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03 December 2008

Political challenges for trademarks in South Africa

With an election promised next year, the complex debate surrounding the famous springbok emblem still in the news and now a dispute over the name of a political party, WTR spoke to some of South Africa's leading trademark practitioners to assess the Rainbow Nation's IP policies – and what the future could hold.

01 December 2008

Chinese practitioners rally against Baidu

A consortium of lawyers in China looks set to file a mass complaint against the country's leading search engine, Baidu, based on the website's keyword-selling policy.

27 November 2008

ECJ delivers judgment in Intel v CPM

The ECJ has finally delivered its judgment in Intel Corporation Inc v CPM United Kingdom Limited, ruling that Intel’s reputation alone is not enough to cancel CPM’s mark.

26 November 2008

Scrabulous: not yet game over

The Scrabulous Case is not over. Mattel may have won an injunction in India to stop the Agarwalla brothers’ infringing use of the SCRABBLE mark but the toy company has now launched an appeal against the copyright ruling. Practitioners expect it to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

25 November 2008

Canada’s national hockey logo banned from Olympics

The Canadian ice hockey team may be forbidden from using its iconic maple leaf logo at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics under a previously dormant International Olympics Committee rule.

21 November 2008

Obama’s proposed attorney general good news for IP rights holders

Eric J Holder, a respected lawyer who recognizes the importance of intellectual property, has accepted the role of attorney general in Barack Obama's incoming government, according to US television network NBC.

12 November 2008

Debate sparked by new European anti-counterfeiting plan

As the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in the European Union continues, the European Council has adopted a new resolution, welcomed by the European Commission, promising a more proactive approach. But brand owners and practitioners are questioning whether the new tactics have any teeth – and are hinting that political problems may ensue.

04 November 2008

Hanoi Anti-counterfeit and Trademark Protection Association launched

Prompted by rampant counterfeiting and a number of recent cases that resulted in death or serious illness, the Hanoi Anti-counterfeit and Trademark Protection Association has been launched to nationwide press coverage. The organization's activities aim to protect both consumers and trademark owners.

22 October 2008

Mixed welcome for the new PRO-IP Act

Brand owners celebrated last week when President Bush signed in new laws to enforce IP rights and fight counterfeiting. It will take time before the new legislation is implemented in full, but meanwhile there remain some doubts over the extent of the power it grants law enforcement – and whether or not some sections are even constitutional.

07 October 2008

Ernst & Young locked in latest ENTREPRENEUR dispute

When Ernst & Young asked Entrepreneur magazine to stop using the former's ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR mark, the media company filed for declaratory relief. The accountancy firm counter-filed, alleging infringement. The parties are currently negotiating but last week's fifth time extension shows that the latest legal action involving Entrepreneur magazine's fight to protect its rights in the ENTREPRENEUR mark is proving difficult to settle.

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.

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.

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.

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.