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In Good Shape: The General Court Declares Pirelli’s Mark Registrable- Pirelli Tyre SpA vs. EUIPO, T-447/16

BACKGROUND The applicant, Pirelli Typre SpA, filed an application for a registration of an EU trademark on the 23rd of July 2001, for the following figurative sign in class 12: ‘Tyres, solid, semi-pneumatic and pneumatic tyres, rims and covers for vehicle wheels of all kinds, vehicle wheels of all kinds, inner tubes, wheel rims, parts,…

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Finding the right balance: The importance of the right measure regarding the distinctiveness of a position trademark (T-184/17)

Leifheit AG filed a position trademark application described as follows: « the position mark is composed by four green squares apposed on the down face of a balance, in each corner, close to the border. » The trademark claims class 9, namely scales. This trademark has been refused by the EUIPO considering its lack of distinctiveness. Indeed,…

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Erotic products, happy life ends here [T‐457/17 HAPPY LIFE, Medisana AG / EUIPO, 25 september 2018]

Using a slogan as a trademark could be an original way to distinguish your products or services provided the slogan is finely formulated. Slogans such as « Just do it » (Nike) or “Because you’re worth it” (L’Oréal) obviously attract the consumers’ attention towards the goods or services concerned considering they make it easy to remember. The…

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That’s bananas? The limit of the monopoly on a concept for trademarks (EUIPO Decision Apple Inc vs Banana Computer (B2831439))

Apple Inc. filed an opposition action against the word & device trademark BANANA Computer, claiming services in classes 35 and 36 arguing that as both signs refer to fruits and the reputation of the prior mark is well known, a risk of confusion exists. The Opposition division rejected these arguments.   DECISION The first ground…

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The impact of GDPR on WHOIS and enforcement of trademarks

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered in force last May 25th, 2018 and has overturned all the companies operating online and on how the personal information of their customers and employees are processed and protected. It turned out that the GDPR also has a significant, yet underestimated, impact on the availability of the WHOIS…

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OMG or NBD: Procter & Gamble’s quest to trademark acronyms

In August 2018, the global household products company Procter & Gamble filed trademark applications for terms including “LOL” (Laughing Out Loud) and “NBD” (No Big Deal). The owner of the well known brands Fairy, Febreze and Mr Clean has taken a different stance on its approach to appealing to a variety of customers, stating that…

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Mitsubishi case: when marketing debranded goods in the EEA constitutes trademark infringement

(C-129/17 Mitsubishi v. Duma Forklifts and G.S. International BVBA – July 25, 2018) Background Duma and GSI have acquired from a company within the Mitsubishi group, outside the EEA, forklift trucks that they bring into EEA territory where they place them under a customs warehousing procedure. They then remove from those goods all the signs identical…

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