Trademark questions pop up in practically every M&A transaction. Many of these questions are straightforward, some require specialist knowledge. Specialists like to demonstrate as much of their knowledge as possible, and even IP lawyers are not always immune to this. But M&A transactions are not the place for such demonstrations. Disproportionate attention to negligible detail,…

Can the use of “KHG” infringe the name rights of “Karl-Heinz Grasser”? Former Austrian Minister of Finance Karl-Heinz Grasser is widely known as KHG. After his term, which ended in 2007, he was accused of bribery in various cases. The accusations and investigations gained great public attention. In 2015, the defendants, a journalist who publishes…

In our latest post  we explored the numerous benefits of the registered design under Danish law. By contrast, this post will cover the possibilities of enforcement with regard to products not protected as neither a registered nor an unregistered community design. Although the registered community design includes substantial advantages, the proprietor of an unprotected design…

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…

Where the marks differ in only a single additional letter at the end of one of the marks, can the resulting similarity be “neutralized” by the conceptual differences? The German Federal Patent Court decided on 19 June 2017 that the opposing mark “Combit” and the attacked mark  were overall dissimilar and that, even if there…

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…

  In April, the Oslo District Court partially relied on EUIPO Guidelines in finding that this trade mark is distinctive (judgment of 11. April 2017, case 16-135037TVI-OTIR/07).The mark had been rejected by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) and the Board of Appeal as being descriptive and non-distinctive for “ammunition, projectiles and cartridges”. Norway is…

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,…