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13 March 2003

Power of attorney is required case by case, say chief justices

The Supreme Administrative Court has issued a resolution which provides that an agent, acting on behalf of a trademark owner who has no domicile or place of business in Taiwan, must submit the power of attorney which gives the agent its authority to act on behalf of that party, each time a trademark-related case is brought before the courts.

13 March 2003

Majestic's tequila can't bully its way to registration

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed the Patent and Trademark Office's ruling that there is a likelihood of confusion between Majestic Distilling's RED BULL mark for tequila and Stroh Brewery's RED BULL mark for malt liquor. While the court did not rule on the rejection of Majestic's registration, its ruling endorses the PTO's decision.

12 March 2003

Assessing China's WTO accession one year on

China signed the protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization in November 2001 and formally became a member one month later. As it is now over a year since China's accession, Lim Mei Yin of Perkins Coie assesses what has happened on the mainland with respect to trademark protection both in terms of legislative developments and practice.

11 March 2003

Benelux registration of MARIE CLAIRE cancelled

In Marie Claire Album SA v Ipko-Amcor BV, the District Court of The Hague has cancelled the defendant's Benelux registration of the trademark MARIE CLAIRE on the grounds that it had been registered in bad faith and was confusingly similar to the plaintiff's famous international marks.

11 March 2003

Sanrio says goodbye to HELLO KITTY infringer

In Sanrio Co Ltd v Dong-A Pencil Co Ltd, the Seoul High Court has affirmed a lower court decision finding that Dong-A had registered the trademark KITTY, and the Korean translation thereof, in order to profit from consumer confusion between its marks and Sanrio's famous HELLO KITTY mark.

10 March 2003

Barbie loses last chance to fight parody song

The US Supreme Court has denied Mattel Inc a petition for writ of certiorari, thus rejecting the last chance for Mattel to appeal the decision of the Ninth Circuit in Mattel Inc v MCA Records Inc. The Ninth Circuit ruled that use of 'Barbie Girl' as the title and subject of a pop song did not infringe or dilute the registered trademark BARBIE for fashion dolls.

07 March 2003

Defence to infringement imposes legal not evidential burden, rules court

In Sliney v London Borough of Havering, the Court of Appeal has held that, in cases involving a criminal charge of unauthorized trademark use, a defendant relying on the defence in Section 92(5) of the Trademarks Act (ie, that he did not believe such use to be an infringement) is under a legal, rather than evidential, burden to prove that the defence is made out.

06 March 2003

Anti-dilution protection extended by ECJ

An ECJ decision appears to have extended the Community Trademark Directive's anti-dilution protection to the use of identical or similar signs on similar goods as well as dissimilar goods, regardless of confusion, if the infringement of a well-known mark is at issue.

04 March 2003

Specialized court divisions to take charge of IP disputes

The Italian Parliament has approved a new law, pursuant to which specialized court divisions will hear intellectual property (IP) disputes. The aim is to promote the accumulation of IP expertise by the small number of judges who will be appointed to preside over and work in the new divisions.

04 March 2003

Football association loses fight for clothing mark

In South African Football Association v Stanton Woodrush (Pty) Ltd, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed the plaintiff's claim that it owns the BAFANA BAFANA trademark in relation to all goods, including clothing. The term 'bafana bafana' means 'the boys, the boys' and has been the nickname of the national football team since 1992.

03 March 2003

Single letter avoids confusion, rules Trademark Office

In a case concerning the registration of a trademark by Fiat Auto SpA, the appellate body of the Colombian Trademark Office has held that the marks JTS and CTS, both used in relation to automobiles, are not confusingly similar.

28 February 2003

Trademarks high on the agenda at Intellectual Property Forum 2003

Simpson's-in-the-Strand in London this week successfully hosted the Intellectual Property Forum 2003. A panel of over 20 high-calibre speakers including the vice president for legal affairs at the OHIM discussed recent European developments in trademark law.

28 February 2003

Anheuser-Busch fails to revoke Budvar trademarks

In Budejovicky Budvar Narodni Podnik v Anheuser-Busch Inc, the Court of Appeal has upheld two UK trademark registrations for stylized versions of the words 'Budweiser Budbräu' and 'Bud' belonging to Czech brewers Budejovicky Budvar. US brewers Anheuser-Busch had applied to revoke the trademarks for non-use.

27 February 2003

Australia plans new law for parallel imports

The Copyright Amendment (Parallel Importation) Bill 2002 has been introduced in the Senate. If approved, the new law will have implications for trademark owners. Among other things, goods on which a mark is applied with the owner's consent in their country of origin will not infringe the Australian registered mark when imported.

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.