International Reports - Archived content

Archived content for Israel

Reinhold Cohn Group

26 Nov 2008
No miracle for publisher of religious law code

The Jerusalem District Court has dismissed claims of copyright infringement, misappropriation, passing off, unjust enrichment and defamation brought by Ketuvim Almog Ltd, the publisher of an indexed edition of Maimonides's Mishneh Torah (a classic code of Jewish religious law), against
a Jewish institute of learning. Full text

01 Oct 2008
Parallel registration of two GALILEE WINERY marks allowed

In cross-opposition proceedings, the deputy registrar of trademarks has dismissed oppositions to the registration of the marks GALILEE WINERY and GALILEE MOUNTAINS WINERY for goods in the same class, holding that both marks could coexist on the register. Among other things, the registrar held that the market for wine and that for other alcoholic beverages are clearly distinguishable. Full text

27 Aug 2008
Descriptive use exception does not obviate need for disclaimer

The registrar of trademarks has upheld a decision to make the registration of three device marks containing the words "lady speed stick" conditional on the applicant including a notice of disclaimer for "lady" and "stick". Among other things, the registrar held that the applicant could not rely on the descriptive use exception under Section 47 of the Trademarks Ordinance. Full text

20 Aug 2008
VERSACE marks cancelled after 20 years

The registrar of trademarks has cancelled five Israeli trademarks containing the word ‘Versace’ on the grounds of bad-faith registration. The registrar held that an action for cancellation on such grounds may be filed at any time under the Trademarks Ordinance, even where the relevant provision came into force after the mark was registered. Full text

13 Aug 2008
Misrepresentations of patent ownership contributed to tax evasion conviction

A recent case demonstrates how patent ownership issues can come to bear on tax evasion, thus going far beyond the typical context of patent infringement actions and ownership disputes. The judgment shows that misrepresentations as to inventing and owning an invention may result in criminal tax proceedings. Full text

09 Jul 2008
Court refuses trademark registration of three-dimensional packaging

The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a decision of the registrar of trademarks to refuse the registration of three-dimensional packaging and a product shape as trademarks. Both the registrar and the court found that the packaging and shapes were not inherently distinctive or proven to have acquired distinctiveness, and therefore could not be registered. Full text

02 Jul 2008
New practice relating to divisional applications

Until recently, applications to divide a patent application could be filed at any time up to the acceptance of the parent application. However, the Israeli Patent Office has now changed its practice in regard to lack of uniformity objections to provide that divisional applications must be filed within four months of the objection. Full text

18 Jun 2008
Supreme Court refuses to reconsider decision in DARJEELING Case

The Israel Supreme Court has dismissed the Tea Board of India's petition for an additional hearing in opposition proceedings involving the trademark DARJEELING. In doing so, it relied on the principle that the importance of a legal issue does not necessarily warrant the re-opening of an appellate decision. Full text

14 May 2008
Motions to strike claim dismissed in keyword advertising case

In Klein v Klalit Medical Fund Ltd, the Tel Aviv District Court has dismissed the defendants' motion to strike the plaintiff's complaint before the start of the trial on the grounds of lack of privity and lack of cause of action. Among other things, the court held that the defendants could not rely on an earlier decision involving two of the parties as res judicata. Full text

07 May 2008
New Copyright Law provides long-awaited overhaul

The new Copyright Law, a comprehensive and long overdue reform of the Israeli copyright regime, is due to come into force later this month. Among other things, the law redefines the rights that fall within the scope of copyright, establishes a US-style fair-use defence and provides a different scale of compensation awardable without proof of actual damage. Full text

16 Apr 2008
Supreme Court holds that product shapes can acquire distinctiveness

The Supreme Court has reversed a district court ruling that a product shape is not eligible for registration as a three-dimensional (3D) trademark. While the court found that a product’s 3D shape is, by definition, not inherently distinctive, it may acquire distinctiveness provided that its features are not essentially functional or aesthetic. Full text

19 Mar 2008
Registration is ZIPed shut as foreign trademark owner loses out

The registrar of patents has granted the application of a local clothing retailer to cancel the trademark ZIP, registered in Israel by a foreign manufacturer, on the grounds of non-use under Section 41 of the Trademarks Ordinance. The applicant formerly imported the trademarked goods without a registered trademark licence agreement between the parties. Full text

12 Mar 2008
Harshest-ever sentence imposed in drug counterfeiting case

In State of Israel v Chaim the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court has issued the harshest prison sentence ever imposed in a drug counterfeiting case. The court approved the sentence recommended by the prosecution despite finding that it was too lenient in light of the potential impact of the defendant’s actions on public health. Full text

JMB Factor & Co

21 Dec 2011
Supreme Court reverses Eve-Eva trademark decision

In May 2010 then Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Noah Shalev Shlomovits ruled that Eva cigarettes, produced by Aktsionerno Droujestvo Bulgartabac Holdings in Bulgaria, were not confusingly similar to Eve cigarettes, produced by Philip Morris. The Supreme Court recently ruled on Philip Morris's appeal of this decision. Full text

07 Dec 2011
Wrangler takes Crocker to the cleaners

For the past 50 years jeans manufacturer Wrangler Apparel Corp has used a W-shaped stitched pattern on the back pockets of its products. Israeli jeans manufacturer Crocker decorated the back pockets of its jeans with design that is arguably a W shape. As a result, Wrangler sued Crocker for, among other things, registered trademark infringement and passing off. Full text

