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09 July 2003

Korea gets tough on non-distinctive foreign marks

The Patent Court has upheld two decisions refusing registration for the terms 'angioguard' and 'rambase' on the grounds that they are descriptive. These decisions seem to confirm that Korean trademark examination practice is becoming increasingly strict on preventing registration of descriptive foreign trademarks.

25 June 2003

Taiwan promulgates new, broader trademark law

The Taiwan presidential office has promulgated amendments to the Trademark Law that will take effect on November 28. The substantial changes will afford protection to a wider range of marks, as well as affect, among other things, opposition, invalidation and cancellation procedures, and infringement provisions.

23 June 2003

Policy on registration of collective and certification marks now in force

The Policy for the Registration and Administration of Collective Marks and Certification Marks has come into force. It sets out in greater detail the information and documents necessary for applications to register collective and certification marks, and also outlines the rules relating to the registration of geographical indications as collective or certification marks.

17 June 2003

Madrid-system international registration regulations in force

The Implementation of International Registration of Marks under the Madrid System regulations have come into force. The new regulations set out the procedures for (i) filing an international registration where China is the country of origin, and (ii) designating territorial extension to China under the Madrid Agreement and Protocol.

10 June 2003

Discussion paper foreshadows implementation of new trademarks law

The government has released a discussion paper on proposals for new regulations that will complement the recently passed Trademarks Act 2002. The submissions received may be taken into account during the final drafting process. If all goes smoothly, the new act and regulations are expected to be in force later this year.

30 May 2003

Regulations for recognition and protection of well-known marks in force

The Regulations for Recognition and Protection of Well-Known Marks 2003 will come into force in the People's Republic of China this weekend. The regulations replace the 1996 version and further clarify the implementation of the Trademark Law.

29 May 2003

Malaysia creates new corporation to manage IP rights

The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia Act 2002 has come into effect. The act establishes a statutory body, which has been granted the power to manage Malaysian intellectual property rights and laws. It is hoped that such rights will be managed more efficiently and in compliance with international standards as a result.

21 May 2003

Tatler enforces its 300-year-old mark

In Tatler Publishing Co Ltd v Illustrated Magazine Publishing Co Ltd, the Intellectual Property Office has ordered the cancellation of the defendant's MANILA TATLER trademark, finding that the mark is confusingly similar to the plaintiff's TATLER mark and the plaintiff has superior rights.

19 May 2003

First colour mark registered for fresh fruit

Queensland banana grower Fada Pty Ltd, trading as Pacific Coast Eco-Bananas, has successfully registered a trademark consisting of the colour red applied to the tips of fresh bananas - the first colour mark ever registered in Australia for fresh fruit.

14 May 2003

Trademark Board decisions can be overruled, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Thailand has ruled that a final decision of the Trademark Board, issued under Section 18 of the Trademark Act, can be overruled by the courts. In so doing, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision to overturn the Trademark Board's refusal to register Swiss food giant Nestlé's TRUSTY trademark for pet food.

08 May 2003

Japanese company wins DUEL in Taiwanese court

The Taipei High Administrative Court has ordered the cancellation of a Taiwanese registered DUEL mark based on a prior registration of the same mark in Japan. The court held that although the Japanese mark was not registered in Taiwan, it is well known to Taiwanese consumers because of the close ties between the two countries.

22 April 2003

Local company retains DAVIDOFF mark despite minimal use

In Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH v NV Sumatra Tobacco Trading Company, Swiss company Davidoff has lost its fight to have an Indonesian company's registration of DAVIDOFF deleted. The court found that although the local company had produced just 150 branded cigarettes, the mark could not be deleted on the grounds of non-use.

14 April 2003

Draft declarations issued on distinctiveness and classification

The Thai Department of Intellectual Property has released two draft declarations, which are expected to come into force in May, revising the criteria for establishing acquired distinctiveness and highlighting changes in procedure necessary for Thailand to adopt the Nice Classification.

10 April 2003

WIPO welcomes 57th member to Madrid Protocol

The Madrid Protocol entered into force in South Korea today, bringing the number of member countries to 57. During the past three months, the Korean Intellectual Property Office has been busy recruiting staff and developing its computer system so that it can begin receiving applications based on the protocol as of today.

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.