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24 July 2003

'American Eagle' injunction extinguished in Fourth Circuit

In Emergency One v American Fire Eagle Engine Company, the Fourth Circuit has overturned a decision to grant a nationwide and geographically unlimited injunction against infringement of American Fire Eagle's unregistered trademark. It held that in the absence of evidence that American Fire Eagle had used the mark nationally, the lower court had abused its discretion in issuing such an injunction.

23 July 2003

OBELIX beats pub owner in bar name brawl

In Les Editions Albert René SARL v Madaleno, the Court of Golegã has ruled that the defendant's use of the name 'Obelix-Bar' for his pub infringed the plaintiff's rights in its OBELIX mark. The court also ordered the defendant to pay €1,500 in damages, demonstrating that Portuguese courts are now more willing to issue such orders, even where it is difficult to assess the exact level of damage suffered.

23 July 2003

Louis Vuitton involved in landmark online counterfeiting case

A case that is scheduled to reach the courts soon is expected to be groundbreaking as it will be the first time Malaysia's Trademark Law will be used against an online counterfeiter. The alleged counterfeiter's house was raided as a result of a tip-off by Louis Vuitton, which routinely conducts internet searches for the sale of fake merchandise.

22 July 2003

European Union one step closer to amended trademark law

The European Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market has issued its report on the proposed changes to the Community Trademark Regulation, building on the Commission's proposal issued earlier this year. The text is expected to be approved by the EU Parliament in September.

22 July 2003

TV slogan to change despite absence of confusion with journal mark

In Shalem Center v Techelet Media Ltd, the District Court for Tel Aviv-Jaffa has issued a preliminary injunction ordering the defendant to make several changes to its slogan despite finding there was no likelihood of confusion with the plaintiff's mark TECHELET (meaning 'azure').

21 July 2003

New Public Contracting Law protects IP rights

Paraguay's new Public Contracting Law, which excludes from bidding parties that are not entitled to the use of the IP rights in the goods or services involved in a particular public contract, has come into force today. The law will give rights owners a more competitive edge and fairer access to public contracts.

21 July 2003

Resale of disposable cameras infringes FUJIFILM mark

In Fuji Film Co Ltd v Noh, the Supreme Court has ruled that the defendant's act of reloading new film into used Fuji Film disposable cameras, repackaging and then reselling them constituted manufacture of a new product, thereby infringing the plaintiff's rights in its FUJIFILM mark.

18 July 2003

Dilution claim limited by prior use in limited area

In Enterprise Rent-a-Car Co v Advantage Rent-a-Car Inc, the Federal Circuit has affirmed a decision to reject an opposition to the registration of the phrase 'we'll even pick you up'. The court ruled that the owner of a famous mark cannot oppose registration based on dilution where its mark did not achieve fame prior to the applicant's use in a limited geographic area.

17 July 2003

Mark's secondary meaning extends to its most salient feature

In KP Permanent Make-Up Inc v Lasting Impression I Inc, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that where the holder of an incontestable mark complains that the most salient feature of its mark is being imitated and a likelihood of confusion might result, a conclusive presumption that the mark has acquired a secondary meaning extends to the most salient feature of the mark.

15 July 2003

Fourth Circuit applies 'abandonment' principle in domain name case

In Sloan v Auditron Electronic Corporation, the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a district court decision rejecting the plaintiff's claim that the defendant's use of 'auditron.com' amounts to trademark infringement. Because the plaintiff (i) had not used his service mark AUDITRON for 15 years, and (ii) could not prove any intent to use it, the appellate court concluded that he had abandoned the mark.

15 July 2003

No need for photo finish as Kodak wins passing off dispute

In Eastman Kodak Company v Conko Ltd, the District Court of Tel Aviv-Jaffa has found the defendant photofinishing shop guilty of passing off for its use of a shade of yellow, similar to that used by the plaintiff in its branding, for envelopes employed to hold the printed photographs developed for customers.

15 July 2003

New Portuguese Industrial Property Code comes into force

The new Portuguese Industrial Property Code has come into force. The new code amends intellectual property law dating from 1995 and brings Portuguese legislation closer to the European Community legislation on, among other things, designs and trademarks.

14 July 2003

Parodic use of mark is legal, rules Paris court in landmark judgment

In Danone v Réseau Voltaire, the Paris Court of Appeal has ruled for the first time in normal proceedings that the parodic use of a trademark in a domain name and on a website does not constitute trademark infringement. It confirms the AREVA and Esso summary judgments, which were the first to reverse the trend of rulings favouring trademark owners.

14 July 2003

Tiger painting does not infringe trademark rights, rules Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit has upheld a district court decision dismissing golfer Tiger Woods's trademark infringement and right of publicity claims against an artist who had included Woods's image in a painting. The court held that (i) images or likenesses cannot be protected as trademarks, and (ii) the artist's right of freedom of expression outweighs Woods's right of publicity.

14 July 2003

Anheuser-Busch finds a victory in Nigeria

The Nigerian Trademark Office has refused Budejovicky Budvar's application to register 'Budweiser' as a trademark, chalking up the first reported victory for Anheuser-Busch since the Spanish Provincial Court of Appeals found in its favour over the use of the word 'Budweiser' on bottle labels.