Singapore is first off the mark to ratify its eponymous treaty - the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks - according to WIPO Press Release PR/2007/484 (emailed today and yet on its Press Room website at the time of posting this blog). another nine adherents are needed before the Treaty has legal effect. The ratification is apposite since it's virtually a year to the day since the Treaty was agreed, following a highly successful international conference. The general thrust of this Treaty is that it is intended to streamline official procedures and reduce red tape in the digital era, making it quicker, cheaper and less painful for trade mark applicants (and their representatives) to deal with officialdom.
So far, over 50 countries have signed the Treaty, but it was up to plucky Singapore to take the plunge (metaphors about 'breaking the ice' seem inappropriate in a location that is so, well, warm and moist).
Right: ABSOLUT - a trade mark that already receives the benefit of Singapore's strongly pro-IP rights stance
Full text and all other available details here
Comfortably ahead of schedule, the April 2007 issue of the Sweet & Maxwell's monthly European Trade Mark Reports has arrived. Cases reported this time round include
* The ETERNA trade mark dispute from Germany, on whether shirts bearing that trade mark and handed over to a forwarding agent in the European Union, in the false expectation that they would be exported outside the European Economic Area, have been first marketed in the European Union by the trade mark owner or with its consent;As usual, if you have any suggestions concerning important European trade mark cases that you'd like to see reported in the ETMR, let the IPKat know here (since two members of the IPKat blog team are responsible for the ETMR's editorial content).
* The recent European Court of Human Rights decision that trade mark applications are protectable possessions, in Anheuser-Busch v Portugal (noted here by the IPKat);
* Zockoll (formerly Phonenames Ltd) v Controller of Patents (Irish High Court), which raises a fascinating selection of issues concerning a franchisor's attempts to register 800 FLOWERS and 800 FLORISTS as trade marks in Ireland in the teeth of vigorous US opposition.