TRADE MARKS AND PASSING OFF

Rivella International AG v OHIM, Case C 445/12 P, 12 December 2013

Rivella has failed in its appeal at the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the applicability of Article 42(2) and (3) of the Community Trade Mark Regulation 207/2009/EC in relation to proof of use of trade marks registered under international arrangements. Having been asked to provide proof of use of a trade mark following an opposition notice filed by Rivella, Rivella sought to rely on Article 5 of the 1892 Convention between Switzerland and Germany pursuant to which use in Switzerland is equivalent to use in Germany. The Court of Justice of the European Union upheld the decision of the EU General Court that the proof of use requirement under the Community Trade Mark Regulation applies to trade marks registered under international arrangements.
 
For the full text of the decision, please click here

IPC Media Ltd v Media 10 Ltd [2013] EWHC 3796 (IPEC), 6 December 2013

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (formerly the Patents County Court) rejected a claim that the trade mark IDEAL HOME, registered for services related to the sale of home interest goods, was infringed by the launch of an online retail shop under the Ideal Home Show banner.  It found that any confusion was due to concurrent use by the parties in their core business using Ideal Home.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.
 
PATENTS

HTC Corp v Nokia Corp [2013] EWHC 3778 (Pat), 3 December 2013

The High Court has granted Nokia a final injunction against HTC in respect of Nokia’s non-essential patent for a mobile phone circuit component.  The patent had been previously held to be valid and infringed by HTC.  The court examined the factors that should be taken into account when deciding whether to exercise its discretion to grant damages in lieu of an injunction, but decided that an injunction was the appropriate remedy in this case.  The party seeking to show that an injunction would be disproportionate has a heavy burden to discharge.  The injunction was stayed pending the appeal of one of the HTC models, but not in relation to a second HTC model, which was designed and launched while HTC knew they were facing a patent infringement claim.  HTC’s failure to make contingency plans for a potential injunction was a key factor in this decision.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

Blue Gentian LLC and another v Tristar Products (UK) Ltd and another [2013] EWHC 4098 (Pat), 20 December 2013

A patent for an expandable garden hose was held to be valid as being both new and having an inventive step over the two items of prior art. In particular, one item of cited prior art came from a completely unrelated field of technology. The judge held that such prior art should still be considered for the assessment of obviousness, but should be considered in the context of the skilled person of the patent in question (the garden hose designer in this case), who has the common general knowledge of that field only. There was no issue of infringement as the defendant had agreed that if the patent was held to be valid, their product fell within claim one.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Jet Airways (India) Ltd and others [2013] EWCA Civ 1713, 20 December 2013

The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the High Court in this long-running dispute. In doing so, the court held that Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd’s “908 patent” for an Upper Class Suite seating system was not infringed by a design for a seat created by Zodiac Seats UK Ltd and used by Delta Airlines, Air Canada and Jet Airways. If the patent had been infringed then it would have been held to be invalid. The case is significant in that one of the arguments run by the defendants was that the grant of the 908 patent in respect of the UK was a nullity because Virgin either never designated the UK on its application form or withdrew any such designation that it did make. This argument was rejected. 

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

DESIGNS

Utopia Tableware Ltd v BBP Marketing Ltd and another [2013] EWHC 3483 (IPEC), 12 November 2013

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court held that a UK registered design for a tall-waisted beer glass was valid and infringed and that an unregistered design right in one of the design features of the beer glass was also infringed. Following an assessment of the overall impression of the design, the court found that the claimant’s design had individual character over other beer glasses in the field. In relation to the unregistered design, whilst the rim and thickness of the base were commonplace, the shape of the profile of the beer glass was not. 

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

DATABASE RIGHTS

Innoweb B.V. v Wegener ICT Media B.V., Wegener Mediaventions B.V., Case C-202/12, 19 December 2013

The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that a “dedicated meta search engine” which enables searches to be carried out on third party websites is an infringement of the rights held by the third party website operators in the database which is the subject of the search.

For the full text of the decision, please click here

COPYRIGHT

SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1483, 21 November 2013

The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal against the decision of Arnold J to dismiss all but a small part of SAS’s claim that by replicating the functions of SAS’s software, using SAS’s programming language, World Programming (WP) had infringed SAS’s copyright. Instead of using the source code, WP had used SAS System manuals to replicate some of the functionality of the SAS software. Applying the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Arnold J held that in creating the WP manuals, SAS’s copyright in the SAS manuals had been infringed, but rejected all of SAS’s other claims. The Court of Appeal upheld Arnold J’s decision.

For the full text of the decision, please click here

Taylor v Maguire [2013] EWHC 3804 (IPEC), 3 December 2013

An artist working in the medium of papercutting has been successful in her claim for copyright infringement at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court against a defendant who had created similar works with her minor daughter. The judge found that there was originality in the claimant’s “topiary style” whereby specific elements (such as the use of serrated leaves or a flower with five heart shaped petals) are used in an even and unsymmetrical arrangement over the whole shape, with a balanced amount of pattern and empty space. The claimant was granted an injunction and the defendant was ordered to destroy the infringing works and pay damages.  

For the full text of the decision, please click here.