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22 June 2004

Implementing regulation of Industrial Property Code in force

The Portuguese National Industrial Property Institute has finally issued the last implementing regulation of the Industrial Property Code, in force since July 1 2003. The regulation incorporates some provisions included in regulations issued last year, which have now been revoked.

18 June 2004

Online auction site is found liable for sale of fake Rolex watches

The Federal Supreme Court has decided that the host of an auction website could be held liable for trademark infringements resulting from the sale of fake Rolex watches by third parties. The case has been remanded to the Court of Appeal, which must now ascertain whether the defendant had the opportunity to prevent trademark infringements of this kind.

16 June 2004

Norwegian furniture manufacturer avoids non-use trap

In Stokke Gruppen AS v Trip Trap Denmark A/S, the Swiss Federal Court has upheld the plaintiff's claim that the defendant's use of TRIP TRAP for furniture infringed its trademark rights. The court held that although the plaintiff had not made use of its registered TRIPP TRAPP design mark in Switzerland, it had rights in the unregistered word mark TRIPP TRAPP as a result of extensive use.

16 June 2004

Northern Cyprus trade and IP enforcement discussions ongoing

Although the recent referendum on the reunification of Southern and Northern Cyprus was unsuccessful, negotiations have begun to lift some of the trade embargoes against Northern Cyprus. As Northern Cyprus's IP enforcement system is unlikely to meet EU standards, Southern Cyprus may be prepared to allow indirect trade between Northern Cyprus and the European Union through its official trade channels.

11 June 2004

Kokura confusingly similar to OKURA, rules court

In Hotel Okura Amsterdam BV v De Gouden Wok BV, the District Court of The Hague has enjoined the defendant from using Kokura as the name of its Japanese restaurant and in its domain name. The court held that Kokura was confusingly similar to the plaintiff's OKURA Community trademark registered for, among other things, restaurant services.

08 June 2004

Use of COMPASS and COMPASS LOGISTICS points to infringement

The High Court of England and Wales has upheld the validity of a COMPASS Community trademark and has ruled that UK firm Compass Logistics Ltd's use of COMPASS and COMPASS LOGISTICS was likely to infringe that mark. The court held that Compass Logistics' earlier rights in its marks were of "mere local significance" in the European Union pursuant to Article 8(4) of the Community Trademark Regulation.

28 May 2004

BRASP and VASP unlikely to cause confusion

The Portuguese Supreme Court has ruled that the use of the trade name and mark BRASP does not infringe the trade name and mark VASP. The court found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the signs as, among other things, they apply to distinct services and are neither graphically nor phonetically similar.

27 May 2004

Conceptual difference with D mark rescues DDS registration

In D SpA v DDSc SpA, the Italian Supreme Court has held that the mark DDS did not infringe the mark D registered for the same type of goods because the marks were conceptually different. The decision is in line with Mülhens GmbH & Co KG v OHIM, in which the European Court of First Instance ruled that conceptual differences between marks may counteract any phonetic similarity.

24 May 2004

Danish Supreme Court issues first domain name decision

In Top-Toy A/S v Icom Data ApS, the Danish Supreme Court has issued its first ruling relating to a domain name registration. It affirmed that the passive registration of the domain name 'br.dk' by the defendant was a commercial use that infringed the Danish Marketing Practices Act as it blocked the plaintiff - the owner of a BR mark - from using the domain name.

21 May 2004

APPLE action governed by English law, rules High Court

The High Court of England and Wales has dismissed California-based Apple Computer's application challenging whether UK firm Apple Corps could bring its claim for breach of a settlement agreement before the courts of England and Wales. It held that although the settlement agreement contained no choice of law or jurisdiction clauses, there was a good arguable case that it was governed by English law.

19 May 2004

Robert flattens Alfred in McAlpine passing off dispute

In Sir Robert McAlpine Limited v Alfred McAlpine plc, the High Court of England and Wales has issued an injunction preventing the defendant from using 'McAlpine' as an identifier without the Alfred name. The court held that the rights in the name McAlpine were shared between the two parties and that one party could not appropriate the name for itself without causing damage to the value of the shared goodwill of the other party.

18 May 2004

Saisie-contrefaçon proceedings allowed for trademark owners

The Belgian Constitutional Court has ruled that trademark owners should be allowed to request seizure orders for suspected counterfeit goods, even though the Belgian Judicial Code does not list mark owners among the parties eligible for such relief. The court held that not allowing mark owners to use these proceedings would violate the provisions of the Belgian Constitution on equality and non-discrimination.

17 May 2004

Court uses case management powers with care

In a case involving various marks for air fresheners, the High Court of England and Wales has declined to use its case management powers to strike out a counterclaim that accused the plaintiff Reckitt Benckiser of making unjustified threats. However, it refused to join Reckitt's solicitors to the counterclaim on the basis that it was intended to make their relationship with their client uncomfortable.

12 May 2004

Awareness campaign kick-starts anti-counterfeiting crusade

As part of the Italian government's measures to fight counterfeiting, Minister for Productive Activities Antonio Marzano has launched a campaign to inform the Italian public on the impact counterfeiting has on the national economy. Marzano also disclosed details of other anti-counterfeiting measures that were first announced when the Finance Act 2004 was introduced to Parliament.

07 May 2004

Unprecedented compensation award in infringement case

In Sibirsky Bereg v OOO Kropotkinsky Khlebokombinat, the Arbitration Court of Krasnodar has upheld the plaintiff's trademark infringement complaint and has ordered the defendant to pay an unprecedented amount of monetary compensation - Rb1 million (approximately $35,000). The move towards higher levels of compensation for trademark infringement is welcome news for mark owners.