Topic: Trademark

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Overview of IP Law In Canada – The Intellectual Property Review

The recently published Eleventh Edition of the Intellectual Property Review (the Review) includes a Canadian chapter. Readers are invited to learn more on the various forms of IP protection available in Canada, and highlights of important changes in Canadian IP law over the past year. The chapter was authored by members of the Brand Protection Blog team. The chapter … Continue reading

Trade mark ownership: As easy as A-B-C?

Trade mark ownership is an important consideration for any business.  Ensuring that a business holds all rights to enable it to make full use of its trade mark should be front of mind in any branding consideration.  Unfortunately however, while seemingly obvious, the concept of ownership is sometimes overlooked and can be more complex than … Continue reading

Spotify successfully opposes POTIFY applications based on dilution by blurring

In its first precedential decision of 2022, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) sustained two oppositions filed by Spotify AB (“Spotify”) against registration of POTIFY for use in connection with an online ordering platform and community for medical and recreational cannabis consumers to connect with legal marijuana retailers.  Both oppositions were sustained on Spotify’s … Continue reading

Protection for partial products as unregistered Community designs

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled on the possibility of claiming protection for a part of a product or a component part of a complex product as an unregistered Community design. The ECJ ruled that protection as an unregistered Community designs is possible if the underlying product itself has been made available to … Continue reading

Canadian Federal Court of Appeal affirms that use of variant was use of Registered Mark

The recent Federal Court of Appeal decision in Geox S.P.A. v. De Luca considered whether modifications to the appearance of a trademark went beyond the scope of the registration.  The Court also highlighted important factors for brand owners to consider when licensing and refreshing a corporate logo. The Use of Variants The Registrar of Trademarks … Continue reading

Trademark protection in France: distinctiveness may result from the addition of an ornamental sign to usual or descriptive language

In a judgment of 17 September 2021, the Paris Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of the validity of the semi-figurative trademark a descriptive verbal element .  The Judges highlighted in particular that, although the expression “vente privée” is a generic and usual designation of the services provided, the addition of a pink butterfly … Continue reading

Choc it out: Lindt’s golden bunny granted trade mark recognition in the EU

It is well-established that a shape or colour alone can function as a trade mark, that is, a badge of origin indicating to consumers the source of the relevant goods or services. However, in practice, achieving the level of ubiquity required to be granted such a trade mark registration can be difficult.[1] It is also … Continue reading

Federal Circuit upholds constitutionality of TTAB judges

This week the Federal Circuit rejected a constitutional challenge to the Secretary of Commerce’s appointment of administrative judges to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). The decision comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in June in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, which stated … Continue reading

Beijing IP Court pilots mediation program for Trademark Office appeals

In response to the rapid increase in the number of trademark prosecution administrative review cases (appeals from the Trademark Office – CNIPA), the Supreme People’s Court issued a Judicial Opinion on “Promoting the Reform of Administrative Litigation Proceedings by Dividing Complicated Cases and Simple Cases ” (the “Opinion”) in May 2021. The Opinion aimed to … Continue reading

IP Report 2021

We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Rex Lee and Amy O’Brien in preparing this blog. Intellectual Property (IP) Australia published their 9th annual edition of the Australian IP Report (the IP Report) on 29 April 2021.  The IP Report, available here, offers a general overview of the current Australian IP climate. It outlines … Continue reading

Proactive Trademark Registration Strategy Can Prevent Costly Customs Issues in China

Although it is not strictly necessary to file for a trade mark registration before using a mark, there are significant advantages to securing trademark protection, particularly in a company’s primary markets.  Amongst other benefits, a trademark registration gives the owner the exclusive right to use that mark in association with the goods and services covered … Continue reading

Amazon’s 2020 Brand Protection Report – What Brand Owners Need to Know

On May 10, 2021, Amazon released its 2020 Brand Protection Report (the Report), the first of its kind published by the e-commerce giant. The Report offers insight into Amazon’s brand protection approach and efforts over the past year, including proactive controls, brand tools, and consequences for “bad actors”. With a growing number of fraudsters cropping … Continue reading

CNIPA responds to a pandemic of COVID-related TM Applications

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous Chinese trademark squatters have surfaced with applications for marks closely related to the pandemic, such as “雷神山” (“Lei-Shen-Shan” in Chinese, which is a hospital built in response to the pandemic), “火神山” (“Huo-Shen-Shan” in Chinese, also meaning a hospital built in response to the pandemic), “方舱” (“Fang-Cang”, which … Continue reading

NATIERRA: Presenting Fresh Evidence on Appeal

A recent decision of the Federal Court, Brandstorm, Inc. v Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd., 2021 FC 73, has confirmed that where “sufficiently substantial and significant” evidence is presented on review, the appeal of a decision of the Registrar of Trademarks (the Registrar) pursuant to section 56(5) of the Trademarks Act (the “Act”) can be done … Continue reading

Expedited Examination for COVID-19 Related Marks Avoid Systemic Delays in Canadian Examination

The delays in Canadian trademark examination are becoming excruciating. The Trademarks Act and the Trademark Regulations provisions do not expressly provide for expedited examination of a Canadian trademark application. The long-standing practice of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) was to refuse requests for the expedited examination.  Section 2.2 of the Trademark Examination Manual, the … Continue reading

Michael Jordan deserves an apology from Qiaodan Sports for infringing his name rights for over 20 years

According to the Shanghai Xinhua News Agency, the Shanghai Second Intermediate People’s Court handed down a first instance decision on 30 December 2020 in favour of Michael Jordan against Qiaodan Sports Company and Bairen Trading Company (both Chinese local companies) in respect of infringement of Michael Jordan’s name rights. In the lawsuit, Michael Jordan claimed … Continue reading

Passing off as Parsons: Injunction and Damages Granted to Halt Phishing Website

Last week, in Parsons Inc. v Khan, 2021 FC 57, the Federal Court found the owner of a phishing website liable for passing itself off as the Applicants’, Parsons Corporation and Parsons Inc. (“Parsons”). Parsons, a multinational engineering and construction firm with a Canadian subsidiary, has applied-for and used, but not yet registered, the PARSONS … Continue reading

How the Canadian Trademarks Office Considers Inherent Distinctiveness

Inherent distinctiveness is a measure of a trademark’s originality – those elements that make a brand unique and recognizable to the public. Trademarks indicate the source of goods or services for consumers. As such, distinctiveness is said to be the “essence of a protectable trademark and the foundation of trademark law”[1]. Canada Now Examines for … Continue reading

Breaking new ground(s)? McDonald’s opposes “McMortgage” citing depreciation of goodwill

For the first time ever, Canada’s Trademark Opposition Board (TMOB) has held that a ‘depreciation of goodwill’ claim can serve as a valid ground of opposition in trademark opposition proceedings. In doing so, the TMOB has arguably continued the recent trend in Canadian trademark jurisprudence of expanding the application of the depreciation of goodwill remedy … Continue reading

New common EU Guideline on genuine use of trademarks in a form differing from the one registered

On October 15, 2020, the European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN) has published its Common Practice No. 8 (CP8) about the ‘Use of a trade mark in a form differing from the one registered’. The CP8 provides guidelines and practical examples for users about the common standards to be applied by the EU Trademark Office … Continue reading

Federal Court of Appeal Reviews Meaning of “Use” of a Trademark in Canada

In Miller Thomson LLP v Hilton Worldwide Holding LLP, 2020 FCA 134, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal recently confirmed that a trademark associated with “hotel services” was valid despite no brick-and-mortar presence in Canada.  More specifically, the Court acknowledged that providing incidental or ancillary services to the registered service can be considered to be … Continue reading
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