Tag: Europe

1
An unsuccessful registration of the trademark “I’m organic” (Europe)
2
The Louboutin red sole – opinion of the Advocate General (case c-163/16 – recap)
3
The European trade mark reform – Phase 2
4
Significant changes ahead for Australian patents
5
Criminal trade mark offences to also apply to grey market goods in UK
6
Duty of examining a mark in the registration stage – judgement of the EU Court in the case of Indeutsch International, Case T-20/16
7
A favourable opinion for the owners of exclusive brands – Does selective distribution guarantee that the luxury image of a brand is maintained?
8
Revolution in personal data protection: GDPR – new provisions, bigger penalties
9
A dispute between renowned tire producers – Ruling of the EU Court of Justice in the case of the trademark “XKING”
10
The protective capacity of 3D trademarks

An unsuccessful registration of the trademark “I’m organic” (Europe)

In 2016 Zbyszko Bojanowicz sp. z o.o. S.K.A. applied to the EUIPO to have the word-figurative mark “I’m organic” registered for goods and services from classes 16, 32 and 42 of the Nice Classification.

The EUIPO found that, in this case, conditions under Article 7 par. 1 b) and c) of Regulation No. 207/2009 of 26 February 2009 on the Community trademark existed for which the submission of a word-figurative trademark must be rejected.

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The Louboutin red sole – opinion of the Advocate General (case c-163/16 – recap)

On 22 June 2017, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar presented an opinion in case C-163/16 concerning a trademark registered for the benefit of the well-known fashion designer Christian Louboutin, in the form of the colour red applied to the sole of a shoe.

In 2010, Louboutin obtained a registration of a Benelux trademark submitted for goods from class 25. This covered shoes (except for orthopaedic shoes), while in 2013, the registration was restricted to high-heeled shoes.

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The European trade mark reform – Phase 2

On 1 October 2017, the second part of the European trade mark reform entered into force, completing the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 amending the Community trade mark regulation (EUTMR).

Taking a step back, this is in fact the last part of a much longer reform process that began about 10 years after the adoption of the EU trade mark system in 1996. In 2008, the European Commission published the Communication on an industrial property rights strategy for Europe with the intent to review the current practice and bring the European trade mark system to the next level. Subsequently, in depth studies, a public consultation and an impact assessment followed until the approval, in December 2015, of a new amending Regulation and a Directive to harmonise the laws of Member States.

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Significant changes ahead for Australian patents

The Australian Government has proposed significant changes to Australian patent law following an inquiry into the IP system recently completed by its advisory body, the Productivity Commission.  These include:

  • Amending the inventive step threshold to reflect that of the European Patent Office
  • Phasing out innovation patents
  • Requiring applicants to identify an invention’s technical features in their claims, and
  • Adding an objects clause to the Patents Act.

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Criminal trade mark offences to also apply to grey market goods in UK

In a positive decision for brand owners, the UK Supreme Court has confirmed that criminal trade mark offences can apply to the sale and distribution of grey market goods in addition to counterfeit goods.

In R v M & Ors [2017] UKSC 58, the appellants had been importing clothes and shoes into the EU that bore trade marks of famous fashion brands. These were a combination of counterfeit goods and grey market goods (i.e. goods that had been produced with the trade mark owner’s consent but that had been subsequently sold without their consent).

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Duty of examining a mark in the registration stage – judgement of the EU Court in the case of Indeutsch International, Case T-20/16

On 15 February 2010, the company M/S. Indeutsch International (Applicant) filed figurative EU trademark:

for “knitting needles” and “crochet hooks” belonging to the 26th class of the Nice Classification. EUIPO registered the aforementioned mark, however an application for declaration of invalidity of the trademark in question was filed on the basis of the lack of distinctive character of the registered sign.

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A favourable opinion for the owners of exclusive brands – Does selective distribution guarantee that the luxury image of a brand is maintained?

On 26 July 2017, the advocate general of the EU Court of Justice issued a very interesting opinion of benefit to the owners of exclusive brands. The dispute the opinion addresses has been going on for many years between the companies Coty German GmbH (“Coty”) – a leading supplier of luxury cosmetic products in Germany – and Parfümerie Akzente GmbH (“Parfümerie Akzente”) – an authorized distributor of those products. It concerns the possibility of a supplier prohibiting authorized entities involved in further selling in a selective distribution system from using unauthorized third companies.

The EU Court of Justice will have to consider whether, and within what scope, selective distribution systems for luxury and prestige items that primarily ensure the “luxury image” of those goods constitute an element of competition pursuant to Article 101 par. 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

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Revolution in personal data protection: GDPR – new provisions, bigger penalties

On 25 May 2018, the provisions of the general Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2016/670 of 27 April 27 2016, on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) will enter into force. The changes are many.

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A dispute between renowned tire producers – Ruling of the EU Court of Justice in the case of the trademark “XKING”

In a ruling of 26 July 2017 in case C-84/16 P, the Court of Justice upheld a ruling by the EU General Court invalidating a decision of the EUIPO Fourth Board of Appeal dismissing an opposition to the registration of the word-figurative trademark “XKING”.

That ruling benefits the company Compagnie générale des établissments Michelin (“Michelin”) – the entity that submitted the opposition to the registration in a proceeding before the EUIPO and is against the company Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH (“Continental”), a market competitor of Michelin and the entity that applied for the registration of the contested mark.

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