Intellectual Property updates

Argentina

Contributed by Obligado & Cia
New trademark opposition system
  • Argentina
  • May 14 2018

Decree 27/2018 was recently issued with the aim of further reducing and simplifying the regulations of different regimes in order to improve commerce and industry. In the IP sphere, the decree introduced important and substantial changes to the trademark opposition system. As a result, the administrative authority will be empowered to settle disputes concerning oppositions that cannot be resolved between the parties by means of negotiation.

Effect of new decree on industrial property and trademark law
  • Argentina
  • March 12 2018

A recently issued decree aims to further reduce and simplify the regulations of relevant regimes in order to provide an efficient response to requests for the exercise of commerce and the development of industry. Among other things, the decree simplifies the trademark opposition procedure; implements the administrative resolution of oppositions, nullity and cancellation for non-use actions; and requires proof of use for registered trademarks.

Likelihood of confusion of pharmaceutical trademarks
  • Argentina
  • December 18 2017

Argentine law contains no specific rules on the risk of confusion regarding pharmaceutical products and legal commentators and case law provide opposing views of whether common or stricter criteria should be applied. In this context, the most recent legislation and judicial decisions recognise that each particular case should be analysed separately in order to determine which criteria should be applied.

Trademarks and pharmaceutical products – an overview
  • Argentina
  • October 23 2017

The pharmaceutical industry is a regulated activity in the sense that medicaments require government authorisation in order to be commercialised. As a result, registering a trademark with the Trademark Office is insufficient to guarantee its use on a pharmaceutical product, as the name of the medicament must be accepted by the Health Authority at the time of issuance of the required marketing and sales authorisation.

Domain name and trademark dispute resolutions
  • Argentina
  • May 15 2017

The Internet's introduction, boom and speed of development has resulted in many conflicts and abuses, including the registration of domain names featuring the unauthorised use of a trademark owned by a third party. Argentina has not yet issued a substantive ruling referring to disputes between domain names and trademarks. Until 2009, the interested parties in a conflict had to seek remedy in court due to the non-existence of an alternative dispute resolution system.


Austria

Contributed by Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Selective distribution systems and exhaustion of trademark rights
  • Austria
  • June 04 2018

The Supreme Court recently affirmed once more that the exemptions to the principle of exhaustion of trademark rights must be construed narrowly. In its decision, the court made clear that once trademark rights are exhausted, resellers may use not only word marks, but also figurative marks without any limitations when advertising or reselling original products.

Marketability is key: if a work can be separated it is not a joint work
  • Austria
  • January 08 2018

In a welcome development of Austrian copyright law, the Supreme Court recently ruled that a combination of works by two artists does not constitute a joint work if it can be separated, even if the works involved were created for the sole purpose of being combined as a jointly planned contribution. Strong indicators of whether parts of a work are separable are the individual marketability and possible depreciation of the separated parts.

Introduction of certification marks and other amendments to Trademark Law
  • Austria
  • November 20 2017

Parliament recently transposed parts of EU Directive 2015/2436 into national law. Most important is the introduction of certification marks, which did not previously exist under Austrian law. Other provisions of the bill concern the division of trademark applications, the shortening of the validity period of a registration and the reduction of the registration fee.

Age of technology – metadata is sufficient to retain author's right of attribution
  • Austria
  • July 17 2017

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the producer of a photograph who marks his or her name in the photograph's metadata must be credited as the producer on copies of the photograph made by other persons and intended for distribution. This judgment is good news for producers of digital photographs who wish to safeguard their copyright. Persons reproducing and distributing digital photographs should routinely check the metadata to ensure that the producer's name is listed on any reproduction.

Different panels, different opinions – different decisions
  • Austria
  • February 20 2017

The Supreme Court recently confirmed its view that the issuance of contradicting decisions in, on the one hand, infringement proceedings and, on the other hand, opposition proceedings by different panels of the same appellate court is no reason to admit an extraordinary appeal to the Supreme Court. The decision stresses that, in principle, the appellate courts must consider the issue of likelihood of confusion, and that it will step in only if the appealing party can demonstrate gross misjudgment.


Belgium

Contributed by ALTIUS
Trademarks versus artistic freedom of expression: milestone referral for preliminary ruling
  • Belgium
  • July 09 2018

In a high-profile trademark infringement case involving Moët Hennessey Champagne Services and a Belgian painter, the courts were asked to strike a balance between the right to property, including intellectual property, and artistic freedom of expression. The decision is expected to set an important precedent on how to strike a fair balance between freedom of speech and the protection of trademarks when these two concepts conflict.

