When Thomas McClary, a former member of the rhythm and blues, funk, and soul music band, The Commodores, left the band in 1984, he left behind any common-law rights he had in the band’s trademarks, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Those rights were retained by a corporation formed by two of…

The federal district court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, did not err in determining that Viacom’s BUBBLE GUPPIES animated children’s television show on the Nickelodeon Network and related merchandise did not infringe registered trademarks for GUPPIE owned and used by a Michigan couple in connection with children’s clothing, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has…

On 6th December 2017, the ECJ issued its judgement in the matter Coty / Akzente. The judgement is essentially about three questions: 1)         Does the luxurious nature of products or trademarks justify a selective distribution system or did the Pierre Fabre judgement of 2011 put an end to that justification? 2)         Does a selective distribution…

The Court of Florence last October 25, 2017 issued a decision prohibiting a travel agency to commercially use the image of Michelangelo’s David without the authorization of the “Galleria dell’Accademia”, (Galleria) the museum where the sculpture is located. The decision came after the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (the “Ministry”) under…

Already, back in 1983 the Danish Government decided to create a national debit card named ‘DanKort’. Today the DanKort is usually combined with a Visa card and functions as a credit card abroad. The right to issue DanKort currently belongs to Nets Denmark A/S (‘Nets’), and the DanKort-logo is protected as a trademark and looks…

This is a follow up to the blog post of 4 September, regarding Oslo Municipality’s attempt to obtain trade mark protection for the body of works of art of Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. Previously, the EFTA Court concluded that a trade mark consisting of a work of art may contravene accepted principles of morality or…

In San Diego Comic Convention’s trademark infringement case against the operator of a Utah comic book convention involving the trademark COMIC-CON, two orders entered by the federal district court in San Diego— a suppression order prohibiting the Utah operator for commenting on the pending litigation over the Internet and on social media platforms and a…

The German Football Association (DFB) owns the international mark “Deutscher Fussball-Bund” (with device) with basic registration in Germany (see image below), claiming protection for a wide variety of merchandise. The registration was notified to the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in April 2014. The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refused to protect the…

The federal district court in Salt Lake City did not err in terminating Leland Sycamore’s rights under a trademark license agreement (TLA) that granted him the right to use the “Grandma Sycamore’s Home Maid Bread” and “Grandma Sycamore’s Home Maid Bread Design” trademarks (the Sycamore marks), or in the scope of a permanent injunction it…

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…