In a case earlier this spring, the Swedish Patent and Market Court dismissed an infringement action based on the reputed mark SOFIERO in relation to beers against SOFIERO KAFFEROSTERI used for coffee. The court concluded that coffee beans and ground coffee are dissimilar to beer and that the relevant consumer is not likely to find…

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…

On 17 May 2017, the Swedish Patent and Market Court (the “PMD”) decided a case whereby it held that Nestlé’s expansion of its cat food brand “PURINA felix” into Sweden infringed the reputed Swedish foodstuff trademark FELIX, and that the fact that PURINA felix was previously used and enjoyed recognition in another EU country did not…

In a decision of a Dutch District Court earlier this year[1], the American fast-food chain Wendy’s suffered a loss against a local Dutch snack restaurant, which bears the name WENDY’S. The trademark registration owned by the same snack restaurant blocks the American chain to enter the market. Although this case has similarities with the story…

Two months ago I reported about the Draft of a new Trademark Act (Markenrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz) which was supposed to enter into force before the election for the next German Bundestag. Some of the relevant German associations commented in detail on the draft and proposed some well-grounded changes – i.e. the Markenverband, the GRUR, and the Bundesverband Deutscher…

When doing clearing searches for new trademarks, companies often find themselves facing one or several old trademark registrations that are subject to the use requirement and apparently not in use. Thus, they may consider bringing a cancellation action for non-use against the trademark(s) in question. Companies are sometimes hesitant to bring such actions because they…

On November 15, 2016, the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (“PRV”) rejected an application for trademark protection of the a figurative mark consisting of a hand giving the middle finger on the ground that it was contrary to accepted principles of morality in accordance to Chapter 2, Article 7 of the Swedish Trademark Act. The…

A recent Supreme Court judgement in the Dalí case shows clear respect for trademarks but raises some questions regarding image. A great many brands have used in their advertising campaigns the images of people who, despite no longer being alive, continue to have considerable selling power. There are even marketing studies which show that advertising…