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12 February 2004

Fake Gucci bags too good to recall

In the split decision of Gucci America Inc v Daffy's Inc, the Third Circuit has rejected the plaintiff's request for an order compelling the defendant to recall counterfeit handbags it had sold and pay the profits of sale to the plaintiff. Although it found that the plaintiff's mark had been infringed, the court held that, because the fakes were of high quality and capable of fooling experts, the risk of public confusion was low.

12 February 2004

Trademark owners could benefit from class action proposals

The Permanent Commission of Justice of the Chamber of Deputies has approved a draft proposal to amend the Consumer Protection Act 1998 that would introduce into Italy class actions that have damages as a remedy. Trademark owners could benefit indirectly from, among other things, measures allowing consumers' associations to bring actions against counterfeiters.

11 February 2004

Timing of HAVANA CLUB compliance modified

The deadline by which the United States must comply with the rules and recommendations of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization to repeal Section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 has been extended. Section 211 immunizes US companies from being found liable for infringement of Cuban companies' trademarks.

11 February 2004

Spanish Penal Code reforms will affect IP rights

Law 15/2003, which will introduce reforms to the laws governing offences against intellectual property in the Spanish Penal Code, has been published. The reforms will take effect from October 1 2004 and will see, among other things, the criminalization of parallel imports into Spain from outside the European Economic Area.

10 February 2004

National law supersedes EU law for counterfeit goods in transit

In Montres Rolex SA v X, the European Court of Justice has ruled that if a national court finds that national trademark law does not prohibit the transit of counterfeit goods, it cannot impose criminal penalties on such conduct pursuant to EU law, even if the national rules are contrary to EU law.

09 February 2004

Not yet in the bag: BEANIES Case remanded

In Ty Inc v Softbelly's Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reversed and remanded the lower court's judgment for the plaintiff on its claims for trademark infringement and dilution. The appellate court found that the trial judge had made evidentiary and procedural errors.

09 February 2004

Counterfeit car radio importers hit a ROADSTAR block

The Special Criminal Court of Maringá has ruled that the import into Brazil of counterfeit ROADSTAR car radios amounted to trademark infringement with the aggravated circumstance of infringement of a well-known mark. The court dismissed the importer's claim that it was not liable as it acted on another company's behalf.

05 February 2004

Bundestag approves new German Design Act

The Bundestag has adopted a bill aimed at reforming the German Design Act to comply with the Community Design Directive. Provided that the Bundesrat does not delay its vote, the new act should come into force in the spring, more than two years after the deadline set by the directive.

05 February 2004

COUNTER-STRIKE ruling struck out

In Media-Service-2000 v MTU-Intel, the State Arbitration Court for the Moscow District has ruled that MTU-Intel's use of Media-Service's trademark COUNTER-STRIKE on its website to advertise competitions of a computer game produced by a third party did not amount to infringement.

04 February 2004

Paris Convention does not prohibit seizure of goods in transit

In HD Lee Company Inc v UAB Mita, the Supreme Court of Lithuania has ruled that the provisions of Article 9 of the Paris Convention, which deal with the seizure of goods in transit, are optional in nature and do not prohibit customs authorities from seizing goods in transit. The court also confirmed that parties that are simply transporting counterfeit goods can still be found guilty of infringing trademark rights.

04 February 2004

Reform of Australian design law approved

The Designs Bill 2003 has been approved by parliament and has received royal assent. The act, which will completely overhaul Australia's design law, will come into force on June 17 2004. It aims at increasing the value of design registrations by introducing, among other things, a stricter registrability test and a wider infringement test.

03 February 2004

Korea revises Unfair Competition Law

The Korean National Assembly has approved revisions to the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Law, which most notably include (i) new remedies against cybersquatting, and (ii) a new cause of action against dead copy product design infringement. These new provisions are expected to take effect by the middle of the year.

02 February 2004

Czech Republic adopts new Trademark Act

The Czech Republic has adopted a new Trademark Act, which is set to come into force on April 1 2004. The new act will bring Czech trademark law in line with the Community Trademark Directive in time for the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union on May 1 2004.

02 February 2004

ITC trounces WILLS SPORTS counterfeiters

In ITC Ltd v Sodhi Garments, the Delhi High Court has issued a search and seizure order against a number of defendants based outside the State of Delhi. The court held that it had jurisdiction to issue the order on the basis of Section 134 of the newly amended Trademarks Act, whereby a suit can be brought in the court where the plaintiff has its place of business.

27 January 2004

EVISA decision vacated and remanded following Moseley

In Visa International Service Association v JSL Corporation, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has (i) vacated a district court decision that granted Visa International an injunction barring JSL Corporation from using the mark EVISA and registering the domain name 'evisa.com', and (ii) remanded the case for reconsideration in light of the Moseley decision.