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24 February 2003

Supreme Court approves destruction of fakes

The Supreme Court has allowed an action against two shipping agents to have counterfeit goods destroyed even though the agents were not found guilty of trademark infringement. The court held that allowing the action was necessary in order to comply with the principles of EU counterfeiting legislation.

21 February 2003

Thomson cruises to victory in FREESTYLE dispute

In Thomson Holidays v Norwegian Cruise Line, the Court of Appeal has issued guidance on how to revise a trademark registration. The court held that specifications in a trademark registration may be amended so that the registration covers customers' perceived uses of the mark.

21 February 2003

Alleged counterfeits seized at request of famous fashion company

The Metropolitan Court of Budapest has issued a provisional injunction ordering the seizure of alleged counterfeit goods bearing the trademarks of a famous fashion company. The injunction ensures that the alleged infringing goods are not released on to the market, even though a related criminal investigation has been dropped owing to lack of evidence.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

04 February 2003

Brewer banned from naming product 'Champagnebier'

Applying Belgian law on geographical indications and fair trade practices, the Nivelles Commercial Court has ordered beer producer SA de Landtsheer to cease using the word 'champagne' in relation to its new product, as well as the slogan 'the beer world's answer to Veuve Cliquot'.

29 January 2003

New Spanish Trademark Law comes into force

New trademark legislation has come into force in Spain, replacing the Trademark Law of 1988. The new law takes into account various international agreements and EU trademark regulations, most notably the Community Trademark Directive.

28 January 2003

Differences in spelling may prevent confusion

In an incongruous decision, the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg has ruled that the use of the domain name '' and related email address root '' does not infringe rights in the registered trademark and trade name PUBLIKOM because internet users are able to recognize differences in spelling.

27 January 2003

Tobacco Products Directive does not infringe trademark rights

Following the opinion of Advocate General Geelhoed, the European Court of Justice has held that the Tobacco Products Directive, which prohibits the use of marks such as 'mild' or 'light' in connection with tobacco products, does not infringe the trademark rights of tobacco companies.

27 January 2003

Levi's secret marks remain a secret, rules court

The High Court of the Canton Zurich has affirmed the conviction of a wholesaler for selling fake Levi's jeans. The court upheld the first-instance ruling allowing Levi's to conceal from the court and the defendant the details of secret marks found only on genuine products.

24 January 2003

Amended law protects trademark owners against counterfeiters

The Czech government has amended its intellectual property law in order to provide trademark owners with better protection against imports of counterfeit goods. The amended law allows customs authorities to determine whether goods are counterfeit and, in undisputed cases, have the goods destroyed.