As expected, frankly wished for, and previously reported on this blog (see here), the EUIPO appealed the General Court’s Ape Tees decision (T-281/21) to the Court of Justice. The Court allowed this appeal to proceed on 16 November 2022, recognising that the appeal raises issues relating to the fundamental principles of “unity, consistency and development…

EUTM 17981629 in the name of Pest Control Office Limited   In May 2021, the Cancellation Division of the EUIPO declared the registration of Banksy’s Monkey image invalid on grounds of bad faith. The trademark owner appealed and on 25 October 2022, the Fifth Board annulled the decision and refused the cancellation action, ruling not…

On 12 October 2022, the General Court decided on the invalidity action by Shopify, Inc. against the EUTM for a number of goods and services in classes 9, 35, and 38 (T‑222/21). The GC confirmed the EUIPO Board of Appeal’s finding that there was no likelihood of confusion, essentially because “shop” is descriptive and will…

Background Craft and industrial products (CIPs) are a specific category of non-agricultural products originating in a certain geographic area and having a specific reputation for their qualities such as Brač stone or Murano glass. The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origins and Geographical Indications (the Geneva Act) provides an international legal…

Last year, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) took a decision clarifying the effects of the “Praktiker” decision on trademarks registered for “retail services” without further specifications in class 35 before the date of that judgement’s delivery in 2005. Regarding the background of the case, the German company Burlington Fashion GmbH, well-known for their argyle…

Can coffee be hell? Of course, bad coffee, we knew that. On the other hand, the General Court (GC) has recently confirmed that the sign “HELL” can be protected for coffee-related products as an EU trademark (Hell Energy v EUIPO, T-323/20, available in French and, for the adventurous ones, in Hungarian). The applicant, Hell Energy…

This is about how a hugely successful Austrian furniture giant turned the wheels a bit too far trying to save taxes through restructuring and licensing. An Austrian story, which, however, could probably have taken place anywhere in the European Union.   In a judgment of 27 November 2020 (case ref. Ra 2019/15/0162), the Highest Administrative…

How many times in the course of a trademark clearance have you discovered that clearly,  descriptive trademarks – usually registered because of some tiny stylization or unremarkable imagery – have been relied upon as bases for oppositions (often successfully) against other marks? These “kind” of trademarks was, quite appropriately by a long time friend, named…