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…

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…

Lionsgate and Dirty Dancing Lionsgate Entertainment Inc. owns the rights to the film Dirty Dancing, released in 1987. The film is iconic for its dance scenes and its message of love conquering everything. It has earned hundreds of millions from box office and DVD sales. Lionsgate and their licensees have released many other works, products…

Following a request for cancellation, the Federal Patent Court decided to cancel a shape mark for sweets arguing that it exclusively consisted of a shape necessary to obtain a technical result (Decision of the Federal Patent Court of 27 December 2016 on Case 25 W (pat) 59/14). The cancellation request was directed against the German…