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Community Trademarks and Registered Community Designs
Agency TRIA ROBIT
Intellectual Property Protection
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Ask.com è Ask.fm - Ask TRIA ROBIT!
05 November 2014
On 4th of November 2014 the Collegium of Civil Cases of the Riga Regional Court has terminated the litigation between US digital media corporation ‘IAC Search & Media, Inc.’ and Latvian IT-company ‘Ask.fm, SIA’. US corporation is the owner of such well-known Internet brands as ‘Vimeo’, ‘Dictionary.com’, ‘About.com’, ‘Ask.com’ and others, whereas Latvian company is a holder of the popular social network ‘ask.fm’. The dispute between these two companies arose due to the registration and use of the trademark ‘Ask.fm’.
The interests of ‘IAC Search & Media, Inc.’ in this litigation were successfully represented by Agency TRIA ROBIT in the person of the Latvian and European Trademark Attorney Mr. Bronislavs Baltrumovics, who has successfully obtained a preliminary injunction in favour of IAC. However, the legal proceeding resulted in an amicable agreement between the parties that lead to the sale of the Latvian company to the US corporation.
OHIM did not find LoC between ‘PELY Clean’ and ‘KLEEN’
08 October 2014
Attorneys of Agency TRIA ROBIT Mrs. Natalia Anohina and Mr. Bronislavs Baltrumovics secured a successful defense for the client - Latvian company SIA Polipaks in the cancellation action brought by Pely-plastic GmbH & Co. KG against the CTM 011138881 KLEEN.
Although OHIM’s Cancellation Division found that the goods in question are identical, the marks themselves were considered as different enough to exclude likelihood of confusion in the sense of Article 8(1)(b) CTMR. In particular, evaluating visual, aural and conceptual aspects of the compared marks, the Cancellation Division was sure that for the vast majority of the relevant consumers the dissimilarities between the signs will outweigh their similarities. Additionally, OHIM indicated that the word ‘clean’ for the relevant goods could be perceived to be of diminished distinctiveness comparing with the fanciful word ‘kleen’, which is distinctive for the goods in question and therefore the relevant consumers will be focusing on the word element ‘pely’. Consequently, OHIM concluded that there is no risk that the consumers will believe that the goods, even if they were identical, originate from the same undertaking and rejected the application for invalidity in its entirety.
This is a one of the good examples where local Latvian companies successfully obtain and secure their rights on Community trademarks with a professional help of qualified local trademark attorneys.
KĀRUMS successfully defended against GARUM
14 July 2014
French company COMPAGNIE GENERALE DE DIETETIQUE SAS basing on its earlier CTM GARUM registered for goods of cl. 5 and 29, has filed an opposition against the registration of the trademark KĀRUMS for the goods of cl. 29 and 30 belonging to SIA RĪGAS PIENSAIMNIEKS, which was represented by Agency TRIA ROBIT in the person of trademark attorney Bronislavs Baltrumovics.
The Board of Appeal of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia has examined the opposition on June 13, 2014 rejected in its entirety by the decision of July 14, 2014.
The Board of Appeal has found the goods of cl. 29 of the compared marks to be partially identical and partially similar, however, has concluded that the goods of cl. 30 of the contested trademark are not similar to the goods of cl. 29 of the earlier trademark.
Further, the Board of Appeal agreed to argumentation of the representative of the holder of the opposed mark that there are significant semantic differences between the trademarks, as the word “kārums” itself has a strong and clear meaning to each and every relevant consumer, but the earlier word mark “garum” has another, totally different meaning in Latvian language. Therefore such semantic differences overweight any similarities in this case and there does not exist risk of confusion. Additionally, due to earlier long-time, intensive and fair use of the contested trademark as a result of which the relevant consumers undoubtedly associate this trademark with its owner RĪGAS PIENSAIMNIEKS, SIA, likelihood of confusion is fully excluded.
TRIA ROBIT helps to obtain client’s competitor's trademark cancellation
6 June 2014
Trademark attorneys of Agency TRIA ROBIT Inese Polaka and Bronislavs Baltrumovics have helped the French company "Anasyor SA" to obtain cancellation of the trademarks NATURCOKSINUM and HOMEOCOKSINUM belonging to competitive merchant “Magnawand Traders Inc.” The judgement of 24 April 2014 of the Collegium of Civil Cases of the Riga Regional Court entered into force on May 14, 2014.
