Germany: May product search on Amazon amount to trademark infringement by Amazon?

The Higher District Court of Cologne held in preliminary injunction proceedings that use of a distinctive trademark on for displaying other comparable products not originating from the trademark owner may be a trademark infringement (decision of 20 November 2015 on Case 6 U 40/15). Please see my blog post on this interesting decision on […]

No excuses! Banking institutions cannot refuse to provide information based on banking secrecy

The German Federal Supreme Court clarified in its decision of 21 October 2015 that a bank cannot refuse to provide information on the owner of an account used for trademark infringing activities based on the banking secrecy (Judgment in Case I ZR 51/12 – Davidoff Hot Water II). Prior to this decision, German Courts rejected […]

Proof of use before OHIM

The General Court of the European Union (GC) affirmed in its decision of 4 June 2015 in Case T-254/13 that the Board of Appeal had lawfully exercised the discretion granted by Art. 76 (2) CTMR to take account of lately filed evidence of use, although the further documents submitted only before the Board of Appeal […]

Protection of fashion by unregistered Community Design rights

On 2 July 2015, the District Court Düsseldorf confirmed a preliminary injunction prohibiting the further distribution of a blouse on the basis of an earlier unregistered Community Design (Case ref. no. 14c O 55/15).   The applicant had distributed a summer blouse depicting abstract drawings of flamingos in Germany since 2013. In 2015, it became […]

No trademark protection for „TOUCHING HEARTS, CHANGING LIVES”

Whether trademark protection may be obtained for a slogan, remains difficult to be predicted. In this case, the refusal of the Community trademark application for “TOUCHING HEARTS, CHANGING LIVES” was confirmed by the Fourth Board of Appeal at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (“OHIM”). The applicant had filed the Community trademark application […]

Shape is what matters in case of a yoghurt container

In invalidity proceedings before OHIM the Board of Appeal overruled a decision by the Invalidity Division rejecting a request for declaration of invalidity against a Community Design registration (“CDR”) for a yoghurt container based on the colorful lid and label it contained compared with the earlier design. On 10 October 2014 the Board of Appeal […]

No trademark protection for the slogan “Pioneering for You”

In its decision of 12 December 2014 on Case T-601/13, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) confirmed the refusal of the Community trademark application for “Pioneering for You”. The applicant filed a Community trademark application for the word mark “Pioneering for You” for goods in Classes 7, 9 and 11 and services in […]

Extent of protection of CTMs prior to ECJ’s „IP Translator“-decision

Does a CTM registered before 21 June 2012 for all class headings protect only those class headings in the literal meaning or does it protect all goods/services in the alphabetical list of this class? The General Court (GC) had to decide on 30 September 2014 in case T-51/12 on a request for revocation for the […]

Take care when using third party trademarks as meta-tags or titles on your webpage

The Higher District Court of Frankfurt had to deal in its decision of 31 March 2014 (Case ref.: 6 W 12/14) with the question under which circumstances the use of a third party trademark by a reseller as meta-tag or title of a webpage may constitute a trademark infringement. Generally everyone who resells goods which […]

German Federal Supreme Court limits the personal liability of company directors for violations of the Unfair Competition Act

In its decision of 18 June 2014 (Case ref: I ZR 242/12) the Federal Supreme Court reversed its jurisdiction according to which a company director was always already personally liable for the company’s violations of the Unfair Competition Act due to his position and the general responsibility for the business operations. In the future the […]