Category: Regions

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Korean Patent Court Finds: Use of Outback motel mark unfairly competes with mark for restaurant services

In a suit alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition, the Korean Patent Court concluded that the use of the mark “” in connection with “unmanned lodging services” used for so-called love motels with an image of a naked woman, did not infringe Outback Steakhouse’s trademark.  But it did constitute unfair competition because that use harmed … Continue Reading

“EACH DAY HAS A COLOR, A SMELL…”: Searching For New Trademark Worlds

The search for spices, and the gold that one expected to find nearby (or earn through sale of the spices), in many ways drove the Age of Exploration.  And spices still hold a special place in our economy and in our imagination; in fact, we believe that spices “all hold magic.” Part of that magic … Continue Reading

Moscow Region Commercial Court rendered a precedent decision in an originator-generic dispute

On September 27, 2017, the Moscow Region Commercial Court published a significant decision in a patent dispute between Novartis AG, Swiss originator, and Nativa LLC, Russian generic producer (case No. A41-85807/2016). Under the auspices of the case, Novartis AG filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nativa LLC claiming that its active patent on «Tyrosine kinase … Continue Reading

Can Trademarks Related to Cannabis be Protected?

Suppose that you want to federally register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services related to your cannabis business.  What if the trademark covers merchandise indirectly related to cannabis or products directly related to the use of cannabis?  Should you attempt to register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  … Continue Reading

New era for Collective Management in Greece and the legal uncertainty for AEPI, the major Greek CMO

Introduction The Collective Management Organisations in Greece are subject to the legal framework of the Law 2121/1993, as amended recently by Law 4481/2017 regarding the collective management of copyright and related rights, thereby the Greek legislation was harmonised with the Directive 2014/26/EU. In this article we aim to focus on one aspect of the new … Continue Reading

FTC Brings First Ever Enforcement Action Against Individual Social Media Influencers; Updates Warnings and Guidance for Influencers and Marketers

On the heels of issuing more than 90 letters to celebrities, bloggers and other influencers in April 2017, as well as receiving continued petitions by watchdog organizations such as Public Citizen, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought its first direct action against individual influencers for failing to disclose their material connections on social media. At the … Continue Reading

Will It Be Known As “Michelin Star Athletica”?: Why The US Supreme Court May Have Given American Chefs A Reason To Cheer

Recent years have witnessed a surge in the United States in the appreciation for fine food and those who create it.  Indeed, the concept of the “celebrity chef” has taken such hold in the United States that there are entire television networks and countless magazines (on-line and in print) to cooking, recipes, chefs and the … Continue Reading

Obtaining Statutory Damages for Trademark Infringement – A Cross Border Approach under the Trademark Act of the Republic of Korea

** Originally published by DRI in the DRI IP Committee newsletter** Recently the Korea Supreme Court issued a significant ruling, providing guidance on the availability of statutory damages in trademark infringement actions.  This article discusses that ruling. Under the Trademark Act of the Republic of Korea (“the Act”), a trademark owner is entitled to receive compensation … Continue Reading

Win or lose, you pay PTO attorneys’ fees for challenging decisions in District Court

When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) rejects a patent application, the applicant has two options for judicial review. It can either appeal directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under 35 U.S.C. §141, or file a new (“de novo”) civil action against the Director of the PTO in the … Continue Reading

Extraterritorial Application of Unfair Trade Laws: Foreign Government Agencies May Restrict U.S. Companies from Exercising Their IP Rights in the United States

** Originally published by DRI in August 2017 edition of For The Defense ** Intellectual property laws are aimed at allowing intellectual property owners to hold rights in their property for a certain period of time to the exclusion of all others. Exclusivity is the essential purpose of intellectual property rights. Conversely, the essence of fair … Continue Reading

Russian Supreme Court recognized that non-profit organizations are eligible to protect name

On July 11, 2017 the Civil Disputes Judicial Board of Russian Supreme Court published a long-awaited Ruling in case No. 53-KG17-12. Under the merits of the case, in 2016 the charity fund for helping children with oncohematological and other serious diseases “Podari Jizn” (CF “Podari Jizn”) filed a lawsuit against a copycat, non-profit charity fund «Podari … Continue Reading

