Cour de Cassation, Chambre Commerciale, January 31, 2018, Appeal No. C 16-10.761 The French Supreme Court emphasizes that the reputation of the earlier mark is a relevant factor in the assessment of likelihood of confusion and gives it wider protection. In 2009, adidas initiated an infringement action in France relying on its famous three stripes…

The federal district court in Los Angeles did not err in dismissing trademark infringement, dilution, and related claims brought by Ketab Corporation—a telephone directory and marketing services to the Iranian community in the Los Angeles area—against a competing directory service provider, an Iranian television channel, a law firm, and others involved in providing services to…

In a recent judgement, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court once again confirmed its (too) strict position with regard to the registration of shape marks. The court ruled that a three-dimensional mark consisting of the graphical background of a popular chocolate bar’s packaging could not be registered since the design was not perceived as an indication…

EU Design law denies protection to designs which are solely dictated by a product’s technical function (art. 8(1) CDR). But how to determine if a product’s appearance is solely defined by its technical function in order to deny protection to a design? German courts, for instance used to apply the “multiplicity of forms” test, where…

The federal district court in Tampa properly determined that a karaoke disc jockey’s use of unauthorized copies of karaoke tracks displaying Phoenix Entertainment Partners’ SOUND CHOICE mark did not constitute trademark infringement or unfair competition under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta has ruled in an unpublished decision. Adopting the reasoning…

The Benelux trade mark system will undergo two important changes as per June 1, 2018. Appeals from decisions of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) Until now appeals from decisions of the BOIP in opposition cases were brought before the courts of appeal of The Hague, Brussels or Luxembourg (with further appeals on questions…

On February 13, 2018, the Russian Constitutional Court issued a judgement in which it checked whether the existing regime of parallel import was in line with the Constitution. Although grey import has remained illegal, the burden of proof has dramatically changed: now infringers have almost 50 legal reasons to pay less and minimize the risks…

The IP-related provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, signed and ratified by Ukraine in 2014, came into force on September 1, 2017. New rules regulating the non-use grace period for trademarks were thereby introduced. Where the existing trademark law provides for a 3-year non-use grace period, Article 198 of the Agreement sets forth the 5-year…

In a decision of 17 January 2018 (HR-2018-110-A), the Norwegian Supreme Court concludes that trade mark protection covers instances where there is a clear possibility that damage to the functions of a trade mark may occur only after the products have been sold. This is the first decision after joining the EEA in which the…

In yet another decision, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has ruled on whether an injunction also obliged an infringer to take active steps to stop the distribution of infringing products through resellers (decision of the BGH of 11 October 2017 in Case I ZB 96/16). The case follows a series of earlier decisions by…