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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”.

16 December 2016

Alibaba plays up its big data anti-counterfeiting credentials; launches alliance to fight fakes “for the entire industry”

Chinese online marketplace behemoth Alibaba – in collaboration with law enforcement agency partners – has revealed the results on its latest crackdown on offline counterfeiting operations. Leveraging the big data technology that Alibaba has at its fingertips, the figures appear to be impressive – with 417 counterfeit product rackets halted and 332 suspects arrested – but brand owners will be weary of rejoicing until they see tangible results for themselves.

01 December 2016

Section 45 clears register of deadwood

Following the appeal of a registrar's decision, the Federal Court has restored the intention of Section 45 proceedings by stating that these are intended to be summary in nature as a means to clear deadwood from the register, not an opportunity for evidentiary overkill.

30 November 2016

Specsavers secures SHOULD’VE trademark registration; hits out at inaccurate media coverage

Eyewear giant Specsavers has successfully secured registered trademark protection on the term SHOULD’VE, a shortened version of its well-known tagline ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’. The initial application at the UK Intellectual Property Office spurred negative media reaction earlier this year, with reports claiming that it demonstrates the overreach of trademark law. However, in exclusive comments to World Trademark Review, Antony Douglass, principal IP counsel at Specsavers, has hit out at the “inaccurate commentary” surrounding the mark.

24 November 2016

Brand owners are losing the battle against typosquatters; study highlights tactics that could be effective

New research has found that typosquatters are becoming increasingly adept at securing the most valuable brand-related domains, with the authors suggesting that many brands “do not know which domains they should target for reclaim”.

14 November 2016

$18 billion in sales makes for Alibaba’s biggest-ever Singles Day – but what cut is going to counterfeiters?

The Chinese celebration of Singles Day each November 11 has become one of the world’s largest shopping events – and has arguably turned into the most important day in the calendar for many of the world’s top brand owners. But as e-commerce giant Alibaba reports record Singles Day turnover for 2016, as well as greater-than-ever buy-in from foreign brands, the true extent of trademark infringement and counterfeit trade taking place during the event remains to be seen.

10 November 2016

YUPPIECHEF fails to establish infringement

One of South Africa’s most successful and established online retailers, Yuppiechef, recently failed in the Supreme Court of Appeal to establish trademark infringement or passing off against a rival online retailer based on its trademark YUPPIECHEF.