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06 February 2018

General Court's SWISSGEAR decision: a useful reminder of the legal principles surrounding Articles 7(1)(b) and (c)

In Wenger SA v EUIPO, the General Court has upheld the decision of the EUIPO to invalidate the mark SWISSGEAR for a wide range of goods.

03 July 2017

Invalidity on the basis of earlier unregistered marks

In Morton’s of Chicago Inc v EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) the EU General Court has upheld a decision of the EUIPO First Board of Appeal declaring an EU figurative trademark invalid based on earlier non-registered trademarks.

24 July 2017

Penalty against Overstock’s false advertising affirmed on appeal

The California Court of Appeal has upheld the trial court’s ruling in the 2013 case The People v Overstock, in which the district attorney offices of a number of counties in California alleged unfair business practices and false advertising by Overstock.Com, Inc. The claims stemmed from Overstock’s comparative price advertising on its website product pages.

22 December 2016

Taobao returns to USTR's Notorious Markets list; Alibaba CEO speaks of "disappointing moment for all of us"

After a four year absence, an Alibaba Group platform has re-appeared on the annual Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets list – and its CEO subsequently sent a strongly-worded email to staff, seen by World Trademark Review, urging stakeholders to continue undeterred in the “all-out war against counterfeits”.

10 October 2016

Alibaba hits back after brands renew pressure on USTR to list sites as notorious markets

Submissions to the Office of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual request for comments to identify the online and physical markets that should be included in the 2016 Notorious Markets List has seen renewed calls for Alibaba to be relisted. However, the online giant has confirmed the filing of a rebuttal comment, telling World Trademark Review that its submission describes its steadfast efforts to fight counterfeiters online.

05 October 2016

Lanham Act goes to the merits of a claim

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held in Trader Joe’s Company v Hallatt that the extraterritorial reach of the Lanham Act is a question of the claim’s merits rather than a question of the court’s subject-matter jurisdiction.

08 September 2016

“Help us help you”: international trade groups lay out anti-counterfeiting demands to Alibaba

A coalition of international brand and trade groups has sent a letter to senior figures at Alibaba Group highlighting continued concerns around the implementation of effective anti-counterfeiting measures on its platforms. While the letter includes scathing criticisms of some of the currently available tools – decrying the processing of non-good faith notices as “woeful” – it offers a number of practical recommendations on how the online giant could improve.

28 September 2016

The first of the gTLD blockbusters? Assessing the ‘.shop’ launch figures

This week the ‘.shop’ gTLD hit general availability, with the registry behind the string revealing that it registered almost 40,000 domains in the first 30 minutes of sales. Watchers of the expanded online space – particularly trademark owners seeking to gauge the need for defensive registrations – have been awaiting the launch of strings that go truly mainstream. So is the early performance of ‘.shop’ a sign that the blockbusters are now arriving?

12 April 2016

Closeness of products important factor in establishing link in Article 8(5) cases

The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market Opposition Division has upheld an opposition that there was a risk that The Body Shop International's use of the term SPA WISDOM would take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the Benelux trademark SPA. Its decision was confirmed by the Fourth Board of Appeal.