For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Sunday, 10 October 2004

ECJ SNIPPETS

While the IPKat was enjoying a refreshing holiday cat-nap, the European Court of Justice and its prolific side-kick the Court of First Instance have not been sleeping. In the past few days they have delivered the following decisions:

* Case C-136/02 P Mag Instruments v OHIM, in which the ECJ dismissed Mag's final appeal against OHIM's refusal to allow the registration of its attractive torch shapes as Community trade marks for torches (the IPKat hopes to blog this decision in more detail soon);

* Case T-117/03 (and three other cases) New Look Ltd v OHIM. New Look applied to register as Community trade marks for clothing four figurative marks comprising the terms NLSPORT, NLJEANS, NLACTIVE and NLCollection. These applications were successfully opposed by the proprietor of an earlier registered figurative mark, containing the letters NL, for the same goods. The Court of First Instance dismissed New Look's appeal, confirming that there was a likelihood of confusion between the products of the respective parties. The CFI said (at para.51):

"Nevertheless it is common in the clothing sector for the same mark to be configured in various ways according to the type of product which it designates. It is also common for a single clothing manufacturer to use sub-brands (signs that derive from a principal mark and which share with it a common dominant element) in order to distinguish its various lines from one another (Fifties, paragraph 49, and BUDMEN, paragraph 57). In the present case the conceptual content of the marks applied for may reinforce the consumer’s perception of them as sub-brands of a mark NL. Even if the consumer were faced with only one of the signs in question, the separate perception of ‘NL’ in bold type, first, and then of the following word, which may evoke the idea of a certain style of clothing, might lead the consumer to identify it as a sub-brand of the mark NL. Moreover, the different written form of the letter combination ‘NL’ in the signs applied for as compared with that of the earlier trade mark NL could be perceived as a particular configuration of that mark. Accordingly, the conclusion of the Board of Appeal that the consumer may perceive the marks applied for as special lines originating from the undertaking which is the proprietor of the earlier trade mark must be upheld".
The IPKat wonders whether the concept of varying configuration of a trade mark is a form of shorthand for "wider protection for the mark as likely to be used than for the mark as registered".

Get your New Look here, here or here

5 comments:

Peter Sykes said...

I disagree with the ECJ in arguing that a Mag light has the 'merest trace of distinctive character'. The shape does to me have sufficent distinction to be indicative of source. Its a shape that immediately makes you think of the Mag brand. Maybe that's just me..

Jeremy said...

In terms of pure fact, I'm inclined to agree with you. I assume that there are many other people out there who are pretty like-minded, which is why the Mag torch shape has been found distinctive in so many applications to register national rights. Presumably Mag will apply again, adducing irrefregable evidence that the shape has acquired distinctiveness through use, and will eventually succeed.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the maglite shape is now distinctive, but surely they never had a chance of winning based on a priori distinctiveness, and I wonder why they pursued the case so far on the basis of this very weak argument. Distinctiveness through use was their only reasonable prospect of success, and I wonder why they did not go down that road to begin with...
Darren Smyth

Quit Smoking said...

Hello fellow fisherman,

Did you know that 16% of the U.S. population goes fishing at least 16 days a year?

Did you also know that over 75% of the nations fishermen do not fish during "prime time"; fish feeding hours?

Those precious few moments before twilight can be absolutely magical. Even up until 11pm at night, the largest predators of any species feed ravenously.

Don't believe me? Check out Daniel Eggertsen's story, and a picture of a couple of his catches here : "Evening Secrets plus more"

I want you to do me a favor and try it out so I can see what you think of it, and if it works for you as well as it did for me.

You will be one of the first to try it out.

Gone Fishin',

Neil

Dokdo Island said...

hello
offers or buyers

These days trade business much easier since internet development.
On net, we can find well made trade portal site.
In fact, those cool sites help your trade business.
How many countries? what kinds of products?
Yes, we can not count.
Around the world, someone looking for your products, and a company
want to import your goods.
Trade portal site become huge marketplace so it called "emarketplace."
How many emarketplace do you know.
Which emarketplace do you recommend.
I am proudly tell you the emarketplace "Buykorea.org"
You may not buy korea, but you can buy and sell what you want.
Buykorea.org trade service managed by kotra(un profit trade agency)
Your marketing budget will be save and business increased.
Check what do you want to know about
trade show lead follow up.

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':