Wrong side of the line – more absolute grounds rejections for stripe marks of K-Swiss Inc and Shoe Branding Europe BVBA

We’ve devoted a lot of time on IP Whiteboard to position marks, particularly in the fashion sector. Recently, a number of decisions have come down rejecting stripe marks, and it is worth briefly having a look at the arguments and the reasoning and contrasting them against some earlier decisions. The “skinny” is that there is read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Combination marks – the limits of Medion further defined by Arnold J in Jura Origin case

The European Court of Justice’s decision in Medion (Case C-120/04) is one that can provoke vitriol among even the calmest of practitioners. That case involved an infringement action taken against the use of the mark THOMSON LIFE by Thomson, in the face of Medion’s earlier registration for LIFE. The court ruled as follows: “ … read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Does it matter which Board of Appeal hears your case when it comes to the distinctiveness inquiry under article 7(1)(b)?

— An edited version of this article first appeared on IPKat on 12 November 2014 — Some recent decisions – and topical ones at that, with the holiday season imminently approaching for this new father (hi Jack and Willy!) – relating to the treatment of 2D and 3D marks for toys suggest that there might read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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“Do’hhhh …!!” or should that be “Dough …!!” – Panrico shuts out another Donut brand in Europe

It may be surprising to many that up until now it has been very difficult to register a trade mark containing DONUTS (or a variation): (a)   in respect of “donuts” (or, if you like, “round-shaped dough biscuits”); (b)   in Spain or as a Community Trade Mark. That is, unless you are Panrico SA. If you read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Using your trade marks in colour? Act now to confirm appropriate coverage in the UK and Europe for your valuable brands

IP practitioners have heard it all when it comes to rules of thumb. The infamous “10 percent rule” immediately springs to mind (ie. if there’s a 10% difference from the original work, then you’re not infringing copyright …). Another that is trotted out frequently is that a trade mark registered in black & white covers read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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