Parallel import of medicinal products
  • Belgium
  • November 06 2017

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) recently sued PI Pharma before the Brussels Commercial Court for the parallel import and repackaging of one of MSD's medicinal products. MSD based its claim on the alleged violation of the first, third and fourth Bristol-Myers Squibb conditions. Although this is not the first time that the Brussels Commercial Court has been involved in a dispute over the parallel importation of medicinal products, the judgment further refines the scope of certain Bristol-Myers Squibb conditions.

Court issues decision on parallel importation of debranded Mitsubishi forklift trucks
  • Belgium
  • April 10 2017

In a recent judgment, the Brussels Court of Appeal ordered two parallel traders to pay provisional compensation of €3 million to the Mitsubishi Corporation for illegally importing hundreds of Mitsubishi forklift trucks which had been on the Asian market into the European Economic Area via parallel trade routes. The court held that the parallel traders had failed to provide conclusive evidence that Mitsubishi, the proprietor of the Benelux and EU trademarks, had consented to the parallel trade.

Court rules on use of competitor's trademark as AdWord
  • Belgium
  • May 02 2016

The Mons Court of Appeal recently issued a judgment in a dispute between Verabel, holder of a complex trademark, and Verandas Confort, which used the word VERABEL as a Google AdWord. The court found that the AdWord VERABEL created likelihood of confusion between the goods concerned and infringed the trademark's function of origin. As a result, Veranda Confort was ordered to cease using the AdWord.

Supreme Court defines online patent-infringing offer
  • Belgium
  • April 04 2016

The Supreme Court recently issued a judgment in a dispute between a European patent holder and Swiss-based medical and dental equipment manufacturer Nouvag. The court confirmed that Nouvag had failed to comply with an order not to offer an infringing product in Belgium, as the product was presented on its website as being available throughout Europe. The judgment provides clarity on 'offering' as an act of patent infringement in Belgium.


Canada

Contributed by Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
Eli Lilly seeks leave in olanzapine Section 8 damages action
  • Canada
  • July 09 2018

In early 2018 the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Eli Lilly Canada's appeal of a trial decision awarding more than $70 million to Teva Canada under Section 8 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. The Federal Court of Appeal recently granted Teva's cross-appeal seeking to add to its recovery lost pipe fill sales and an adjustment to account for underreporting of sales in the data relied on by both parties' experts. Eli Lilly has since applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal.

PMPRB forming working group on guideline reform
  • Canada
  • July 02 2018

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) recently announced that the next step in its guideline reform will be the inception of a multi-stakeholder working group intended to gather stakeholder input on key technical aspects of the new regime. The PMPRB anticipates concurrently releasing more specific guidance on how it foresees putting the anticipated regulatory changes into operation.

Supreme Court denies Idenix leave to appeal in SOVALDI dispute
  • Canada
  • July 02 2018

The Supreme Court recently dismissed Idenix's application for leave to appeal the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal affirming the trial decision relating to two competing patents over Gilead's SOVALDI (sofosbuvir). The Federal Court of Appeal upheld the validity of Gilead's patent and declared Idenix's patent invalid on the basis of insufficiency of disclosure and inutility.

Top five reasons to consider patent litigation in Canada
  • Canada
  • June 25 2018

Canada has historically been a much less active jurisdiction for patent litigation compared to the United States, which can be explained in part by the simple fact that the US market is almost 10 times the size of the Canadian market. However, there are a few notable differences in the procedure and substantive law applied in both jurisdictions that have resulted in Canada becoming an increasingly attractive option for high-stakes patent litigation in recent years.

Ontario Court of Appeal dismisses summary judgment appeal in Section 8 case
  • Canada
  • June 25 2018

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently dismissed Abbott and Takeda's appeal of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's decision to dismiss their motion for summary judgment in an action brought by Apotex under Section 8 of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. The action concerned lansoprazole, the active ingredient in Apo-Lansoprazole. The Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that the motions judge had not erred in finding that Apo-Lansoprazole would have received approval in 2007.


Cayman Islands

New Cayman Islands IP regime
  • Cayman Islands
  • September 11 2017

The Trademarks Law 2016, the Patents and Trademarks (Amendment) Law 2016 and the Design Rights Registration Law 2016 recently came into force, introducing a new IP regime in the Cayman Islands. The legislation establishes a standalone trademark registration system, prohibits the assertion of patent infringement in bad faith and allows existing UK and EU-registered design rights to be extended to the Cayman Islands, among other things.