Reposted from DLA Piper’s Law à la Mode Edition 4 – Winter 2011

By:  Michael K. Barron, Sarah Phillips and Nadea Taylor (Boston and London)
“AdWords,” the paid, subscription-based Google referencing service which allows users to advertise their companies alongside Google search results, has recently been the subject of much legal scrutiny.  In late September, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a preliminary ruling on questions referred to it by the English High Court in the case between Interflora and Marks & Spencer (“M&S”), regarding the purchase by M&S of the Google AdWord “Interflora” and other similar AdWords. 
In answering the questions referred to it, the ECJ repeated much of the recent jurisprudence in this area, in particular from the Google France case.  Previous cases established that purchasing a third parties’ trademark as an AdWord would only amount to trademark infringement if such use would have an adverse effect on one of the functions of the trademark.  
The ECJ gave the following guidance on how national courts should assess whether the use by a third party of a sign identical with a trademark in relation to identical goods or services has an adverse affect on one of the functions of the trademark:

By: Gina Durham and Erin Wright Lothson (Chicago)

Those involved in the fashion and retail industries are well aware of the challenges associated with combating the global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy.  With legal rights and remedies often varying on a country-by-country basis, enforcement of intellectual property rights on an international scale can often be fraught with unexpected hurdles and inconsistent outcomes.  The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) aims to change that.

On October 1, 2011, eight countries signed ACTA, namely Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the U.S.  A signing ceremony was held in Tokyo by the Government of Japan.  Representatives of the E.U., Mexico, and Switzerland attended the ceremony and confirmed their continuing support for ACTA.  Those three sovereignties are in the process of finalizing domestic procedures in preparation to sign, and their signatures are expected by May 1, 2013.  Collectively, these eleven countries represent more than half of the world’s trade.


Continue Reading Global Developments Regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Law à la Mode Edition 4 – Winter 2011

By:  Michael K. Barron, Sarah Phillips and Nadea Taylor (Boston and London)
“AdWords,” the paid, subscription-based Google referencing service which allows users to advertise their companies alongside Google search results, has recently been the subject of much legal scrutiny.  In late September, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a preliminary ruling on questions referred to it by the English High Court in the case between Interflora and Marks & Spencer (“M&S”), regarding the purchase by M&S of the Google AdWord “Interflora” and other similar AdWords. 
In answering the questions referred to it, the ECJ repeated much of the recent jurisprudence in this area, in particular from the Google France case.  Previous cases established that purchasing a third parties’ trademark as an AdWord would only amount to trademark infringement if such use would have an adverse effect on one of the functions of the trademark.  
The ECJ gave the following guidance on how national courts should assess whether the use by a third party of a sign identical with a trademark in relation to identical goods or services has an adverse affect on one of the functions of the trademark:

By: Bartolome Martin (Madrid)

Some decades ago, the Spanish Tourism Authority’s advertisements across Europe proudly touted that “Spain is different.”  In reality, this may indeed be true.  Spain is an idiosyncratic country where universality and localism are good friends, crisis and luxury seem to have a passionate relationship, and customs from the past walk hand in hand with the latest trends.  This self-contradicting spirit, cultural individuality and inherent diversity are without a doubt reflected in the Spanish fashion market. 

Some decades ago, the Spanish Tourism Authority’s advertisements across Europe proudly touted that “Spain is different.”  In reality, this may indeed be true.  Spain is an idiosyncratic country where universality and localism are good friends, crisis and luxury seem to have a passionate relationship, and customs from the past walk hand in hand with the latest trends.  This self-contradicting spirit, cultural individuality and inherent diversity are without a doubt reflected in the Spanish fashion market. 


Continue Reading Idiosyncrasies of the Spanish Fashion Market

By Siân Croxon, Partner, DLA Piper UK

The CJEU has provided some clarification of the law on when EU customs officials can seize counterfeit goods that are merely in transit through the EU. 

The story began in 2008 when a consignment of Nokia branded mobile phones arrived in Heathrow in transit from China to Colombia.  The customs officer was suspicious and sent a sample to Nokia for inspection which duly revealed that the phones were indeed counterfeit.


Continue Reading “Just passing through sir or really stopping off?” – the CJEU rules on counterfeit goods in transit