The German Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has issued a landmark decision on the relationship between national trademark law and the protection of geographical indications under EU law. The case is called “Hohenloher Landschwein / Hohenloher Weiderind”, with Hohenlohe being a region in Southern Germany, and Landschwein and Weiderind translating into country pork and grazing cattle, respectively…

The ”Pearl” decision by the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) may not be brand new (15 October 2020), but it is interesting in many respects. This post will deal with the similarity of goods. Facts The plaintiff owns an EUTM, registered in 2009, and a German registration, from 2003, for the word PEARL. Both are protected…

According to the German Federal Supreme Court’s decision of 29 July 2021 (Case I ZR 139/20) the gold-colored foil of Lindt’s chocolate bunny is protected by a trademark acquired through use. The Court lifted the decision of the Higher District Court Munich which had rejected an infringement action against a competing product denying trademark protection…

In its TARGET VENTURES decision of 28 October 2020 (T-273/19), the General Court stated that there could be bad faith when there were objective indicia of a dishonest intention of the trademark owner, not necessarily linked to causing damage to a third party, when it seeks to obtain an abusive exclusive right. The case is…

The German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) held in its decision “Papierspender” (“Paper Dispenser”) that a Community design was not automatically caught by the functionality provision of the Community Design Regulation because it had appeared in a patent application. The decision highlights the importance for product developers to keep detailed records, already during product development,…

As readers may recall, the General Court rendered a judgment around two years ago in the Asolo v Red Bull case (known under FLÜGEL – T-150/17 of 4 October 2018) ruling on similarity, or rather dissimilarity, between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. While the FLÜGEL case concerned specifically energy drinks vs. alcoholic drinks, the General Court…

  The German Federal Supreme Court today once more decided on cancellation claims against German trademark registrations for square-shaped packaging for chocolate products (Decision of 23 July 2020 in Cases I ZB 42/19 und I ZB 43/19). According to the Court’s press release, it confirmed a decision by the Federal Patent Court which rejected the…

Parties and Mark The defendant is an Amazon entity. It is responsible for Amazon’s keyword advertising on Google Ads (formerly Adwords). The plaintiff is the exclusive licensee of the trademark BOSS in the perfume and cosmetics segment. One of the perfumes marketed by the plaintiff is “BOSS The Scent”. It ranks among the most successful…

Facts The plaintiff provides orthodontal treatment under his trade name Polzar. The defendant runs a network of orthodontists which assists them in marketing their services. The defendant had placed an Adwords ad on Google for the network and used the plaintiff’s trade name “Polzar” as a keyword. The ad itself did not mention the name…