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14 January 2004

FTA will affect Singapore's trademark law practice

The US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which provides for amendments to Singapore's trademark law, has come into force. The agreement, the first of its kind between the United States and an Asian country, extends the definition of trademark in Singapore to cover sounds and smells, and creates new remedies for trademark infringement.

13 January 2004

Indian court recognizes trademark rights in colour combinations

In Colgate Palmolive Company v Anchor Health and Beauty Care Pvt Ltd, the Delhi High Court has granted the plaintiff an interim injunction in a passing off action relating to trade dress. The decision charts new territory for Indian trademark law in recognizing, for the first time, trademark rights in a pure colour combination.

12 January 2004

Potential confusion over milk packaging warrants interim injunction

In Agropur Coopérative v Saputo Inc, the Quebec Superior Court has granted a motion for an interim injunction ordering the defendant to stop marketing, selling and distributing milk products using a packaging similar to the registered get-up for Agropur's ULTRALAIT products.

12 January 2004

CAT claim is Mickey Mouse, rules court

In Caterpillar Inc v The Walt Disney Company, a district court has denied Caterpillar's motion for a temporary restraining order against Disney's release on video of a film depicting Caterpillar bulldozers in an allegedly unflattering light. The court rejected Caterpillar's claims of likelihood of confusion and dilution - for both blurring and tarnishment.

12 December 2003

New Civil Code will introduce important changes to trademark rules

New rules on trademark registration and use will come into force when the new Civil Code of Ukraine takes effect on January 1 2004. The new code introduces provisions on international registration into Ukrainian law for the first time and also establishes a right of prior use.

12 December 2003

Madrid system in force in Iran on December 25 2003

The Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol will enter into force in Iran on December 25 2003. Iran's accession to the agreement and protocol will bring the number of Madrid system member states to 74.

11 December 2003

MalacoLeaf fails to net victory in fish-shaped candy dispute

In MalacoLeaf AB v Promotion in Motion Inc, a US district court has dismissed the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant's fish-shaped candy infringed, among other things, its trade dress rights in its own fish-shaped candy. The court held that animal-shaped candy is common within the candy industry and that the plaintiff's product design was generic and functional.

09 December 2003

AAMI insured against infringing use of AAMIC

The Federal Court of Australia has issued an interlocutory injunction restraining the use of the acronym AAMIC as a business name. The court held that there were serious issues that required consideration at full trial and that the plaintiff, Australian Associated Motor Insurers, had an arguable case in claiming that the business name was confusingly similar to its registered and well-known AAMI mark.

08 December 2003

Toyota infringement claim stalls in Beijing court

In Toyota Motor Corporation v Geely Group, a court in Beijing has dismissed a claim for unfair competition and trademark infringement. The court held that the defendant's (i) logo was not confusingly similar to the plaintiff's, and (ii) claims in its advertising that its cars are fitted with the plaintiff's engines were an exaggeration but were not unfair competition.

04 December 2003

Easy ride for HARLEY mark owner in Simply Harley dispute

In H-D Michigan Inc v MC World Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia has ruled that the defendant's unauthorized use of the name Simply Harley infringed the plaintiff's rights in its famous HARLEY and HARLEY DAVIDSON marks. The court also issued an order restraining the defendant from engaging in any future infringing conduct.

04 December 2003

Technology licensing law changes to affect trademark licensing

The European Commission has proposed changes to the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation, which exempts certain types of agreement from the application of Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty. If adopted, the proposal could have an impact on technology and (ancillary) trademark licensing.

03 December 2003

Sign not used as trademark may amount to passing off, rules court

In Tommy Hilfiger Licensing Inc v International Clothiers Inc, the Federal Court has ruled that the defendant's use of a trademarked design that was confusingly similar to that of the plaintiff amounted to passing off, even though it was not used as a trademark.

02 December 2003

Virgin successfully opposes diluting VIRGIN OIL mark

In Virgin Enterprises v Virgin Oil Limited, the UK Patent and Trademark Office has upheld Virgin Enterprises' opposition to the registration of the mark VIRGIN OIL on the grounds that it was likely to be confused with the famous VIRGIN mark and would dilute it. The hearing officer considered that Virgin Oil did not have due cause to use the mark.

02 December 2003

Good-faith use of mark must include special language, rules court

In Nokia Corporation v Mai, the Federal Court of Australia has issued a summary judgment against the defendant, a seller of counterfeit accessories for Nokia mobile phones. The court found that a good-faith use of the NOKIA mark would have included special, non-ambiguous language, such as 'suitable for use with'.

01 December 2003

Magistrates' committee finds fault with new IP court system

The Supreme Magistrates' Committee has issued a resolution that highlights problems arising from the establishment of the special divisions set up to deal with intellectual property matters. It also proposes possible solutions.