Intellectual Property updates

Argentina

Contributed by Obligado & Cia
Use of third-party trademarks as keywords
  • Argentina
  • 27 July 2020

The rapid growth in internet use has given rise to conflicts between registered trademark owners and third parties using said marks. For example, search engine advertising systems make it possible to create ads that show products or services to users who are looking for them. Federal Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters case law provides useful guidance on the use of third-party trademarks as keywords in internet advertising.

New legislation on unfair competition and designations of origin
  • Argentina
  • 02 March 2020

Until the approval of Emergency Decree 274/2019 in April 2019, the regulation of unfair competition in Argentina was characterised by a lack of organisation, narrow scope and lack of a general rule for standardising acts of unfair competition. The new decree sets out numerous provisions that are relevant to the IP field, including provisions addressing the regulation of comparative advertising, designations of origin, secrecy, data exclusivity and trademarks.

Unfair competition and trademark protection
  • Argentina
  • 02 December 2019

The protection provided under industrial property law to commercial signs registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property is more effective than that offered by unfair competition law. It is therefore worth questioning whether unfair competition law exercises any function with regard to the protection of registered signs. There may be sectors in which the protection of a rights holder's interest requires the combined use of IP and competition law.

Trademark rights and comparative advertising
  • Argentina
  • 23 September 2019

Since the Trademark Law reserves the right to use a trademark for the mark's owner, legal scholars in Argentina have long debated whether the use of trademarks in comparative advertising is permitted. With the recent approval of Emergency Decree 274/2019, legislation has, for the first time, addressed comparative advertising in Argentina in a detailed and systematic manner and established when it is allowed.

Implications of new unfair competition legislation for IP practitioners
  • Argentina
  • 22 July 2019

Emergency Decree 274/2019 has established a comprehensive system for regulating unfair competition. Many practices punished by the new unfair competition rules affect IP rights. Further, the new legislation establishes a series of provisions that are highly valued in the IP field, including the detailed regulation of comparative advertising and provisions referring to names of origin and trade secrets.


Austria

Flashlight decision illuminates compensation guidelines for unlawful use of IP rights
  • Austria
  • 22 April 2019

The Supreme Court recently had to decide whether the infringer of a registered Community design had to hand over the entire net profit or just a share of profit earned due to its use of an infringed design. The decision has great practical importance, as it gives IP rights holders clear guidelines regarding what to expect when claiming compensation for an unlawful use of their rights.

Dispenser for free newspapers – work of art?
  • Austria
  • 17 December 2018

The Supreme Court recently set out clear principles regarding the protection of a work of visual art under the Copyright Act where technical functions played a role. In its decision, the court explained that the assessment as to whether a (visual) piece of work is actually protected by copyright must be assessed by the court as a legal issue only. There is no room to consider the opinion of experts or any other third parties.


Belgium

Contributed by GEVERS
Laboratoire de la Mer and Omega Pharma in disguised trademark infringement claim procedure
  • Belgium
  • 28 September 2020

In a dispute leading to a recent Ghent Company Court decision, Laboratoire de la Mer and Omega Pharma made a claim against – in their opinion – confusingly similar packaging for nasal sprays commercialised by Febelco and Axone Pharma. It is unclear whether Laboratoire de la Mer and Omega Pharma will take stock and appeal the court's decision. Irrespective of their decision to appeal, it is advisable to continuously reflect on the most appropriate type of IP protection for any intellectual creation.


Canada

Contributed by Smart & Biggar
8 important life sciences IP issues for innovators doing business in Canada
  • Canada
  • 28 September 2020

The US-Canada border is the longest border between any two countries and US goods and services trade with Canada totalled an estimated US$718.5 billion in 2018, possibly the largest bilateral trade volume between two individual countries. Given the extensive integration of the Canadian and US economies, US life sciences companies can expect to have Canadian business interests. This article highlights eight life sciences IP issues of importance for innovators doing business in Canada.

Not all pun and games: Federal Court not amused with cannabis company's brand parody
  • Canada
  • 28 September 2020

A recent Federal Court decision illustrates the danger of adopting a mark or name inspired by a famous or well-known brand, even when confusion is unlikely. The decision is a cautionary tale, particularly for those in burgeoning industries, such as Canada's cannabis industry, which may wish to piggyback on an established brand's goodwill and reputation.

Federal Court strikes price calculation provision of amendments to Patented Medicines Regulations
  • Canada
  • 10 August 2020

The Federal Court recently issued its decision on an application for judicial review of the Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines Regulations (Additional Factors and Information Reporting Requirements). The court ruled that Section 3(4), which would expand price calculation requirements in Section 4(4) of the Patented Medicines Regulations to encompass information beyond the first point of sale, was invalid. This article looks more closely into the court's decision and its implications.

Amended Patented Medicines Regulations will come into force on 1 January 2021
  • Canada
  • 15 June 2020

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board recently announced that the amended Patented Medicines Regulations will now come into force on 1 January 2021. Further, a revised set of draft guidelines will be published during the week of 15 June 2020, followed by a 30-day consultation period.

First decision under amended PMNOC Regulations: Federal Court finds Amgen's filgrastim patent obvious
  • Canada
  • 25 May 2020

The Federal Court recently issued the first decision under the amended Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. In the decision, Pfizer was successful in establishing obviousness of the asserted claims of Canadian Patent 1,341,537 relating to filgrastim (Amgen's NEUPOGEN and Pfizer's biosimilar product NIVESTYM).


China

Contributed by Wanhuida Intellectual Property
Landmark judicial interpretation promulgated in patent administrative cases
  • China
  • 28 September 2020

The Supreme People's Court recently promulgated the Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Laws in Adjudicating Administrative Cases Involving Granting and Affirmation of Patent Rights, which is the first judicial interpretation concerning the trial of patent administrative cases. This article summarises the judicial interpretation's main points.

Guangzhou IP Court reaffirms legality of parallel imports
  • China
  • 21 September 2020

The Guangzhou IP Court recently upheld a first-instance judgment which had dismissed a trademark infringement claim against parallel imported products. The decision reaffirms the judicial practice that the import of non-counterfeit goods without the express permission of the trademark owner is not illegal in China, provided that the imported products comply with China's compulsory certification requirements and the importer does not modify, in any way, the imported product.

CNIPA upholds opposition filed by Marlon Brando's estate
  • China
  • 24 August 2020

In China, an individual's name right is no longer protectable after their death. Although Marlon Brando passed away in July 2004, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently rejected an application to register the trademark MARLON BRANDO and the Chinese equivalent in respect of goods in Class 3. The CNIPA held that the registration and use of the trademarks would violate Article 10.1.8 of the Trademark Law.

SAMR to launch nationwide campaign against free-riding in healthcare sector
  • China
  • 17 August 2020

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak, the State Administration for Market Regulation recently issued the Notice on Eliminating Copycats of Famous Hospitals and Other Healthcare Institutions. The notice aims to eliminate from the healthcare industry copycats that are free-riding on the reputation of trade names or famous hospitals – in particular, 'Union', 'Huashan', 'Xiangya', 'West China', 'Qilu', 'Tongji' and 'Tiantan'.

SPC publishes draft judicial interpretation on trade secret protection
  • China
  • 10 August 2020

The Supreme People's Court recently published the draft Judicial Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Civil Litigation on Trade Secret Violation. The draft judicial interpretation provides further details on several matters, including what can be protected as a trade secret, what protective measures a trade secret owner should apply and how damages should be calculated.