Background On 1st March 2021, an updated version of the EUIPO Guidelines for examination of EU Trade Marks entered into force. Changes can be seen in the ‘track changes’ version. This reveals extensive revision throughout. As these changes are, inter alia, intended to align the Office’s procedures with recent decisions from the Court of Justice…

The crucial date 31 December 2020 has passed and we are now a month into 2021. Even though, in the last two months, the relationship between the UK and the EU had highly dramatic moments, from an IP point of view, things went smoothly and with an incredible velocity, that we would not have predicted,…

On 20 January 2021, the General Court handed down its judgment in the slogan case brought by Oatly AB against the EUIPO’s refusal to register “IT’S LIKE MILK BUT MADE FOR HUMANS” (Case T‑253/20). The General Court sided with Oatly and found that this slogan was sufficiently distinctive to be registered as an EU trademark….

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,…

Reason prevailed: on 5 October 2020 (T-602/19), the General Court of the European Union granted the action of Eugène Perma France against the EUIPO and held that the marks NATURALIUM and NATURANOVE could not be considered confusingly similar only because both started in “NATURA”. Surprisingly, both the Opposition Division and the Fourth Board of Appeal…

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…

As readers may recall, the General Court rendered a judgment around two years ago in the Asolo v Red Bull case (known under FLÜGEL – T-150/17 of 4 October 2018) ruling on similarity, or rather dissimilarity, between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. While the FLÜGEL case concerned specifically energy drinks vs. alcoholic drinks, the General Court…

On 17 September the CJEU handed down a long-awaited judgment on a matter that thrilled sports fans and the IP community (C-449/18P, C-474/18P, available in French and Spanish). Footballer Lionel Messi Cuccittini is allowed to register his surname as a trademark for a sportswear brand after a nine-year legal battle. The trade mark is a…

The first instance court of Barcelona held that that the trade mark device of a dinosaur on a biscuit must remain in the public domain, ruling against the claimant in a trade mark and unfair competition lawsuit (judgement available here, and post here). The Appellate Court (judgement No. 629/2020 of March 23, 2020) has now…

On 30 April 2020, Advocate General Giovanni Pitruzzella (AG) delivered his opinion in the matter C809/18 P related to the conditions for application of Article 8(3) of Regulation 2017/1001 which provides a specific ground for refusal allowing owners of, in practice foreign, marks to oppose filings for EU trade marks made by their agent or…