First it was getting a registration as a trademark for the name of a State (see at http://trademarkblog.kluweriplaw.com/2022/03/28/mission-impossible-register-the-name-of-a-state-as-a-trademark/). Now, it is getting the European Union Court of Justice (CJEU) to review a decision of the General Court (GC) on trademark and design matters arising from the EUIPO Boards of Appeal. As already reported (see at…

The EU trademark law system does not have, unlike the US, a legal concept of “incontestability”. Instead, it has “acquiescence”, a defence against invalidity or infringement actions which can be raised against the owner of an earlier mark who has acquiesced, for a period of five successive years, in the use of a later registered…

When a IP court awards the winning party the reimbursement of the costs incurred,  what exactly can be included in such an award and how to determine its amount is not always obvious. Surely it is curious that the Court of Justice (CJEU) dealt with these issues in two recent decisions, both  issued last April…

The UK finally said bye-bye to the EU, but for how long will UK-based rights still matter in deciding EUTM-related controversies? This is the subject of two recent decisions by the General Court, i.e.  the Basmati case, T‑342/20, decided on October 6, 2021, and the subsequent APE TEES case, T‑281/21, decided on March 16, 2022. In…

Andorran tobacco leaves (© Guia Andorra, https://en.guiandorra.com/post/the-manufacture-of-tobacco-a-production-full-of-tradition-and-of-great-economic-weight).   It should not be that strange that in a world where everything can be sold (well, almost) even States might think to capitalize on their own names and thus seek protection of the same as a trademark. However, getting one registered seems increasingly difficult and as confirmed…

So, a million years in the future, an alien lands on the moon and sees this footprint. The alien quickly accesses the GWW (Galaxy Wide Web) and discovers that it was left by one astronaut of the little blue world nearby (perhaps worth a visit, according to prior reviews left by other interstellar visitors).  The…

On 21st December 2021, the General Court (GC), in case T-369/20, dealt with “likelihood of association” setting out a double test which seems to be at odds with the previous case law, notably the landmark Sabel case (C-251/95). The EUTM application “CEFA Certified European Financial Analyst” in classes 9 and 41 was opposed on the…

We surely cannot. With Messi (see cases C-449/18P and C-474/18P MESSI)  and Miley Cyrus (case T‑368/20 MILEY CYRUS), we learnt that reputation or renown of (personal) names is a factor which should be taken in consideration when comparing marks and which may ultimately exclude confusion with an earlier similar mark. However, two recent cases seem…

As you may recall, the CJEU in cases C-449/18P and C-474/18P of 17 September 2020, (see http://trademarkblog.kluweriplaw.com/2020/09/23/lionel-messi-scores-his-surname-trade-mark-the-cjeus-own-goal/) held that consumers recognized MESSI as the surname of the soccer player Lionel Messi, and considered this fact a matter of common knowledge because any reasonably observant and circumspect consumer was thought to regularly read in the newspapers…

The assessment of likelihood of confusion among descriptive marks often causes puzzling decisions, especially when the analysis focuses on whether consumers understand the descriptive character of certain terms,  and when different consequences are attached to whether or not such understanding (or lack thereof) matters at all.   The General Court (GC) on 28 April 2021…