In the US to indicate two things which are truly… incomparable, one says “oranges and apples”. In continental EU, we  say “apples and pears”. This case deals indeed with apples and pears. On 31 January 2019, the General Court of the European Union had to decide about the similarity between an apple and a pear…

With decision of 15.10.2018 on case T-7/17, the General Court (GC) has clarified an important factor for applicability of Article 8(3) EUTMR, on the prohibition for registration of a trademark filed by an agent or a representative of the trademark owner. However, as the GC’s decision has been appealed (C-809/18 P), we will have to…

Sometimes cases are not really that interesting for their outcome, but rather for how the Courts get there. In this case, Wajos GmbH filed a 3D mark consisting of a glass container, shown below, designating various goods in classes 29, 30, 32 and 33. The EUIPO’s examination division and Board of Appeal (BOA) held that…

This case is about the genuine use of shape marks. M J Quinlan & Associates PTY Ltd. of Australia own a 1999 registration for the shape of a kangaroo. The mark is protected for potato snacks and potato crisps. The plaintiff owns or owned a patent and design rights to the kangaroo-shaped crisps which were…

The debate about the traditional terms, such as “torta”, has occupied Spanish case law for a long time and now the saga continues on an EU level. The main discussion is about whether the expression “torta” can be classified as a Traditional Designation. Background: The Regulatory Body for the Protected Designation of Origin of Queso…

Already in 2009, the Austrian Supreme Court granted an injunction against a pumpkin seed farmer from the Austrian province of Styria, who had had the ingenuous idea to “parody” Pfizer’s famous VIAGRA brand by selling pumpkin seeds in a blue sugar coating under the name “STYRIAGRA”, and registering that name as trademark. Unsurprisingly, Pfizer didn’t…

The Fourth Board of Appeal (BoA) of the EUIPO has once again been told off by the General Court (GC). In its decision of 6 June 2018 (case T-803/16), the GC decided that the BoA was not competent to rule upon the question of genuine use of its own motion in inter partes proceedings if…

It does not happen every day that you can see a trademark case decided by the EU General Court with a Polish claimant (EUTM applicant), represented by his Polish attorney, with a Polish judge as the rapporteur and even with Polish national acting as the EUIPO’s representative. One of very few non-Polish aspects of this…

Muesli – denied recognition in its birth place (T-103/16) Refusal of EUTM application for based on earlier mark ALPEN for cereals   For many Europeans, the Alps are a common denominator for mountains, milk, dairy products, muesli, chocolate, ski, hiking, peacefulness or natural wonders. However, the General Court had a slightly different view. In its…