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NORID – the country-code top-level domain '.no' registry – is preparing a major spring clean of its database to delete domain names registered to companies that no longer exist. Domain name holders that are no longer registered in the Register of Legal Entities will receive notification that their domain names will be deleted and will be advised to contact their registrars to transfer the relevant domain names to an eligible holder.
According to Section 13 of the Patents Act, any amendments to a patent application must be supported by the application as filed. The latest version of the patent guidelines stipulates that it is possible to delete certain embodiments, provided that these are found as alternatives in the original claims or as alternatives specifically mentioned in the description.
While the ONEL/OMEL decision of the European Court of Justice has led to discussions on the geographical scope of use of a registered Community trademark, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office Board of Appeal has issued a decision referring to the quantitative requirements underlying the 'genuine use' criterion. The decision appears to raise the bar for proving genuine use, at least for consumer goods.
A 2012 customer satisfaction survey carried out by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) revealed significant concerns over the lack of harmonisation in the area of distinctiveness. In response, NIPO has presented some of the work it has done and is doing in an attempt to improve the quality of its trademark application processing. So is harmonisation in sight?
It is settled administrative practice that there is at least an average degree of similarity between a product in Classes 1 to 34 and sales services in Class 35 (wholesale or retail) relating to the same goods. The Norwegian Industrial Property Office Re-examination Division recently considered whether this practice has any bearing on the related assessment of whether use requirements were met for the goods covered by a registration.
The Supreme Court recently held that Stokke's Tripp Trapp chair, which is designed to be adjusted as children grow, is protected under the Copyright Act, and that Trumf's Oliver chair infringed these rights. The decision has caused concern as it means that a design which was originally patented until 1992 may now remain protected for 70 years after the designer's death.
Under the EEA Agreement, the trademark authorities must implement the same requirements of distinctiveness as EU member states. However, Norway seems to have failed in this, as the standards applied are stricter than those in most other jurisdictions. To remedy this, trademark holders would be well advised to file for the application of a non-registrable mark in combination with a distinctive house mark or logo.