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22 September 2008

Chubb loses MINIMAX mark to rival

In Minimax GmbH & Co KG v Chubb Fire Limited, the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales has held that the hearing officer had erred in upholding Chubb Fire Limited's opposition against Minimax GmbH & Co KG's application for the registration of MINIMAX on the grounds that Chubb had retained a sufficient residual reputation in the mark for a passing off action to succeed.

18 September 2008

Trademarks may be registered for ‘shopping centre services’

In Land Securities plc v Registrar of Trademarks, the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales has held that the services provided by shopping centres may be the subject of trademark protection. Among other things, the court also stated that the principles necessary to reach a decision could be extrapolated from the ECJ's ruling in Praktiker Bau- und Heimwerkermärkte AG.

12 September 2008

Court considers (ir)relevance of expert evidence in trademark cases

In esure Insurance Limited v Direct Line Insurance Plc, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales has considered the use of expert evidence in establishing confusion in trademark cases. Among other things, the court held that an expert can give his or her opinion on a particular market, but not on the issue of confusing similarity.

10 September 2008

High Court blunts the edge of declaration of invalidity

In Rousselon Frères et Cie v Horwood Homewares Ltd, the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales has exercised its discretion by suspending a declaration of invalidity of Horwood Homewares Ltd's SABATIER trademarks pending the resolution of Horwood's applications to invalidate or revoke Rousselon Frères et Cie's own SABATIER marks.

01 August 2008

Boxing clever: Lonsdale in split decision

In Leofelis SA v Lonsdale Sports Ltd, a case involving the complex licensing arrangements relating to the LONSDALE marks, the Court of Appeal for England and Wales has partly allowed the defendants' appeal of the trial judge's decision. Among other things, the court held that the defendants had not made misrepresentations during certain licensing negotiations.

18 July 2008

Paint effect held to lack distinctive character

In In the matter of Application 2390030 in the name of Vibe Technologies Limited, the appointed person has upheld the hearing officer's decision to reject an application to register a paint effect in respect of a surface finish applied to loudspeakers. Among other things, the appointed person held that the applicant had failed to demonstrate that the mark had acquired distinctiveness through use.

05 June 2008

Parties cross swords over knife marks

In Rousselon Frères et Cie v Horwood Homewares Ltd, the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales has held that the hearing officer had erred in finding that there was no likelihood of confusion between Horwood Homewares Ltd’s JUDGE SABATIER and STELLAR SABATIER marks, and Rousselon’s SABATIER marks.

21 May 2008

Consultation paper on modernization of Trademark Rules issued

The UK IPO has issued a consultation paper entitled "Modernization and Consolidation of the Trademark Rules". Among other things, the IPO proposes to reduce the cooling-off period from 12 to nine months, as it is concerned that the current year-long period is not promoting the objective that parties settle matters early. Comments from all interested parties must be received no later than May 27 2008.

15 May 2008

IPO issues practice notice on appeals to appointed person

The UK IPO has published a tribunal practice notice on appeals to the appointed person against decisions of the registrar in inter partes proceedings. In addition, the IPO has introduced Form TM33(P) for use in all legal proceedings before the Trademarks Tribunal.

07 May 2008

High Court refuses to interfere with DIGIPOS decision

In Digipos Store Solutions Group Ltd v Digi International Inc, the Chancery Division of the High Court has dismissed an appeal from a decision of the hearing officer upholding an opposition against the registration of the mark DIGIPOS. The court held that even though it would have reached a different conclusion, there was nothing in the hearing officer's decision to allow the court to interfere with it.

29 April 2008

THERE AIN'T NO F IN JUSTICE gets justice on appeal

The appointed person has overruled a decision of the hearing officer in which the latter refused to register the mark THERE AIN'T NO F IN JUSTICE for t-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. Among other things, the appointed person held that the hearing officer had brought stricter criteria into his assessment of the distinctiveness of the mark and applied a 'worst case' assumption of the manner of use.

18 March 2008

Appeal partially allowed in battle over BUDWEISER

In the latest instalment of the dispute between Budejovicky Budvar and Anheuser-Busch over the use of the BUDWEISER and BUD marks, the Chancery Division of the High Court has partially allowed an appeal by Budvar. Although the court upheld Anheuser’s application for a declaration that Budvar’s BUDWEISER registration was invalid in relation to beer, ale and porter, it held that this was not the case for malt beverages.

17 March 2008

Fast-track trademark examination system to be introduced

From April 6 2008 trademark applicants will be offered the possibility to 'fast track' online trademark applications thanks to a new examination system set up by the UK IPO. The aim is to ensure that the registration of a trademark - excluding any oppositions or objections - can be achieved within four months of the application date.

21 February 2008

No presumption of stay in favour of OHIM proceedings, says court

In Kitfix Swallow Group Ltd v Great Gizmos Ltd, the Chancery Division of the High Court has held that where English trademark infringement proceedings in which there is a counterclaim for revocation are running concurrently with OHIM validity proceedings, there is no presumption that the English proceedings should be stayed.

13 February 2008

A mark that has been revoked can be cancelled

In T-Mobile (UK) Ltd v O2 Holdings Ltd, the appointed person has held, among other things, that the fact that a party has made an application for revocation of a trademark on the grounds of non-use under Section 46 of the Trademarks Act does not as a matter of course preclude that party from subsequently applying for a declaration of invalidity of the same mark under Section 47.