A trademark registration of a color per se is notoriously difficult to achieve, but what about the name of a color? In two recent decisions from the Danish Board of Appeal (BOA) regarding the registration of the words MAGENTA and CREAM respectively, the question regarding the descriptiveness of color designations was the main issue. In…

The question of how far descriptive or non-distinctive trademarks which somehow managed to be registered may be enforced is of particular relevance in jurisdictions like Germany which acknowledge their incontestability ten years after registration. The more recent approach of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was that it accepted likelihood of confusion also in a…

In a recent judgement, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court once again confirmed its (too) strict position with regard to the registration of shape marks. The court ruled that a three-dimensional mark consisting of the graphical background of a popular chocolate bar’s packaging could not be registered since the design was not perceived as an indication…

This case has gone through all instances in the Norwegian court system, with the Norwegian Supreme Court rendering its first decision on colour marks in December 2017. Overall, the courts find that neither purple, nor specific shades of purple, have protection as unregistered trade marks for inhalers for GlaxoSmithKline in Norway. In 1999 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)…

CeramTec GmbH is the owner of the color trade mark IR 1‘109‘076 claiming protection for a shade of pink (Pantone 677, see image). At the beginning of 2012, CeramTec applied for the extension of protection to Switzerland for said trade mark in connection with goods of class 10: “femoral head spheres, acetabular cup, all the…

The Federal Administrative Court partially overturned a decision of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE) refusing protection for Apple’s word mark “iMessage” for telecommunication services in class 38.   The Administrative Court agreed with the IPO that “iMessage” lacked original distinctiveness for messaging services, because such services were closely linked to the internet,…

In Copenhagen around one third of the workforce bike to work. That amounts to more than one million kilometers being pedaled every day. Next to the Dutch the Danes are the population in Europe that bike the most. For this reason it is only natural that conflicts should arise in Denmark between owners of trademarks…

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court overturned a decision of the Swiss Trademark Office and allowed the word marks “SCHWEIZER SALINEN”, “SALINE SVIZZERE”, “SALINES SUISSES”, “SWISS SALINES”, “SWISS SALT WORKS” on the ground that these were distinctive by virtue of the monopoly that the Applicant enjoys on the Swiss salt market. Schweizer Salinen AG’s five Swiss…