23 Nov 2011
WIPO sponsors traditional knowledge conference

The World Intellectual Property Organisation and Ono Academic College, Israel, have sponsored a three-day conference on traditional knowledge. "Traditional knowledge" generally refers to folk knowledge, folk medicine and the cultural expressions of regional, indigenous or local communities. However, it also covers the possible property rights of indigenous peoples in unique genetic resources found in plants and animals from their locale. Full text

12 Oct 2011
HOT off the press…

In a case of alleged copyright infringement committed through the bundling of foreign television channels, Judge Esther Shtemer recently awarded the substantial sum of NIS19 million in damages. Referring to the Supreme Court's decision in Tele-Event, she held that retransmission constituted copyright infringement. Full text

05 Oct 2011
Can ISPs be held guilty for linking to bootleg movies?

In a case relating to the download of copyright-protected films, Judge Ofer Grosskopf recently ruled that supporting and displaying lists of links to films was not in itself a culpable act of infringement. He held that provided that an internet service provider has a removal on request policy, it is not culpable for acts of infringement resulting from such links. Full text

31 Aug 2011
Supreme Court orders rights holders to fund destruction of infringing goods if importer defaults

The Supreme Court recently ruled that rights holders should bear the cost of storing and destroying infringing goods where Customs cannot collect from the importer. The court saw no justification to use public funds to cover the cost of protecting private property, overruling the district court's decision to that effect. Full text

17 Aug 2011
"Hatikvah" – a hopeless copyright case

Hatikvah” is the national anthem of Israel. In 2008 a French singer, producer and songwriter and Israeli air carrier El Al both produced versions of the anthem. Perez's claim for copyright infringement was recently rejected by Judge Hadas Ovadia, who concluded that the recordings, taken as a whole, were substantially different. Full text

13 Jul 2011
Supreme Court rules on contributory copyright infringement

In an important recent decision the Supreme Court recognised contributory infringement in copyright. Although the case in question related to book publishing, the decision is expected to have repercussions concerning the downloading and reproduction of digital data. Full text

29 Jun 2011
Cat fight: does TIGRIS trademark infringe PUMA's rights?

The deputy commissioner has accepted PUMA's opposition to a combination word-image obtained by clothing manufacturer Tigris. However, there appears to be little logic in this decision: it is difficult to see the two marks as confusingly similar, and other companies have marks featuring feline silhouettes so PUMA clearly has no monopoly on such marks. Full text

22 Jun 2011
Supreme Court upholds rosiglitazone maleate (Avendia) patent despite earlier claim

In a case involving a patented drug and its generic versions, the Supreme Court has held that where there is adequate support for a dependent claim and it is fairly based on the specification, the dependent claim can survive even if the independent claim on which it was based was invalidated. It is hoped that this judgment will lay this controversial issue to rest. Full text

15 Jun 2011
Can unjust enrichment justify an injunction during patent opposition period?

The Supreme Court has upheld a refusal of the Tel Aviv District Court to grant an injunction to Merck, the applicant for a pharmaceutical patent for Focalin, in order to prevent generic competitors from exploiting a patent during the post-examination opposition period. Merck had cited unjust enrichment as grounds for the injunction. Full text

27 Apr 2011
Can rubber window seals be registered designs?

Deputy Commissioner Noah Shalev Shmulovich recently considered the validity of a design registration for a window seal for the regulation window of a sealed room. After considering all the issues, he ruled that the customer was the building contractor and not the home purchaser, and considered the design to be sufficiently novel and original to be registrable. Full text

13 Apr 2011
Judge finds copyright in ring infringed

Jewellery manufacturer H Stern recently sued Aryeh Poziloff for marketing and selling a similar but substantially cheaper version of H Stern's Juliana ring, which is decorated with a seal of Solomon and has five pointed stars engraved inside the band. The case was brought on a variety of grounds, including trademark and copyright infringement, and unjust enrichment. Full text

23 Mar 2011
New commissioner of patents and trademarks appointed

Asa Kling has been selected to be the next commissioner of patents and trademarks. He succeeds Meir Noam, who held the position for seven years. The position is equivalent to that of a district court judge. Full text

02 Mar 2011
3D trademark application for tahini container rejected – but for all the wrong reasons

AGS Green LTD filed a trademark application for a tahini container in Class 29 of the Trademark Register. The mark consisted of the three-dimensional container that the firm uses for selling its raw tahini paste. The deputy commissioner of patents and trademarks has used the case in question to rule on the trademark registrability of containers for liquids. Full text

23 Feb 2011
Importer prevails against Adidas: four-stripe trainers do not infringe

Judge Michal Agmon-Gonen has dismissed claims by Adidas against Galel Yassin, who imported cheap training shoes from China. The shoes have four parallel diagonal stripes on each side and Adidas claimed that this infringed its famous three-stripe logo. The ruling indicates that the judge was not enamoured with recent trends that see brands and trademarks as property in themselves. Full text

16 Feb 2011
Patent Law amended retroactively to take care of internet publication issue

The Knesset has passed an amendment to the Patent Law 1967, which takes effect from 1st January 2007 and provides that the first publication of biographical details, name of applicant, title of application, priority and filing date for new patent filings can be carried out online and not just in the (printed) official Patent Office gazette, the Reshumot. Full text

09 Feb 2011
Judge refuses to charge Levis for cost of counterfeit jeans seizure

A Tel Aviv judge recently ruled that Israel Customs was wrong to attempt to charge Levi Strauss & Co for the cost of storing and eventually destroying confiscated counterfeit jeans. The decision highlights one issue that can arise when Customs proactively seizes and holds goods that are suspected of infringing copyrights and trademarks. Full text


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Issue 90