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26 October 2007

SWEETCAMEL is not confusingly similar to CAMEL

The Singapore Trademarks Registry has dismissed an opposition filed by Worldwide Brands Inc against the application for the registration of the mark SWEETCAMEL in respect of clothing. Among other things, the registrar found that the SWEETCAMEL and CAMEL marks were dissimilar and that Worldwide had failed to show that its CAMEL marks were well known in Classes 18 and 25 of the Nice Classification.

11 July 2007

VIGOSS and MEN VIGOSS confusingly similar

The Singapore Trademarks Registry has invalidated the mark MEN VIGOSS for clothing on the grounds that it was confusingly similar to the mark VIGOSS for the same type of goods. The registrar found that 'VIGOSS' was the dominant element in the junior mark and the addition of the element 'MEN' gave the impression only that the junior mark was part of the senior mark's line of clothing.

22 May 2007

WARMAN first user fails to invalidate later registration

The Singapore High Court has held that proprietorship of a trademark based on prior use is merely a default right under common law, which can be removed by an agreement concerning the right to register the mark. In the case at hand, the court found that the defendant had not registered the WARMAN mark in bad faith, even though the plaintiff had been using the mark in Singapore for much longer.

11 May 2007

Trademark law amendments to come into force on July 1

The amendments to the Singapore Trademarks Act 1998 introduced among other reasons to comply with the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, will come into force on July 1 2007. The main changes include the introduction of a multi-class system and the possibility to divide a trademark application.

10 April 2007

Only material error of principle leads to reversal of findings of fact

In a landmark decision relating to McDonald's Corporation's opposition against the registration of the mark MACCOFFEE, the Singapore Court of Appeal has ruled that an appellate court should not disturb the findings of fact of a trademark tribunal, except where there is a material error of principle.

04 April 2007

Singapore is first to ratify new Trademark Law Treaty

On March 26 2007 Singapore became the first member of the World Intellectual Property Organization to deposit its instrument of ratification for the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. The Singapore Trademarks Act was also subsequently amended to give effect to the treaty.

12 March 2007

Nestlé fails to register 3-D shape of red mug in Singapore

The Singapore Trademarks Registry has refused Société des Produits Nestlé SA's application, under the Madrid Protocol, to register the three-dimensional shape of a red mug as a trademark for coffee in Singapore. Among other things, the registrar concluded that the mark was devoid of distinctive character and the evidence of use provided was for a two-dimensional, as opposed to three-dimensional, mark.

05 March 2007

Licences of pending trademark applications may now be recorded

The Singapore Parliament has passed the Trademarks Amendment Act, which introduces changes in respect of the recordation of transactions. Under the Trademarks Act 1998, only transactions relating to registered trademarks were recordable. The amendment act provides that licences, assignments and security interests in respect of an application for a trademark may also be recorded.

21 February 2007

JWEST opposition upheld on bad faith grounds only

The High Court of Singapore has overturned in part a registrar's decision in relation to an opposition against the registration of the mark JWEST for goods in Class 25 of the Nice Classification. Although the court upheld the earlier finding that the application had been filed in bad faith, which was sufficient for the opposition to succeed, it did not consider the mark to be confusingly similar to an earlier JEFFERY-WEST mark for similar goods.

30 January 2007

Confusion likely between CAREFREE and CAREREE marks

In Johnson & Johnson v Uni-Charm Kabushiki Kaisha (Uni-Charm Corporation), the Singapore High Court has overturned an earlier decision and has allowed Johnson & Johnson's opposition against the registration of the mark CAREREE for incontinence products. The court reasoned that the mark was likely to cause confusion with Johnson & Johnson's CAREFREE mark used for feminine hygiene products.

27 October 2006

MCCAFÉ opposition dissolves MACCOFFEE application on appeal

The Singapore High Court has dismissed an appeal by Future Enterprises Pte Ltd against a decision of the principal assistant registrar of trademarks to refuse registration to Future's MACCOFFEE mark in Class 30 of the Nice Classification. The registrar held that the MACCOFFEE mark was confusingly similar to McDonald's Corporation's earlier MCCAFÉ mark in the same class.

24 April 2006

Statutory bad faith considered for the first time

In Rothmans of Pall Mall Limited v Maycolson International Ltd, the Singapore High Court has examined the issue of bad faith under the Singapore Trademarks Act for the first time. Among other things, the court noted that a "trademark applicant should bear a positive duty to investigate into the bona fides of a mark before seeking registration".

24 March 2006

Spanish company's registration for NIKE revoked

The Singapore Court of Appeal has overruled a High Court decision in which it upheld the registration of the trademark NIKE owned by Spanish company Campomar SL. The appellate court ordered the revocation of the mark on the grounds that it had not been put to genuine use in Singapore.

01 March 2006

Amendments to examination practice issued

The Statutes (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Act 2005 (which amends the Trademarks Act) and the Trademarks (Amendment) Rules 2005 came into effect on January 1 2006. The new laws change the way trademark applications under examination are handled by the Registry of Trademarks.

07 February 2006

2-D mark not automatically a 3-D mark under new Trademarks Act

The Singapore High Court has dealt with a case raising issues as to the legal status of shape marks and various other points relating to infringement and revocation. Among other things, the court held that two-dimensional drawings registered by Oystertec Plc as trademarks under previous trademark legislation did not automatically cover three-dimensional shapes following the enactment of the new Trademarks Act in 1999.