“…as best as your interests don’t conflict with mine”: Lawyers Fighting Over Intellectual Property

When one thinks about lawyers and Shakespeare, many recall the oft-quoted and misunderstood statement “the first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”  ‘Henry VI,” Part II, Act IV, Scene II, Line 73.  But my favorite, as a better reflection of the best of our lot, is: Sir, I shall not be slack; in … Continue Reading

Instagram Adds Paid Partnership Tool for Transparency

Instagram recently unveiled a new “branded content tool” that will allow influencers who are paid to endorse consumer products to tag partnering brands with an automated “paid partnership” disclosure. This new feature is intended to create more transparency in the Instagram community and to provide sponsors and influencers the ability to track the performance of … Continue Reading

CHANGING CANADIAN TRADEMARK LAWS – THE NEXT STEPS

As part of the implementation of various changes to Canadian Trademark Laws, the Federal Government of Canada released in June, 2017 the new proposed Trademark Regulations for public consultation. Canada has been modernizing its trademark law, including by moving to join three International Treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) dealing with trademarks.  … Continue Reading

EXHAUSTION OF PATENT RIGHTS & DIRECT INFRINGEMENT RE-EVALUATED:THE MPEG LA / DPH CASE

The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) with its decision X 2r 33/10, announced on August 21, 2012, rejects claims for infringement of MPEG-2 video coding patents by a Greek DVD manufacturer: The DVD, as such, is NOT a means of infringement of the patent claim in dispute. On August 21, 2012 the German Federal … Continue Reading

Amendments to the pre-trial procedure for IP disputes

On June 1, 2016, the mandatory pre-trial procedure came into force. On May 26, 2017 the State Duma approved in the second reading amendments to the current pre-trial procedure. Under the amendments, the pre-trial procedure extends only to the monetary disputes. The amendments (art. 1252 of the Russian Civil Code) also directly prescribe that the pre-trial procedure … Continue Reading

Can Trademarks Violate Free Speech?

Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business.  What if the trademark may be scandalous or disparage a particular group of people?  Should you register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  Can you obtain a registration from the U.S. Patent and … Continue Reading

Matal v. Tam – Disparaging Trademarks are Registrable

It is well known that the trademark laws of the United States differ substantially from the trademark laws of countries around the world.  The United States Supreme Court recently clarified that ‘offensive’ trademarks are registrable, further differentiating the United States from the majority the world. Morality Refusals Many jurisdictions have prohibitions against registration of marks … Continue Reading

Greek TV stations licensing Odyssey

It is undeniable that the relation of the Greek state with the television stations has always been turbulent, and the legal status regarding these stations has always been uncertain. Law 1866/1989 regulated for the first time the grant of a license for the establishment and operation of non-state stations, but without a tender procedure. This … Continue Reading

Which is the future for movement trademarks in Europe? A work in progress…

EU Regulation no. 2015/2424, entered into force on March 23, 2016, introduced a number of changes to the European trademark regime. Among them, the amended regulation provides for the abolition of the graphic representation requirement. This implies that, as of October 1, 2017, signs may be represented in any suitable form, using the available technology, … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statutory Provision against Offensive Trademarks

Although U.S. common law trademark rights are gained through use of the mark in commerce (without registration), registration of a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) provides the owner with additional rights and benefits.  These include nationwide enforcement of the mark against infringers; constructive notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership of … Continue Reading

T Minus 1 Year Until GDPR: Are You Ready for Take Off?

BOTTOM LINE It remains to be seen what will happen after the GDPR becomes effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR compliance roadmap can be helpful for any organization that collects or processes personal data, whether or not an organization in or outside of the EU believes it is subject to the GDPR. With just … Continue Reading

The GS Media case: “He’s making it up as he goes along!”

The GS Media case: “He’s making it up as he goes along!”[1] This is not a Brexit whinge, but when I reread the ECJ’s decision in the GS Media case[2], I do understand where 52% of my countrymen were coming from.  Generally, the EU has (IMHO) been a force for good in IP law, by … Continue Reading
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