Tag: EUIPO

1
Don’t Bank-sy on Trade marks: Banksy loses EU trade mark due to “bad faith”
2
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an infringement of a reputable mark!
3
COVID-19: EUIPO extends all office deadlines; CJEU restricts operations but time limits unchanged
4
To 3D, or not to 3D, that is the question: Another twist in the Rubik’s Cube and its EU trade mark protection
5
Trade mark re-filing and bad faith – Go directly to Jail. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200
6
Zara v Zara: The evolving world of “fashion”
7
Iceland’s trade mark nothing but a puddle
8
Supermac takes a bite out of McDonald’s as it loses the BIG MAC trade mark in the European Union
9
EU case recap: Sprinter vs Diesel SpA “D” Marks (Case T‑521/15)
10
EU: The obligation to translate in a motion for invalidation (Mediaexpert v EUIPO)

Don’t Bank-sy on Trade marks: Banksy loses EU trade mark due to “bad faith”

Banksy’s trade mark for one of his most famous artistic designs has been declared invalid by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (the “EUIPO”) on the grounds that it was filed in bad faith. The EUIPO finding him having engaged in “inconsistent with honest practices” in his attempt to protect his trade mark. A full copy of the decision can be found here.

The EUIPO said Banksy was attempting to use trade mark law to protect his artwork from being used commercially by third-parties because he couldn’t copyright it and maintain his anonymity. This decision highlights that the court will take a dim view of anyone – even famous artists – attempting to find a loophole in the law.

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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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COVID-19: EUIPO extends all office deadlines; CJEU restricts operations but time limits unchanged

With the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic being seen in all facets of our lives, European IP registries are also seeking to manage these exceptional circumstances.

On Monday 16 March 2020, the Executive Director of the EUIPO issued a decision extending all time limits for EU trade marks and designs expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, that affect all parties before the Office, to 1 May 2020. Similarly, the EPO has announced that all deadlines for patent matters are extended until 17 April 2020.

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To 3D, or not to 3D, that is the question: Another twist in the Rubik’s Cube and its EU trade mark protection

The long running and highly publicised Rubik’s cube case has taken another twist. On 24 October 2019, the EU General Court confirmed the cancellation of the EU trade mark for the 3D shape. The mark was cancelled because its essential characteristics were deemed necessary for its technical function (i.e. the shape’s ability to rotate).

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Trade mark re-filing and bad faith – Go directly to Jail. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200

Hasbro Inc. (Hasbro), owner of the well-loved board game Monopoly, suffered a defeat on 22 July 2019, before the EUIPO Board of Appeal in relation to the MONOPOLY trade mark. The EU registration for the MONOPOLY trade mark was partially invalidated as it was found that Hasbro had acted in bad faith when filing the application as part of a ‘trade mark re-filing’ programme.

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Zara v Zara: The evolving world of “fashion”

The recent decision in Inditex v EUIPO demonstrates the far reaching, evolving nature of fashion brands and the markets they can operate in and are expanding into.

In this case, Inditex (one of the world’s largest fashion retailers and owner of the fashion brand Zara) appealed the EUIPO’s decision to grant registration of the ‘Zara Tanzania Adventures’ mark in classes 39 (travel and tourism) and 43 (travel agency services). The appeal was based on the registration of its own ‘Zara’ mark in class 39. But how can a fashion brand object to a mark in the travel sector?

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Iceland’s trade mark nothing but a puddle

After a challenge by the Icelandic government, the global supermarket chain Iceland has had its European Union trade mark invalidated. This decision comes merely five years after finally obtaining registration after a lengthy (12 years) application process in which the mark was opposed by a number of Icelandic companies.

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Supermac takes a bite out of McDonald’s as it loses the BIG MAC trade mark in the European Union

Although it may be one of the most famous burgers in the world, on 15 January 2019, Supermac’s (Holdings) Ltd was successful in seeking the cancellation of McDonald’s International Property Company Ltd (McDonald’s) EU trade mark registration for BIG MAC for burgers or restaurants.

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EU case recap: Sprinter vs Diesel SpA “D” Marks (Case T‑521/15)

On 20 June 2017, a ruling between Sprinter megacentros del deporte SL and Diesel SpA was made regarding similar trademarks indicating there would be a risk of consumers being misled in relation to two similar figurative marks in the form of the letter “D” in respect of identical goods. A consumer would have to examine the marks very closely, which is unlikely since the average consumer seldom has the opportunity to compare trademarks side by side.

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EU: The obligation to translate in a motion for invalidation (Mediaexpert v EUIPO)

On 20 March 2013, the company Mediaexpert S.A. submitted the following word-figurative EU trademark to the EUIPO:

for the following services in classes 35, 39 and 41:

  • 35: Business management; business administration;
  • 39: Transport; packaging and storing of goods;
  • 41: Education; providing training; sports;

and the trademark was registered on 5 March 2014 under number 11674132 for all the services submitted.

On 22 May 2014, the company Mediaexpert sp. z o.o. applied for invalidation of the mark, citing an earlier protection right to a domestic, word-figurative trademark registered on 26 February 2010 under number R.226812 in the form:

for goods and services from classes 7, 9, 11, 12, 16, 20, 35, 39, 41 and 42.

Together with the motion for invalidation, the applicant attached a printout from the Polish Patent Office database and a list of goods and services in the Polish language, without a translation into English, which was the language of the proceeding for invalidation.

Fast forward to a ruling of 20 July 2017, the court dismissed the complaint by the applicant, that there had been a breach of the principle of the protection of justified expectations, and ordered the applicant to pay the costs of the proceedings.

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