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27 October 2015

Formula One Licensing fails to prevent registration of F1H20 mark

In Formula One Licensing BV v Idea Marketing SA, the High Court has dismissed Formula One Licensing BV’s case on all grounds and allowed Idea Marketing SA’s application for the mark F1H20 to proceed to registration. Among other things, the court held that there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that Formula One Licensing had acquired goodwill in the F1 mark prior to the date of application of the F1H20 mark.

14 October 2015

Court of Appeal upholds decision to invalidate MANCHESTER cigarette mark

In Global Tobacco Manufacturers v Al Mahamid, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against the order of the High Court to invalidate the figurative mark MANCHESTER for cigarettes based on a likelihood of confusion with the earlier figurative mark MANCHESTER, which also covered cigarettes. Among other things, the Court of Appeal held that actual confusion is not a necessary element of the cause of action.

15 September 2015

Owner of ANGRY BIRDS fails to prevent registration of ANGRY BITE for Class 30 goods

In Rovio Entertainment Ltd v Kimanis Food Industries Sdn Bhd, the High Court has upheld a decision of the registrar in which the latter had dismissed an opposition by Rovio, the owner of the ANGRY BIRDS mark, against the registration of the figurative mark ANGRY BITE in Class 30. One of the issues before the court was whether two earlier registered marks may be combined into a composite whole for the purposes of comparison with the opposed mark.

22 July 2015

Converse fails to prevent registration of star device mark for shoes

The Intellectual Property Office has dismissed Converse Inc’s opposition to the registration of the mark CLASSIC JAZZ STAR (and star device) in Class 25. Among other things, the office found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the mark applied for and Converse’s mark CONVERSE ALL STAR (and star device).

22 June 2015

High Court: no likelihood of confusion between HAN'S and HAN

In Han’s (F&B) Pte Ltd v Gusttimo World Pte Ltd, the High Court has dismissed an action for trademark infringement and passing off brought by the owner of a well-known café chain called Han’s against the owner of a high-end Japanese restaurant named HAN Cuisine of Naniwa. The court also dismissed the defendant’s counterclaims that the plaintiff’s marks were invalid and that the plaintiff had made groundless threats of infringement proceedings.

18 June 2015

Bali's KU DE TA beach club finally wins back its name

A consortium of Indonesian and foreign entrepreneurs that had established an iconic Bali beach club concept and ended up suing in the Singapore courts have won on appeal. Some of the partners had granted a spurious licence for the brand, leading to the establishment of a rival club of the same name in Singapore.

30 April 2015

Plaintiff obtains cancellation of competitor’s mark, but fails to establish goodwill

In Al Mahamid v Global Tobacco Manufacturers (International) Sdn Bhd, the High Court has held that a trademark for cigarettes was invalid on the ground that it was similar to an earlier mark registered for identical goods. An interesting aspect of the decision was the court's comments in relation to passing off, as there is some concern that the court may have raised the test for proving goodwill to a level that is unduly onerous for potential plaintiffs.

11 February 2015

Health supplements company invalidates tea shop chain's mark based on passing off

Health supplements company Redsun Singapore Pte Ltd, the owner of the trademark RED SUN in Class 5, has successfully obtained the invalidation of the mark RED SUN TEA SHOP in Class 30 based on passing off. Among other things, the registrar found that Redsun’s goodwill in the RED SUN mark extended to tea products.

05 February 2015

Nestlé's two and four-finger Kit Kat shape marks held to be invalid

In Société des Produits Nestlé SA v Petra Foods Ltd, the High Court has held that Nestlé’s trademark registrations for the shape of its two and four-finger Kit Kat bars were invalid. Among other things, the court found that the average consumer would not assume that the shapes indicated trade origin without being educated that they were of trademark significance.

24 November 2014

Lower degree of protection for trademarks consisting of common names

In Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman Limited v Taylors Wines Pty Ltd, the IPOS has dismissed an opposition against the registration of two TAYLORS WAKEFIELD marks for wines in Class 33, finding that there was no likelihood of confusion with the earlier mark TAYLOR'S for identical goods. The decision reiterates the principle that trademarks consisting of common names and/or words of low distinctiveness are conferred a lower degree of protection.

15 September 2014

Unprecedented amount of statutory damages for trademark infringement awarded

In Converse Inc v Ramchandani, the High Court has awarded Converse an unprecedented sum of S$100,000 - the maximum amount of statutory damages under Section 31(5) of the Trademarks Act - for infringement of its CONVERSE mark. There seems to be an inherent tension in the decision: on the one hand, it requires plaintiffs to adduce sufficient evidence of their loss, while on the other, it accepts that plaintiffs may be unable to provide such evidence.

12 June 2014

New Geographical Indications Act passed by Parliament

The Geographical Indications Act has been passed by Parliament. The new act will repeal and re-enact with amendments the existing act, and amendments will be made to the Trademarks Act. The new act will introduce the following features into the GI regime: a registration system; the extension of the enhanced level of protection currently available only for wine and spirits to all registered GIs; and access to enhanced border enforcement measures for owners of registered GIs.

11 April 2014

Registrar allows cross-examination of witness in cancellation proceedings

In PT Eigerindo Multi Produk Industri v Sports Connection Pte Ltd, the registrar has deviated from the default rule and allowed an application for cross-examination of the applicant's witness in cancellation proceedings. The registrar held that, in view of the serious nature of the applicant’s bad-faith claim, the prejudice to the mark owner justified the exercise of her discretion to allow the cross-examination of the applicant’s deponent.

28 March 2014

Good-faith mistake may not be sufficient for registrar to grant extension of time

In V Hotel Pte Ltd v Jelco Properties Ltd, the registrar has rejected a request for restoration of a trademark application and extension of time to file evidence in opposition proceedings. The registrar held that a good-faith mistake, per se, may not be sufficient for the registrar to exercise his discretion to grant an extension of time. There must be some extenuating circumstances to explain the oversight or delay.

27 March 2014

How Singapore’s PTO is harnessing art to take pro-IP message to the masses

This week World Trademark Review was the first media outlet to receive a sneak preview of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s (IPOS) new service centre, which opens next month and is designed to serve both IP novices and experts. To attract the former, it has placed an emphasis on artistic creation and will use art installations, band performances and photography exhibits to entice the public to learn more.