Can the use of “KHG” infringe the name rights of “Karl-Heinz Grasser”? Former Austrian Minister of Finance Karl-Heinz Grasser is widely known as KHG. After his term, which ended in 2007, he was accused of bribery in various cases. The accusations and investigations gained great public attention. In 2015, the defendants, a journalist who publishes…

When doing clearing searches for new trademarks, companies often find themselves facing one or several old trademark registrations that are subject to the use requirement and apparently not in use. Thus, they may consider bringing a cancellation action for non-use against the trademark(s) in question. Companies are sometimes hesitant to bring such actions because they…

Company A has rights to the tradename “IST” since 2003, and an Austrian trademark “iST” (fig), with a priority of 2011. Company B also has rights to the trade name “IST”, since 2009. Can Company A successfully defend its trademark against a cancellation action of Company B, based on the (prior) tradename? The Austrian Courts say…

The Austrian Supreme Court (short “the Court”) denied a motion for a preliminary injunction (short “PI”) against the use of the mark “Duff (BEER)” based on the Claimant’s EUTM “Duff”, since the EUTM could be declared invalid on the basis of Defendant’s earlier German trademark rights (decision of 27.01.2016, 4 Ob 183/15p  – DUFF Beer)….

For those who were unsure whether the duty of a reseller of imported goods to provide information is limited to cases involving unlawfully copied goods and thus does not encompass unlawfully distributed original goods the Austrian Supreme Court (“the Court”) recently provided a clear answer (decision of 17.11.2015, 4 Ob 170/15a – Markenparfums). In the…