On June 14, 2017, the Commission opened investigations against Nike, Universal Studios and Sanrio (“Hello Kitty”) for their distribution and licensing practices. The Commission suspects that the companies are containing online and cross-border sales by their dealers and licensees and thereby violate EU Competition law. These are probably the most prominent investigations into the distribution…

This important decision by the German Federal Supreme Court of 15 January 2017 is about how the protection against copying under unfair competition law interplays with trademark and patent law: The plaintiff manufactures and sells anchor bolts which are used to mount traffic signs: The defendant offers the following bolts: Until 2006, the plaintiff’s bolt…

3-D Mark litigation is like life itself – you never know what you’re going to get. And for that reason, it’s all the more enjoyable when a 3-D registration prevails over a knock-off. A notorious trader of perfume imitations was marketing the following perfume bottle – apparently feeling safe about the plaintiff’s product shape, registered…

Lionsgate and Dirty Dancing Lionsgate Entertainment Inc. owns the rights to the film Dirty Dancing, released in 1987. The film is iconic for its dance scenes and its message of love conquering everything. It has earned hundreds of millions from box office and DVD sales. Lionsgate and their licensees have released many other works, products…

Weapon of Choice: Protection of Names under Civil Law Before German courts, the best weapon against bothersome domain name registrations is not trademark law, but civil law. Sec. 12 of the German Civil Code (BGB) states quite broadly that the bearer of a name can keep others from using that name if such use compromised…