Tag:Distinctiveness

1
A Thorny Issue Resolved as “Flowers For All” Trade Mark Deemed Distinctive
2
Burger Wars: The Big Beef Between McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s–McD Asia Pacific LLC v. Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1412
3
Artificial Sweeter Decision Sours Halal Authority: Halal Certification Authority Pty Limited v Flujo Sanguineo Holdings Pty Limited [2023] FCAFC 175
4
Nothing more than Empty Words: The Difficulty with Registering Slogans as Trade Marks in the EU
5
Dior Did Not SADDLE on Distinctive Character of Its Iconic Bag
6
Can Dawgs Free-Ride on Bulls – Interpretation of Unfair Advantage for UK Trade Marks
7
Cadbury’s Purple Reign: High Court Allows Cadbury to Register Their Iconic Purple Colouring
8
Putting Position Marks Front and Centre: CJEU Considers Assessment of Position Marks for Services
9
Louis Vuitton playing chess or checkers? The CJEU annuls’ the invalidation of Louis Vuitton’s EU trade mark
10
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an infringement of a reputable mark!

A Thorny Issue Resolved as “Flowers For All” Trade Mark Deemed Distinctive

Business blooms for one trade mark owner as “FLOWERS FOR ALL” has been deemed distinctive enough to be registered as a trade mark in Australia.

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Burger Wars: The Big Beef Between McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s–McD Asia Pacific LLC v. Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1412

In McD Asia Pacific LLC v. Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1412, fast-food giant McDonald’s and Australian dinner-time rival Hungry Jack’s faced off in the Federal Court of Australia over their burger names BIG MAC vs BIG JACK and MEGA MAC vs MEGA JACK.

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Artificial Sweeter Decision Sours Halal Authority: Halal Certification Authority Pty Limited v Flujo Sanguineo Holdings Pty Limited [2023] FCAFC 175

The Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd (HCA) is a for-profit company that provides certification services to third parties. It is the owner of the following trade mark registered for issuing halal certification to businesses and individuals for goods and services if religious and technical requirements are met:

(HCA Badge).
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Nothing more than Empty Words: The Difficulty with Registering Slogans as Trade Marks in the EU

Companies continue to face difficulties in achieving EU trade mark protection for their slogans. In separate recent decisions of the EU General Court, two trade mark applications relating to advertising slogans were rejected on the grounds that the marks lacked the ‘distinctive character’ required to be registerable under Article 7(1)(b) of Regulation 2017/1001. These two decisions join a long list of case law rejecting similar applications.

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Dior Did Not SADDLE on Distinctive Character of Its Iconic Bag

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).

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Can Dawgs Free-Ride on Bulls – Interpretation of Unfair Advantage for UK Trade Marks

The UK High Court has rejected an appeal filed by Monster Energy to register its trade mark ‘RED DAWG’. The court deemed that it could take unfair advantage of the famous energy drink brand’s trade mark ‘RED BULL’. The case (Monster Energy Company v Red Bull GmbH [2022] EWHC 2155 (Ch)) was initially held before the UKIPO before Monster Energy’s appeal to the High Court.

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Cadbury’s Purple Reign: High Court Allows Cadbury to Register Their Iconic Purple Colouring

Cadbury has proven the adage that perseverance is the key to success as their continued and well-document pursuit over the registration of the colour purple has finally seen success in Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. v Cadbury UK Limited [2022] EWHC 1671 (Ch). The UK High Court has partially upheld the Cadbury appeal over UKIPO’s previous 2019 decision. Hopefully, this will bring clarity to businesses wishing to register colour marks instead of creating further ambiguity around the registrability requirements of colour marks and other non-traditional marks.

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Putting Position Marks Front and Centre: CJEU Considers Assessment of Position Marks for Services

In a recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling, based on a referral from the Stockholm Court of Appeal, the CJEU considered whether the distinctiveness of a sign that is to be applied to specific services should be assessed with regard to what is customary in the relevant sector. A full copy of the decision can be found here.

The Court clarified that, in the context of trade marks for services, the assessment of a sign’s distinctiveness should not always involve an assessment of norms and/or customs of the sector.

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Louis Vuitton playing chess or checkers? The CJEU annuls’ the invalidation of Louis Vuitton’s EU trade mark

Louis Vuitton received a favorable decision from the EU General Court (“General Court”) in June 2020 which may assist brand owners seeking IP protection of their decorative patterns. The decision confirms the distinctive character an EU trade mark must possess in order to benefit from protection throughout the EU as well as highlighting how patterns may be protected through registration as a trade mark rather than under other forms of IP protection such as copyright or design protection. However, the decision also reaffirmed the EU’s strict approach to assessing the unitary character of EU trade marks, which potentially sets a high bar for applicants to clear.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an infringement of a reputable mark!

The EUIPO recently upheld an opposition by DC Comics to protect its reputable SUPERMAN mark from a similar sign, despite the applicant’s sign covering a different class of goods. The decision confirms that, for there to be a sufficient risk of injury under Article 8(5) EUTRM, the public must perceive a ‘link’ between the sign and the earlier mark. The mere fact the two marks cover different classes of goods and services is not inherently a barrier to such a link. Here the link arose largely from the earlier mark’s reputation, and commercial connections between the two classes in question.

Some will see the EUIPO as swooping to the rescue to protect the hard-earned reputations of brands; others will see this as an unreasonable expansion of rights beyond a mark’s designated classes, and a Kryptonite to legitimate activity.

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