By judgment of 19 December 2019, T-690/18, the General Court delivered the second victory to Sony over EUIPO in the same case concerning its EUTM “VITA” and registration thereof for a number of goods in class 9 such as software and data carriers. The contested decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of EUIPO…

Bad faith is on the rise – whether in reality or as a useful weapon against trade marks is another question. Recently, both the General Court (GC) and the Court of Justice (CJEU) have had several opportunities to consider whether trade marks had been filed in bad faith. The tendency seems to become stricter and…

The Czech Supreme Court issued a judgment in the case of Fiskars Corporation against Mountfield a.s. (23 Cdo 5955/2017-231 dated 29 May 2019). Fiskars sued Mountfield, a home improvement and gardening retailer, among others, for trademark infringement consisting in illegal parallel imports from North America to the EU of Fiskars branded axes. The defendant did…

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…