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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You ain’t nothing but a hound dog (or an immaterial variation thereof)! Hush Puppies logo CTM survives non-use action

In El Corte Ingles v Wolverine World Wide, Inc, the much beloved logo of Hush Puppies (hereinafter, hound) has survived a non-use attack in Europe in some key classes. Although WWW was ultimately successful in partially defending the non-use action, the case is a reminder of the much higher burden faced in saving a Community read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Lies, damned lies and social media coverage of trade mark disputes – the TV programme previously known as “Glee”?

Remember when you could rely on social media for fair, unbiased and objective coverage of the news? Me neither. The facts did not get in the way of a good story when a virtual Twitter-storm erupted over the weekend around the tv show GLEE having to change its name in the UK. But is this read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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OHIM’s Boards of Appeal taking a hard line on absolute grounds against stylised marks, but is this on the right basis?

Not so long ago, one could simply add a flourish to an entirely descriptive word in order to achieve registration without an objection based on absolute grounds. Well, it looks like we can confidently say that those days are long gone, at least insofar as OHIM’s Board of Appeal is concerned. A look over April 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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