The Swiss Federal Tribunal has ruled that the shape of the Nespresso capsules is technically necessary and that Nestlé’s 3D trademark shall therefore be cancelled (decision 4A_61/2021 of 7 September 2021). The decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal is a milestone in the trademark infringement proceedings initiated by Nestlé against Ethical Coffee Company (“ECC”), which…

The assessment of likelihood of confusion among descriptive marks often causes puzzling decisions, especially when the analysis focuses on whether consumers understand the descriptive character of certain terms,  and when different consequences are attached to whether or not such understanding (or lack thereof) matters at all.   The General Court (GC) on 28 April 2021…

Background On 1st March 2021, an updated version of the EUIPO Guidelines for examination of EU Trade Marks entered into force. Changes can be seen in the ‘track changes’ version. This reveals extensive revision throughout. As these changes are, inter alia, intended to align the Office’s procedures with recent decisions from the Court of Justice…

After a long battle Saule LLC, a manufacturer of motocross and extreme cycling equipment, has managed to register the designation as a trademark in Russia. Saule LLC uses the slogan “RIDE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT” and a graphic designation “100%” as a trademark in the USA and many other countries. Moreover, Saule LLC is the rights…

On 20 January 2021, the General Court handed down its judgment in the slogan case brought by Oatly AB against the EUIPO’s refusal to register “IT’S LIKE MILK BUT MADE FOR HUMANS” (Case T‑253/20). The General Court sided with Oatly and found that this slogan was sufficiently distinctive to be registered as an EU trademark….

Imagine you file an application for a figurative mark, and EUIPO publishes it. But then your application is opposed by a third party. So while you’re fighting that battle, you file just the word portion of your figurative mark and get a registration. You also file, two further figurative marks containing the same word mark,…

Reason prevailed: on 5 October 2020 (T-602/19), the General Court of the European Union granted the action of Eugène Perma France against the EUIPO and held that the marks NATURALIUM and NATURANOVE could not be considered confusingly similar only because both started in “NATURA”. Surprisingly, both the Opposition Division and the Fourth Board of Appeal…

Refusal of THE JOINT trademark application was affirmed on the grounds that the mark was merely descriptive of the applicant’s hospitality business services and acquired distinctiveness was not demonstrated. A hospitality services’ applications to register the mark “THE JOINT” for two different classes of services were properly refused because the mark was merely descriptive of…

Much has changed since the new Canadian Trademarks Act came into effect on June 17th 2019. Although practitioners were advised well in advance of the legislative and regulatory changes, there were many surprises, some unwelcome. Below are a few noteworthy changes that applicants should be well aware of before filing in Canada. New “Non-Distinctive” ground…

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…