Both trademarks were cancelled under the provisions of the section 32 of the law "On Trademarks and Geographical Indications" due to non-use within 5 years since the date of registration. The court approved the earlier case-law and dismissed arguments of the defendant that opposition proceedings and administrative court proceedings should be considered as sufficiently justified reasons for non-use. The defendant’s arguments concerning lack of interest of the plaintiff because a court has earlier dismissed the action brought by the same plaintiff against registration of the trademark NATURCOKSINUM based on relative grounds were also dismissed.
Novartis claims victory over Sanofi-Aventis
September 19, 2012
Agency TRIA ROBIT was successful in defending a trademark of Novartis AG, a multinational pharmaceutical company, in Latvia against an opposition filed by another major player in a global pharmaceuticals industry, Sanofi-Aventis SA.Sanofi claimed that the opposed mark CIRASET was confusingly similar to its earlier trademark CIRARTE. TRIA ROBIT confronted and, among other things, noted that CIRARTE was a prescription drug and as such was supposed to be handled strictly by health professionals. This fact significantly reduced a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public.On 2 December 2011 the Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia rejected the opposition as ungrounded.
Jägermeister’s reindeer enhances its reputation in Latvia
September 19, 2012
On 1 June 2012 the Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia satisfied the opposition filed by TRIA ROBIT on behalf of Mast-Jägermeister SE against registration of MEDNIEKU trademark in the territory of Latvia. The Latvian company SIA “BELPIŠČEPROM” was hoping to register the mark, a figurative element of which also comprised the representation of a reindeer’s head, for vodka. Though the degree of similarity between two marks in question was not high enough to give a rise to a likelihood of confusion, it was nevertheless found to be sufficient to establish a link or association. As a result, considering that Jägermeister’s trademark was proved to be well-known among Latvian consumers and SIA “BELPIŠČEPROM” was taking unfair advantage of the highly distinctive element of Jägermeister – a representation of the reindeer’s head – MEDNIEKU trademark was invalidated in the territory of Latvia.
TRIA ROBIT secures victory for Raffaello in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia
July 30, 2012
On 19 June 2012 the Chamber of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia delivered its judgment in the case concerning infringement of the Raffaello trade mark (a sweet consisting of an almond surrounded by a soft cream, wrapped in a coconut wafer shell and coated in coconut) owned by the Belgian company „Soremartec S.A.”. The dispute arose after Soremartec became aware that the company SIA „Rialat” was distributing in Latvia sweets, which appeared to be extremely similar to the world famous Raffaello sweets. SIA „Rialat” argued that nobody is entitled to prohibit others from producing and distributing white sweets coated in coconut. The Court however was not impressed and upon finding similarities between the appearances of the two products, decided the case in favor of Soremartec. In its appeal, SIA „Rialat” pleaded that registration of a trade mark is not appropriate way to protect shape of a candy and that such protection would be largely disproportionate. Recognizing that shapes may comprise distinctive signs and thus could be registered as trade marks, the Chamber of Civil Cases dismissed the appeal.
Baltic Trans (Viltransports) against the State Revenue Service/ adidas AG
June 01, 2012
The Regional Administrative Court with its decision of May 3, 2012 in case No. A42490505 upended more than a 5-year long dispute among the Latvian company SIA “Baltic Trans” (previously SIA “Viltransports”), the State Revenue Service of the Republic of Latvia and the German company “adidas AG” represented by Agency TRIA ROBIT. The case summary is as follows: in 2005 SIA “Viltransports” presented for transit procedure 15 960 pairs of footwear labeled by “Adidas” trademark (reg.No. M 16 691). Basing on the statement provided by the rights owner the State Revenue Service brought the company to administrative liability pursuant to violation of part three of Art. 201 10 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Republic of Latvia, seizing the goods and imposing 1 000 LVL fine. Objecting this decision of the State Revenue Service, the company SIA “Viltransports” filed an appeal to the General Director of the State Revenue Service; however, on receipt of the refusal decision – proceeded with the administrative court. Meanwhile the German company “adidas AG” filed the claim with the Riga Regional Court against the company SIA “Viltransports” on the illegal use of the trademark. The Administrative District Court having considered the case pursuant to the application of SIA “Viltransports” cancelled the contested decision of the General Director of the State Revenue Service, but the appeals against this court decision were filed both by the State Revenue Service and the German company “adidas AG”. The Regional Administrative Court taking into account parallel case consideration by the civil procedure between the same parties postponed the administrative proceedings until the final decision in the civil case is made. In the frames of the civil case all court instances (Riga Regional court and the Chamber of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court) acknowledged the illegal use of the trademark owned by the German company “adidas AG” imposing the defendant - the company SIA “Baltic Trans” (“Viltransports”) - to destroy the infringing goods. The Senate of the Supreme Court having considered the cassation of the company SIA “Baltic Trans” (“Viltransports”) have not found any infringement and left the decision in force. The Regional Administrative Court, having considered the case during the appeal procedure, have cancelled the decision of the first instance court and left in force the initial decision of the State Revenue Service on imposing the administrative fine (1 000 LVL fine and seizure of the goods). The German company “adidas AG” proved the violation of their exclusive rights in all court instances and the initial decision of the State Revenue Service was lawful and grounded.
