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WIPO IP Case Law Conference (Geneva, November 2023)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states. Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Our mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967. The annual WIPO Intellectual Property Judges Forum aims to provide a platform for judges from across the globe to exchange their expertise on the most pressing intellectual property (IP) challenges raised by accelerating innovation and the increasingly transnational use of IP.

Chairman of the Academy The Honourable Justice Winston Anderson, presented a case study at the WIPO Case Study conference on 15 November 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. The case study involved an analysis of 3M Company v Manufacturera 3M SA de CV [2017] JMCA Civ 21. The American 3M Company, was registered in Jamaica since 1971, and continued its trademark “3M” under the Trade Marks Act 2001. The Mexican M3M & Device Company sought registration of “M3M & Device” in Jamaica in 2005. This was accepted for publication and was published in 2008. “3M” objected to the application to register the “M3M & Device” mark. The mark was nevertheless registered thus triggering this litigation. Hilary Phillips J.A. delivered the judgment of the Court of Appeal which overruled Sykes J (now CJ). The Court of Appeal held that the marks were similar, and the respective goods and services covered by the marks were similar so that there was a likelihood of confusion amongst the public. Accordingly, registration of “M3M & Device”, as the later mark, should be refused.