Archive: April 2015

1
Zarxio®, First BPCIA Approved Biosimilar, Added to Purple Book
2
The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning
3
The Chinese Translation of a Registered Word Trademark can be Used as a New Figurative Trademark in Italy
4
Australian ISPs Ordered to Hand Over Customer Details in P2P Copyright Action
5
Yahoo! Vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.a: A Turning Point in ISP’s Liability in Italy?
6
Roger Maier and Assos of Switzerland SA v ASOS plc and ASOS.com Limited
7
Denied Again: FDA Denies Amgen’s Citizen Petition Requesting Certification of Compliance with BPCIA Patent Dance

Zarxio®, First BPCIA Approved Biosimilar, Added to Purple Book

In September 2014, the FDA published the first edition of the Purple Book: Lists of Licensed Biological Products with Reference Product Exclusivity and Biosimilarity or Interchangeability Evaluations (“Purple Book”), the biological equivalent of the pharmaceutical Orange Book. See FDA Releases a Purple Book for Biosimilars. The Purple Book has now been updated to include Sandoz, Inc.’s (“Sandoz”), Zarxio® (filgrastim), the United State’s first biosimilar approved under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”). See FDA Approves First Biosimilar: Sandoz’s Zarxio®.

To read the full alert, click here.

The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning

On February 2, 2015, (judgment no. 1861) the Italian Supreme Court ruled on a case involving two Italian companies active in the sector of furniture: Natuzzi S.p.A., owner of the Italian and European trademark ‘Divani & Divani’ (Trademark 1), and Divini & Divani S.r.l. (Divini & Divani), which started to use the trademark ‘Divini & Divani’ (Trademark 2).

Natuzzi claimed that the use of Trademark 2 was illegitimate, constituted an act of unfair competition as well as trademark infringement claiming the use generated confusion amongst customers. In particular, Natuzzi stated that, even if Trademark 1 was composed by two common words (literally in English ‘Sofas & Sofas’), it acquired specific distinctiveness. Consequently, Natuzzi sought to prevent Divini & Divani from using Trademark 2 as a company name and a trademark for its products. Divini & Divani counterclaimed that Natuzzi’s requests were groundless because there could not be any confusion between the trademarks and, in any case, Trademark 1 was weak and consequently, not worthy of protection.

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The Chinese Translation of a Registered Word Trademark can be Used as a New Figurative Trademark in Italy

On January 9, 2015, a decision of the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi, hereafter ‘UIBM’) rejected an opposition made by Jaguar Land Rover Limited (Land Rover), in order to prevent the registration, in Italy, by China Depend Limited (China Depend) of a figurative trademark. The trademark was formed by two Chinese ideograms corresponding to the sign used in China by Land Rover to identify its activity, which once translated means ‘land’ and ‘tiger’, but allegedly commonly translated into ‘Land Rover’ ( Ideogram Trademark).

Land Rover, owner of the two Italian word trademarks ‘Land Rover’ and ‘Range Rover’ (Land Rover Trademarks), filed an opposition pursuant to Article 12, paragraph 1, letter d) of the Italian Intellectual Property Code setting forth the likelihood of confusion between similar trademarks. In particular, the provision provides that signs cannot be registered as trademarks if, at the date of the registration filing, they are similar or identical to other trademarks previously registered by third parties in the same country or are enjoying protection in the same country.

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Australian ISPs Ordered to Hand Over Customer Details in P2P Copyright Action

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v iiNet Limited [2015] FCA 317

In November 2014, IP Law Watch reported on attempts by the rights holder of the film Dallas Buyers Club to compel Australian ISPs to disclose the identities of BitTorrent users who allegedly shared copies of the film.

On 7 April 2015, Justice Perram of the Federal Court of Australia ruled in favour of Dallas Buyers Club LLC and Voltage Pictures LLC, ordering six ISPs to disclose the details of 4,726 customers.

The judgment has been widely reported in the Australian media as a landmark decision and a game changer in the battle regarding online piracy.  In fact, the kind of order granted by Justice Perram is far from revolutionary.  For many years, civil procedure rules at both state and federal levels have enabled a party to seek orders requiring a third party to produce documents or give evidence as to the identity of a prospective respondent.  There are decisions going back as far as the 1970s in which this kind of preliminary discovery order has been granted (see for example Exley v Wyong Shire Council (10 December 1976, Master Allen, unreported) and Stewart v Miller [1979] 2 NSWLR 128).

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Yahoo! Vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.a: A Turning Point in ISP’s Liability in Italy?

On January 7, 2015 the Court of Appeal of Milan (Court of Appeal) rendered a relevant judgment on a dispute involving Yahoo! Italia S.r.l and Yahoo! Inc. vs. Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.A. (RTI), one of Italy’s major broadcasters. RTI sued Yahoo! Italia S.r.l. and Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!) because of the reproduction of RTI’s copyrighted videos on the Yahoo! Video-sharing platform (Yahoo! Video Italia). RTI requested the removal of such videos and the implementation by Yahoo! of a filtering and blocking system in order to detect and prevent any infringement of copyright. The Court of Appeal concluded that the hosting provider is only exclusively responsible if it takes active part in the uploading activity or is aware of the unlawful content or use of the material and does not erase them.

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Roger Maier and Assos of Switzerland SA v ASOS plc and ASOS.com Limited

In a long-anticipated decision, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (Court of Appeal) on Wednesday held, by 2-1 majority, that use of the ASOS brand by the popular online clothing retailer was defensible under the ‘own name’ defence in Community trade mark law.

The decision, which reversed the findings of the judge at first instance, will be appealed to the Supreme Court (the highest court in England and Wales) by the Claimants, who own the successful ASSOS cycling clothing business and are the proprietors of a Community trade mark for the ASSOS word mark, which has been registered since 2005. 

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Denied Again: FDA Denies Amgen’s Citizen Petition Requesting Certification of Compliance with BPCIA Patent Dance

As discussed previously in Next Steps in the Dance: Amgen Files Citizen Petition at FDA Requesting Mandatory Compliance with BPCIA Patent Procedures, Amgen Inc. (“Amgen”) filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA requesting that the FDA mandate compliance with the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act’s (“BPCIA’s”) information exchange provisions, often referred to as the “Patent Dance.” In particular, Amgen requested that the FDA require a biosimilar applicant to certify that it will timely comply with Section 351(l)(2)(A) of the BPCIA by providing the brand holder with a copy of the biosimilar application and information describing the process(es) used to manufacture the biosimilar product covered by the application.

To read the full alert, click here.

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