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07 December 2017

Unfair Competition Law amendments

The Unfair Competition Law has been amended for the first time since its introduction in 1993, resulting in some important changes to IP law which will come into effect on January 1 2018. The amended law includes the introduction of an effective system for changing an infringing trade name in order to prevent an infringer refusing to change its name.

27 October 2017

Versailles fails to recover domain name

In a recent decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy before the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a single-member panel denied the transfer of a domain name consisting of a city name, ''. The complainant failed to prove bad faith and that the defendant had registered the domain name for its trademark value, as opposed to its descriptive value.

26 October 2017

Indonesia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol

Indonesia has officially become the 100th member of the Madrid Union. Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H Laoly deposited the country’s instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation during the 57th General Assembly in Geneva.

26 October 2017

Star-shape model invalid due to lack of individual character

8 seasons design GmbH filed a declaration of invalidity against Lothar Rühland’s Community registration of a light model, due to lack of individual character on the basis of its prior Community design. The EU General Court upheld the design’s invalidity, holding that the conflicting designs, dominated by a star shape, produced the same overall impression on informed users.

18 October 2017

German Federal Court rules on Google’s Image Search

The Federal Court of Justice has handed down a judgment of utmost importance for the exploitation of copyright on the Internet. The decision, which will become known and referred to under the name Thumbnail III, examined whether the display of preview images in search results constituted an act of making available a copyright work in the sense of the copyright law.

16 October 2017

Trademarks Act applies to counterfeit and grey market goods

In a recent case concerning the correct construction of Section 92(1) of the Trademarks Act 1994, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal and upheld the Crown Court decision that a High Court trial can proceed.

16 October 2017

Checked pattern held to be well-known trademark

In an unusual trademark case concerning a blue-and-white checked pattern used on bed linen, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court has ruled in favour of Hästens Sengar AB, which sued the Nordicform group of companies for infringement. The court held that the pattern had acquired distinctiveness through use and the relevant consumers were expected to show a high degree of attention due to the character and price of Hästens beds.

03 October 2017

Commentators divided over independent USPTO proposal; doubts over whether it will gain political traction

The House Budget Committee has published a proposal aimed at curbing excessive government spending, with an independent US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) included among its recommendations. One trademark expert told World Trademark Review that such a move would end the existing “archaic” relationship between the USPTO and the US Department of Commerce (DOC). However, the feeling on the ground in DC is that both Congress and the DOC will resist efforts to reduce their oversight of the agency.

03 October 2017

Apple fails in its opposition to MI PAD

Apple Inc opposed Xiaomi Singapore Pte Ltd's application to register the trademark MI PAD in Classes 9 and 38. The registrar examined the application pursuant to the Trademarks Act, finding that the mark was aurally and visually dissimilar to Apple’s IPAD mark and that there was no likelihood of confusion.

10 November 2017

Major disruptions in the insurance sector and how brand strategies must evolve: exclusive data analysis

We look at trademark trends in the insurance sector, which is undergoing an incipient transformation that could present significant risks and opportunities for brands.

09 November 2017

Controversial clause deleted from China’s new domain name rules

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued the final version of the Rules on the Administration of Internet Domain Names, which came into effect on November 1 2017. The most notable change in the new rules is the deletion of the controversial Article 37 of the draft, which provided that any domain name with a website hosted in China must be registered with a Chinese domain name registrar.

06 November 2017

Is SRI KRISHNA SWEETS mark a trademark inheritance?

Sri Krishna Sweets is a popular Indian sweet manufacturer based in Coimbatore. The case involved a trademark dispute between two brothers and their claim to use the SRI KRISHNA SWEETS mark by virtue of their equal share in the mark as part of their inheritance from their father. The court relied on earlier jurisprudence to maintain the balance of convenience and ordered the parties to maintain the status quo.

02 October 2017

Research reveals “low awareness” of IP valuation as debate over brand ranking tables rages on

New research from the UK Intellectual Property Office has found that there is “low awareness” of IP valuation within UK businesses, laying out a series of recommendations to boost take up. This comes as a new brand ranking list is released, and has been immediately met with scepticism by one of the leading marketing trade publications. The debate around brand valuation rankings tables clearly shows no sign of abating.

29 September 2017

Opening the door to product placement in Hong Kong?

The Communications Authority (CA) of Hong Kong recently announced a review of the codes of practice governing product placement in television programmes. Based on a survey that found that most viewers do not find product placement advertisements objectionable, the CA held that there is room to relax the codes.

11 October 2017

Digital language databases more effective than dictionaries or media usage to defend against genericide: study

A recent study has analysed the three most common forms of evidence used in genericism cases and found that corpus linguistics (ie, the use of a digital language databases) could prove to be “more beneficial” for rights holders looking to protect their brand from the threat of genericide. However, the author urges cautions over its use, saying that courts should reconsider the use of linguistic data altogether and reclaim the primary significance test in genericism cases.