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25 April 2008

Supreme Court revokes entrepreneur's licence to use OTTO mark

The Supreme Court has stripped an individual named Wilfro Luminlun of his licence to use the trademark OTTO. Among other things, the court found that Luminlun's use of the mark for goods other than jeans violated the terms and conditions of a licence granted to Luminlun by the owner of the mark.

20 March 2008

Decision in MEKAKO Case has significant implications for brand owners

In Anglo Fabrics (Bolton) Ltd v African Queen Ltd, the High Court has held that African Queen Ltd infringed Anglo Fabrics (Bolton) Ltd's registered trademark MEKAKO and passed off its medicated soap products as those of Anglo Fabrics. Among other things, the decision has significant implications for brand owners acquiring or disposing of their trademarks.

10 March 2008

Yahoo! acquisition: something to cheer about?

Microsoft’s plan to buy Yahoo! raises a number of important branding and trademark considerations in terms of both the minutiae of the deal itself and the implications for the online advertising market

10 March 2008

Trademark managementTrademark warming in Africa

Recent developments mean that trademark owners should make plans both to develop their brands’ presence and to protect their rights in (and from) Africa

29 February 2008

Recordal of licence as registered user agreement is mandatory

The commissioner of patents, designs and trademarks has ordered the cancellation of the mark ZIP on the grounds of non-use, even though the party that filed the petition for cancellation was the former distributor of the trademark owner. The decision seems to establish a rule that recordal of a licence as a registered user agreement is mandatory with respect to the validity of a licensed trademark.

04 February 2008

Application to register mark by co-owner deemed to be in bad faith

In Neumann v Sons of the Desert SL, the High Court has confirmed that where there are co-owners of a trademark, an application to register the mark by only one of the owners without the other's knowledge is deemed to have been made in bad faith. The court held that the attempt to register the mark would deprive the other co-owner of the benefit of registration and use of the mark in New Zealand.

28 January 2008

Danone fails to obtain transfer of WAHAHA trademark

The Hangzhou Arbitration Commission has held that the trademark transfer agreement under which Wahaha Group was to transfer the famous trademark WAHAHA to a group of joint ventures that it had set up with Groupe Danone expired in 1999 when the China Trademark Office refused to record the assignment. This episode represents an important chapter in the battle between Danone and Wahaha over the WAHAHA mark.

16 January 2008

Well-known and famous trademarks

Italian legislation provides a good framework for the protection of well-known marks. However, there has been limited case law so far, leaving some uncertainty as to how to determine when ‘unfair advantage’ or ‘detriment’ to the well-known mark occurs

16 January 2008

Well-known and famous trademarks

Through a combination of local laws, EU legislation and international measures, famous marks are well protected in Benelux. Over the past few years, the courts and the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property have strengthened well-known mark owners’ rights yet further

16 January 2008

Well-known and famous trademarks

Protecting trademarks that enjoy a reputation is a sensitive aspect of trademark law practice and doing so in France is no exception. A review of both the statutes and case law is needed to draw a clear picture of the French approach

16 January 2008

Well-known and famous trademarks

Following an amendment to the law in 2005, procedures allowing rights holders to apply for declarations that their marks are famous or notorious in Mexico finally came into effect in late 2007. Rights holders and their advisers must be aware of the important distinctions between these two types of mark

16 January 2008

Making brand-sponsored entertainment the real thing

Brand owners need new ways to promote their products and brands. Entertainment produced by or on behalf of a brand owner is an increasingly popular option, but one that must be handled carefully to avoid certain pitfalls associated with advertising

16 January 2008

The price of success

Sony Corporation’s history spans six decades. During this time it has proved itself to be one of the most innovative and commercially successful companies around. A centrally controlled IP division helps keep a close tab on the group’s valuable marks, but problems cannot always be avoided

16 January 2008

Trademark managementCoexistence agreements: different approaches

Coexistence agreements play a unique and vital role in trademark practice, with no real equivalent in either the patent or the copyright field. Given the range of circumstances which may give rise to coexistence agreements, careful thought should be given to the drafting of such agreements

16 January 2008

Well-known and famous trademarks

US federal trademark law was amended on October 6 2006 by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act. Rulings under the new law trickled in during 2007, of which the most noteworthy is the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a commercial parody case involving Louis Vuitton