The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) recently rendered a decision on trademark use in the field of textiles that is worth reading.

In general, use as a trademark requires that a significant part of the relevant public recognizes a sign as indicating the origin of a product. For that, it is not sufficient that a sign is originally distinctive and that its use is not plainly descriptive. Instead, use as a trademark has to be assessed in each case individually taking into account all circumstances of the case. Thus, use of a first name like “SAM” as a model designation can also constitute use as a trademark and, in consequence, be deemed trademark infringement.

  Weiterlesen über „Model: Sam“ - Use as a trademark or a simple model designation?

In line with a recent Louboutin decision, the Swiss Court on 13 May 2016 decided on another purely decorative element filed as a position trademark. This time, German flashlights were in question, and the circular position of the holes on their rim.



Background of the case

We all know that the Internet is everywhere and that our life without has become unimaginable. We also know that its popularity soaring by the minute. However, the rates of its expansion might be even more than anyone could have imagined. If the number of Internet users continues to rocket at current rate, it is predicted to have 5 billion users by 2020. The expected population by that time is 7.8 billion. Therefore, 64% of population in the world will be connected! This is especially shocking in comparison to the numbers from 2014, when (only) 40% of citizens were Internet users.


In the past fifteen years, not only have the numbers skyrocketed, China has taken over the lead in the highest number of Internet users. It clearly established its dominance, doubling the numbers of the next-in-line USA.


On 23 June 2016, the referendum held in the UK tailored history and after 43 years of membership, a small majority of UK citizens decided to leave the EU. As one of the leading countries, with the second largest nominal GDP in the EU, it is safe to say things will now have to notably change. However, it should be mentioned that the switch will not come overnight, there are negotiations to be held and conditions to be met, and the real exit is not expected for a couple more years.


First thing to know is that EU trademark and design systems will no longer be applicable in the UK. Likewise, EU Courts will no longer be an option for the UK citizens.


There has been another round in the legal arena for Rubik´s cube, and this one might be a sign of a shift of powers. So far, all EUIPO´s and EGC´s decision were in favor of protecting the cube, but after the Advocate General´s unfavorable opinion towards this practice, it seems plausible that the European Court of Justice might agree with him.

Background of the case

The two Merck pharmaceutical magnates have shared one name for decades. However, their coexistence has become anything but peaceful, with mutual lawsuits filed all over Europe, and not without good reason. The namesakes managed to confuse everyone, including Facebook, and it is safe to say it is time for a new solution of their problem. Even the European Court of Justice (ECJ) got involved, as their case pointed a few questionable areas of the European Union Trademark Regulation.

Background of the case

Europe is definitely caught up in football fever. Not even the European General Court (EGC) was spared. Rendering their decision on the case Cule v Kule, they decided on the link between a football club and its fans, at least when it comes to proving genuine use of a trademark.

Background of the case

On the final morning of the ECTA Annual Meeting, the first four sessions were all about presenting different points of view on the same topic. One session was on Prior Rights Agreements, introducing the topic from an industry worker’s perspective and a practitioner’s. The parallel session was on Copyrights. The first speaker was Dr. Florian Drücke from German Federation of the Music Industry. He started by admitting that the industry reacted very late to the emerge of the Internet. They did not take it seriously until early 2000, but, after realizing it is a tool that is here to stay, expressly started finding ways to protect copyright online. Their current goal is the development of a sustainable digital market and establishing better offer of legally downloadable goods. However, battling pirate content is proving to be very hard.

The day started with welcome speeches given by ECTA’s President, Mr. Mueller, Dubrovnik’s Deputy Mayor Mr. Raguž, Mrs. Kauterovac, Director General of Croatian IPO and the organizing Committee, led by Mr. Vukmir.

As mentioned in the previous post, LexDellmeier is attending the ECTA Annual Meeting. ECTA, short for European Communities Trademark Association is an association promoting the knowledge and professionalism of members and owners alike in the fields of trade marks, designs, copyrights and other Intellectual Property rights, within the European Union. Among many other activities, they organize the Annual Meeting, this time taking place in the beautiful Dubrovnik, a historic gem in the south of the Croatian coast. We have prepared a short overview of each day of the Meeting.


Although the INTA Annual Meeting has just finished, European IP professionals have another opportunity to meet, mingle and discuss the latest novelties in the field of IP. European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA) is organizing their annual meeting from 22 June to 25 June, 2016. The venue is the historic town of Dubrovnik, Croatia. With its colorful naval and merchant past, the organizers considered it to be symbolic to what is currently happening with the new trademark protection system, and named this year´s conference “Rogue Waves and Crosswinds: Trade Marks in Motion”. Although the program predicts a plethora of topics, they will all be emphasizing the new EU Legislative Package Trademark Reform. Although you will get a daily summary of the event, this is a short introduction to the planned discussions, workshops and events.