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10 April 2018

Private practitioner optimism falls as corporate clients demand more for less

This year’s Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey reveals that despite increasing levels of trademark work, pessimism is growing about the future of private practice, with budget-conscious clients demanding more from attorneys.

10 May 2011

Leading trademark groups revealed in WTR Industry Awards shortlist

Over 1,400 nominations and two months of extensive research later, the shortlist for this year's WTR Industry Awards can now be revealed. The awards recognise the vital work of in-house trademark counsel and identify those teams and individuals that are performing their functions to the highest standards. The winners will be announced one week from today to coincide with INTA’s 133rd annual meeting.

05 October 2012

Domain name must be sufficiently distinctive to be protected under unfair competition rules

The Court of Appeal of Versailles has held that, while a domain name without a supporting trademark could be protected under the rules of unfair competition, it had to be sufficiently distinctive. This case shows that one needs to tread carefully when choosing a strategy to prevent the use of a domain name, as making the wrong choice could result in losing trademark rights.

11 September 2018

<strong>AUTOKEY marks found to have acquired secondary meaning as badge of origin</strong>

The Irish controller for patents, designs and trademarks has found that, although two AUTOKEY marks were liable to be refused under two different sections of the Trademarks Act, the marks had acquired distinctiveness through use.

10 April 2013

Second time unlucky for Interflora in the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in Interflora Inc v Marks & Spencer PLC. This is the second judgment from the court in this case on the admissibility of evidence from witnesses identified through surveys. The decision appears to make it even harder to adduce survey evidence in trademark infringement cases than was the case after the first decision.

24 May 2018

Platform immunity under the microscope: cooperation is the best way forward

Online operators such as eBay, Facebook, Instagram and Amazon find themselves under the microscope. They have become hugely successful organisations, but their platforms are often misused by those infringing rights or promoting bad locations.

18 March 2015

Federal Court takes on metatags

In Red Label Vacations Inc v 411 Travel Buys Limited, the Federal Court has addressed the issue of copyright and trademark protection in metatags, concluding that there had been no violation of the plaintiff’s alleged copyright or trademark rights. The case represents one of the first detailed reviews of these issues by a Canadian Court.

04 November 2010

Och! Initial interest confusion sufficient to establish infringement

In Och-Ziff Management Europe Limited v Och Capital LLP, the High Court has found that 'initial interest confusion' was sufficient to establish infringement under the Community Trademark Regulation. This is good news for trademark owners, as many instances of alleged infringement occur when unscrupulous advertisers seek to attract customers, but the identity of the advertiser is clear at the time the goods are purchased.

12 March 2009

Amendments to Trademark Decree Law enter into force

Law 5833, which amends Decree Law 556 on the Protection of Trademarks, has entered into force. The new law amends Articles 9 and 61 of the Decree Law. It aims to fill the gaps created by the January 5 2008 decision of the Constitutional Court, which annulled certain provisions of the Decree Law.

11 September 2014

Are trademark registrations the new way for angry consumers to make a point?

Brands are well-used to disgruntled customers taking to social media to air their grievances, but consumers wielding trademark law is a less common tactic. However, one UK individual has bucked that trend and has registered a trademark in the name of the bank that is the source of his ire, with the corresponding domain name being used to air his grievances.

12 July 2010

Big brands have only days to block the '.co' cybersquatters

The Colombians are no doubt planning a big party. It seems that their well-funded attempt to turn the '.co' country-code top-level domain into a global alternative to '.com' may well pay off: over half of the top 500 global brands have signed up for a '.co' already. However, WTR has seen a list of domains invalidated during the sunrise period which suggests that the cybersquatters are circling - and brand owners have just days to protect some well-known marks.

05 July 2010

Nickname may constitute legitimate interest in registering domain name

In Sandro Andy v Balzarin, Sandro Andy, a French fashion company, has failed to obtain the transfer of the domain name '' under the UDRP. Among other things, the WIPO panel accepted the respondent's argument that he had a legitimate interest in registering the domain name, as it corresponded to his nickname Sandro.

13 March 2019

Making brand protection more consumer-centric

Online fraudsters, counterfeiters and pirates are becoming more adept at targeting consumers and taking advantage of legitimate brands. If businesses rely on traditional approaches to brand protection in the face of this onslaught, effective brand protection will be extremely difficult to achieve. To put this into perspective, consider the nature and scope of counterfeiting and brand abuse.

05 March 2010

Criticism website does not fall foul of French trademark law

Smart&co SAS, a French company specializing in packaged gift boxes containing themed vouchers, has lost a complaint filed with WIPO in relation to the domain name '' under the UDRP. Among other things, the panel highlighted that use of a mark in a domain name for the purpose of criticism did not fall foul of French trademark law, since it was not a use in the course of business.

01 January 2017

Developing an approach to #trademarks

While France accounts for 87% of hashtag removal requests worldwide, the interplay between brands and hashtags is increasingly international – making it crucial to understand how they are treated in the European Union and the United States