We all know that highly famous marks enjoy a kind of “universal” protection for (almost) any goods and services. However, for only “average” well-known marks”, the threshold of necessary closeness depends on how well-known the trademark is, on the similarity of the marks, and on the type of injury. Background of the case In…

As expected, in its decision of 21 December 2022 (T-44/22), the General Court (GC) upheld the refusal of the packaging design shown above on the right as a trademark for tobacco products in class 34, agreeing with the EUIPO that it would take unfair advantage of the reputation of the Marlboro rooftop mark. The trademark…

A recent decision of the EUIPO’s Fourth Board of Appeal (BOA) dealing with conversion deserves a closer look at this instrument, and at the practice of the EUIPO relating to conversion (decision of September 26, 2022, Case R 1241/2020-4). To recap: when an EUTM application fails, or a registered EUTM is cancelled, it can be converted…

genuine use of an EU trademark within the EU for services provided outside the EU a summary of decision T‑768/20 of the General Court of the EU   The background of this decision was an application for revocation for non-use against the EUTM owned by Standard International Management LLC, a US company. Yes, this is…

A judgment of the General Court demonstrates the controversial and problematic nature of retail services marks. The ALDI/ALDIANO Case The case concerns Aldi, the discount chain. An Aldi entity (in the following “Aldi”) filed an application for the declaration of invalidity against the EUTM ALDIANO, registered for “alcoholic beverages (except beers)” (class 33). Aldi relied…

The UK finally said bye-bye to the EU, but for how long will UK-based rights still matter in deciding EUTM-related controversies? This is the subject of two recent decisions by the General Court, i.e.  the Basmati case, T‑342/20, decided on October 6, 2021, and the subsequent APE TEES case, T‑281/21, decided on March 16, 2022. In…

The ”Pearl” decision by the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) may not be brand new (15 October 2020), but it is interesting in many respects. This post will deal with the similarity of goods. Facts The plaintiff owns an EUTM, registered in 2009, and a German registration, from 2003, for the word PEARL. Both are protected…

Under EU trademark law, a trademark may be revoked if it becomes a misleading indication as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods or services it designates after the date on which it was registered, as a result of the use made of it by its proprietor or with its consent (Art….

The Swedish Patent and Market Court (PMD) ruled out a likelihood of confusion between two figurative trademarks for “ghost” and “GHOST VODKA” based on their mere visual differences. In fact, the Court concluded that the sigs were dissimilar, without even analyzing the signs on a phonetical or conceptual level. A good outcome for the defendants…