As you may recall, the CJEU in cases C-449/18P and C-474/18P of 17 September 2020, (see http://trademarkblog.kluweriplaw.com/2020/09/23/lionel-messi-scores-his-surname-trade-mark-the-cjeus-own-goal/) held that consumers recognized MESSI as the surname of the soccer player Lionel Messi, and considered this fact a matter of common knowledge because any reasonably observant and circumspect consumer was thought to regularly read in the newspapers…

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…

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,…

Can the name of a historical, well known place be registered as a trademark? If we think about the NEUSCHWANSTEIN case (C-488/16), the answer is: yes, it can be registered, provided there is no connection between the designated goods/services  and the famous place. But what about the “allure” associated with a well-known site? Should anyone…

In the assessment of the similarity of signs, visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity are evaluated and it is not necessary that similarity exist in all three aspects, one can suffice. Nonetheless, in the global assessment of likelihood of confusion,  visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity do not actually carry the same weight, and often the balancing…

In our view they should, but the General Court held otherwise on January 27, 2021 in Case T-817/19, basically finding that coincidence in a non-distinctive element will still lead to a finding of likelihood of confusion. OmniVision GmbH, owner of an EUTM “HYLO-VISION” registered, among others, for medical preparations, filed an opposition against the EUTM…

In the absence of specific EU provisions, EU national court shall apply in regard to EUTM registrations the applicable national law pursuant to art. 129 EU Reg. 2017/1001 (EUTM Regulation). However, this may lead to different national interpretations and treatment of EUTM registrations and affect the unitary character of the EU mark, and as we…

“Dura lex sed lex” (it’s harsh but it’s the law) is a principle that usually does not admit exceptions. Unless of course one can make recourse to the “restitutio in integrum”, which, however, is a remedy not so easily obtainable, save perhaps around Christmas, as shown in the decision by the General Court in Forbo…

Imagine you file an application for a figurative mark, and EUIPO publishes it. But then your application is opposed by a third party. So while you’re fighting that battle, you file just the word portion of your figurative mark and get a registration. You also file, two further figurative marks containing the same word mark,…

There are still many IP professionals who are nostalgic of the “good old times” when instead of having to laboriously and meticulously identify the list of goods/services it was sufficient to simply indicate the “class heading” and et voilà you got protection for everything in the class. Yet, there were dangers lurking under this apparent…