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

This article has been removed at the request of the contributing firm.


Cambodia

Contributed by Mirandah Asia
Cambodia ratifies Berne Convention as 2021 TRIPS deadline looms
  • Cambodia
  • 05 October 2020

In July 2020 Cambodia brought its ever-developing IP protection regime further into line with international standards, with the ratification of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. With consistent annual gross domestic product growth of more than 8% for the past two decades, Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. This timely ratification of the convention can only increase confidence between Cambodia and the international trading community.


Canada

Contributed by Smart & Biggar
French language requirements in Quebec: an introduction
  • Canada
  • 19 October 2020

The Charter of the French Language gives the French language the status of an official language in Quebec, thus making its use mandatory in all spheres of public life in the province, including commerce and business. An exception to this rule is the 'recognised trademark' exception, which provides that recognised trademarks need not be translated into French unless a French version of the mark is registered.

Why you should designate Canada – and a Canadian agent – in your next Madrid application
  • Canada
  • 19 October 2020

A little over one year has passed since Canada overhauled its trademark legislation and acceded to the Madrid Protocol, making it easier than ever to protect trademark rights in Canada. This article explores some of the key reasons why international brand owners should consider designating Canada in international trademark applications and outlines the importance of appointing a Canadian agent to monitor and oversee international applications designating Canada.

Federal Court rejects problem-solution approach, opening field for computer-implemented inventions
  • Canada
  • 05 October 2020

In a significant decision, the Federal Court has rejected the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's (CIPO's) approach to examining computer-implemented inventions. This decision could significantly affect how CIPO assesses patent-eligible subject matter and have important implications for the patentability of diagnostic methods.

Federal Court of Appeal does not disturb lower court's finding of use for hotel services
  • Canada
  • 05 October 2020

In a highly anticipated decision, the Federal Court of Appeal recently held that a trademark owner could demonstrate use of a trademark in Canada in association with hotel services in the absence of a brick-and-mortar hotel. While the decision is not the first to analyse the Internet's impact on use of a trademark, this case provides important guidance to brand and trademark owners which offer services to consumers in Canada without a physical brick-and-mortar location.

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.