase 2, which started on January 7 2010 and ends on February 18 2010, trademark owners may apply for second-level Chinese domain names under certain conditions.

20 January 2010

No likelihood of confusion between PRADAXA and IPRAXA for pharmaceuticals

In Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co KG v The Patent and Trademark Board of Appeal, the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court has upheld a decision of the Patent and Trademark Board of Appeal in which the latter had found that the trademarks PRADAXA and IPRAXA for pharmaceuticals were not confusingly similar.

15 January 2010

Louis Vuitton defeated on appeal in 'quatrefoil' case

In City Chain Stores (S) Pte Ltd v Louis Vuitton Malletier, the Court of Appeal of Singapore has overturned a decision of the trial judge in which the latter had found in favour of Louis Vuitton Malletier in a dispute involving its famous 'quatrefoil' device. Interestingly, the court considered two approaches to the issue of what would amount to infringement.

14 January 2010

Thomas Pritzker fails to obtain transfer of ''

In Pritzker v Brown, a WIPO panel has refused to order the transfer of the domain name '' to Thomas Pritzker. Among other things, the panel found that Pritzker had failed to establish common law trademark rights in the names T. Pritzker or Thomas Pritzker. The decision underlines that domain name cases involving personal names are not always as straightforward as they seem.

13 January 2010

Colour red protectable as unregistered mark with a reputation

The IP Division of the Court of Milan has confirmed that the colour of Ferrari Formula 1 cars (not limited to a specific nuance of red) was protectable as an unregistered trademark with a reputation. Among other things, the court ordered the seizure of unauthorized merchandising products (including clothes), holding that their red colour inevitably brought Ferrari to mind and could cause confusion with original products marketed by Ferrari's licensees.

11 January 2010

AFNIC incurs liability for failure to 'freeze' domain name

AFNIC, the registry for '.fr' domain names, has felt the chill of a French court decision over its failure to 'freeze' the domain name '' upon the request of a disgruntled trademark owner. The court noted that AFNIC was obliged under its own charter to freeze a domain name if its registration constituted a violation of the terms of the charter.

14 October 2009

Sole director of restaurant found personally liable for infringement

In 2045978 Ontario Inc v Chaps Aldershot Inc, the Federal Court has found that Chaps Aldershot Inc and its president, secretary, treasurer and sole director Kevin Saunders had infringed the registered trademark CHAPS. Among other things, the court held that Saunders had "engaged in a deliberate, wilful and knowing pursuit of a course of conduct that he knew constituted infringement" of the mark.