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…

In one of its latest decisions (I ZR 50/14 of November 5, 2015 – ConText) the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice)  has ruled that the forfeiture of a claim requesting injunction relief due to an infringement of a company name by another company name has to be determined according to the general principles of forfeiture…

On July 05, 2016, the General Court confirmed the decisions of the invalidity department and the Boards of Appeal of the EUIPO and decided that the EU word mark “NEUSCHWANSTEIN”, registered by the Free State of Bavaria for goods and services in various classes remains registered since the trademark neither consists exclusively of an indication…

Weapon of Choice: Protection of Names under Civil Law Before German courts, the best weapon against bothersome domain name registrations is not trademark law, but civil law. Sec. 12 of the German Civil Code (BGB) states quite broadly that the bearer of a name can keep others from using that name if such use compromised…

The Higher District Court of Düsseldorf had to decide whether the parallel importer of medical devices also had to provide the trademark owner at its request with a specimen of the re-labelled product. In its detailed decision of 12 April 2016 on case I-20 U 48/15 the court held that medical devices were rather more…

In cancellation proceedings the German Federal Patent Court denied registrability to a 3-D-mark depicting a chocolate stick for chocolate products largely based on evidence it had collected on its own motion (Decision of 22 April 2016 on Case 25 W(pat) 8/09). The International Registration (“IR”) depicted below was registered in December 2005 in Germany. In…

Amazon’s internal search engine has already been the subject of a decision by the High Court (England and Wales) made just over two years ago (2014, EWHC 181, ch). The claimant was the proprietor of the LUSH trademark, used (inter alia) for bath additives. After the trademark was entered as the search term, Amazon exclusively…

The Schogetten chocolate cases from Germany and Hungary are an example of how differently courts in the member states can still interpret what is essentially the same trademark. This blog deals with the Schogetten chocolate case in Germany (Higher Regional Court Cologne, 15 August 2014 – 6 U 9/14) and Hungary (Fővárosi Törvényszék – 2015….