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04 September 2008

Speculation continues as ACTA meeting in Washington fails to reach agreement

The countries negotiating the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement met at the end of July in Washington DC, but nothing tangible appears to have come out of the meeting. The fact that negotiators failed to agree on some basic aspects of border measures does not bode well for the negotiations of other chapters, which are arguably more controversial.

02 September 2008

Fair use and sufficient care

Portrait rights in China are not absolute: fair use of a personality's image is allowed, as long as the person making the unauthorized use exercises care in the manner in which the portrait is displayed.

31 July 2008

Design and trade dress protection in Mexico

Mexican law provides protection to designs used as trade dress for both products and services by virtue of industrial design, copyright, trademark or unfair competition law.

31 July 2008

The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement: smoke without fire?

The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement is causing consternation in cyberspace, with civil libertarians claiming that it will give the content industry carte blanche to infringe upon basic freedoms and individual privacy. Others suggest it is simply a necessary measure to curb large-scale international trademark fraud and piracy. So which is it? The negotiators aren't talking, so we garnered a few expert opinions.

29 July 2008

Design and trade dress in Italy

While trade dress is not recognized as such by Italian law, the appearance of a product may be protected under trademark law, model and design law, copyright law and unfair competition law.

24 July 2008

Beware the infiltration of supply chains, warns OECD report

Should brand owners and their counsel be interested in the release of yet another report on the scale of counterfeiting and piracy? Maybe – if that report highlights something which may have escaped the notice of those outside the trademark community – namely, that legitimate supply chains are increasingly infiltrated by counterfeit goods.

24 July 2008

Development of trade dress law in India

Trade dress as a source indicator is especially important in a country such as India where a large section of the population is illiterate or semi-literate. Recent case law has addressed some crucial issues, but divisions remain.

22 July 2008

Design and trade dress in Germany

As in most jurisdictions, the appearance of a product may be protected in Germany under various IP laws and unfair competition law. The courts, in particular the Supreme Court, have developed extensive case law in relation to trade dress protection.

22 July 2008

American Airlines and Google settle AdWords dispute

Google Inc and American Airlines settled their dispute over the search engine's controversial AdWords programme late last week. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but early indications suggest that Google has made no major concessions. The decision to settle is perhaps something of a surprise, as American Airlines had previously indicated that it had the desire and resources to pursue the case all the way.

17 July 2008

Aspects of EU protection for designs and trade dress

Protection for designs and trade dress in the European Union is possible through various means. This article looks at the key systems available and highlights the benefits of each.

15 July 2008

Protecting trade dress through unfair competition law

Trade dress can be registered in China as trademarks or design patents. It is more commonly protected under the Anti-unfair Competition Law. However, enforcing rights under that statute may prove to be a higher hurdle to negotiate than enforcing registered rights as it requires evidence that the trade dress is unique and applies to a famous commodity.

10 July 2008

Controversial rulings give eBay hope on appeal

As reported by World Trademark Report, the Paris Commercial Court has released rulings on three actions involving eBay and the LVMH group, and has ordered eBay to pay a total of almost €40 million in damages. The decisions have sparked a media frenzy, with some claiming that eBay is now likely to face a flood of lawsuits; however, a closer look at the rulings reveals that eBay has a number of strong grounds for appeal.

26 June 2008

Celebrating a lifetime in trademark law

World Trademark Report's print companion magazine, World Trademark Review, announced the winners of its 2008 Industry Awards for in-house counsel in Berlin in May, with ExxonMobil's Dee Ann Weldon-Wilson receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. In this interview she explains how she became one of the leading figures in the trademark community, and outlines her hopes for the future of the industry and the law.

12 June 2008

Trademark law still relevant to comparative advertising, says ECJ

The ECJ has issued its decision in the closely-watched O2 Case. Joel Smith, a partner in the IP practice of Herbert Smith in London, explains that the court has refused to follow the opinion of the Advocate General and has held that comparative advertising should be assessed under EU trademark law as well as the Comparative Advertising Directive.

29 May 2008

Google facing challenge to new AdWords policy

Google is under fire from brand owners following its decision to amend its policy on keyword advertising in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In essence, Google now allows third parties to pay for their adverts to be triggered when a user types in a rival's trademark. is among those considering legal action, and World Trademark Report spoke to the company's chief executive and others in the industry to find out more.