RAFFAELLO vs. RAFAEL (Latvia)
November 20, 2011 | Latvia
On 17 November 2011 the Regional Court of Riga adopted a decision in civil case between Belgian company “Soremartec S.A.” vs Latvian company “O’Lana” about infringement of the well-known trademarks RAFFAELLO using a name RAFAEL on cakes. The Agency TRIA ROBIT represented interests of the company “Soremartec S.A.” in this case. The Regional Court of Riga fully satisfied our claim and obliged that SIA „O.LANA” stop unlawful use of „Soremartec S.A.” trademark and prohibited SIA „O.LANA” to use the name “Rafael” in its commercial activities and compensate all requested court expenses including representative fee.
CELLO vs. CELLO (OHIM)
October 10, 2011
Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Honda Motor Co. Ltd) (JP) vs LATNIK, SIA (LV)
The Regional Court of Riga
July 1, 2010
The client of Agency TRIA ROBIT - globally known company “Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha” (Honda Motor Co. Ltd) - brought a claim against the local Latvian company “LATNIK, SIA” about the infringement of their Community trademark “TYPE R” (CTM 004864419). The company “LATNIK, SIA” imported in Latvia accessories for car, which were unlawfully marked with the trademark “TYPE R”, namely, bulbs - 46 units, flashing lights - 10 units and megaphones - 10 units. Preliminary injunction was requested and the goods were seized, until the case was reviewed on merits. The Regional Court of Riga satisfied the claim of the company Honda Motor Co. Ltd and decided to prohibit the company “LATNIK, SIA” to conduct any commercial activity with the goods and to impose them to destruct the infringing goods. The company “LATNIK, SIA” was also requested to compensate in favour of the Plaintiff all the court expenses. The Defendant did not appeal the decision and it came into legal force.
This case is remarkable for Latvia, as for the first time the Court obliged the infringer to completely compensate all court expenses, which were requested by the Plaintiff. Earlier, the Latvian courts considered that the amount of expenses (direct harm) are hard to estimate and therefore, this case was the first time when the Court admitted the amount of direct expenses to be compensated.
“Adidas AG” (DE) vs “BALTIC TRANS” (LV)
The Regional Court of Riga
May 5, 2010
The client of Agency TRIA ROBIT - company “Adidas AG” - brought a claim against the local company “BALTIC TRANS” about the infringement of the Latvian national trademark reg. No. M 16691 (sport shoes with three parallel stripes on the side in contrasting color) . The company “BALTIC TRANS” imported into Latvia 15 960 pairs of shoes marked with four parallel stripes on the side. The Regional Court of Riga satisfied the claim of the company “Adidas AG” and decided to adjudicate the company “BALTIC TRANS” to cease the unlawful use of the trademark and to destruct the detained goods. The court also adjudicated the Defendant, the company “BALTIC TRANS”, to compensate in favour of the Plaintiff , the company “Adidas AG”, a certain limited amount of the court expenses.
The Defendant appealed the decision of the first instance Court before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reviewed this case and decided to leave in force the decision of the Regional Court of Riga (the first instance Court decision). The decision has not come into force yet.
