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28 April 2003

Mark owners have new right to challenge company names

Trademark owners have a new tool to protect marks derived from their trade names. Under two amended laws, the registrar of companies and businesses has discretion to order a change of name if, within 12 months of registration, he/she is satisfied that the name is confusingly similar to another company's name.

25 April 2003

PepsiCo protects AQUAFINA in Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has granted US-based PepsiCo a permanent injunction preventing Rashmi Sales Corporation from using on its water purifiers PepsiCo's AQUAFINA trademark. In addition, the court fined the Delhi-based company Rs15,000 for passing off.

24 April 2003

New decree will set rules for damages calculations

The Vietnamese Ministry of Justice is drafting a decree that will make it easier for courts to calculate damages for trademark infringement. Currently, courts assess lost sales and injury to reputation; however, both of these are difficult to prove and quantify, especially when neither the plaintiff nor the defendant has any sales history.

24 April 2003

IPC Media guilty of passing off, as Home Beautiful dispute turns ugly

The Federal Court has found publisher IPC Media guilty of passing off 25 Beautiful Homes as Pacific Publications' Home Beautiful magazine and breaching the Trade Practices Act. The court held that, although the titles of the two magazines differ sufficiently, the look and content of IPC's product, and its marketing techniques were likely to mislead consumers.

23 April 2003

Refusal of trademark cancellation correct, rules Supreme Court's Senate

The Senate of the Supreme Court of Latvia has upheld a Supreme Court ruling rejecting an action to cancel the registration of the mark AAA BALTIC SERVICE COMPANY for non-use. The senate held that the Supreme Court had not erred in holding that the mark had been used in Latvia.

22 April 2003

Federal Trademark Dilution Act requires proof of actual harm

In Moseley v V Secret Catalogue Inc, the US Supreme Court has ruled that proof of actual injury to the economic value of a famous mark is a requisite for relief under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act. This is the first time the Supreme Court has issued a decision under the act, which took effect in the spring of 1996.

22 April 2003

Local company retains DAVIDOFF mark despite minimal use

In Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH v NV Sumatra Tobacco Trading Company, Swiss company Davidoff has lost its fight to have an Indonesian company's registration of DAVIDOFF deleted. The court found that although the local company had produced just 150 branded cigarettes, the mark could not be deleted on the grounds of non-use.

17 April 2003

Supreme Court precedent rejected in MOBILIX Case

In Les Editions Albert René v Hauser, the Munich Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court decision, finding that the marks OBELIX and MOBILIX are confusingly similar. Refusing to apply a Supreme Court ruling, the appellate court found that it is the phonetic similarity of the marks, rather than their meaning, that created the likelihood of confusion.

16 April 2003

Undistributed advertising material is not evidence of use

In Manpower Inc v Manpower Temporar Personal GmbH, the Hungarian Supreme Court has upheld a decision that the defendant's mark IR588266 be cancelled on the basis of non-use. The Supreme Court found that Manpower Temporar's advertising material did not constitute evidence of use because there was no proof that it had been distributed.

16 April 2003

Infosys Technologies troubleshoots successfully in Delhi

Bangalore-based Infosys Technologies Ltd, India's leading IT services company, has won a trademark infringement suit against Mumbai-based Aftek Infosys Ltd and Calcutta-based Jupiter Infosys Ltd, restraining them from marketing, advertising and dealing in goods and services under the INFOSYS mark.

15 April 2003

Fat Blaster blows away Fat Terminator in passing-off action

In Cat Media Pty Limited v Opti-Healthcare Pty Limited, the Federal Court has ruled that Opti-Healthcare's use of the name 'Fat Terminator' for a weight-loss pill was an attempt to pass off its product as Cat Media's Fat Blaster slimming pill. The court held that the packaging of the two parties' products was similar and that both names had the same connotation of explosive force.

15 April 2003

Gerber court rules on meaning of 'bona fide use'

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision ruling that the registration of the mark GERBER may not be cancelled, even though the mark had only been used during a limited marketing exercise over a period of five years. 'Bona fide use', ruled the court, means honest use under the Trademarks Act 1938, not use on a substantial scale.

11 April 2003

ECJ interpretation of 'identical' narrows trademark owners' rights

The ECJ has ruled that the term 'identical' in Article 5(1)(a) of the Community Trademark Directive should be interpreted strictly. This means that more trademark owners within the European Union will have to demonstrate a likelihood of confusion to obtain relief in infringement cases.

10 April 2003

Sixth Circuit puts the brakes on TeleScan appeal

In Paccar Inc v TeleScan Techs LLC, the Sixth Circuit has upheld, in part, an injunction prohibiting the defendant from using 'peterbiltnewtrucks.com' and 'kenworthnewtrucks.com'. However, the lower court's decision extending the injunction to cover the use of the plaintiff's marks in the defendant's metatags was remanded for further consideration.

08 April 2003

Sony awarded injunction in summary judgment

In Sony Computer Entertainment Inc v Lee, the High Court of Kuala Lumpur has issued, as part of a summary judgment against the defendant, a permanent injunction preventing him from further infringing the plaintiff's trademark. In granting the injunction, the court held that the fact that the defendant had already ceased the infringing activity was irrelevant.