In newly issued court proceedings, the makers of Toblerone have become the latest confectionary manufacturers to seek to protect the shape of their product via 3D trade mark registrations. Following the recent difficulties Nestlé faced in registering the shape of their Kit-Kat bar, Mondelez have commenced proceedings against Poundland in relation to their newly announced Twin Peaks bar. Twin Peaks bears more than a passing resemblance to a Toblerone, except that each chunk of chocolate features two peaks rather than one.
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.
Louis Vuitton recently petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Second Circuit ruling that certain handbags are fair-use parodies of Louis Vuitton products, and therefore do not give rise to liability for trademark dilution by blurring. In its petition, Louis Vuitton contends there is a split of authority between the Second and Fourth Circuits regarding parody as a fair-use defense to dilution.
Louis Vuitton is the owner of famous trademarks “that immediately bring… to mind Louis Vuitton as the sole source of handbags and other stylish, high-quality goods bearing its marks.” My Other Bag, Inc. offers handbags with images of Louis Vuitton’s famous marks reproduced on one side, and the phrase “My other bag” inscribed on the back.
One of the forms of a trademark more and more frequently encountered in trading is that of the shape mark. Read More
Changes have been introduced in the system of fees for the submission and protection of trademarks and industrial designs with the Polish Patent Office (PPO). An amendment of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers on fees relating to the protection of inventions, utility designs, industrial designs, trademarks, geographic designations and topographies of integrated circuits was published and entered into force at the end of 2016.
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The distinctiveness of a trademark is one of the conditions for obtaining a European Union trade mark (EUTM) registration. The concept of a trademark is defined through the prism of distinctiveness as its inherent characteristic, and also its basic function. This distinctiveness may be inherent (due to the unprecedented and extraordinary structure or content of the sign) or acquired (as a result of use of the sign on the market). Distinctiveness should be possessed by each representable and sensory perceptible sign capable of distinguishing goods or services that should perform the functions of a trademark in business or trade.
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On 16 June 2017, we saw the publication of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2017/1001 of 14 June 2017, on the European Union trademark (OJEU L 154 of 16.06.2017), which is de facto the uniform text of Regulation No. 207/2009 as amended as a result of Regulation No. 2015/2424. The new regulation entered into force 20 days after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply starting 1 October 2017.
The publication of the new regulation is the result of a legal reform of trademarks in the EU. Because Regulation No. 207/2009 was amended significantly several times, for the sake of clarity and comprehensibility, the provisions have been unified.
The provisions of Regulation 2017/1001 are identical with those that were introduced by Amendment Regulation No. 2015/2424 and contain, among other items, a new definition of the term “trademark.”
On 17 May 2017, the EU Court of Justice issued a ruling in a case between the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. concerning a graphic trademark containing the word element “deluxe.”
We reported previously, in Bulletin No. 2 /2016 (page 15), on a case of the registration of the graphic trademark (shown below, packaging for Knoppers waffles, without any additional markings, with protection only for the two-colored background) for goods from class 30 of the Nice Classification, namely confectionery products, chocolates, chocolate products, cakes, ice creams, and ingredients for manufacturing such products.
The European Union Court of Justice confirmed the intellectual property rights owned by the French company “Forge de Laguiole”, but solely in areas in which it pursued an actual business activity.
A decision  dated 5 April 2017 of the European Union Court of Justice (EUCJ) put an end to the longstanding series of court decisions about the Laguiole trademark before the European Union jurisdictions (EU Jurisdictions), on which relied the right for French company “Forge de Laguiole” to keep using its business name. This decision also gave the EUCJ the opportunity to clarify the application of national case law by the EU Jurisdictions within the framework of proceedings based on Article 8 (4) of Regulation No 207/2009 (the “Regulation”) .