Philip Morris Products S.A. (CH) vs BALTIC ADVERTISING FACTORY (LV)
The Regional Court of Riga
November 30, 2010
The client of Agency TRIA ROBIT - globally known producer of tobacco goods “Philip Morris Products S.A.” brought a claim against the local Latvian company “BALTIC ADVERTISING FACTORY” about the unlawful use of their trademark MARLBORO. The Defendant was denoted as the local dealer of the mobile phones “Cicarette box 668” on the internet site www.specialphone.eu. The design of the offered online phones was very similar to that of the well-known MARLBORO cigarette box.
The Defendant neither replied nor attended the review of the case at the Regional Court of Riga. Finally, the company was invited through the Official Bulletin, but nevertheless nobody arrived at the court sitting. Therefore, the case was reviewed without the participation of the Defendant. The Regional Court of Riga satisfied the claim and decided to prohibit the Defendant to illegally use the well-known trademark MARLBORO and impose the infringer to destruct the mobile phones “Cicarette box 668”. The court also requested to compensate in favour of the Plaintiff some part of the court expenses.
FERRERO S.P.A. (IT) vs Latvijas Patentu Valde
Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia
February 19, 2010
The provisional refusal of the Latvian Patent office in respect of the spacious trademark No. WO 405177 in the name of FERRERO S.P.A. in Class 30 was made basing on the fact that this trademark lacks distinctiveness. The provisional refusal was based on Art. 6.1.2 of the Latvian Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin.
The response to the refusal was prepared and filed by Agency TRIA ROBIT with the Latvian Patent Office. The response to the refusal was based on the following reason: originality of the design. The product TIC TAC sold in such box (the design of which is identical to the one of the applied for registration spacious trademark), is known to the respective Latvian consumers already since 1994. Due to the big turnover of the product sales together with numerous promotional events, the design of the box acquired distinctiveness among the respective consumers. This fact was proved by evidencing materials.
In February 2010 the provisional refusal of the spacious trademark was successfully overcome and the trademark WO 405177 was registered in the territory of Latvia.
Perfetti Van Melle S.p.A. (IT) vs Latvijas Patent Valde (LV)
Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia
February 19, 2010
The provisional refusal of the Latvian Patent Office in respect of the spacious trademark registration WO 972546 of the Italian company Perfetti Van Melle S.p.A. in class 30 was made basing on the fact that the mentioned above trademark lacks distinctiveness. The provisional refusal was based on Art. 6.1.2 of the Latvian Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin. The response to the refusal was prepared and filed by Agency TRIA ROBIT with the Latvian Patent Office. The response mentioned the following reasons in favor of the registrability of the spacious trademark “Lollipop”: the mark is of original design – the lollipop is formed by two spheres which is completely new in the field of confectionery; the shape is unusual and not descriptive of the goods. The two different spheres have completely dissimilar tastes (which do not blend when consumed) and are linked with each other and supported by a stick. The confectionery with two spheres is also safe for children to consume, as the design thereof prevents the risk of choking. This lollipop combines the unusual and extravagant shape with safety requirements. Thus, it was stated that the mark is distinctive per se and is not descriptive of the goods for which the mark is applied.
In February 2010 the provisional refusal of the spacious trademark WO 972546 was successfully overcome and the trademark was registered in the territory of Latvia.
HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD (JP) vs Murashov Andriy Yuriyovych (UA)
Case No.2-1771/08, Kiev District Court, Kiev Court of Appeal (September 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT representing the client - the Claimant, HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD (JP) - has filed an application with Kiev District Court on earlier termination of legal protection of the UA national trademark PILOT registered for goods in Class 12 owned by Mr Murashov Andriy Yuriyovych (natural person) on the basis of its non-use within the 3-years period. The filed application was granted but further appealed by the Defendant before the Kiev Court of Appeal. The appeal was not granted and the decision of the Kiev District Court on earlier termination of legal protection of the UA national trademark PILOT was upheld. By cancelling the national trademark PILOT, HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD (JP) due to the assistance of Agency TRIA ROBIT obtained a possibility to register the filed trademark application for a designation PILOT used for HONDA automobiles.
