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Australia: WTO Appellate Body Rejects Appeal Regarding Plain Packaging of Tobacco

(June 18, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Appellate Body issued its reports on cases brought by Honduras and the Dominican Republic against Australia’s tobacco plain packaging requirements. (Australia — Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging (DS435 and DS441).) The […]

International: World Intellectual Property Organization Announces 2019 as “Best” Year for Intellectual Property Services, Treaties, and Finances

(Apr. 15, 2020) Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released its 2019 statistics, recording 2019 as its best year for intellectual property (IP) services, treaties, and finances since WIPO’s creation in 1967. It also announced that in 2019, China surpassed the United States as the top filer of international patents—the first time any […]

European Union: Court of Justice Clarifies Test for Morality as Ground for Rejecting EU Trade Mark

(Mar. 31, 2020) On February 27, 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that “no concrete evidence has been put forward” that the registration of the word sign “Fack Ju Göhte” as an EU trade mark would be “against the fundamental moral values and standards of society.” (Case C‑240/18 P, para. 69.) The ECJ held […]

Israel: Supreme Court Holds Critical Parody of Nespresso Commercials Do Not Violate Copyright or Trademarks

(Sept. 5, 2019) On August 7, 2019, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld the Tel Aviv District Court’s decision to dismiss a claim by Nestle Nespresso (the appellant) that the Israeli coffee company Espresso Club (the respondent) had violated Nespresso’s copyright and trademark by broadcasting several commercials referencing its own ads. Nespresso had also alleged that the […]

China: Trademark Law Revised, Prohibiting Bad-Faith Trademark Filings

(July 30, 2019) On April 23, 2019, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) adopted an amendment to the PRC Trademark Law specifically prohibiting bad-faith trademark filings. The amended articles will take effect on November 1, 2019. (NPC Standing Committee Decision of Amending Eight […]

China: Amendment of Unfair Competition Law Proposed

(Mar. 20, 2017) On February 26, 2017, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) published the Amendment of Unfair Competition Law (Draft for Comments) (the Draft) online, to solicit public opinions on the Draft.  Comments from the public may be submitted until March 25, 2017, online at www.npc.gov.cn, or by […]

Japan: Geographical Indication Act Promulgated

(Sept. 24, 2014) Japan’s Geographical Indication (GI) Act was promulgated on June 25, 2014. (Act No. 84, 2014, Tokutei Norin Suisan Butsu to no Meisho no Hogo ni Kansuru Horitsu; text of the legislation, which became law without change, available on the House of Representatives website [in Japanese].) The Act aims to protect producers of […]