In the recent decision W.F. Gözze Frottierweberei Gmbh, Wolfgang Gözze GmbH v Verein Bremer Baumwollbörse, case C-689/15, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) analyzes an issue which the EUTMR rules do not clearly resolve, i.e. whether or not a licensed EUTM registration may be invalidated if the owner fails to carry out quality controls on…

Lanham Act claims for false advertising and trademark infringement brought by Sausage company Parks, asserting its PARKS mark for sausage against Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands Company (collectively, Tyson), were without merit, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has decided, affirming a ruling by a federal district court. Parks did not state a valid…

Where the marks differ in only a single additional letter at the end of one of the marks, can the resulting similarity be “neutralized” by the conceptual differences? The German Federal Patent Court decided on 19 June 2017 that the opposing mark “Combit” and the attacked mark  were overall dissimilar and that, even if there…

CeramTec GmbH is the owner of the color trade mark IR 1‘109‘076 claiming protection for a shade of pink (Pantone 677, see image). At the beginning of 2012, CeramTec applied for the extension of protection to Switzerland for said trade mark in connection with goods of class 10: “femoral head spheres, acetabular cup, all the…

  In April, the Oslo District Court partially relied on EUIPO Guidelines in finding that this trade mark is distinctive (judgment of 11. April 2017, case 16-135037TVI-OTIR/07).The mark had been rejected by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) and the Board of Appeal as being descriptive and non-distinctive for “ammunition, projectiles and cartridges”. Norway is…

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…

The Alicante Court of Appeal has concluded that the use of comparison lists in the marketing of smell-alike perfumes constitutes an unlawful form of comparative advertising, even when it is the consumers themselves that are making use of these lists at a sales website. This latest case ruled on new forms of using comparison lists…

That is the question that was recently answered by the Board of Appeal of the Dutch Advertising Code Authority. The TM symbol stands for “trademark” and is traditionally used for unregistered trademarks in various jurisdictions such as the US. Conversely, the ® symbol is used to indicate a trademark has been registered. However, in the…

The Federal Administrative Court partially overturned a decision of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE) refusing protection for Apple’s word mark “iMessage” for telecommunication services in class 38.   The Administrative Court agreed with the IPO that “iMessage” lacked original distinctiveness for messaging services, because such services were closely linked to the internet,…

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City has affirmed a district court’s decision that Macy’s Merchandising Group’s MAISON JULES line of women’s clothing—a private brand sold almost exclusively in Macy’s stores—did not infringe the trademark JOULES, owned by clothing retailer Joules Limited. Consumer confusion between the parties’ marks was not likely. Although the…