The Benelux trade mark system will undergo two important changes as per June 1, 2018. Appeals from decisions of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) Until now appeals from decisions of the BOIP in opposition cases were brought before the courts of appeal of The Hague, Brussels or Luxembourg (with further appeals on questions…

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…

With decision C-425/16 of October 19, 2017, the European Union Court of Justice (“CJEU”) pronounced on whether or not EU national courts can dismiss an infringement action without first ruling on a counterclaim for invalidity, and if the courts must wait until the decision on the counterclaim is final. The issue arose from a request of…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has denied the Tea Board’s (TB) appeal against the General Court’s (GC) decision to allow Delta Lingerie’s (DL) application for various ‘Darjeeling’ marks in classes 35 and 38. In 2010, DL applied to register four figurative EUTMs including the word ‘Darjeeling’ in classes 25, 35 and…

On September 21, 2017, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) issued another important decision on designs (joined cases C-361/15 and C-405/15). Among several other issues, possibly the most relevant concerned whether or not the product and the sector to which a design relates affect the assessment of its novelty and individual character. The case concerned…

The CJEU ruled again on jurisdiction (after Hummel Holding, C-617/15) in BMW AG v Acacia Srl (C-433/16), focusing in particular on the relationship between Reg. 44/2001 (“Brussels Regulation”) and Reg. 6/2002 (“CDR”). The case started when Acacia – an Italian manufacturer of replica car rims – filed an action seeking a declaration of non-infringement (“DNI action”) of some BMW’s…

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 licensee/licensees’ products. The dispute arose between a German cotton textiles industry association (the…

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…

Two months ago I reported about the Draft of a new Trademark Act (Markenrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz) which was supposed to enter into force before the election for the next German Bundestag. Some of the relevant German associations commented in detail on the draft and proposed some well-grounded changes – i.e. the Markenverband, the GRUR, and the Bundesverband Deutscher…