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04 February 2003

Brewer banned from naming product 'Champagnebier'

Applying Belgian law on geographical indications and fair trade practices, the Nivelles Commercial Court has ordered beer producer SA de Landtsheer to cease using the word 'champagne' in relation to its new product, as well as the slogan 'the beer world's answer to Veuve Cliquot'.

03 February 2003

Implementation of Trademarks Ordinance put on hold

The implementation of the new Trademarks Ordinance has been delayed. The set-back is due to a request by trademark law practitioners that the Legislative Council Panel on Commerce and Industry review the ordinance's rule that decisions by the Trademark Registry be appealed within nine months.

03 February 2003

Coexistence allowed, but limited, for similar marks in same class

In Microsules y Bernabo SA v Syncro Argentina SAQUIF, the Federal Court of Appeal in Buenos Aires has held that two confusingly similar trademarks for the same class of goods may coexist if the products are not sold in the same places.

31 January 2003

K2 Advisors prevents rival use of K2 trademark

In K2 Advisors LLC v K2 Volatility Fund LP, a US district court has ruled that the defendant's use of the term 'K2' infringed the plaintiff's rights in the trademark K2. The court held this to be the case even though the defendant had used the term in a stylized form.

31 January 2003

Antitrust authority refuses to rule on trademark dispute

The Central Preventive Commission has outlined new stricter criteria to delineate unfair competition claims from trademark infringement claims, thereby limiting antitrust authorities' jurisdiction in cases involving trademark infringement.

30 January 2003

EVISA mark dilutes VISA, rules court

The US District Court of Nevada has granted a permanent injunction to Visa International preventing JSL Corporation from using or registering the trademark EVISA and from using the domain name 'evisa.com'. The court held that JSL's use of the mark and domain name was in contravention of the US Federal Trademark Dilution Act.

29 January 2003

Argentine courts implement TRIPs-approved temporary injunctions

Two recent cases - one involving the French company L'Oréal, the other involving US company American Home Products Corporation - indicate that the Argentine courts are rigorously applying the provisional measures provided by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

29 January 2003

New Spanish Trademark Law comes into force

New trademark legislation has come into force in Spain, replacing the Trademark Law of 1988. The new law takes into account various international agreements and EU trademark regulations, most notably the Community Trademark Directive.

28 January 2003

Differences in spelling may prevent confusion

In an incongruous decision, the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg has ruled that the use of the domain name 'public-com.de' and related email address root '@public-com.de' does not infringe rights in the registered trademark and trade name PUBLIKOM because internet users are able to recognize differences in spelling.

27 January 2003

Tobacco Products Directive does not infringe trademark rights

Following the opinion of Advocate General Geelhoed, the European Court of Justice has held that the Tobacco Products Directive, which prohibits the use of marks such as 'mild' or 'light' in connection with tobacco products, does not infringe the trademark rights of tobacco companies.

27 January 2003

Levi's secret marks remain a secret, rules court

The High Court of the Canton Zurich has affirmed the conviction of a wholesaler for selling fake Levi's jeans. The court upheld the first-instance ruling allowing Levi's to conceal from the court and the defendant the details of secret marks found only on genuine products.

24 January 2003

Amended law protects trademark owners against counterfeiters

The Czech government has amended its intellectual property law in order to provide trademark owners with better protection against imports of counterfeit goods. The amended law allows customs authorities to determine whether goods are counterfeit and, in undisputed cases, have the goods destroyed.

23 January 2003

Dutch courts rule 'INTERMEDIAIR' marks are distinctive

In Intermediair Uitzendbureau BV v VNU Business Publications BV, the Court of Appeals for Arnhem has refused to invalidate trademarks registered by the defendant that include the word 'intermediair' (meaning intermediary). The court held that although the word is descriptive, VNU's trademarks had become well known and distinctive through use.

22 January 2003

Commission recognizes unfair trade practice in parallel import case

The Korean Trade Commission has ruled that the importation and sale of genuine computer games infringed the rights of an exclusive trademark licensee under the new Unfair Trade Practices Act. The decision provides guidance for future parallel import cases in Korea, particularly those involving commission proceedings.

21 January 2003

Canada considers protecting European GIs for wines and spirits

Negotiations between Canada and the European Union may result in a bilateral agreement whereby Canada would remove 22 wine names and two spirit names from the lists of products referred to as 'generic' under the Canadian Trademarks Act. This would mean that the names could be registered - and therefore protected - as geographical indications in Canada.