IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE !!! 

What inspired me (Alexandra Dellmeier) to write this article? Well, I was born in Bavaria - in the capital city of Munich to be precise - and, I am an intellectual property attorney. Even though I had the opportunity to live in the US for a total of six years and do internships there and in Israel, my "roots" lie in Bavaria. Naturally, I want to write about the 100th anniversary of my "homeland" in combination with start-ups, trademarks and how Bavaria has developed over the past decades. 

On 5 November 2018, Canada became a contracting party to the Hague Agreement. As of this day, the users of Hague System are newly allowed to designate Canada in their international design application.

Source: Pixabay

Interbrand just released its new rankings of the best global brands for the year 2018. By no surprise, the leading companies are again mostly active in the technology sector.

Source: Interbrand

On 15 August 2018, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published its Information Notice No. 12/2018. In this Notice, WIPO released a new version of the 11th edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification) that will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

 

Source: Pixabay

On 26 June 2018, the General Court (GC) upheld the decision of the Board of Appeal (BoA) and confirmed that the word and device trademark “France.com” cannot be registered in the EU due to a likelihood of confusion with the earlier trademark “France”.

 

                                                                            

                                                  Applicant´s EU Trademark No. 013158597 (word/device mark)          

 

                                                                                    

                      Opponent´s International Registration No. 1032440 designated for the EU (word/device mark)

The Cornell University, INSEAD and the WIPO just published its 11th edition of Global Innovation Index (GII) for the year 2018 with the theme “Energizing the World with Innovation”. The Global Innovation Index is an annually published report since 2007, which gives an impartial view to the measuring of innovation worldwide. The 2018 edition provides detailed information about the state of innovation performance of 126 countries and economics around the world, which represent about 90,8% of the world´s population and 96,3% of global GDP.

On 4 May 2018, the General Court (GC) dismissed the action filed by the trademark applicant Skyleader. The GC stated that in revocation proceedings, the EUIPO cannot accept evidence of proof of use which is submitted after the time limit. Further, the EUIPO is not allowed to exercise discretion on whether or not to take such evidence into account. It has no other option than to revoke such trademark if use documents are not filed on time.  

EU Trademark No. 006347827 (word/device mark)

 

On 20 June 2018, the General Court of the European Union (GC) ruled that the distinctiveness of the trade mark ‚POLO’ by Ralph Lauren’s eponymous fashion brand is indeed so famous that it requires broader legal protection against similar trademarks. What is significant in this decision is the fact that, even though a mark may not be exceptionally distinctive, its recognition by the public combined with its acquired reputation and its influence on the market is enough to grant ‘POLO’ enhanced protection against the registration of similar marks.

                                              POLO                                                 vs.                                     HPC POLO

                            (EU Trademark No. 4049334)                                                    (EU Trademark No.  013531462)

                                         (Word mark)                                                                                   (Word mark)

On the occasion of the World AntiCounterfeiting Day, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published a Synthesis Report on IP Infringement this month. This Report contains valuable information on criminal activities against the IP community relating to the last five years and aims to inform the public about the important economic consequences of product infringement in the EU area.

                                                                           

                                                                                            Source: EUIPO

On 15 March 2018, the General Court of the European Union (GC) annulled the prior decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of the EUIPO (Case R 165/2016-4), deeming that there indeed was a likelihood of confusion between the figurative marks “Winged bull“ and “Griffin“. The parties involved were the internationally known hospitality company Marriott Worldwide Corp. , which held the rights for the figurative mark representing a griffin and Johann Graf, a famous Austrian billionaire and owner of the international gambling company Novomatic, who had obtained a EUTM registration for the use of the figurative mark of a winged bull. The interesting part in this case is the difficulty in objectively assessing whether the trademarks were visually and conceptually similar, since the organs of the EUIPO deemed the signs very different from each other while paying attention to details, whereas the GC sifted the focus on the overall meaning of the signs in the sense that they were both representing imaginary beings.

 

                                               vs               

                                            Marriott                                                                                            Johann Graf

                           EU Trademark No. 8458259                                                       EU Trademark No. 010511723                                     

                                     (Figurative mark)                                                                             (Figurative mark)