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03 October 2007

Court orders continuation of interim injunction in amended terms

In Bray International Inc v Cheng, the Court of First Instance has ordered the continuation of an interim injunction in amended terms. The court had to determine whether to grant a continuation given that the terms of the final injunction order sought were narrower than those in force. The court held that the current injunction was untenable, but agreed to grant an amended interim injunction in the terms proposed by the plaintiff.

23 April 2007

Anheuser-Busch succeeds in changing nine shadow company names

The Hong Kong High Court has ordered nine companies to remove any reference to US brewer Anheuser-Busch Inc in their names. It appears to be the first time that an order to remove a well-known brand or company name from a third party's company name has been followed by an actual change of name in the Hong Kong Companies Registry.

25 May 2006

Cold water poured on AQUA infringement claim

In Aqua-Leisure Industries Inc v Impag Toys Europe BV, a Hong Kong court of first instance has dismissed the plaintiff's trademark infringement claim under the old Trademarks Ordinance on the grounds that the plaintiff's AQUA mark lacked the required distinctiveness to qualify as a trademark in respect of swimming products.

22 March 2006

Huge battle ahead to stop auction sales of counterfeit goods

The sale of counterfeit goods on auction websites is now one of the most pressing issues faced by trademark owners trying to prevent infringement of their marks on the Internet. A case in Hong Kong, which has seen the arrest of a local housewife, highlights that the danger can come from the most unexpected of places.

14 February 2006

Grant of interim injunctions with dispositive effect clarified

In Fast-Link Express Limited v Falcon Express Limited, the High Court has issued an interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff, preventing the defendant from using part of its company name. The court stated that the injunction was likely to have the practical effect of disposing of the action in its entirety and cautioned that a plaintiff would need to show a "very much more compelling" case than usual to justify the grant of such an injunction.

10 October 2005

Trade Descriptions Ordinance amended

The Hong Kong government has amended the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, which tackles false or misleading trade descriptions, in order to correct an inadequacy in the original text. By replacing "country" with "place" in the definition of what may constitute a false description of the origin of goods, the amended ordinance will give the authorities more flexibility in enforcing the ordinance.

23 July 2004

Salvation Army loses fight to Cat Army

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal has upheld a first instance judge's refusal to grant summary judgment to the Salvation Army in a passing off action against the Hong Kong Cat Salvation Army. The court found that the examples of confusion supporting the application were either not significant enough or required further examination at trial.

18 June 2004

Registered local address valid for service on overseas mark owners

In In Re Yoshida & Co Ltd, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal has ruled that invalidation proceedings commenced under the Trademarks Ordinance may be served on the local address for service recorded on the Trademarks Register by an overseas trademark owner. This ruling should apply to other applications made to the court pursuant to the ordinance, such as applications for revocation of a registered trademark.

14 June 2004

First ever IP survey of businesses published

The IP Department of the Hong Kong government has published the results of its first ever survey of business attitudes towards intellectual property. The survey threw up some interesting responses, for example, 73% of respondents thought that the "situation of IP rights infringement" in Hong Kong was quite serious, while 87% had not registered trademarks, designs or patents.

16 April 2004

Yakult finally gets the cream in yogurt drink case

In Kabushiki Kaisha Yakult Honsha v Yakudo Group Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong High Court has held that Yakudo Group Holdings Ltd and one of its directors had infringed the plaintiff's marks and passed off their company name and bottle design as the plaintiff's.

05 April 2004

New campaign boosts Hong Kong's fight against counterfeit goods

The government has reaffirmed its long-running 'No Fakes' campaign, which is designed to encourage retailers to trade only in genuine products. The campaign is one of a variety of measures taken by Hong Kong, some in conjunction with the Guangdong Province, that are intended to combat IP infringement.

06 May 2003

Misrepresentation of ruling will not affect pending decision

In Yakult Honsha Co Ltd v Yakudo Group Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong High Court has rejected the plaintiff's application for an injunction restraining the defendant from misrepresenting in Taiwan the contents or effects of an earlier ruling relating to a passing-off action. The court found that the misrepresentation will not affect the pending decision.

04 April 2003

Trademarks Ordinance implemented after three-year delay

The Trademarks Ordinance has been implemented today after a series of technical set-backs. The last hurdle was removed when the government amended Rule 13 of the Trademarks Rules implementing the ordinance. The rule's original draft, limiting the time to satisfy the registrar that a mark meets the registration requirements, was considered too rigid.

03 February 2003

Implementation of Trademarks Ordinance put on hold

The implementation of the new Trademarks Ordinance has been delayed. The set-back is due to a request by trademark law practitioners that the Legislative Council Panel on Commerce and Industry review the ordinance's rule that decisions by the Trademark Registry be appealed within nine months.

09 December 2002

Matsushita wages war on its shadow

The owner of the PANASONIC trademark has launched an extensive anti-counterfeiting campaign involving numerous raids against 15 parties in the PRC. A 'shadow' company, incorporated in Hong Kong, had adopted the famous mark as part of its company name and then began manufacturing and selling infringing goods.