ORION CORPORATION (KR) vs SOCIETE DES PRODUITS NESTLE S.A. (CH)
Kiev District Court (September 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT representing the client - the Claimant, ORION CORPORATION (KR) - has filed applications with Kiev District Court on earlier termination of legal protection of the International trademark registrations ORION registered in the name of SOCIETE DES PRODUITS NESTLE S.A. (CH) for goods in Class 30 in the territory of Ukraine on the basis of their non-use within a 3-year period in Ukraine. The filed applications were granted and legal protection of the International trademarks in the territory of Ukraine was terminated. By cancelling validity of extension of the international trademarks in the territory of Ukraine, our client ORION CORPORATION (KR) obtained a possibility to get the filed trademark applications for designations O’ORION and O!ORION registered.
Soremartec S.A./Ferrero Group (IT) vs IK "NES", SIA "ROSI", SIA "ILVA PLUS", SIA "VERON" (LV)
Cases No. JUNO/08/BB/010, Nr. JUNO/08/BB/011, JUNO/08/BB/012 and JUNO/08/RO/007 (April – November 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT represented the interests of the right-holders in a number of cases against several local companies that distributed confectioneries, which are confusingly similar in appearance, and packaging thereof with the earlier registered in Latvia international trademarks No. WO 715752, No. WO 729178 as well as No. WO 783985 of Soremartec S.A./Ferrero Group. All the local companies received Warning Letters on infringement of the intellectual rights of Soremartec S.A./Ferrero Group. Some of the companies (e.g. IK "NES" and SIA "ROSI") have ceased marketing of the infringing goods after short negotiations; however, the others (e.g. SIA "ILVA PLUS", SIA "VERON") haven't, and relevant actions were filed with the Riga Regional Court pursuant to the Law on Trademarks and Indications of geographical Origin of the Republic of Latvia (infringement of trademarks) and the Competition Law (bad faith).
The two cases (against SIA "VERON" and SIA "ILVA PLUS") are still pending and with SIA "ILVA PLUS" a settlement agreement is concluded. The Court has satisfied the claim of Soremartec S.A. for preliminary injunction in both cases, issuing a decision to seize and prohibit marketing of the goods that seem to infringe the rights of the registered owner until the proceedings are finished.
Travian Games GmbH (DE) vs SIA VERSUS Pro (LV)
Case No. JUNO/07/BB/080 (November 2007 – November 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT on behalf of the German company “Travian Games GmbH” turned to the Riga Regional Court with a claim against the local company SIA "Versus Pro" in connection with infringement of their rights pursuant to he Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin of the Republic of Latvia. The German company enjoys rights to the well-known online strategy game “Travians” as well as they are the owner of the CTM No.005034871. Nevertheless, the company SIA "Versus Pro" has registered the Internet domain “travian.lv” in their own name without any permit on the side of the registered owner of the trademark. The company SIA "Versus Pro" refused to voluntarily reregister their domain in the name of Travian Games GmbH as requested basing on their intellectual property rights and as a result a dispute arose. The case is still pending but SIA "Versus Pro" has suggested to conclude a settlement agreement and to satisfy the requirements of Travian Games GmbH.
RED BULL GmbH (DE) vs SIA Avers Centrs, SIA Labdruka (LV)
Cases No. JUNO/08/BB/040 and No. JUNO/08/BB/055 (August – October 2008)
The competitor of RED BULL GmbH the company SIA Avers Centrs – the manufacturer and distributor of the energy drinks XTC in Latvia have placed on their cars ads with the slogan "tev nav vajadzīgi spārni, ja tev ir rakete" ("You don’t need wings if you have a rocket"). Red Bull GmbH supposed that such a slogan is a direct hint to their products (in Latvia Red Bull uses in their ads the slogan "red bull ceļ spāāārnos" – "Gives You Wings"). Besides, Red Bull GmbH own the national trademark SNIEDZ TEV SPĀĀĀRNUS; ("Gives You Wings"), Reg.No. M 55 956 in Latvia. Agency TRIA ROBIT issued Warning Letters to both companies on behalf of RED BULL GmbH, basing on the conditions of the Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin of the Republic of Latvia as well as the Competition Law and Advertising Law. On receipt of the letter SIA Avers Centrs have changed their ads in order not to infringe the rights of Red Bull GmbH. In the second case the company SIA Labdruka have offered on their Internet page the design of T-shirts imitating the figurative mark of Red Bull, namely, CTM No. 003350501, changing it so that in the view of Red Bull GmbH it was detrimental to the reputation of the company and the prestige of their trademark. A Warning Letter has been prepared and sent by Agency TRIA ROBIT to the infringer and the amicable agreement were reached; however, the subject design has been deleted from the list.
