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01 April 2003

Eli Lilly successfully opposes eight registrations on appeal

In Eli Lilly and Company v Salenab Nigeria Limited, the Federal High Court of Nigeria has overturned the decision of the registrar of trademarks to register eight marks that are identical or confusingly similar to marks owned by Eli Lilly. In reaching this decision, the court rejected expert testimony.

28 March 2003

WINDOWS Case proceeds to trial

The US District Court for the Western District of Washington has denied a motion for summary judgment filed by Lindows.com to dismiss Microsoft's trademark infringement action on the grounds that Microsoft's mark WINDOWS is generic. The case will proceed to trial on December 1.

26 March 2003

Ambushing the ambushers

Ahead of the Cricket World Cup, which concluded on Sunday, the South African government amended legislation to outlaw companies that associate themselves with (or even just share in the publicity of) events that they do not officially sponsor. Max Duthie of Freehills considers the South African legislation, which imposes restrictions on the use of non-sponsors' trademarks, and compares it with the position in Australia. He also suggests practical steps to be taken where no specific legislation is in place.

25 March 2003

'This is our show', entertainment company claims

A US entertainment company has brought an action against two Indian television companies for trademark and copyright infringement. The US company alleges that the Indian television series 'Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai' is an adaptation of its well-known show 'This is Your Life'.

25 March 2003

Registration and validity are not synonymous

In Alon Fuel Company for Israel Ltd v Energy International Ltd, the District Court of Jerusalem has held that the registration of a trademark constitutes merely prima facie evidence of the mark's validity. Therefore, the registration of a trademark may be challenged.

24 March 2003

Circuits courts split on the technicalities of civil damages

In the very near future, the Mexican Supreme Court will settle an important split among the federal circuit courts. It will decide whether the civil courts may award economic damages for industrial property right infringement before the Institute of Industrial Property has issued an administrative declaration penalizing the infringer.

24 March 2003

Commission gets tough on counterfeiting and piracy

The European Commission has published its proposed Council Regulation setting out new rules for customs action against counterfeit and pirated goods. The new legislation will give more power to customs authorities and simplify the procedure to have counterfeits destroyed.

20 March 2003

Parallel importation of Leo Pharma brands illegal, rules court

In Løvens Kemiske Fabrik v Orifarm A/S, the Danish Supreme Court has ruled that the defendant's parallel importation and repackaging of the plaintiff's pharmaceutical products was illegal. The decision further limits the extent to which parties can repackage or re-brand parallel-imported goods for resale in Denmark.

20 March 2003

'Original label' aims to protect CDs from pirates and counterfeiters

The Trade Descriptions (Original Label) Order 2002 has come into force. It requires that original copyrighted and trademarked products bear an 'original' label and aims to protect the makers of compact disks, video cassettes and similar goods from pirates and counterfeiters.

19 March 2003

Summary judgment refused, as Anne of Green Gables dispute rolls on

The Federal Court of Canada has refused a motion for summary judgment regarding Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority Inc's adoption, use and assignment of certain official marks. The court was reluctant to issue summary judgment without a detailed examination of whether or not the company is a public authority entitled to use official marks.

19 March 2003

BABY-DRY approved in bitter beer battle

In West v Fuller Smith & Turner plc, the Court of Appeal has approved the limitation of Fuller's registration of the trademark ESB for beers so that it covers only bitter beers. The decision also marks an important UK confirmation of the European Court of Justice's findings in the BABY-DRY Case.

18 March 2003

Close but no cigar, as 'Rolex' application is refused

In Montres Rolex SA v PT Permona, the Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court's ruling, refusing the defendant's application to register 'Rolex' as a mark for cigars. The appellate court agreed that the plaintiff's ROLEX mark is famous and that there was a real likelihood of consumer confusion and dilution.

18 March 2003

Former Beach Boy wipes out in Ninth

In Brother Records Inc v Jardine, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of a US district court that use by a former member of the Beach Boys of marks that incorporated the BEACH BOYS mark was neither a descriptive nor a nominative fair use, and therefore constituted trademark infringement.

17 March 2003

ECJ defines trademark 'genuine use' in landmark case

The European Court of Justice has just set out the test to be applied when deciding whether or not a trademark has been put to genuine use. The court was ruling on questions referred by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in Ansul BV v Ajax Brandbeveiliging BV.

14 March 2003

Florists win lawsuit filed by German rose giant

In Korean Florist Association v Kordes, a group of Korean flower producers has won a lawsuit filed by German rose giant Kordes in connection with its trademark rights in 'Red Sandra' and 'Kardinal', two rose breeds. The Supreme Court overruled the Patent Court's decision to grant Kordes trademark rights.