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…

Germany is a key venue for international trade fairs. So it is no surprise that trade fairs are tempting targets for counterfeiters and infringers. Right owners must rely on quick and effective relief if they want to avoid an impairment of their rights. However, they should be aware of the peculiarities of German law in…

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…

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft takes place within the fantasy Warcraft world of Azeroth. Alone or together with others the player has to solve quests in order to level up and have more possibilities. Since some of these quests…

On 3. February 2017 the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection presented a draft of an act to implement Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks (Gesetz zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie (EU) 2015/2436 des Europäischen Parlaments und des…

In one of its latest decisions (I ZR 50/14 of November 5, 2015 – ConText) the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice)  has ruled that the forfeiture of a claim requesting injunction relief due to an infringement of a company name by another company name has to be determined according to the general principles of forfeiture…

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…