Sara Lee/DE N.V. (NL) vs Massimiliano Fiocchetto (IT)
Case No. ApP/2008/M 55648-Ie, Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of Latvia (May 9, 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT filed an opposition against figurative trademark TAZZA D’ORO (reg.No. M 55 648) owned by Massimiliano Fiocchetto registered for the goods of Class 30 on the basis of the trademark PIAZZA D’ORO (reg.No. WO 586 134) of the Dutch company Sara Lee/DE N.V. registered in respect of goods of Classes 5, 29 and 30. The opposition was based on Art.7.1.2. of the Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin of the Republic of Latvia, namely, earlier registration, similarity of trademarks and goods covered thereby. The opposition of Agency TRIA ROBIT acting on behalf of their client Sara Lee/DE N.V. was considered before the Board of Appeals of the Latvian Patent Office on May 9, 2008 and satisfied in full. The trademark TAZZA D’ORO (reg.No. M 55 648) was invalidated in Latvia.
Apple Computer, Inc (US) vs SIA "Vieglās valodas aģentūra" (LV)
Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of Latvia, (August 7, 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT filed an opposition against the figurative trademark "izdevums vieglajā valodā", Reg.No. M 57 314 owned by the Latvian company SIA "Vieglās valodas aģentūra" registered in respect of goods/services of Classes 16, 41 and 42, basing on Apple Computer, Inc. figurative trademark APPLE, registered for the goods/services of Classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44 un 45. The opposition was based on Art.7.1.2 and Art.8 of the Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin of the Republic of Latvia, namely, earlier registration, similarity of trademarks and goods covered thereby as well as on the status of well-known figurative trademark APPLE in Latvia. As a result of the mentioned opposition filed by Agency TRIA ROBIT on behalf of Apple Computer, Inc. a settlement agreement was reached between the owners of the trademarks, namely, the goods/services in connection with computer software and hardware were deleted from the list of goods of Classes 16, 41 and 42 of the figurative trademark "izdevums vieglajā valodā", Reg.No. M 57 314. Basing on the changes made, the mentioned opposition was withdrawn from the Board of Appeals on August 7, 2008.
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (DE) vs Volksauto, SIA (LV)
Case No. ApP/2008/M 55 122-Ie, Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of Latvia (February 22, 2008)
Agency TRIA ROBIT filed an opposition against the trademark VOLKSAUTO (reg.No. M 55 122) owned by the Latvian company Volksauto, SIA in respect of the services of Class 37 basing on the group of trademarks VOLKSWAGEN in the name of the German company Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft in respect of the goods/services of Classes 12, 35, 36, 37, 39, 41 and 42. The opposition was filed basing on Art.7.2, Art.8.1 and Art.6.2 of the “Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin” of the Republic of Latvia, namely, earlier registration, similarity of trademarks, similarity of goods/services covered thereby as well as the status of well-known trademark VOLKSWAGEN in Latvia and registration of the trademarks VOLKSAUTO in bad faith. The opposite party filed a response emphasizing that the trademark VOLKSAUTO was registered in Latvia with a purpose to favor the interests of their business activities, i.e. to delay coming into the Latvian market of the foreign companies that use the identical trademark VOLKSAUTO and not with a purpose to confuse the customers as to the connection of the trademark with the honorable company VOLKSWAGEN AG. Moreover, the trademark VOLKSAUTO and VOLKSWAGEN are different.
The opposition filed by Agency TRIA ROBIT on behalf of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft was considered before the Board of Appeals of the Patent Office and satisfied in full. The trademark VOLKSAUTO (reg.No. M 55 122) was invalidated in Latvia.
