The assessment of likelihood of confusion among descriptive marks often causes puzzling decisions, especially when the analysis focuses on whether consumers understand the descriptive character of certain terms,  and when different consequences are attached to whether or not such understanding (or lack thereof) matters at all.   The General Court (GC) on 28 April 2021…

Summary Tefal applied to register “a plain red dot affixed centrally to the bottom of a cooking receptacle (such as a pan, saucepan)” (below). The goods covered were “frying pans, saucepans, casseroles, stew-pans, cooking pots, crepe pans, grills, woks” in Class 21.   The UK IPO refused the application because Tefal had not shown that…

The German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) held in its decision “Papierspender” (“Paper Dispenser”) that a Community design was not automatically caught by the functionality provision of the Community Design Regulation because it had appeared in a patent application. The decision highlights the importance for product developers to keep detailed records, already during product development,…

Any entity operating a fantasy sports platform would wish to display names of players and teams, for ease of identification and to make the platform as realistic as possible. Player or team names, however, where they act as source identifiers, would fall within the definition of a trademark, and their proprietors could enforce their rights…

We are happy to announce the new International Law Talk Podcast episode on Bad Faith in European Trademark Law. For this episode I had the honor of speaking with the leading expert in the field: Alexander von Mühlendahl, former Vice-President of the EUIPO, prior to that deeply involved in the creation of EU trademark law,…

A party that appeals a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision to the Federal Circuit does not waive the right to challenge a subsequent TTAB decision in district court. A North Carolina district court erred in finding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear an appeal of a TTAB decision issued after remand from the…

We all felt that after the Red Bull decision (Case C-124/18, see here at http://trademarkblog.kluweriplaw.com/2019/08/13/no-monopoly-on-blue-and-silver-for-red-bull/), pure colour combination marks were a thing of the past. However, like in any respected zombies’ movie,  they are back even though, for how long is not so certain. The General Court in case T-193/18 decided on March 24, 2021,…

Widow of longtime MAD artist Don Martin can go forward with mark infringement, publicity rights claims over publications that occurred within Florida’s four-year catch-all statute of limitations. The widow of MAD Magazine cartoonist Don Martin is not time-barred from pursuing trademark infringement and publicity rights claims against the publisher of MAD and DC Comics, to…

Tire maker entitled to recover on injunction bond for wrongful prohibition on sale of certain brand tires. The federal district court in Yakima, Washington, correctly ruled—on remand and in accordance with a prior instruction—that leaving a preliminary injunction in effect after trial was wrongful, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has held. However,…

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) published two new practice notices on Monday, May 3rd, 2021, dealing with expedited examination and improving timeliness in examination.  The prospect of expedited and more timely examination will be welcomed by trademark owners, frustrated with extended delays in examination. Expedited Examination Beyond very limited opportunities for marks covering goods…