The S&F law blog


Microsoft Successfully Appeals in Alcatel-Lucent Case
Microsoft successfuly appealed a court decision in it's legal battle with Alcatel-Lucent

Microsoft successfuly appealed a court decision in it's legal battle with Alcatel-Lucent

A United States federal appeals court has said Microsoft Corp does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent US$ 358 million for patent infringement because of problems with how the damages were calculated.

The disputed patent covers a method of entering information into fields on a computer screen without using a keyboard. Alcatel-Lucent says Microsoft’s Outlook calendar and other programs illegally used this technology.

A District Court jury determined that damages should roughly equal what Microsoft would have paid up front to license the technology from Alcatel-Lucent. But last Friday, the US Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit said the telecommunications company didn’t prove its technology was valuable enough to have merited US$358 million in royalties.

The appeals court judges told a district court to reconsider the penalty.

Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said in an e-mail that the company was disappointed with the decision.

However, in the same ruling, judges affirmed the underlying verdict against Microsoft, saying it was supported by substantial evidence.

This patent suit is the last of six stemming from claims that Lucent Technologies Inc, which was bought by Alcatel in 2006, filed in 2003 against PC makers Gateway Inc and Dell Inc over technology developed by Bell Labs, Lucent’s research arm. Microsoft later joined the list of defendants.

Source: Shanghai Daily

Advertisements


Chivas Regal tastes success in China securing special trademark status

The Chivas and Chivas Regal names have been recognized as well known trademarks

The Chivas and Chivas Regal names have been recognized as well known trademarks

A Scotch whisky distiller yesterday claimed a victory in the battle to protect its flagship brand in China.

The names Chivas and Chivas Regal – in English and Chinese characters – have been recognised by the Chinese Trade Marks Office (CTMO) as “well-known” trademarks.

Being granted that status elevates Chivas protection above that of ordinary registered trademarks, the firm said.

The ruling means that third parties will no longer be able to use the names or similar words to market other goods which “may cause confusion in China”.

Recognition for the brand comes after the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) convinced the CTMO last August to recognize the phrase “Scotch whisky” as a “collective trademark”.

At the time, patent attorneys warned companies to register their own trademarks as well in order to protect their brands.

Figures from the SWA show that direct whisky exports to China grew by 5 per cent last year to £44 million.

Scotch now accounts for a fifth of all Scottish manufactured exports to the country.

Christian Porta, chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers, said: “This formal recognition of Chivas as a well-known trademark will strengthen protection of the Chivas brand in China.

“It prevents third parties from taking advantage of the reputation and goodwill that has been generated by the Chivas brand.”

He added: “This is an important result for Chivas Brothers as China is the largest market for Chivas Regal Scotch whisky and a significant investment is made to promote the brand throughout China every year.”

Chivas Regal is one of owner Pernod Ricard’s 15 “strategic brands”, which means it receives wide global distribution. The drinks giant’s other whisky brands include Ballantine’s, the Glenlivet, Aberlour and Scapa.

Porta added: “We are also extremely grateful to both the UK Embassy in Beijing and the SWA, which actively supported our efforts to achieve this well-known trademark recognition.”

Last year, the value of Scotch whisky exports topped £3 billion for the first time, with the equivalent of more than a billion bottles shipped abroad. A spokesman for the SWA said: “China is an important emerging market for Scotch and we’re working closely with distillers to ensure that there is a strong legal framework in place to protect their intellectual property rights.”

In its recent brands report, patent attorney firm Marks & Clerk highlighted steps China was taking to combat its reputation for counterfeiting.

Last year, a Chinese court awarded $182,000 to Diageo after a Shanghai firm was found to be copying the design of Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky.

Source: Shanghai Daily



China’s top court issues guideline dealing with reputed trademark infringement
May 6, 2009, 12:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,
China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) has released a judicial explanation on handling cases concerning reputed trademark infringement

China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) has released a judicial explanation on handling cases concerning reputed trademark infringement

China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has released a judicial explanation on handling cases concerning reputed trademark infringement on its Web site and in a media statement Sunday.
The judicial explanation took effect on May 1.
A spokesman of the SPC’s intellectual property court said the explanation “summarizes relevant trail experience” and was to “improve the courts’ judicial protection system of well-known trademarks, enhance the authority and credibility of judicial protection and safeguard the market order featuring fair competition.”
The explanation makes clear basic requirements for reputed trademarks as well as protection and recognition, among other items. It standardizes judicial measures in handling civil cases concerning trademark infringement and provides legal backup for judicial protection over well-established trademarks.
“The SPC has long attached great importance in protecting reputed trademarks,” the spokesman said, adding, “the issuing of the explanation is a basic step in implementing the nation’s intellectual property rights strategy.”
Tian Lipu, director of the State Intellectual Property Office, said last week that China had established a trademark law system that suited both China and international regulations.
He said the country had strengthened the role of the judiciary in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and the interests of the rights holder and the public were effectively protected.
“China launched harsh strikes on all kinds of illegalities and crimes of IPR infringement last year with a focus on fighting piracy and maintaining market order,” he said.

Source: Xinhuanet