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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.

08 September 2017

Major initiative launches to combat illicit trade, aims to unite anti-counterfeiting and supply chain innovators

A new private sector initiative, the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, was unveiled this week with a mandate to “stop the significant and growing economic and social damages caused by illicit trade”.​ Director General Jeffrey P Hardy told World Trademark Review that anti-counterfeiting efforts will be just one work stream, with the organisation aiming to foster a cross-sectorial effort against illicit trade in all of its guises.

08 September 2017

Technology sector brands are boosting ASEAN economies, new report reveals

A new study into the economic importance of trademarks in five Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries has provided compelling evidence that trademark-intensive industries make a vital contribution to gross domestic product, employment and productivity in the region. The report, commissioned by the International Trademark Association, highlights the role played by technology brands in regional economies.

08 September 2017

Fakes on sale, big brands in attendance: dispatches from the China Trademark Festival

The China Trademark Association (CTA) held its annual Trademark Festival in the last week, with domestic and international representatives attending in their thousands. We spoke with various attendees about their observations and highlights from the event.

06 September 2017

Sultan of Oman issues and ratifies three important IP-related treaties and laws

The Sultan of Oman has recently issued and ratified three important IP-related treaties and laws – the Gulf Cooperation Council Trademark Law, the protocol amending the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and the amendment to the Marrakech Agreement.

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.

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.

20 September 2017

Thailand to join Madrid Protocol

From November 7 2017 it will be possible to file a trademark via the Madrid system or through a national application directly with the Department of Intellectual Property. The existing system is complicated, regimented and inconsistent; however, time will tell whether the Madrid system will make registration any easier.

18 September 2017

New design protection law

A new design law has been approved by Parliament and will come into force in August 2018. The new law will provide the legal basis for protection of designs, and will eventually replace the Patents and Designs Ordinance 1924. It aims to provide small and medium-sized local enterprises and individual designers, as well as global enterprises, with effective ways to protect their designs and enforce their rights.

15 September 2017

Advocate General has its say on Coty’s effort to prevent third party online sales

Can luxury brands be permitted to prevent their own authorised resellers from selling products through online third-party platforms? A recent opinion from Advocate General Wahl has gone some way to answer that question by holding that suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit authorised retailers from selling their products on third-party platforms such as Amazon or eBay.

14 September 2017

Opinion sought in ‘Champagner Sorbet’ case

The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne sued Aldi Süd for unauthorised use of the Champagne protected designation of origin (PDO). The case led to the European Court of Justice seeking an opinion as to whether the use of a PDO on the packaging of a product which benefits from such use constitutes exploitation.