In the EU, any third party in possession of genuine goods put on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA) by the trade mark owner or with the trade mark owner’s consent is free to resell those goods within the EEA. This is because the EU imposes a system of “regional exhaustion”, which means…

Already in 2009, the Austrian Supreme Court granted an injunction against a pumpkin seed farmer from the Austrian province of Styria, who had had the ingenuous idea to “parody” Pfizer’s famous VIAGRA brand by selling pumpkin seeds in a blue sugar coating under the name “STYRIAGRA”, and registering that name as trademark. Unsurprisingly, Pfizer didn’t…

The Fourth Board of Appeal (BoA) of the EUIPO has once again been told off by the General Court (GC). In its decision of 6 June 2018 (case T-803/16), the GC decided that the BoA was not competent to rule upon the question of genuine use of its own motion in inter partes proceedings if…

In yet another decision, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has ruled on whether an injunction also obliged an infringer to take active steps to stop the distribution of infringing products through resellers (decision of the BGH of 11 October 2017 in Case I ZB 96/16). The case follows a series of earlier decisions by…

Three recent General Court judgments concerning oppositions between trademark in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic fields have caught our attention. In all three cases, the marks were found similar essentially on account of common rather descriptive elements. MUNDIPHARMA/MULTIPHARMA – T-144/16 of 7 November 2017: the EUTM application MULTIPHARMA in classes 5, 35, 42 was refused based…