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13 July 2016

ECJ intermediary decision is a victory for brand owner collaboration; REACT reveals more to come

Last week, the European Court of Justice confirmed that operators of physical marketplaces could be held liable for the sale of counterfeit and other illicit goods by market traders. While deemed a significant win for IP owners, the decision also demonstrates the effectiveness of joint-party legal actions – with experts telling World Trademark Review that they strongly encourage more precedent-setting collaborations.

06 July 2016

New Balance reveals next move after Chinese court blow

US sports shoes maker New Balance has expressed disappointment with a Chinese court’s decision over ownership of the BAI LUN and XIN BAI LUN (新百伦) marks, with New Balance ordered to pay Rmb5 million in damages. While a blow, the company has told World Trademark Review that it will invite consumers to help it create a new Chinese trademark as part of its branding strategy.

04 July 2016

Opposition against only some of the products and services

In El Cortes Ingles v European Union Intellectual Property Office the EU General Court upheld the decision by the Board of Appeal to reject El Cortes Ingles’ opposition to the mark SUPECO. The issue considered in the decision was new as the opposition was made against only some of the products and services.

30 June 2016

SIMPLY and SIMPLY MARKET held to be descriptive terms

In an April 14 2016 decision a French court of first instance held that Auchan’s Community Trademarks SIMPLY and SIMPLY MARKET were descriptive terms and therefore invalid and rejected Auchan’s unfair competition claim against Marks & Spencer. It also clarified the scope of counterclaims for invalidity.

20 June 2016

BIG success for shopping mall owner in interim relief case

In Brill Outlet Eilat Ltd v Big Shopping Centres Limited Partnership Justice Solberg of the Supreme Court affirmed interim relief granted by the district court to the owner of the mark BIG, used and registered for shopping malls, against the recently commenced use of the name Big Outlet for a large fashion outlet store.

17 June 2016

BLACK BARK mark entitled to registration

In Re DLMW-BBQ LLC the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has held in a non-precedential decision that the mark BLACK BARK for restaurant services was entitled to registration and reversed the examining attorney’s refusal based on the prior registration of BLACK BARK BRISKET for “meat; prepared meat”.

16 June 2016

IPTO refuses registration of the word mark BOOKING.COM

In an application to register Trademark 244245 in the name of Booking.com BV, the Israeli Patent and Trademark Office refused registration of the word mark BOOKING.COM, holding that the mark was generic and directly described the applicant’s services, and therefore could not acquire distinctiveness.

01 June 2016

Dick Smith’s digital resurrection and lessons for those buying trademarks out of bankruptcy

After vanishing from shopping precincts in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month due to bankruptcy, consumer electronics retailer Dick Smith has been reborn as an online-only store thanks to the successful sale of its IP assets. The fall and rise of this household-name brand shows that the open market can present rich opportunities for both those looking to monetise trademark rights and those looking to acquire proven brands. However, there are also significant risks.

31 May 2016

Surprising trademark registration granted for purple and orange

In Discount Drugstores Pty Ltd v Registrar of Trademarks Discount Drugstores has succeeded in its appeal to the Federal Court of Australia concerning the registrability of the colours purple and orange in relation to pharmacy services. The case is unusual both in the way it was decided and the broad scope of protection afforded to the company.

20 April 2016

Supreme Court declares Verkkokauppa.com mark to be well known and worthy of protection

In Verkkokauppa.com v Veneilijänverkkokauppa.com the Supreme Court has quashed two lower-court decisions, ruling in favour of the owner of Finnish trademark Verkkokauppa.com. The action was based on the 2004 registered word trademark covering "retail and e-commerce" in Class 35.

12 April 2016

Closeness of products important factor in establishing link in Article 8(5) cases

The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market Opposition Division has upheld an opposition that there was a risk that The Body Shop International's use of the term SPA WISDOM would take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the Benelux trademark SPA. Its decision was confirmed by the Fourth Board of Appeal.

12 April 2016

After IKEA trademark blow, Indonesia offers brand owner boon with licence recordal regime

The Indonesian Supreme Court hit the headlines back in February for upholding a decision to strip Swedish retailer Ikea of several trademarks after it fell foul of non-use rules. While the event will likely have exacerbated brand owners’ apprehensions about doing business in the country, the introduction of new regulations addressing the recording of licence agreements could boost their confidence in the trademark system

08 April 2016

Hudson Bay’s iconic multi-stripe mark found inherently distinctive by OHIM

A recent decision provides further support to the case law maintaining that a trademark can perform a distinctive function while also being perceived by consumers as a decorative element.