GRUNENTHAL GmbH (DE) vs GLAXO GROUP LIMITED (GB)
Case No. ApP/2008/M 56 149-Ie, Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of Latvia (October 10, 2008)
An opposition was filed against the trademark AKTIVIT (reg. No. M 56 149) of the client of Agency TRIA ROBIT - the company GLAXO GROUP LIMITED registered in Class 5 on the basis of the trademark ACLAVIT owned by the German company Grunenthal GmbH (reg. No. CTM 002860203) registered in respect of the goods of Class 5. The opposition was based on Art. 7.1.2 of the “Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin” of the Republic of Latvia, namely, the earlier registration, similarity of trademarks and goods covered thereby. The opposition was considered before the Boards of Appeals of the Patent Office on October 10, 2008 and rejected in full as baseless. It is judged that the trademarks ALAVIT and AKTIVIT are not confusingly similar. The trademark AKTIVIT (reg. No. M 56 149) owned by TRIA ROBIT’s client - GLAXO GROUP LIMITED - is valid in Latvia.
Canon Kabushiki Kaisha vs CANON Services LLC
It has come to the attention of the company Canon Kabushiki Kaisha (JP), the owner of the numerous CANON trademarks, that there exists the domain name www.canonserviss.lv registered in the name of the Latvian company. A Cease and Desist Letter was sent to the infringing Latvian company with a request to cease using the registered marks of Canon Kabushiki Kaisha in their domain name and business name. As a result of the conducted negotiations the dispute has been settled in amicable way and the infringer CANON Services LLC agreed to change their business name to a completely different one and to stop using the domain name www.canonserviss.lv having changed it to another one, which is not similar to the trademark CANON.
Globus Konzervipari RT vs Globuss grupa, SIA
A claim against the trademark “GLOBUSS konditoreja, bistro, kulinarija” (fig.) of the Latvian company Globuss grupa, SIA registered in Classes 29, 30, 31, 32, 37, 39 and 43 based on the known Hungarian brand “GLOBUS” (fig.) in the name of Globus Konzervipari RT registered in Classes 5, 29, 30, 31 and 32. The claim was filed on the grounds of earlier registration, similarity of the trademarks and the goods. As a result of negotiations the case was settled in amicable way. The Latvian company agreed to delete all the goods of Classes 29, 31 and 32, to limit the goods of Class 30, namely, leaving “bread, pastry and confectionery, edible ices” only and leaving in full force Classes 37, 39 and 43. Speaking about the association, which comes to the Latvian consumers’ mind on hearing the word GLOBUS, the Hungarian brand GLOBUS of Globus Konzervipari RT is mentioned. This brand was well-known in the Soviet Union and it is proved that since the collapse thereof, GLOBUS is still enjoying the status of a well-known mark in Latvia.
Medana Pharma Terpol Group S.A.
Successful registration of the trademarks “MEDANA” (word and device) in the name of Medana Pharma Terpol Group S.A. overcoming the opposed registered trademarks “ÌÅÄÎÍÀ” and “ÌÅÄAÍÀ - ÕÕI ÂÅÊ”. The citation of the mark “ÌÅÄÎÍÀ” was overcome on the grounds that despite the same conflicting Class 5 the way of using the trademarks is totally different. The trademark “MEDANA” as a trade name is used on documents connected with marketing of goods (business letters, invoices, price lists, catalogues, etc.); however, it is not used to mark the goods as such. The name “MEDANA” is present on the packaging as the name of the manufacturer Medana Pharma Terpol Group S.A. and not as a name of the medical product of this manufacturer. The manufacturer does not have any medical product called “MEDANA” which is sold on the Russian market. As well no conflict between the companies will arise, as the business activities thereof are different and the two markings are used in different forms. The citation of the other mark “ÌÅÄAÍÀ - ÕÕI ÂÅÊ“ was overcome on the following grounds. The owner of the cited mark - Center “ÌÅÄAÍÀ ÕÕI ÂÅÊ” is an institution that offers medical services to patients using various medicines in their activities. The company Medana Pharma Terpol Group S.A., the owner of the trademark “MEDANA” is a manufacturer of various medicines and pharmaceutical preparations and it uses MEDANA only as its trade name. As a result the mark “MEDANA” was successfully registered in the Russian Federation on 27 November 2007.
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
Successful registration of the trademark “CATHAY PACIFIC THE CLUB Marco Polo” in the name of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited in respect of Class 35. The lengthy and complicated registration proceedings initiated in 2005, which involved cancellation of the cited registered trademarks, obtaining a letter of consent from the owner of the other cited trademark as well as the limitation of the goods and services covered by the applied trademark “CATHAY PACIFIC THE CLUB Marco Polo” led to registration thereof on 3 December 2007.