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20 October 2017

Mexico shows robust filing figures, as services overtake goods for first time: exclusive data analysis

In World Trademark Review’s latest country data report, we take a look at Mexico and how brands fare in the country.

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.

13 October 2017

Aldi involved in unusual case

The EU General Court has cancelled an opposition decision in the unusual Aldi v the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) case, on the grounds that the EUIPO Board of Appeal did not take into consideration the request for a stay because Aldi had filed a forfeiture for lack of use action. The decision leaves the EUIPO in a difficult situation if a request for a stay is made.

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.

04 September 2017

Hindustan Unilever triumphs in slander of goods case

In Hindustan Unilever Limited v Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, the Bombay High Court recently held that an action for disparagement of a plaintiff’s product can be sustained even if the advertisement is directed towards an entire class of products within which a complaining plaintiff’s product falls.

15 August 2017

Mystery over fake TMview site owned by Gleissner; source suggests tycoon may seek license fee from EUIPO

A website owned by a company related to notorious trademark filer Michael Gleissner has been found imitating the EU Intellectual Property Office’s search platform TMview. The site has been described as a “phishing page” by one attorney, but an insider source tells World Trademark Review it is more likely that the entertainment tycoon is looking to sell or license the domain to the EUIPO.

03 July 2017

New code of conduct for trademark attorneys enters into force

The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office recently published the Regulation on the Code of Conduct and Discipline of Patent Attorneys and Trademark Attorneys, with the aim of regulating the rules and procedures applicable to the conduct of patent and trademark attorneys and the Disciplinary Board of Patent and Trademark Attorneys, among other things.

28 September 2017

Bulgaria adopts new Ordinance on Industrial Property Representatives

The Bulgarian Council of Ministers adopted the new Ordinance on Industrial Property Representatives, under which all individuals wishing to become industrial property representatives must pass a qualifying exam. This is the first act in Bulgaria to establish industrial property representative as a regulated profession.

27 September 2017

Proposed life sentences for counterfeiters in Nigeria hailed as “a welcome development”

A bill in Nigeria has proposed a series of amendments to the country’s counterfeiting legislation, including life sentences for those convicted of selling certain types of counterfeit products. 

26 September 2017

Taiwan approves major amendment to protect trademarks at the border

A major amendment to the regulations governing customs border measures will be key in the protection of trademarks. The measures allow the owner of a trademark to apply to have it recorded on Customs' database, enabling Customs to seize counterfeits when it inspects imported or exported goods ex officio.

25 September 2017

Court awards Tiffany damages in Costco infringement case

In the most recent development in the trademark infringement case between Costco and Tiffany, the court awarded Tiffany $11.1 million in trebled profits and an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages. 

22 September 2017

Cheerios yellow box rejected for trademark registration

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) recently held that General Mills did not provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that its iconic yellow cereal box had acquired sufficient distinctiveness to allow registration. The TTAB ruled that consumers do not perceive the colour yellow to be a source indicator due to the substantial number of other cereal products in the marketplace which use yellow packaging.

21 September 2017

X and XKING held to be confusingly similar

The European Court of Justice has upheld a finding of likelihood of confusion between Continental's XKING mark and Michelin's earlier X mark for tyres. The decision will be welcomed by owners of existing single-letter trademarks. However, new entrants into a market – and their trademark professionals providing clearance advice – should approach earlier single-letter marks with increased caution.