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Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Monday, 16 October 2006

LATEST ETMR; TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE JUDGE


Latest ETMR

The November 2006 issue of the monthly European Trade Mark Reports, published by Sweet & Maxwell, has been published satisfyingly early in mid-October (well done, Sweets).

Judgments reported in full in English in this issue include

* Anheuser-Busch v Budejovicky Budvar (Supreme Court, Stockholm), where the US Budweiser was able to stop its Czech rival using the words Budweiser and Budweis, but not Budvar or Budbrau;

* Spar Slovenija d.o.o. v Eurocity Podjetje Za Transport (IP Office, Slovenia): deals with the likelihood of confusion between the trade mark EUROCITY and a company name containing the word "Eurocity".
Among the English-language cases in this issue are
* ODC Enterprises v Tommy Hilfiger (Irish Patents Office), in which the owner of the TOMMY family of trade marks successfully opposed the registration of TOMMY SPORTS for clothing;

* Novartis Seeds BV's application (Appointed Person, UK), where Novartis overcame the objections of the examiner that its applied-for mark CANTO for flower seeds would be confused with the earlier registered mark ERIC CANTONA CANTO, also registered for seeds.
Above: Eric Cantona exchanges opinions with another footballer over the criteria of likelihood of confusion in European trade mark law.

The IPKat reminds readers from everywhere in Europe that, if they know of an interesting or important recent case that they think should be reported in the ETMR, they should email the IPKat here and tell him all about it.


Twinkle twinkle little judge ...

A survey of High Court judges in England and Wales, published in The Lawyer magazine on 9 October, picks out five judges as "stars of the bench". Between them, they had only one trial decision overturned by the Court of Appeal; their combined success rate is 93%, against an average of 60% for High Court judges as a whole. Of the five "stars", two are Patents Court judges - Mr Justice Mann and Mr Justice Kitchin (neither of whom had any decisions reversed on appeal).

The IPKat says this is truly good news for anyone litigating intellectual property disputes in England and Wales. Well done, says the IPKat. Hmm, I'm not so sure, says Merpel - this approach assumes that the Court of Appeal is always right ...

Judge the stars here

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It also fails to take into account cases where parties either don't bother appealing or get permission to appeal and then settle the appeal.

Which happens alot.

Jeremy said...

The survey also fails to take into account factors such as (i) the level of complexity of the cases allocated to each trial judge, (ii) the capacity of the Court of Appeal to distance itself from earlier cases that a trial judge might feel obliged to follow or (iii) the composition of the Court of Appeal itself, where the number of IP-conscious judges may vary from zero to three.

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