The German Federal Supreme Court recently ruled that the use of only one trademark in search engine advertisements by Amazon was trademark infringing when the underlying link led to a list of offers that included not only products offered under that brand but also those of third parties (Decision of the Federal Supreme Court of…

With decision of 25th February 2019, the German Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht) has ruled on the registrability of a celebrity name for inter alia publications in class 16. The Bundespatentgericht is the appeals court for decisions of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). Franziska van Almsick, one of the most successful swimmers of recent…

As reported earlier by this blog, there is a discussion in Germany whether an infringer who has received an injunction has to actively recall the products. And the German recall-saga continues, as the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Düsseldorf has just recently decided in an unfair competition matter that the obligation to cease and desist…

This case is about the genuine use of shape marks. M J Quinlan & Associates PTY Ltd. of Australia own a 1999 registration for the shape of a kangaroo. The mark is protected for potato snacks and potato crisps. The plaintiff owns or owned a patent and design rights to the kangaroo-shaped crisps which were…

In yet another decision, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has ruled on whether an injunction also obliged an infringer to take active steps to stop the distribution of infringing products through resellers (decision of the BGH of 11 October 2017 in Case I ZB 96/16). The case follows a series of earlier decisions by…

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…