News

The reform of the European Union trademark system entered in force on March 23, 2016. Here are the 13 essential points to remember about the changes effectuated.

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For the first time in Israel, the Registrar rendered a decision concerning the registrability of a building design as a trademark.

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It is well-known that colours have a significant importance in branding and the perception a consumer will have of a trademark. Colours are commonly used in the most successful brands for improving identification of products with their source, assisting the consumer in making a clear distinction between such products and those of others. Obviously, McDonalds’ logo would not be the same without its red and yellow colours, nor would be the Starbucks logo without its famous green emerald.

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The new gTLD program, which was launched by the ICANN in June 2011, opened the opportunity to apply for new top level Internet domain names extensions. The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the non-profit worldwide organization, controlled by the U.S. government, responsible of the global internet system and regulation of the Domain Name System (DNS). A gTLD is a Generic Top-Level Domain, namely, the part of the domain name address appearing after the “dot”.   

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In Israel, the submission of a co-existence agreement is not always sufficient in order to allow the registration of two similar trademarks in the registry. The Registrar is actually not bound to withdraw citation of prior marks or to cancel contentious proceedings between similar trademark applications, upon submission of co-existence agreements or letters of consent. He will refuse to do so mostly in cases in which he would believe that the concurrent registration of the marks is likely to lead to public confusion. 

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The Nice international classification of goods and services (10th Edition), which applies to European Community (CTM) trademarks, includes class headings definitions providing a general description of the fields of goods or services in the 45 existing classes as well as an alphabetical list of all the goods or services covered by these classes.

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In Israel, when applications for similar trademarks are filed, in relation to similar products or services, contentious proceedings are opened between the rival applications. In such a case, the options are either to file counter-arguments, to try to reach an agreement with the other party or to proceed contentiously so that the Registrar would determine which mark should prevail.

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In Israel, three-dimensional marks which consist of product shapes are accepted for registration only in exceptional cases. The Registrar usually considers that the appropriate way to protect three-dimensional marks is to file an application for registration of a design.

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Substantial amendments to the Chinese Trademark Law were adopted on August 30, 2013 and will take effect on May 1, 2014. The amendments are aimed to modernize and simplify the trademark prosecution in China, which holds the world’s largest number of registered trademarks (8.17 million as of June 2013).

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The Finnish company ENSTO OY filed an opposition against the registration of the stylized trademark  in relation to various electricity products in class 9 by the Chinese company Yueqing Onesto Electric Co., Ltd.

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