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08 July 2003

Law enforcement agencies shatter fake Swarovski cartel

The Russian law enforcement agencies have raided a chandelier plant, terminating the production of counterfeit Swarovski products. The plant was being run by an underground cartel that employed about 40 workers who made chandeliers with poor-quality metal and Turkish crystals, and then branded them with the famous SWAROVSKI trademark.

07 July 2003

Roller Derby iced by Federal Court

In Bauer Nike Hockey Inc v Roller Derby Skate Corporation, the Federal Court of Canada has granted the plaintiff summary judgment to enforce a trademark infringement settlement the company had reached with the two defendants, Tour Hockey and Roller Derby, essentially holding that a deal is a deal.

03 July 2003

Budvar chalks up another victory against Anheuser-Busch

Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar has registered another victory - this time in Romania - against US brewer Anheuser-Busch. The Trademarks Examination Committee refused Anheuser's trademark application to register the words 'American Bud' on the grounds that Budvar already has international trademark rights in BUD.

01 July 2003

Trademark Act offers protection for services provided outside the United States

In a split decision, the Fourth Circuit has upheld a district court's summary judgment determination that use of the mark CASINO DE MONTE CARLO by a foreign company in advertisements in the United States for services rendered to US citizens abroad can give rise to service mark protection in the United States.

01 July 2003

Free trade agreement will strengthen trademark protection

The Singapore government has signed a free trade agreement with the United States that will have far-reaching effects on the protection of trademark rights when it comes into force early next year. It will strengthen existing protection levels as well as create new obligations in relation to trademark treaties, trademark registrability and domain names.

27 June 2003

Fate of PRUMERICA not assured by decision of French court

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a prior decision of a French court allowing the registration of Prudential Assurance Company of America's PRUMERICA mark in France does not prevent Prudential Assurance Co Ltd from pursuing a claim in the UK courts that PRUMERICA infringes its PRU and PRUDENTIAL Community and UK trademark registrations.

26 June 2003

Cartier clocks up massive win against counterfeiters

In Cartier International v Liu, a US district court has ordered five individuals to pay the plaintiff treble damages for contempt of an earlier, preliminary injunction which had instructed them to cease dealing in counterfeit merchandise. The damage award of $4.8 million is one of the largest contempt judgments ever issued in a case of this nature.

26 June 2003

Spring Fresh not fresh enough, says tribunal

In Reckitt Benckiser (Pty) Ltd v Unilever SA (Pty) Ltd, the Advertising Industry Tribunal of the Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed Reckitt Benckiser's complaint against three separate companies for their use of the term 'Spring Fresh'. The tribunal held that Spring Fresh is a widely-used generic term that has not become a brand or sub-brand in its own right.

25 June 2003

adidas wins case against three-stripe mark infringer

The Athens Court of First Instance has granted injunctive relief to adidas-Salomon AG against a local company selling shoes adorned with parallel stripes. The court found that the use of stripes similar to the well-known adidas mark was detrimental to adidas in terms of lost sales and tarnished reputation.

24 June 2003

Alfred Dunhill smokes out trademark infringement

The Delhi High Court has issued a decision in favour of Alfred Dunhill Ltd, the owner of the famous DUNHILL mark. The court ordered Mumbai-based investment company Dunhill Securities Ltd to refrain from using 'Dunhill' as part of its corporate name, and on its visiting cards, invoices and advertising banners.

24 June 2003

Appellate court writes off PIERRE CARDIN damages calculation

The Buenos Aires Chamber of Appeal has increased the damages to be paid to rights owner Sassoon & Cia to compensate for the infringing use of its PIERRE CARDIN mark from Ps100,000 to Ps150,000. The court ruled that the amount should be a percentage of the infringing items' total sales and not a multiplication of a single month's record sales.

23 June 2003

Crown to prove civil infringement before criminal offences

In Regina v Johnstone, the House of Lords has ruled that the prosecution has to prove that the use of a sign is a civil infringement under the UK Trademarks Act 1994 before proving criminal offences under the act. In finding that using performers' names on illegal CDs does not amount to trademark use, the court also departs from the ECJ's conclusion in Arsenal.

23 June 2003

Grey-market seller had unfair advantage with 'no-fleas.com'

In Bayer Corporation v Custom School Frames LLC, a US district court in Louisiana has issued a strong decision for trademark owners, ordering (i) an injunction that prohibits the defendant from selling the plaintiff's foreign-made flea control products in the United States, and (ii) the transfer of 'no-fleas.com' to the plaintiff.

20 June 2003

Appeals court must reconsider identical marks case

The German Supreme Court has reversed a lower court ruling that the use of BIG BERTHA in relation to clothing associated with golf does not infringe or dilute the same mark for golf clubs and bags. The court remanded the case for the lower court to consider all the circumstances in accordance with the ECJ's case law on identical marks.

19 June 2003

JÄGARBRÄNNVIN brand shot down for being confusingly similar

The Swedish Supreme Court has ruled in Mast-Jägermeister Aktiengesellschaft v V & S Vin & Sprit Aktiebolag that the defendant's use of the mark JÄGARBRÄNNVIN for schnapps infringed the plaintiff's rights in the marks JÄGER and JÄGERMEISTER for liquor that is consumed as shots, thereby reversing two lower court decisions.