Some (among whom, the truly yours) wondered, when in late June the US Supreme Court held unconstitutional the Lanham Act provision (15 U. S. C. §1052(a)) prohibiting registration of trademarks consisting of or comprising immoral or scandalous matter because it discriminates on the basis of viewpoint and therefore violates the free speech clause[1], whether freedom…

By the end of June, the US Supreme Court will have ruled on the registrability of scandalous and immoral marks in Iancu (USPTO) v Brunetti (No. 18-302). The case raises the issue of whether, in light of free speech under the First Amendment, a ban on the trademark registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” marks should…

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 discrepancy between the case law using geographical origin as a reason for rejection of a trademark in the EU and at the DKPTO, respectively, is becoming increasingly noticeable; most recently with the judgement from the General Court in T-122/17 DEVIN on the registrability of the geographical name DEVIN. The discrepancy concerns the issue when…

In law, perhaps one of the most famous aphorisms is “I know it when I see it”, which Justice Potter Stewart used to describe his threshold test for obscenity (in Jacobellis v. Ohio,  378 U.S. 184 (1964)). The CJEU, in case C‑310/17, delivered a decision on copyright which in a way confirms this aphorism and…

Amendments to the Czech and Slovak Trademark Acts implementing the EU trademark reform of 2015 have been recently passed by the respective parliaments. The amendments will become effective on 1 January 2019 in Czechia and on 14 January 2019 in Slovakia. There are 3 major changes to be noted: 1) New definition of a trademark…

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…

Shape mark: form of a drinking bottle lacks distinctiveness in relation to perfumes A recent judgement of the Swiss Federal Administrative Court highlights the strict practice for the registration of shape marks. The court ruled that a 3D mark for perfumes cannot be entered in the trade mark register for perfumes in Class 3, since…

The German Football Association (DFB) owns the international mark “Deutscher Fussball-Bund” (with device) with basic registration in Germany (see image below), claiming protection for a wide variety of merchandise. The registration was notified to the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in April 2014. The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refused to protect the…

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…