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27 February 2003

Unjustified seizure results in damages award

The Court of Appeal has ruled for the first time that a producer of goods seized under suspicion of being counterfeits is entitled to damages if it is able to prove that the trade description order, issued pursuant to Section 16 of the Malaysian Trade Descriptions Act, was unjustified.

26 February 2003

Domain names and trademarks give equal prior rights

In Sarl La Société Temesis v Association Afaq, the Nanterre Court of First Instance has ruled that a trademark registration can be cancelled on the basis of a prior domain name registration if (i) the domain name was in use before the mark registration was filed, and (ii) there is a risk of confusion.

26 February 2003

Max Mara sues but loses its own marks

The Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen has clarified the amount of evidence needed to prove use of a registered mark. The court ordered the cancellation of two marks registered by Italian company Max Mara Fashion Group after finding that proof of a few hundred sales to Danish retailers was not enough to maintain the registrations.

25 February 2003

Trademark agreement held unenforceable by non-party

The Eighth Circuit has affirmed a lower court rejection of the argument that a trademark use agreement signed in 1969 created rights in a party not bound by the agreement. The appellate court held that there was no evidence that the drafters of the 1969 agreement had intended to create such third-party rights.

24 February 2003

Supreme Court approves destruction of fakes

The Supreme Court has allowed an action against two shipping agents to have counterfeit goods destroyed even though the agents were not found guilty of trademark infringement. The court held that allowing the action was necessary in order to comply with the principles of EU counterfeiting legislation.

21 February 2003

Thomson cruises to victory in FREESTYLE dispute

In Thomson Holidays v Norwegian Cruise Line, the Court of Appeal has issued guidance on how to revise a trademark registration. The court held that specifications in a trademark registration may be amended so that the registration covers customers' perceived uses of the mark.

21 February 2003

Alleged counterfeits seized at request of famous fashion company

The Metropolitan Court of Budapest has issued a provisional injunction ordering the seizure of alleged counterfeit goods bearing the trademarks of a famous fashion company. The injunction ensures that the alleged infringing goods are not released on to the market, even though a related criminal investigation has been dropped owing to lack of evidence.

21 February 2003

Singapore announces plans for special IP Court

The Singapore Supreme Court has announced that a special Intellectual Property Court will be set up. This is a major step in the right direction as IP disputes increasingly require a sophisticated level of legal and technical understanding of the subject matter.

20 February 2003

Intel opposition rejected in INTELFIN dispute

The Trademark Office has ruled that Peruvian company Inteligencia Financiera SAC may register the service mark INTELFIN, even though Intel Corporation's trademark INTEL is well known and is therefore entitled to protection as a matter of law.

19 February 2003

Some trademark protection is a national concern, says ECJ

In Robelco NV v Robeco Groep NV, the European Court of Justice has ruled that, pursuant to the Community Trademark Directive, EU member states may determine the scope of protection granted to signs that are similar or identical to registered trademarks when use of the sign is not for the purpose of distinguishing goods or services.

18 February 2003

Supreme Court set to rule on non-use conflict

By the second quarter of 2003, the Mexican Supreme Court is expected to settle an important split among the federal circuit courts regarding trademark non-use. The Supreme Court will decide whether the statutory three-year period of non-use needed to cancel a mark begins when the trademark owner stops using the mark or when the Institute of Industrial Property issues a resolution for non-use.

18 February 2003

Competition law amended to restrict trademark monopolies

The Russian government has amended the country's competition legislation so as to reduce the anti-competitive effects of trademark acquisitions and licence agreements.

17 February 2003

High Court clears distributors of passing off

In Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd v Tong Jum Chew pte Ltd and Tong Jum Chew Medical Store, the Singapore High Court has dismissed a claim by Yunnan Baiyao, a China-based company, against two Singaporean companies for passing off in respect of a well-known Chinese herbal medicine called 'Yunnan Paiyao'.

17 February 2003

Intel blocks registration of INTEL-PLAY

In Intel Corporation v Kirpal Singh Sihra, the High Court has allowed an appeal by Intel and prevented the registration of the trademark INTEL-PLAY. The court held that allowing the registration would dilute the strength of the plaintiff's famous INTEL mark.

13 February 2003

Trademark Office provides certainty to famous mark enforcement

Following the implementation in Colombia of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Intellectual Property Regime, the Trademark Office has specified the criteria needed to assess the fame of a trademark for national enforcement purposes.