Category Archives: International Law

Starbucks Trademark Infringement Claim against Belgian Coffeehouse

The trademark in question is the Starbucks logo of a circular emblem containing a mermaid with the text in bold letters around the emblem, spelling out “STARBUCKS”. In 2013 a Belgian coffeehouse, owned by Hasmik Nerseyan, submitted an application for Trademark Registration with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. A couple of months later, Starbucks hit back with an opposition for the application in regards to Article 46.

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The EUPIO had dismissed the case, regarding that the logos were conceptually similar, but differed in their distinctive characteristics. The court summarized the case as having “a low degree of similarity”. Nerseyan’s coffee house logo has a circular emblem with the words “Coffee Rocks”, spelled out in bold letters around it and a musical note fashioned from coffee beans inside the logo, where Starbucks has used a mermaid.

Recently, Starbucks reopened the case for an appeal against the closing summary of a “low degree of similarity” to the EU General Court, stating that the logos are not only visually similar but phonetically as well. The Court agreed with the re-appeal and has discontinued the 2015 dismissal of the case, allowing Starbucks to proceed with its claim.

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Related Article:
Trademark registration in Thailand

Related Blog:
Thailand’s Trademark Act is Amended

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New Polish Prime Minister Removes Unpopular Cabinet Ministers

Polish PM, Morawiecki has managed to persuade Poland’s most powerful political leader, Kaczynski, to let go of Poland’s most criticized Cabinet Ministers in an attempt to strengthen relations with the EU. The former Ministers now include the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Environment. The removal of these Ministers who approved of the logging in one of Poland’s old forests has deterred sanctions on Poland by the EU.

Morawiecki had kept the Minister of Justice, Zioboro, as he fully backs the amendments of the justice system and was behind the sweeping reform of the justice system. The PM has expressed the change in the justice system has been a long time coming and necessary. He also comments that the objective is to be more “transparent and cost-efficient”. Some of the new policies include energy and climate policy and the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by the conflict with Russia.

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The PM hopes that the reshuffling of the government shows a more conciliatory approach to the EU and that it allows for Poland to have a significant role in a strong Europe. The Ministers that have been replaced are the Defense, Finance and Development Ministers.

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Related Blog:
EU Citizen’s Privacy Rights Violated by US Companies

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Thailand Expat Arrested For Fleeing US To Avoid Child Support

A US expat who was residing in  Thailand has pled guilty to fleeing the United States in 2007 to avoid paying child support according to The United States Attorneys Office, Western District Missouri.

Randy Lee Essary, admitted that he has failed to pay any court-ordered child support for his son for more than eight years and owes $164,891.

Essary now faces a sentence of up to two years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution.

The case is significant insofar as it demonstrates that fleeing the US with the intent to avoid paying court ordered child support is a serious case and will be prosecuted by the US Federal authorities.   Fleeing the US to avoid child support is a separate offense from the failure to pay child.   The feeling case is covered by Federal jurisdiction,. whereas in most cases, child support is a state legal matter.

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Court Extends Statute of Limitations Based On Delusions

A mentally ill inmate who suffered from severe delusions has been allowed by the USA 9th Circuit Court additional time to file an appeal reports Courthouse News.

Steven Forbess was convicted of attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and coercion of his former wife, Joanne.

Lawyers on behalf of Forbess explained he believed he had been placed in prison for his own protection from the drug cartel and he would be released when Joanne was apprehended.

After hearing evidence about Forbess’ mental condition and the severe delusions he had been suffering from, the court granted him an exception to the statute of limitations (also known as a “prescription period” to allow him to file an appeal.

Extensions of time limits and exercising discretion around the statue of limitations is dealt with purely on a case by case basis. It is always prudent to ensure therefore that cases and appeals are filed in the correct time rather than believing an extension of time will be granted in each case.

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US Can Block Visas For Espionage Suspects

A new act, recently passed by the U.S. Congress has given the US Government the power to block visas. It is thought the premise behind the Act is to block Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s newly appointed ambassador to the UN, from entering the United States reports CCTV English.

CCTV reports that the US is defending its decision for reasons of espionage and terrorism.

Iran has announced its decision to sue the US over the new law. The Islamic republic also said it has a number of options to take against Washington’s move.

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