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11 February 2003

Mars bars company name registration

In Mars Incorporated v Kumar Krishna Mukerjee, the Delhi High Court has issued a permanent injunction preventing the defendant, a food manufacturer, from registering 'Mars' as a company name. The court held that such use would have amounted to trademark infringement and passing off.

10 February 2003

Petit Liberto blocks registration of FIFTIES Community trademark

In Oberhauser v Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the European Court of First Instance has upheld the decision to refuse the registration of the Community trademark FIFTIES. The court concluded that there was a likelihood of confusion between FIFTIES and the pre-existing Spanish registered trademark MISS FIFTIES.

07 February 2003

Trademark Law amended to prevent piracy

Changes to the Russian Trademark Law have come into force. The amendments - which bring Russia one step closer to WTO membership - draw a clear line between genuine and counterfeit goods, and toughen the penalties for counterfeiting.

06 February 2003

Lack of rights precludes trademark agreement

The Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has held that an agreement between Natura Lta and L'Acqua di Fiori to settle their trademark dispute was not valid because Natura's registration was, in fact, null and void.

05 February 2003

Debate surrounds NATIVE TASTE lawsuit

Sari Pelita Sdn Bhd has filed suit in the High Court against Balasarasvathi A/P Nagaih and Madura Store Sdn Bhd, alleging that the defendants have been passing off their tea products as the plaintiff's by copying the plaintiff's packaging get-up and design. The case is likely to involve a review of Malaysian case law on trademarks.

04 February 2003

US Supreme Court set to end circuit court split

The US Supreme Court has heard the oral arguments in the VICTORIA'S SECRET Case. In a ruling expected this spring, the court will interpret the Federal Trademark Dilution Act for the first time and decide whether a plaintiff must prove actual present injury to its famous mark in order to be granted injunctive relief.

04 February 2003

Bilateral trade agreement will protect trademark rights

Chile and the United States have signed an agreement that will enhance the enforcement of trademark rights. Among other things, the governments will implement measures to reduce piracy and counterfeiting, and become actively involved in resolving cybersquatting disputes.

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.