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21 May 2008

Industry Awards 2008 winners revealed

World Trademark Report's print companion publication, World Trademark Review, has announced the winners of its 2008 Industry Awards for in-house counsel. Among those honoured were representatives from Apple, Google and eBay. Bruce Proctor of Diageo was named In-house Counsel of the Year, while Dee Ann Weldon-Wilson of ExxonMobil received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

20 May 2008

INTA reception round-up

INTA is all about meeting people, whether a new contact or an old friend, and what better way to do this than at the numerous receptions that are organized to coincide with the annual meeting. The World Trademark Report team were lucky enough to attend a number of events last night in preparation for the World Trademark Review Industry Awards 2008 taking place this evening.

16 May 2008

Gearing up for INTA

Around 8,000 delegates are expected to attend the 130th annual meeting of the International Trademark Association which kicks off in Berlin tomorrow. The meeting gets bigger every year, but is it getting better? This year's meeting co-chair Peter JA Munzinger of Bardehle Pagenberg Dost Altenburg Geissler talks to World Trademark Report about what to expect.

15 November 2007

Fighting counterfeiters in Italy - a step in the right direction

Italy is a hotbed of counterfeiting - in terms of both production and consumption. A newly created High Commission may be what the various Italian anti-counterfeiting organizations need to coordinate and rationalize their efforts.

26 July 2007

Genoa court clarifies ECJ Montex decision in patent case

In a case involving patents, a court in Genoa has given useful guidance on the interpretation of the European Court of Justice decision in Montex Holdings Ltd v Diesel SpA. Among other things, the Genoa court decision clarifies that the actual destination of goods for the purposes of a preliminary seizure and injunction can be demonstrated by means of documentary evidence, such as the relevant shipping documentation.

11 October 2006

Bringing counterfeiters to justice

In the second part of our article on anti-counterfeiting tools available in the United States, Lynda Zadra-Symes and Nicholas M Zovko of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP in Irvine, and Michael Gray formerly of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, explain how to bring counterfeiters to justice. They look at civil and criminal actions, and discuss the measures available under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

27 September 2006

Pre-litigation anti-counterfeiting toolkit

With counterfeiting still the number one problem for most trademark owners, a review of the tools available to mark owners in the United States in their fight against counterfeiters seems called for. This week Lynda Zadra-Symes and Nicholas M Zovko of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP in Irvine, and Michael Gray formerly of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, review the pre-litigation tools available, in particular in the context of online infringement; in a second part, to be published on October 11, they will consider how to bring counterfeiters to justice.

06 September 2006

The threat of redefining WHOIS

In April 2006 the organization that oversees domain name registration voted to limit the WHOIS database to include only information that is needed to resolve narrow, technical issues. James L Bikoff of Silverberg Goldman & Bikoff explains how adopting a technical goal for the database will likely make enforcing IP rights and preventing internet fraud a more time consuming and expensive process.

26 July 2006

Have the new EU GI regulations gone too far against EU applicants?

Earlier this year the Agriculture Council in Brussels adopted two new regulations on (i) the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs, and (ii) certificates of special character (now to be known only as 'traditional speciality guaranteed'). The new regulations clarify and streamline the rules on GIs and DOs and make amendments required following the decision of a World Trade Organization panel in March 2005. Cheng Foong Tan of McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in London reviews the changes brought by the new regulations and questions their impact on EU companies.

05 July 2006

The lessons from the first '.eu' decisions

By mid June, the Arbitration Centre for '.eu' Disputes had already issued 25 decisions, 11 of which were in favour of the complainants. Based on the time frame of these decisions, complainants should expect that it will take approximately three months from the time the complaint is filed until a decision is made. What conclusions can be drawn from these decisions? Lisbet Andersen of Bech-Bruun in Copenhagen provides some answers.

21 June 2006

Chinese courts continue attack on landlords

In a spate of recent cases, the Chinese courts have provided encouragement to mark owners through their continuing efforts to fight counterfeiting in China - in particular by finding landlords liable for trademark infringement. In a case involving the refilling of genuine bottles bearing well-known marks with inferior liquor, a court in Zhongshan has sentenced the landlord of the premises in which the infringement took place to one year of imprisonment and a fine. Before that, the Beijing Higher People's Court had affirmed the lower court decision in finding the owner of the Silk Street market liable for trademark infringement.

07 June 2006

Ambit of protection for famous marks increased despite defeat for mark owners

The Supreme Court of Canada has released the much anticipated decisions in the BARBIE and VEUVE CLICQUOT trademark appeals. Although neither owner of these famous marks was ultimately successful at having the Supreme Court overturn the lower courts' decisions that there was no likelihood of confusion, the Supreme Court did make it clear that famous marks are generally entitled to a broader scope of protection from would-be interlopers. In doing so, the court clarified the test for determining a likelihood of confusion.

19 April 2006

Anti-counterfeiting strategies in South Korea

Trademark counterfeiting affects a wide range of products in South Korea, with fashion-related items such as apparel, footwear or bags most at risk from copying. Jay Young-June Yang and Sung-Nam Kim of Kim & Chang in Seoul explain what legal recourses are available to mark owners and what strategies work best against counterfeiters in South Korea.

22 March 2006

Evolution of nominative fair use - from Ninth to Third

The Ninth Circuit adopted the nominative fair use doctrine in 1992 for cases where the defendant uses the plaintiff's mark to refer to the plaintiff's products or services. This defence, which may be raised when the products or services referred to are not readily identifiable without use of the trademark, has been slow to spread beyond the Ninth Circuit. However, in October 2005 the Third Circuit expressly recognized nominative fair use as a defence and developed a test that is similar to but distinct from the Ninth Circuit's approach. David S Fleming of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in Chicago outlines the evolution of nominative fair use as a recognized defence to infringement claims.

08 March 2006

Is the TTAB's reluctance to issue citable decisions set to change?

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office issues hundreds of decisions each year but only a handful of those are citable as precedent. Trademark practitioners have expressed frustration at the relative lack of decisions made citable and claim that the old argument that not all parties are equal when it comes to accessing decisions no longer stands now that access to online or electronic versions of decisions has greatly improved, and all decisions from the past 10 years are available on the USPTO's website. Making decisions that are available to all citable would ensure consistency and accountability of the board's decision-making.