The German Federal Supreme Court recently ruled that the use of only one trademark in search engine advertisements by Amazon was trademark infringing when the underlying link led to a list of offers that included not only products offered under that brand but also those of third parties (Decision of the Federal Supreme Court of…

The question of how far descriptive or non-distinctive trademarks which somehow managed to be registered may be enforced is of particular relevance in jurisdictions like Germany which acknowledge their incontestability ten years after registration. The more recent approach of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was that it accepted likelihood of confusion also in a…

On 14 January 2019, on the date of the deadline, the German Trademark Modernization Act entered into force (with the wonderfully uniquely German name of “Markenrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz” – short: “MaMoG”). The Trademark Modernization Act implements the mandatory and several optional provisions contained in the revised EU Trade Mark Directive 2015/2436 of 16 December 2015 in Germany….

It is longstanding practice in fashion to designate certain products not only by illegible article numbers, but by names. Many times male or female personal names are chosen. When there is a broad range of products, many names are needed by a fashion company. Many times these will not be needed for a long time,…

In Germany, the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf decided that trademark rights were not exhausted in a case where luxury cosmetic products were offered at a German discounter. The Court held that the offer of the luxury cosmetic products at the discounter stores as well as at the discounter’s online-shop would be detrimental for the image…

In yet another decision, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has ruled on whether an injunction also obliged an infringer to take active steps to stop the distribution of infringing products through resellers (decision of the BGH of 11 October 2017 in Case I ZB 96/16). The case follows a series of earlier decisions by…

Combining trademarks with further elements or sub-brands is quite popular. A recent decision of the German Federal Supreme reminds once more what to watch out for if you do not want to lose your trademark rights (decision of 11 May 2017 in Case I ZB 6/16). The owner of the German word mark registration for…

Where the marks differ in only a single additional letter at the end of one of the marks, can the resulting similarity be “neutralized” by the conceptual differences? The German Federal Patent Court decided on 19 June 2017 that the opposing mark “Combit” and the attacked mark  were overall dissimilar and that, even if there…

Following a request for cancellation, the Federal Patent Court decided to cancel a shape mark for sweets arguing that it exclusively consisted of a shape necessary to obtain a technical result (Decision of the Federal Patent Court of 27 December 2016 on Case 25 W (pat) 59/14). The cancellation request was directed against the German…

A recent decision of the Federal Patent Court in Germany (Decision of 1 March 2016 on Case 29 W (pat) 33/13) shows that the unitary character of an EU trademark (EUTM) does not necessarily mean that it enjoys the same level of protection in all EU member states. In opposition proceedings in Germany, the Federal…