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09 September 2010

Forbes finally obtains 'forbes.ru'

US business magazine Forbes has finally obtained ownership of the domain name 'forbes.ru', seven months after winning a domain name infringement case against a Russian cybersquatter. Following an appeal against the decision, the parties have now reached a private agreement.

07 September 2010

Ninth Circuit unanimously reverses injunction in dispute over Bratz brand

In Mattel Inc v MGA Entertainment Inc, in the long-running dispute between toy makers Mattel Inc and MGA Entertainment Inc over the Bratz dolls, MGA has won an important legal battle - even though the war is far from over. In a unanimous ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision in which the latter had placed the BRATZ marks in a constructive trust.

07 September 2010

Major US film company obtains cancellation of '.gr' domain name

The Greek Telecommunications and Post Commission has upheld Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's action for the cancellation of the domain name 'fox.gr', which was registered 10 years ago. The commission agreed with Twentieth Century Fox that the domain name had been applied for and was being used in bad faith by the registrant.

02 September 2010

Court of Appeal confirms that cachet is not necessary for extended passing off

In Diageo North America Inc v Intercontinental Brands (ICB) Limited, the Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision in which the latter had held that the sale of a non-vodka product under the name Vodkat constituted extended passing off. The Court of Appeal rejected an argument that only products with a cachet are capable of protection under the tort of passing off.

29 November 2010

First domain name decision issued under new ADR system

The Domain Disputes Committee of the Estonian Internet Foundation has issued its first decision in a case involving the domain name 'bang-olufsen.ee'. The committee ordered the transfer of the domain name to Bang & Olufsen A/S, finding, among other things, that it was confusingly similar to Bang & Olufsen's trademarks.

26 November 2010

New common IP rights database: any benefits for trademark owners?

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, seeking a way to protect IP rights more effectively, has issued a Regulation on a Common IP Rights Database. At first glance, the new database seems to benefit only owners of works protected under the Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works. However, it may also have implications for owners of unconventional trademarks.

25 November 2010

Court refuses to prevent use of identical mark for dissimilar goods

The Delhi High Court has rejected Kamdhenu Ispat Ltd's request for a permanent injunction preventing Kamdhenu Pickles & Spices Ind Pvt Ltd from using the mark KAMDHENU. Among other things, the court found that the plaintiff had, at best, managed to establish a reputation with respect to steel bars. However, there was nothing to suggest that such a reputation extended to the goods manufactured by the defendant.

22 November 2010

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

In a dispute involving the domain name 'autocan.ca', 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 'mrtmartini.gr', 'martinicasual.gr' and 'martini.com.gr'. 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 'mrtmartini.gr'.

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 'warrenmiller.ca'. 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.