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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.

12 February 2003

New Trademarks Act receives royal assent

The Trademarks Act 2002 has received royal assent. The new act replaces the Trademarks Act 1953, brings New Zealand into compliance with several obligations under TRIPs and increases protection of indigenous rights.

12 February 2003

Prior registration of ILS defeats application for ELS

The European Court of First Instance has overturned a decision allowing the registration of the Community trademark ELS. The court held that there was visual and aural similarity, and hence a likelihood of confusion, between the ELS mark and a prior registration of the logo mark ILS in Germany.

11 February 2003

Mars bars company name registration

In Mars Incorporated v Kumar Krishna Mukerjee, the Delhi High Court has issued a permanent injunction preventing the defendant, a food manufacturer, from registering 'Mars' as a company name. The court held that such use would have amounted to trademark infringement and passing off.

10 February 2003

Petit Liberto blocks registration of FIFTIES Community trademark

In Oberhauser v Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the European Court of First Instance has upheld the decision to refuse the registration of the Community trademark FIFTIES. The court concluded that there was a likelihood of confusion between FIFTIES and the pre-existing Spanish registered trademark MISS FIFTIES.

07 February 2003

Trademark Law amended to prevent piracy

Changes to the Russian Trademark Law have come into force. The amendments - which bring Russia one step closer to WTO membership - draw a clear line between genuine and counterfeit goods, and toughen the penalties for counterfeiting.

06 February 2003

Lack of rights precludes trademark agreement

The Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has held that an agreement between Natura Lta and L'Acqua di Fiori to settle their trademark dispute was not valid because Natura's registration was, in fact, null and void.

05 February 2003

Debate surrounds NATIVE TASTE lawsuit

Sari Pelita Sdn Bhd has filed suit in the High Court against Balasarasvathi A/P Nagaih and Madura Store Sdn Bhd, alleging that the defendants have been passing off their tea products as the plaintiff's by copying the plaintiff's packaging get-up and design. The case is likely to involve a review of Malaysian case law on trademarks.

04 February 2003

US Supreme Court set to end circuit court split

The US Supreme Court has heard the oral arguments in the VICTORIA'S SECRET Case. In a ruling expected this spring, the court will interpret the Federal Trademark Dilution Act for the first time and decide whether a plaintiff must prove actual present injury to its famous mark in order to be granted injunctive relief.

04 February 2003

Bilateral trade agreement will protect trademark rights

Chile and the United States have signed an agreement that will enhance the enforcement of trademark rights. Among other things, the governments will implement measures to reduce piracy and counterfeiting, and become actively involved in resolving cybersquatting disputes.