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23 March 2018

Warning: discovery misconduct can cost more than just your case

In Klipsch v ePRO the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has adopted a standard that “discovery sanctions should be commensurate with the costs unnecessarily created by the sanctionable behaviour”.

21 March 2018

Bohemia decision: Federal Court confirms approach to distinctiveness assessment where mark contains geographical term

In Bohemia Crystal v Host Corporation, the Federal Court of Australia has found that the marks BOHEMIA and BOHEMIA CRYSTAL were not distinctive as they indicated a geographical origin known for crystal glassware.

22 February 2018

Good news for rights holders: SON and NAFDAC enter into partnership to tackle fake and substandard products

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control have entered into a partnership to tackle and combat fake and substandard products in the country.

14 December 2017

Specific figurative context with respect to identity of word elements of marks

The Luxembourg General Court issues its judgment in a case concerning the complaint of Frame Srl against the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market’s decision to uphold part of Bianca-Moden’s opposition to the trademark BIANCALUNA.

13 November 2017

Is parody funny? No, not if it’s done in bad faith

A hearing officer has deemed that filing of applications to support a potential parodying form of use against a competitor falls short of the standards of acceptable commercial behaviour.

04 September 2017

Hindustan Unilever triumphs in slander of goods case

In Hindustan Unilever Limited v Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, the Bombay High Court recently held that an action for disparagement of a plaintiff’s product can be sustained even if the advertisement is directed towards an entire class of products within which a complaining plaintiff’s product falls.

16 October 2017

Checked pattern held to be well-known trademark

In an unusual trademark case concerning a blue-and-white checked pattern used on bed linen, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court has ruled in favour of Hästens Sengar AB, which sued the Nordicform group of companies for infringement. The court held that the pattern had acquired distinctiveness through use and the relevant consumers were expected to show a high degree of attention due to the character and price of Hästens beds.

03 May 2017

High Court determines appeal against refusal of SOVEREIGN trademark

The recently dismissed appeal against a hearing officer's decision to refuse the registration of the mark SOVEREIGN in respect of "gold commemorative coins" is a reminder that the threshold for success on appeal from a hearing officer – whether to the appointed person or the High Court – is high.

10 November 2016

ECJ delivers blow to Rubik’s Cube; fears raised that decision paves the way for increased counterfeits

The European Court of Justice has handed down its long-awaited decision on the Rubik’s Cube 3D mark, annulling the EU Intellectual Property Office decision which confirmed registration of the shape in question as an EU trademark. The company has characterised today’s decision as “a damaging precedent”; while one legal commentator, who regards the decision as “bad news” for both brand owners and consumers, warns that it could pave the way for an increase in knock-offs and counterfeits on the market.

03 October 2016

EU customs seizures skyrocketed in 2015; concerns raised that counterfeit issue being ‘massively underestimated’

The European Commission’s latest annual report into EU customs enforcement has found that the level of suspected counterfeit articles detained by authorities rose by 15% year-on-year, with the number of applications for action up by a startling 59% across the same time period. While the estimated value of the detailed articles totals nearly €650 million, one expert claims the report could be massively underestimating the scope of the problem.

16 June 2016

Boost for tobacco brands as poll confirms consumer fears over counterfeit impact of plain packaging

One of the arguments made against the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products is that the absence of branding would exacerbate the problem of counterfeiting, with potentially unsafe products becoming more accessible. As Malaysia lays the groundwork for a plain packaging regime, a recent poll of Malaysian consumers would seem to support that concern.

19 May 2016

Plain packaging gets green light in the UK as court dismisses legal challenge

The High Court in London has rejected a challenge to legislation introducing plain packaging for tobacco products. The decision was handed down just a day before the new regime makes effect, meaning that the UK will shortly become the latest country to implement plain packaging.

11 February 2016

GrillSeason succeeds on appeal following refusal of GRILLCUBE

The Board of Appeal has overturned an Estonian Patent Office decision finding that the mark GRILLCUBE was descriptive and lacked distinctive character. The Board of Appeal found that for a refusal, the meaning of the mark should describe some essential characteristics of the goods.

10 February 2016

Complaint for three-letter domain fails

A recent UDRP decision highlights that the omission of evidence will not be viewed lightly and could lead to a finding of reverse domain name hijacking, even if the respondent does not actually request this. It further demonstrates that it may also be extremely difficult to prove that a respondent was targeting a particular trademark owner when a domain name is very short.

08 February 2016

No life in appeal of VITA+VERDE application before General Court

A recent General Court ruling which upheld a decision of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market’s Second Board of Appeal to refuse registration of the mark VITA+VERDE reinforces a number of existing principles in relation to the assessment of a likelihood of confusion.