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06 April 2009

Glamour magazine fails to prevent registration of GHOULISH GLAMOUR

In Advance Magazine Publishers Inc v Farleyco Marketing Inc, the Federal Court of Canada has upheld a decision of the registrar of trademarks dismissing an opposition filed by Advance Magazine Publishers Inc, the owner of the GLAMOUR marks for magazines and related goods and services, against the registration of the trademark GHOULISH GLAMOUR.

31 March 2009

Sound marks for alarms refused registration

In In re Vertex Group LLC, in a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has upheld a decision of the US Patent and Trademark Office in which the latter had refused to register two sound marks described as a sound of “descending frequency sound pulse” occurring at intervals of four to five per second.

30 March 2009

Section 38 damages claim barred by statute of limitations in RITZ Case

In a dispute between The Ritz Hotel Ltd and Shen Manufacturing Co Inc over the RITZ mark, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that Shen’s counterclaim for damages under Section 38 of the Lanham Act was barred by the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. The ruling demonstrates how courts apply state statutes in trademark disputes since the act does not have a statute of limitations provision.

23 March 2009

Spray nozzle design configuration deemed to be functional

In In re UDOR USA Inc, in a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has upheld a decision of the trademark examining attorney of the US Patent and Trademark Office in which the latter had refused to register a mark consisting of the product configuration of a patented metal spray nozzle.

20 March 2009

New practice notice for opposition procedures to come into force

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has issued a new practice notice regarding amendments to trademark opposition procedures, which is due to come into effect on March 31 2009. Among other things, the practice notice encourages parties to pursue settlement and mediation early in the opposition period, and introduces a new 'cooling-off' period.

19 March 2009

OBX is not a valid trademark, says Fourth Circuit

In OBX-Stock Inc v Bicast Inc, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has upheld summary judgment against OBX-Stock Inc in its infringement suit against Bicast Inc, ruling that OBX-Stock's OBX mark was not a valid trademark. The Fourth Circuit also ruled that the district court had not abused its discretion in refusing to order the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the OBX mark.

17 March 2009

Santiago Convention requirements cannot be satisfied, says TTAB

In Franpovi SA v Wessin, a case of first impression, the TTAB has rejected Franpovi SA’s bid to prevent the registration of the mark POLLOS VICTORINA for “fast-food restaurants” in the United States under the Santiago Convention. Among other things, the TTAB held that a trademark owner cannot satisfy the application requirements set forth in the Santiago Convention.

09 March 2009

YachtWorld sails to victory based on licensor’s use

In YachtWorld v Clift’s Marine Sales (1992) Ltd, a Canadian Internet Registration Authority panel has concluded that a licensee was able to rely on the trademark rights of the licensor, even though the rights predated the licensing agreement. The panel ordered the transfer of the domain name '' to YachtWorld, the Canadian licensee of the YACHTWORLD mark.

06 March 2009

Overbroad arbitration awards are no laughing matter, says Ninth Circuit

In Comedy Club Inc v Improv West Assoc Associates, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has vacated in part an arbitrator’s award in a dispute over a breached trademark licensing agreement, ruling that the arbitrator had acted with manifest disregard of the law by upholding an overly restrictive covenant not to compete, and had acted beyond his scope of authority by issuing a permanent injunction against non-parties to the agreement.

05 March 2009

Partial victories for the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers

In Section 45 proceedings, the Trademarks Opposition Board has ordered that the registrations for ING. LORO PIANA & C. (and design) and ING. LORO PIANA & C. be amended to delete certain goods. Both proceedings were brought by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, which has recently embarked on a mission to 'purge' the register of any marks containing the term 'eng' (or its French equivalent 'ing').

02 March 2009

TAG HEUER mark removed from register

In Section 45 proceedings, the Trademarks Opposition Board has ordered that the trademark TAG HEUER (and design) be removed from the register. Among other things, the board found that the evidence submitted by Tag Heuer SA was insufficient to prove that the goods listed in the registration bore the TAG HEUER mark, or that they were actually sold in Canada during the relevant period by the registered owner.

25 February 2009

Proposed changes to Section 45 practice may prove controversial

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has proposed changes to the practice to be followed in proceedings under Section 45 of the Trademarks Act. The aim is to modernize and streamline the current practice. While many of the proposed changes might be viewed as housekeeping, some promise to be controversial.

24 February 2009

Dell enters the fray over NETBOOK

Computer manufacturer Dell has filed to cancel the NETBOOK trademark in a hot dispute that is ripping through the technology industry.

23 February 2009

Fraud on the USPTO reaches a limit

In G&W Laboratories Inc v GW Pharma Limited, the TTAB has provided new guidance on the doctrine of fraud with regard to trademarks. For the first time since its decision in Medinol Ltd v Neuro Vasx Inc, the TTAB considered the effect of a fraud claim as to only one class of a multiple-class application or registration.

16 February 2009

Danone comes out on top in FRUITOLOGY dispute

In a priority dispute involving two applications for the registration of the trademark FRUITOLOGY, the TTAB has held that information available to it from its own records could be relied upon to determine whether an allegation in an opposition had been well pleaded for the purposes of determining a motion to dismiss.