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26 November 2008

Operational Guidelines for IP Rights Licensing released in Shenzhen

The Operational Guidelines for Intellectual Property Rights Licensing in Shenzhen, the first official guide on IP rights licensing, have been issued by the Shenzhen Municipal Intellectual Property Office. Among other things, the guidelines aim to promote the efficient utilization of IP rights and enhance the profitability of IP assets.

18 September 2008

Wahaha gets the last laugh - for now

In the latest instalment of the battle between Danone Group and Wahaha Group over the WAHAHA trademark in China, the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court has upheld a decision of the Hangzhou Arbitration Commission in which the latter had ruled that Wahaha was the owner of the WAHAHA trademark.

08 July 2008

Queen tribute case highlights use of company law remedies in IP disputes

In Showtime Management Australia Pty Ltd v Showtime Presents Pty Ltd, the New South Wales Supreme Court has granted an interlocutory injunction requiring the repatriation to Australia of the profits of Queen tribute concerts, to be held securely pending the outcome of the proceedings. The case highlighted the use of Corporations Act remedies in an IP dispute.

07 July 2008

Licensors must not frustrate licensees' use of trademark

In JLCS Pty Ltd v Squires Loft City Steakhouse Pty Ltd, the Federal Court has considered the licensors' obligation not to frustrate the licensees' use of a trademark. Among other things, the court held that the licensors had an obligation not to use the name Squire's Loft in a location so proximate to the licensees' restaurant that it would result in a significant adverse effect on the goodwill of the restaurant.

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.

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.

30 November 2007

Leave to appeal refused in latest round of STOLICHNAYA dispute

In the latest round of proceedings concerning the ownership of the trademarks STOLI and STOLICHNAYA, the High Court of Australia has refused leave to appeal against a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court holding that the order for discovery made by the trial judge against the Russian Federation was wrong in principle and inconsistent with the international principles of comity.

05 October 2007

Assignee's fraudulent trademark registrations cancelled

In Superior Commercial Enterprises Inc v Kunnan Enterprises Inc, the Court of Appeals has declared that Superior Commercial Enterprises did not lawfully own the trademarks KENNEX and PRO-KENNEX, as ownership by way of assignment was fraudulently obtained. Superior had failed to disclose that it was a mere distributor of the assignor's products in its application for registration of the trademarks.

20 September 2007

Former distributor has no joy in KICKAPOO infringement claim

The Malaysian Court of Appeal has discharged an injunction granted to the former distributor of the Kickapoo carbonated drink against the drink's current distributor. The court held that as the former distributor is not the mark owner, it does not have a proprietary interest in the mark and thus its remedies lies in contract rather than trademark law.

16 July 2007

Issues on recovery of sales tax on trademark royalties clarified

The case of GlaxoSmithKline Asia P Ltd v Assessing Authority, Special Zone Trade and Tax Department, is part of a recent trend of fiscal actions in which the Indian courts are required to examine trademark issues. In the case at hand, the Delhi High Court has clarified the law in relation to the recovery of sales tax on trademark royalties.

24 April 2007

Restaurant name dispute resolved by IP & IT Court

The Intellectual Property and International Trade Court has issued a decision clarifying the ownership of a trade name following the sale of a restaurant business. Rejecting a claim that ownership of the trade name had not transferred at the time of sale, the court held that the new owners had acted in good faith in their use of the name.

05 March 2007

Licences of pending trademark applications may now be recorded

The Singapore Parliament has passed the Trademarks Amendment Act, which introduces changes in respect of the recordation of transactions. Under the Trademarks Act 1998, only transactions relating to registered trademarks were recordable. The amendment act provides that licences, assignments and security interests in respect of an application for a trademark may also be recorded.

06 February 2007

ESSO unregistered licensing agreement invalid

The Thai Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court decision that a licensing agreement between Esso and a local petrol station operator, which was part of a broader agreement, was invalid because it had not been registered with the trademark registrar. This highlights the importance of complying with the Trademark Act requirements.

27 June 2006

Delhi High Court takes a strict stand on licences

The Delhi High Court has issued a ruling clarifying that the rights of a registered proprietor take priority over those of other parties, and that invading those rights is tantamount to infringement. The decision, which arose out of a licensor-licensee relationship sends a strong message to licensees to respect contractual arrangements.