On 20 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave its opinion on the “Champagner Sorbet” case. The Court stated the conditions of using the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for “Champagne” on a product which only contained 12% of Champagne.
On 20 December 2017, the Court of Appeal in Sweden sentenced some of the scammers from the Uppsala trademark scam case to serve a prison sentence. They were found guilty of fraud for sending misleading invoices to EU trademark owners using the name “OMIH” on the letterhead.
On 11 January 2018, Melchior Wathelet, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), published his opinion about the dispute concerning the Neuschwanstein EU trademark. In his opinion, he recommended the CJEU to uphold the previous decision of the General Court. Wathelet states that the trademark is not descriptive for the goods and services covered and therefore there is no legal barrier for its registration.
On 30 November 2017, the European General Court (EGC) upheld the previous decision of the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO in the joined cases T-101/15 and T-102/15, Red Bull v EUIPO. The EGC confirmed that the registered trademark consisting of two colors allowed several different combinations as the application did not display the requirements of precision and uniformity set out by Article 4 of Regulation No 207/2009. Now, the case continues to the next instance and so the highest court in the EU, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), will have the last word, whether the color combination will further benefit from legal protection.
On 20 November 2017 the European brand owner association (MARQUES) published a Brexit position paper where it sets out its position about the upcoming Brexit and the concerns towards the so far not drawn consequences for EU harmonised IP rights.
Benoît Battistelli, the current President of the European Patent Office (EPO) will be ending his 5-year term as the EPO President in the end of May 2018. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation has elected Portuguese António Campinos to fulfill his position as the EPO President.
In its recent decision of 18 October 2017, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) held square-shaped chocolate packaging eligible for protection as three-dimensional trademarks and annulled two previous rulings of the German Federal Patent Court (BPatG). Consequently, the cases are remitted back to the German Federal Patent Court.