Jeroen Muyldermans and Paul Maeyaert, both experienced IP litigators at the renowned Belgian law firm Altius, have undertaken the humungous task of compiling, analysing, structuring and presenting the case law deriving from the General Court and Court of Justice in Luxembourg as well as the Boards of Appeal at the EUIPO on the topic…

  On 30 January 2020, the General Court of the European Union confirmed the Board of Appeal’s decision rejecting the opposition brought by Julius Sämann against the EUTM application for the sign shown above, based (inter alia) on the silhouette of its “magic tree”: (Case no. T-559/19). The Court agreed with the Board of Appeal…

  By judgment of 19 December 2019, T-690/18, the General Court delivered the second victory to Sony over EUIPO in the same case concerning its EUTM “VITA” and registration thereof for a number of goods in class 9 such as software and data carriers. The contested decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of EUIPO…

Bad faith is on the rise – whether in reality or as a useful weapon against trade marks is another question. Recently, both the General Court (GC) and the Court of Justice (CJEU) have had several opportunities to consider whether trade marks had been filed in bad faith. The tendency seems to become stricter and…

  On 25 July 2018 (C-129/17), the CJEU decided that de-branding and rebranding of goods prior to any trade within the EEA without the trademark proprietor’s consent constituted ‘use in the course of trade’ of the originally affixed trademark and could, therefore, be prohibited by the proprietor of that mark. The judgment broadens the concept…

On 25 July 2018, the CJEU handed down its ruling in the latest edition of the battle between Nestlé and Mondelez over the KIT KAT shape (C-84, 85, 95/17 P). This time, the discussion focused on whether a non-traditional EU trade mark that is not inherently distinctive must be shown to have acquired distinctiveness in the…

Spain is obtaining the questionable reputation for protecting terms that are completely descriptive in other major languages as trademarks. MATRATZEN is one (in)famous example, DONUT is another. However, the term AFTERSUN, commonly applied to skin care to be used after sun bathing, has now been rescued from the trademark monopoly. Laboratorios Genesse (now: AC Marca…

Puma´s earlier mark Applicant´s mark       By judgment of 28 June 2018 (C‑564/16 P), the CJEU rejected an appeal filed by the EUIPO. The case was, in essence, about whether and to which extent the EUIPO could or even had to take into account its own previous decision practice, including findings of fact…

The General Court annulled a decision by the Second Board of Appeal of EUIPO, based on an insufficient (or, rather, inexistent) assessment of the reputation claimed by the opponent (GC, 1 June 2018, T‑900/16, only available in Spanish and French). The case concerned largely identical marks– DAYADAY in slightly different stylization – on both sides…