European Court of Justice and Court of First Instance decisions are raining down on us like leaves in autumn. They include a smattering of cases which may be of more than a little interest to IP and commercial lawyers, including:
* Case C-166/03, Commission of the European Communities v French Republic: France in trouble for under Article 28 of the EC Treaty for restricting the circumstances in which gold or gold alloy products can be labelled "gold" or "gold alloy".
* Case C-27/02, Petra Engler v Janus Versand GmbH, Opinion of Advocate General Jacobs regarding the enforcement of a prize competition held by a German company, where the winner lives in Austria.
* Case C-36/03, Approved Prescription Services Ltd v Licensing Authority (acting by the Medicines Control Agency): Opinion of Advocate General Jacobs as to whether an applicant to manufacture Prozac in the UK is entitled to rely upon data previously made available to the agency that grants manufacturing approvals.
* Case T-203/02,The Sunrider Corp. v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market: CFI ruling, upholding the examiner and the OHIM Board of Appeal, that the word mark VITAFRUIT was not registrable as a Community trade mark for "herbal and mineral beverages" in Class 32, having been anticipated by an earlier German registration of the same word -- even though very little use had been made of that earlier mark.
* Case T-270/02, MLP Finanzdienstleistungen AG v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market: The Court of First Instance agrees that the word mark "bestpartner" is unregistrable as a Community trade mark for a variety of services, being devoid of distinctive character and also being exclusively composed of descriptive terms.
* Case T-289/02,Telepharmacy Solutions Inc. v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market: Court of First Instance rules that the word mark TELEPHARMACY SOLUTIONS is unregistrable as a Community trade mark for a variety of goods and services in Classes 9, 10, 38 and 42, being descriptive. The applicant failed to persuade the CFI that the Board of Appeal had deprived it of the right to defend its application by introducing a ground of decision that had not been argued before it.
* Case T-334/01, MFE Marienfelde GmbH v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market: Court of First Instance allows the appeal of a CTM applicant to register HIPOVITON for animal food, against the decision to allow an opposition based on the earlier registration of HIPPOVIT for the same goods. This case also turns on the extent to which the opponent's use might be categorised as "genuine".
The IPKat is relieved that, after 20 July, the judges will all be packing their bags and going off on holiday, which means no more IP cases from the ECJ and the CFI before 5 September at the earliest.
Thursday, 8 July 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 2:22:00 p.m.