Posts Tagged: "EUTM"

INTA Weighs in at CJEU on EU Parallel Imports Case

The International Trademark Association (INTA) has made an amicus submission before the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) in a case concerning parallel imports and EU trademark law. (Case C-175/21 Harman International Industries, Inc. v. AB SA.) In the case at hand, Harman, which makes audiovisual equipment, brought trademark infringement proceedings in Poland against AB, a distributor. AB had put on the market goods featuring Harman’s trademarks, which it had obtained from a third party. Europe operates a system of regional exhaustion, as set out in Article 15(1) of the EUTM Regulation, and in parallel imports cases national courts have referred to “goods which have not been put on the market within the European Economic Area (EEA) by the right holder or with his consent.” (Gender-neutral language has not yet become established in EU jurisprudence). In this case, Harman argued that the goods had been imported into Poland and had not been put on the market within the EEA by Harman or with its consent. AB claimed it had received assurances when it bought the goods that the trademark rights were exhausted.

Trademark, Design and Copyright Landmarks in Europe During 2021

Last week, IPWatchdog selected five significant patent developments in Europe, examining what has happened this year and what can be expected in 2022. Here, we review five of the top trademark and copyright decisions and legislative changes across Europe and what’s coming up in the new year. One of the most significant trademark decisions of 2021 came in a case over Hasbro’s EUTM registration for MONOPOLY. The registration, for goods and services in classes 9, 16, 28 and 41, was declared invalid by the EUIPO Second Board of Appeal on the basis that Hasbro had acted in bad faith. On April 21, the EU General Court upheld that decision.

Is Europe Running Out of Trademarks? Professor Beebe Talks EU Trade Mark Depletion

Is the European trademark system a victim of its own success? This was the question posed by Professor Barton Beebe of NYU School of Law at the Annual Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture at UCL-IBIL on November 9. Beebe argued that “trademark depletion is the most significant challenge the trademark system will face this century” and that, contrary to conventional wisdom,…

No Unfair Advantage or Detriment in EUTM Case Involving PUMA Logo

Sports and fashion company Puma has lost an appeal before the EU General Court, following an eight-year dispute. The trademark case concerned figurative signs depicting leaping cats, and the judgment was published on May 19 (Case T-510/19). Puma, based in Germany, filed an opposition to an EU trademark (EUTM) application filed by Gemma Group in February 2013 for “Machines for processing of wood; machines for processing aluminum; machines for treatment of PVC” in class 7. The application depicted a blue cat leaping from left to right. Puma owns earlier marks for a cat leaping from right to left, registered for a wide range of goods including clothes, accessories and sports equipment.

Hasbro Loses Fight Over MONOPOLY Mark in Europe

Toy maker Hasbro has been rebuked by the EU General Court, after it was found to have applied to register an EU trademark (EUTM) for MONOPOLY in bad faith. The company has owned the MONOPOLY brand since acquiring Parker Bros in 1991. It filed the EUTM application, for various goods and services in classes 9, 16, 28 and 41, in April 2010 and the mark was registered in 2011. Hasbro owned three earlier EU word marks for MONOPOLY, which were registered in 1998, 2009 and 2010 and are still live. These covered some of the same goods and services as those specified in the 2010 application. After the latest application was registered, it was attacked by a Croatian company called Kreativni Doga?aji, which argued that the application was a “repeat filing” of the earlier marks and “was aimed at circumventing the obligation to prove genuine use of those marks.”

INTA Comments in George Orwell EUTM Cases on Names and Titles

The International Trademark Association (INTA) last week filed amicus briefs before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Grand Board of Appeal in three cases concerning applications to register EU trademarks (EUTMs) for the words GEORGE ORWELL, ANIMAL FARM and 1984. The  briefs concern the registration of trademarks for names of historical persons/famous authors (the GEORGE ORWELL case) and titles of literary or artistic works (the ANIMAL FARM and 1984 cases). All of the applications were filed in 2018 by The Estate of the Late Sonia Bronwell Orwell (George Orwell’s second wife, who survived him and died in 1980) without evidence of acquired distinctiveness through use.

Europe’s Top Five (Non-Patent) IP Developments of 2020

In a previous piece, we covered the top five patent developments of the year in Europe. Here, we review some of the key cases and legislation that shaped 2020 in other areas of IP, including trademarks, copyright, design and legislative actions. At number one, in its judgment in Sky v SkyKick (Case C-371/18) in January, the CJEU said that an EU trademark cannot be invalidated for lack of clarity and precision, and provided guidance on what constitutes bad faith. The decision reassured owners of trademarks in Europe, who had feared that many marks would be invalidated if the Advocate General’s Opinion were followed.

EU Trademark Owners Relieved by CJEU Judgment in SkyKick Case

The Court of Justice of the European Union has provided reassurance to European trademark owners in its judgment today in the SkyKick case. (Case C?371/18 Sky plc, Sky International AG, Sky UK Limited v SkyKick UK Limited, SkyKick Inc.) The case involves questions referred from the UK in a dispute over SkyKick’s alleged infringement of five of Sky’s EU and UK national trademarks. Sky is a well-known broadcaster and telecoms services provider, and SkyKick is a cloud services provider. The Court stated that “a lack of clarity and precision of the terms designating the goods or services covered by a trade mark registration cannot be considered contrary to public policy, within the meaning of those provisions” and that therefore the lack of clarity and precision in a specification is not a ground for invalidity: “a Community trade mark or a national trade mark cannot be declared wholly or partially invalid on the ground that terms used to designate the goods and services in respect of which that trade mark was registered lack clarity and precision.”

Court of Justice of the European Union Provides Guidance on EU Trade Mark Jurisdiction

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that an EU trade mark (EUTM) proprietor may bring an infringement action in an EU Member State where advertising or offers for sale are directed or located, in a case concerning alleged infringement of an EUTM in the United Kingdom by a Spanish defendant. The judgment in Case C172/18 AMS Neve Ltd, Barnett Waddingham Trustees, Mark Crabtree v Heritage Audio SL, Pedro Rodríguez Arribas addresses questions concerning jurisdiction, in particular in cases involving Internet sales. This litigation concerned infringement proceedings brought regarding an EUTM for “1073” in the UK Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court.

EUIPO’s Christian Archambeau on Globalization, EUTM Trends, and Brexit

IP rights face “a challenging future,” according to Christian Archambeau, the Executive Director of the EUIPO, who spoke to the media during the INTA Annual Meeting in Boston last month. In particular, he cited the challenges posed by Brexit, international cooperation, artificial intelligence (AI) tools and Blockchain, working in multiple languages, and the volume of applications. EUIPO (formerly OHIM) is the Office responsible for registering EU trade marks (EUTMs) and registered Community designs (RCD) in the European Union. But Archambeau, who became Executive Director in October last year, also emphasized its broader remit to support cooperation between offices in Europe and beyond, and to promote IP awareness, particularly among SMEs. In this respect, he said the Office is looking at “helping SMEs with services that help them and make sense to them,” although it cannot change fee levels, which are set by an EU Regulation.