A recent decision of the Federal Patent Court in Germany (Decision of 1 March 2016 on Case 29 W (pat) 33/13) shows that the unitary character of an EU trademark (EUTM) does not necessarily mean that it enjoys the same level of protection in all EU member states. In opposition proceedings in Germany, the Federal…

Early in the morning of the 24 June 2016 it was announced that, by a slim majority of 51.9% to 48.1% of the participating voters, the decision had been taken for the UK to leave the EU. While not legally binding on the UK government, this decision is politically binding and at this time clearly…

In September 2015 the German Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s highest civil court, decided questions regarding the conversion of a Community Trademark into a national German trademark. The outcome was painful. The ruling greatly weakened the Community trademark system. The case was referred back to the appeal court (OLG Düsseldorf) which will hopefully refer the case to…

The Higher District Court of Cologne held in preliminary injunction proceedings that use of a distinctive trademark on amazon.de for displaying other comparable products not originating from the trademark owner may be a trademark infringement (decision of 20 November 2015 on Case 6 U 40/15). The case concerned a practice of Amazon on its German…

Whether use of a trade mark in just one Member State is sufficient or not to support the validity of a CTM is an issue practitioners and Courts have struggled with since the CTM system began. The issue was addressed by the CJEU in their decision in ONEL back in 2012. Yet MINT, one of the first UK IPO…

The Swedish Supreme Court has requested a preliminary ruling from the CJEU in respect of an infringement case involving a CTM in Sweden. The case involves the Swedish insurance company Länsförsäkringar AB (“LF”) who claimed that the Estonian construction company Matek A/S (“Matek”) infringed LF’s CTM through its use of a similar trademark . The CTM…

For those who have been wondering ever since the PAGO International ruling (C-301/07) if the owner of a CTM with a (proven) reputation in one or a few member states can also enforce it as a „mark with a reputation“ in other member states, the CJEU has now provided clarification in its judgment of 3 September…