It is beGINning to look a lot like a legal disputes saga between supermarkets in the UK. We have recently covered an ongoing dispute between Lidl and Tesco (see here), which relates to an alleged trade mark infringement. This time, Marks & Spencer (M&S) are suing the largest Europe’s discount grocery chain Aldi for copying their registered designs of the light-up Christmas gin bottles. This is the second legal case in recent times brought by M&S against Aldi, with the first one involving the famous Colin the Caterpillar cake, which has since been settled. Notably, the case at hand in relation to gin bottles demonstrates the benefits of registering designs in the UK, especially if such design is unique and has a significant value to the brand, and the brand would like to protect it against any copycats.Read More
Hamburg, Germany – Not only known for its famous seafood and the third largest European seaport for goods and cargo handling1, but also a considerable and noteworthy jurisdiction when it comes to the protection and enforcement of trade mark rights in preliminary proceedings.
The Higher Regional Court of Hamburg found in a recent trade mark dispute in preliminary injunction proceedings (Decision of 29 September 2022 – 5 U 91/21) between the “Deutsche Telekom” (“Claimant”) and the Spanish telecommunication company “Telefónica” and its German subsidiary (together “Defendants”), that the application and use of a “T” consisting of five dots in combination with various Telefónica company symbols (e.g. shown below left and middle) (“Contested Signs”) constitute an infringement of the well-known “T-brand” (shown below right) (EUTM 215194 ; DE 39529531) of Deutsche Telekom (“T-Trade Mark”).
The Court found that there was a likelihood of confusion between the opposing signs, confirmed that the “T”-brand has a reputation within the meaning of Art. 9 (2) lit. c) of the EU Trade Mark Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1001), and therefore concluded that the defendant’s trade mark infringes the claimant’s trade mark rights resulting in the grant of a preliminary injunction (“PI”).Read More
The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that merely removing copyright management information (CMI), without showing that that defendant knew or would have reason to know that its actions would induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal a copyright infringement is insufficient to meet the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) requirements for liability for wrongful removal of CMI.1
CMI typically consists of items such as title and authorship. In the digital world, CMI frequently is provided in metadata, essentially background technical data about a digital work. Metadata is a set of data that describes and provides information about other data. CMI typically is included in the metadata embedded in photographs, videos, documents, and other digital media. When distributing a digital work, the metadata, including CMI, may be altered in the course of reformatting the work, typically to reduce the size of the work.Read More
Does evidence showing booking, advertising and selling services in the EU constitute genuine use if the service actually registered takes place abroad?
This was the question contemplated by a recent decision of the General Court. The case T-768/20 (Standard International Management LLC v EUIPO) addresses the use of trade marks in the EU where the relevant brand operates hotel and leisure facilities outside the jurisdiction.Read More
Two well-known grocery stores, Tesco and Lidl, are involved in an ongoing trade mark dispute (Lidl Great Britain Limited v Tesco Stores Limited  EWHC 1434 (Ch)). While the trial is set to take place in 2023, the recent developments in relation to arguments of bad faith are noteworthy, especially for brands engaged in trade mark refiling, or ‘evergreening’.Read More
Juventus FC (affectionately nicknamed the “Old Lady”) has won a noteworthy ruling in its case of trade mark infringement brought against the non-fungible token (“NFT“) producer Blockeras s.r.l (“Blockeras”). The Rome Court of First Instance, on 20 July 2022, ruled that the unauthorised minting, advertising and sale of NFTs1 can infringe the trade mark rights of the relevant owner.Read More
High-end outdoor clothing brand Patagonia Inc is taking on fast fashion retailer Gap for copying its “iconic” fleece jacket design. Patagonia Inc has filed court proceedings in the Federal Court.
In a complaint filed on 22 November 2022, Patagonia alleges that Gap willfully and deliberately copied the fleece design through the creation and sale of its “Mockneck Pullover” jackets, mimicking the flap pocket and rectangular logo of Patagonia’s classic “Snap-T” fleece jackets (shown below).
In Singapore, popular eatery “ENG’S Wonton Noodles” is known for its springy noodles, luscious wonton dumplings and fiery chilli sauce. Its popularity attracted more than S$1.6 million in revenue one year, but a fallout between the founder’s children and their business partners led to multiple disputes, including a dispute over trade mark rights to the “ENG’S” name in Pauline New Ping Ping v Eng’s Char Siew Wantan Mee Pte. Ltd.  SGIPOS 10.Read More
Another unfavourable decision on non-traditional trade marks has landed, now in relation to Dior’s iconic Saddle bag. The EUIPO’s Second Board of Appeal decided that Dior’s Saddle bag is not distinctive with respect to handbags. The decision is seen as surprising yet not unpredictable, given the recent history of unsuccessful trade mark applications for 3D signs (for example, see our previous article on the Moon Boot case here).Read More
It’s all out in the wash: Henkel Australia Pty Ltd (Henkel) has successfully removed two dishwashing tablet trade marks owned by Reckitt Benckiser Finish BV (Reckitt) from the register.
In the recent Federal Court decision RB (Hygiene Home) Australia Pty Ltd v Henkel Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1042, Rofe J simultaneously overturned an interlocutory injunction against Henkel and declared that two trade marks for dishwashing tablets owned by Reckitt should be removed from the register for non-use.Read More