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21 January 2003

Supreme Court precludes oral use of trademark

The Supreme Court of Estonia has issued its decision in the case of Eesti Raadio v OÜ Juturaadio. The court ruled that reproduction of a registered trademark is not necessary for infringement; oral use of the trademark is sufficient.

20 January 2003

Mark owner awarded damages for loss of licensing opportunity

In Eduardo Denkberg v Coto Cicsa, an appellate court has ruled that the defendant's unauthorized use of the plaintiff's trademark frustrated the plaintiff's ability to license it in the future. The court ordered the defendant to cease using the mark and to pay the plaintiff general damages for loss of opportunity.

20 January 2003

Club Pharm ordered to change its colour

In Super Pharm (Israel) Ltd v Club Pharm Ltd, the District Court for Tel-Aviv-Jaffa has upheld Super Pharm's claim for passing off based on Club Pharm's use of colours for its logo identical to those used by Super Pharm for its logo.

20 January 2003

Arsenal win in Europe but suffer shock defeat at home

In Arsenal Football Club plc v Reed, the High Court has, for the first time, refused to apply a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the grounds that the ECJ had exceeded its jurisdiction by making its own findings of fact. The case involved the selling of unofficial football souvenirs featuring Arsenal trademarks.

17 January 2003

Trademark owners to benefit from EU enlargement

Parties with trademark rights in EU member states will benefit from the European Council's decision to allow 10 new member states. Among other things, many Community trademark registrations and applications will be extended automatically to include the new members without any additional fees.

17 January 2003

Refilling trademarked containers held to be illegal

In Chivilcoy Gas (Solgas) v Totalgaz Argentina SA, a federal court has found Chivilcoy Gas (and its directors) guilty of infringing the trademark rights of other gas companies by refilling their trademarked containers with its own gas.

16 January 2003

Lithuanian court finds Nestra guilty of 'trademark theft'

In Stada Arzneimittel AG v Nestra Limited, Lithuania's Court of Appeal has, for the first time, affirmed a district court's decision that a UK company's registration of the trademark PFEIL ZAHNSCHMERTZ-TABLETTEN is invalid on the grounds of unfair competition.

16 January 2003

Damages, not profits, may be trebled

In Earl E Thompson v Henry T Haynes, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held that the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma was wrong to have added the plaintiff's damages and the defendant's profits and then treble the amount, as the Lanham Act authorizes the trebling of damages only.

15 January 2003

US district court reverses decision in winery trademark suit

In Leelanau Wine Cellars v Black & Red Inc, a US district court judge has reversed his initial finding that the defendant had infringed the plaintiff's trademark by using the word 'Leelanau' on labels. His revised decision placed the burden of proof that there was a likelihood of confusion between the two companies' marks on the plaintiff, which it failed to demonstrate.

14 January 2003

'Champagne' goodwill cannot be used to flavour yoghurt

The Swedish Market Court has issued a decision against Arla Foods AB for its use of the term 'champagne' in relation to yoghurt. The court found that the advertising was an obvious case of intentional misappropriation of goodwill, and was misleading in respect of the product's content and flavour.

13 December 2002

Supreme People's Court interprets rules on trademark reviews

The Supreme People's Court has issued interpretations of the new Rules for Trademark Review and Adjudication, which came into force on October 15. Among other things, the court stated that an exclusive, registered licensee may commence infringement proceedings without having to consult the trademark owner.

13 December 2002

Cubatabaco wins European cigar wars

Swedish Match and Cubatabaco have signed a settlement agreement, ending several proceedings across Europe for infringement of the designation of origin 'Havana'. Swedish Match agreed to stop using the name 'Wilde Havana' for the cigars its subsidiaries have been manufacturing and distributing since the 1970s.

12 December 2002

Seventh Circuit overturns BEANIE BABY dilution decision

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a decision which held that the domain name '' diluted Ty Inc's BEANIE BABIES trademark. The court refused to allow Ty to use the law on dilution to prevent the trademark becoming a generic term.

12 December 2002

Tobacco marks restricted as being contrary to public policy

A number of tobacco companies have failed to convince Advocate General Geelhoed of the European Court of Justice that EU restrictions on the labelling and marketing of tobacco products diminish the value of the goodwill they enjoy in their trademarks.

11 December 2002

Enforcing US trademark rights still difficult despite bilateral treaty

Vietnam has implemented the trademark-related provisions of the US-Vietnam trade agreement. As a result, it accords to US nationals treatment no less favourable than it accords to its own nationals with regard to the acquisition, protection and enforcement of trademark rights. Nevertheless, US trademark owners may still find it difficult to enforce marks in Vietnam.