Region: Africa & Middle East

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.

09 July 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.

02 July 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.

18 June 2008

Motions to strike claim dismissed in keyword advertising case

In <i>Klein v Klalit Medical Fund Ltd</i>, 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 <i>res judicata</i>.

14 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.

07 May 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.

16 April 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.

19 March 2008

Harshest-ever sentence imposed in drug counterfeiting case

In <i>State of Israel v Chaim</i> 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.

12 March 2008

Criticism grows over World Cup prohibited marks

Controversy has surrounded the publication of a list of FIFA trademarks and words, which the minister of trade and industry proposes be declared as prohibited marks in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. Critics argue that none of these marks is unique to FIFA and the list could potentially lead to absurdities, such as making any 2010 calendar illegal.

10 October 2007

Supreme Court swings trademark law back to European roots

The Supreme Court has ruled that an advertisement for car polish featuring a BMW car did not infringe BMW’s marks. The decision not only brings South African trademark law further into line with EU legal practice, but has also been welcomed for ensuring that IP rights cannot be used to restrict competition in the market.

11 July 2007

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