On 2 July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down another decision which interprets the mercurial concept of ‘trade mark use’. Case C-684/19 – mk advokaten is a preliminary reference concerning unauthorised use of a sign in an online advertising context. The Court reaffirmed Daimler (C‑179/1- Daimler AG) in that…

Parties and Mark The defendant is an Amazon entity. It is responsible for Amazon’s keyword advertising on Google Ads (formerly Adwords). The plaintiff is the exclusive licensee of the trademark BOSS in the perfume and cosmetics segment. One of the perfumes marketed by the plaintiff is “BOSS The Scent”. It ranks among the most successful…

On 20 May 2020, we received another decision in the long-running dispute between Merck KGgA (“Merck Global”) and their former US subsidiary (“Merck US”).  This case dealt with the following five issues remitted by the Court of Appeal: Further consideration of partial revocation of Merck Global’s registered marks; Whether the activities of Merck US constitute…

On 30 April 2020 (C-772/18), the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) addressed a contentious issue in trademark enforcement. It discussed the definition of “use in the course of trade”, especially as opposed to storing or importing in counterfeit trade. The CJEU examined Article 5(1) and (3)(b), (c) of Directive 2008/95 at the…

An exclusive licensee that did not own the mark outright when the suit began lacked standing to sue for infringement. An exclusive licensee of a trademark when a trademark infringement suit began—which only became the owner of the mark mid-litigation—lacked standing to bring a trademark infringement action, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans…

In the past few weeks, almost contemporaneously, two courts cases dealt with the scope of protection of the PDO “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena” and the PGI “Aceto Balsamico di Modena”. Both courts agreed that ACETO and BALSAMICO are generic and common terms which do not fall under the scope of protection of PDOs/PGIs, but…

“Reverse trademark confusion” infringement theory suffices for liability but does not support recovery of infringer’s profits. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has affirmed a Wisconsin federal jury’s verdict finding that defendant JFTCO, Inc. (“JFTCO”) infringed the registered FABICK trademark owned by plaintiff Fabick, Inc. (“FI”). The court also affirmed two district court rulings…

There was no evidence that the firm’s marks achieved secondary meaning, and the same marks were being used as trademarks as well as service marks in the advertising space. Plaintiffs and Appellants Engage Healthcare Communications, L.L.C., Greenhill Healthcare Communications, L.L.C. and Center of Excellence Media, L.L.C. (“Engage”) lost their appeal of an order granting summary…

An efficient, reliable and cost-effective route for protecting trademarks globally through the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol will be beneficial for IP-right holders. For a period of five years from the date of the international registration, the protection resulting from the international registration remains dependent on the BASIC application or registration also known as…

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…