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….

“Dura lex sed lex” (it’s harsh but it’s the law) is a principle that usually does not admit exceptions. Unless of course one can make recourse to the “restitutio in integrum”, which, however, is a remedy not so easily obtainable, save perhaps around Christmas, as shown in the decision by the General Court in Forbo…

Registering and using a trade mark representing an animal is a common practice in the clothing industry. Consequently, proprietors often oppose younger signs which show the same animal. We can for example think of the famous crocodile of Lacoste and all the disputes related to its protection over decades. A recent judgment by the General…

On 28 May 2020 the General Court rendered its most recent ruling regarding enhanced protection of trade marks with a reputation (T-677/18; available in French and Spanish). Two issues are of particular interest in this judgment. First, how to prove reputation, as well as distinctiveness, of a mark consisting of the shape of the product…

  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…