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26 July 2017

Positive news for luxury brands as advocate general paves way for tighter control of online distribution

In an opinion on a case before the European Court of Justice, Advocate General Wahl has stated that a supplier of luxury goods may prohibit authorised retailers from selling its products on third-party platforms.

24 July 2017

Counterfeit buyers increasingly using Chinese agents that promote sending fakes through “sensitive shipping lines”

Evidence suggests that purchasers of counterfeit goods are increasingly using buying agents in China to send their products to them internationally. Worryingly, some of these agents are proactively promoting their ability to get replica products through customs – with one promising that they will be sent via “sensitive shipping lines”.

24 July 2017

Penalty against Overstock’s false advertising affirmed on appeal

The California Court of Appeal has upheld the trial court’s ruling in the 2013 case The People v Overstock, in which the district attorney offices of a number of counties in California alleged unfair business practices and false advertising by Overstock.Com, Inc. The claims stemmed from Overstock’s comparative price advertising on its website product pages.

13 July 2017

‘Michaeled’ bags, ‘Okly’ sunglasses; how counterfeiters are using "brand codewords" to get around marketplace filters

Sellers of counterfeits and imitation products on various online marketplaces are adopting brand-based keywords to avoid being caught by search filters implemented to identify and remove listings for fake goods. While the use of keywords is an extra hurdle that brand owners must overcome when enforcing against counterfeits, it also demonstrates the extra effort that sellers must now go to due to additional rights protection mechanisms being implemented by e-commerce platforms.

10 July 2017

Declaration of invalidation fails over BIG BOX mark

Claims that the the mark BIG BOX should be declared invalid ab initio under Sections 7(1)(b) (c) and (d) of the Trademarks Act have failed, after the IP adjudicator considered that the applicant had not succeeded in satisfying the burden of establishing one of the three grounds of invalidation.

03 July 2017

Invalidity on the basis of earlier unregistered marks

In Morton’s of Chicago Inc v EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) the EU General Court has upheld a decision of the EUIPO First Board of Appeal declaring an EU figurative trademark invalid based on earlier non-registered trademarks.

30 June 2017

A HAUS with a view

In a recent case before the Delhi High Court, a restaurant was restrained from using the plaintiff’s mark HAUS in relation to its food delivery business. The court concluded that there was a strong likelihood that customers ordering from the defendant’s CURRY HAUS outlet would believe it to be an extension or elaboration of the plaintiff’s delivery outlets.

28 June 2017

Nike’s reported partnership with Amazon has both economic and anti-counterfeiting implications

It has been reported that Nike is preparing to sell products directly through for the first time, utilising the latter’s new brand registry offering. As well as representing a potential commercial win for both companies, the move could highlight the benefits of the e-commerce giant’s new programme for brands fighting the spectre of counterfeit goods on the platform.

10 May 2017 becomes first Chinese marketplace to join AAFA; promises "cooperation with international fashion brands"

One of the largest online marketplaces in China,, has signed up to the American Apparel & Footwear Association with a pledge to partner with international fashion brands “on issues surrounding IP protection”. While it celebrates being the first Chinese e-commerce company to become a certified member of the association, some may see parallels between this move and Alibaba’s brief membership of the International Anti-counterfeiting Coalition – which, nearly a year ago to the day, resulted in considerable kickback from members.

01 May 2017

Battle of Argos: Domain name infringement

There a number of important takeaways from the latest domain name conflict in the United Kingdom, including the importance of registering trademarks as domain names at the earliest opportunity

27 January 2017

Supreme Court affirms that shop decorations and trade dress are protected under unfair competition law

The Supreme Court has affirmed a high court decision in which the latter had held that a bakery shop's general appearance and other trade dress elements were protected under the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secrets Act. This case is noteworthy as it is the first time that the Supreme Court has specifically recognised the protection of such rights in shop interior and outdoor decorations under the law.

13 January 2017

High Court issues useful guidance on trademark infringement and passing off in keyword advertising

The High Court has issued useful guidance on the issue of trademark infringement and passing off in the context of keyword advertising, in a case concerning two bathroom retailers. The case reiterates that keyword advertising is not inherently objectionable from a trademark perspective and that the question is whether the advert is causing confusion.

11 January 2017

PRET A MANGER held to be highly distinctive

The General Court has upheld the decision to reject an application for the mark PRET A DINER following opposition by Pret A Manger. The court found that the appeal lacked substantive arguments and the decision demonstrates that a high degree of distinctiveness and reputation will satisfy assessment purposes where there is a low degree of similarity between marks.

01 January 2017

Different yet the same? Intermediary liability in physical and online markets

The issue of intermediary liability is a hot topic, particularly in the online environment, with decisions in Tommy Hilfiger and Tobias Mc Fadden only intensifying the debate

22 December 2016

Taobao returns to USTR's Notorious Markets list; Alibaba CEO speaks of "disappointing moment for all of us"

After a four year absence, an Alibaba Group platform has re-appeared on the annual Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets list – and its CEO subsequently sent a strongly-worded email to staff, seen by World Trademark Review, urging stakeholders to continue undeterred in the “all-out war against counterfeits”.