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Sunday, 4 November 2007

Four recent issues fron Sweet & Maxwell

The November 2007 issue of the European Trade Mark Reports features a variety of cases drawn from Germany, the UK, the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the Court of First Instance of the European Communities and the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market. These decisions include

* Kustom Musical Amplification Inc v OHIM, an important CFI ruling on how evidence of use of an applied-for Community trade mark (in this case the applicant's BEAST "pointy guitar") found on websites should be treated in the course of OHIM proceedings;

* CFA Institute's Application; Opposition of the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK Trade Mark Registry), this being a ruling that the use of the word "chartered" as part of the text of a figurative mark could be regarded as liable to deceive the lay sector of the relevant public that users of the mark had been approved by a body possessing a royal charter;

* Irish Stock Exchange Ltd's Application (OHIM Second Board of Appeal), holding that the distinctiveness of the apparently descriptive words ALTERNATIVE SECURITIES MARKET cannot be inferred from a long absence on the part of others of the need to use it for their own services;

* Internet Auction II (Bundesgerichtshof, Germany), on the extent to which internet auction sites can be held liable in Germany for hosting offers to sell counterfeit products, and on whether relief is available in respect of future infringing sales as well as past ones.

The November 2007 issue of the European Intellectual Property Review leads with an Opinion by Aston University academic Claire Howell on the reference by the Court of Appeal of a batch of questions on trade mark dilution to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling in the Intel case (noted by the IPKat here). There's also a thought-provoking piece by Brian Bandey (St Peter's College, Oxford) on over-categorisation of subject-matter in copyright law, lamenting the time and effort expended in seeking to pigeonhole original works into the appropriate slot. Annoyingly, this issue contains 13 pages that are entirely blank and numerous others that do not contain useful content for the reader. Let's hope for more content next time!


Although it's not a regular IP read, the November 2007 issue of the bimonthly Journal of Business Law contains quite interesting material for IP readers from time to time. This issue is one of those. It contains a review of the first ten years of the EU Product Liability Directive by Peter Shears (Professor of Consumer Law and Policy, University of Plymouth), which contains nothing to worry trade mark owners - who may find themselves liable for the defective quality of goods bearing their trade marks even if those goods are not made by them.


Finally, Part 5 of the European Commercial Cases reports has now been issued. This issue contains full-text reports on two IP decisions from the High Court for England and Wales:
* Riemann & Co v Linco Care Ltd (the P20/C20 case on the balance of convenience when granting interim injunctive relief, noted by the IPKat here)

* Cantor Gaming Ltd v Gameaccount Global Ltd, a decision on inunctive relief for copyright infringement discussed by the IPKat here, and subsequently revisited on the question of costs here).
The ECC often contains reports on IP decisions from France and Germany, though there are none in this issue.

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