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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Today's latest Community trade mark decisions: too hot for non-linguists!

Please help the Kats. There are three fresh appeals against decisions of the OHIM Boards of Appeal concerning Community trade mark applications on the Curia website today. They all have pretty pictures but none is in English. If any kind reader can let the Kats know what these decisions are about and whether they contain any interesting or novel points, can they please post a Comment to that effect below. These cases are as follows:

* Joined Cases T‑303/06 and T‑337/06, UniCredito Italiano SpA v OHIM, Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH. There the dispute looks as though it turns on possible likelihood of similarity between the word marks UNIWEB and UniCredit Wealth Management on the one side and the words UNIFONDS, UNIRAK and the figurative mark UNIZINS (right) on the other.


* Case T‑109/08 Freixenet, SA v OHIM. This appeal appears to involve the registrability of the shape on the left, which looks to the feline eye as though it's a bottle containing a yellow liquid.

* Case T‑392/06, Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH v OHIM, Unicre-Cartão International De Crédito, SA. In this appeal the applicant's unibanco figurative mark appears to be involved in a tussle with a family of opposing figurative uni-marks (UniVario, UniZerio and UniFlexio).

It seems to the IPKat that, even if the sheer volume of appeals against Board of Appeal decisions has not continued to rise the need to translate decisions of the General Court has not abated, especially since that court has a long and distinguished tradition of citing its own decisions and it really does make for enhanced understanding and greater appreciation of how the system works if cases can be made available in the most frequently-used international languages.. None of these three decisions are available either in English or in Spanish.

5 comments:

Chris McLeod said...

OK, taking the easier ones first...

There are two involving Freixenet, the one you mention and T-110/08. T-109/08 relates indeed to a CTM application for the surface of a clear (cava) wine bottle with a matt golden colour when filled and thus appearing to be frosted. T-110/08 relates to a corresponding CTM application for a black cava bottle. Both are reasonably commonly on sale in the UK.

Freixenet filed evidence under Art.7(3) in response to an objection under Art.7(1)(b) but this was rejected, at least in part because the evidence related to bottles bearing the trade mark FREIXENET and the words "carta nevada" or "cordon negro" respectively, and also because the appellant's interpretation of the evidence was not objective.

Chris McLeod said...

T-303/06 and T-337/06:

UniCredito applied to register UNIWEB and UniCredit Wealth Management for class 36 services.

Union Investment Privatfonds opposed the applications on the basis of class 36 German registrations of UNIFONDS, UNIRAK and UNIZINS, the last of these in a stylised format.

The opositions were successful, except in relation to "real estate", because the opponent was deemed to have a family of marks. UniCredito and Union appealed against the decisions but the board of appeal dismissed both sets of appeals.

The General Court has overturned the board of appeal decisions to the extent that they were against UniCredito, essentially because it considered the evidence of use of the earlier marks insufficient to show that use of UNI as a prefix would lead to association of the Unicredito marks with the Union marks.

Chris McLeod said...

Last but by no means least, T-392/06.

It is again Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH as opponent, this time against a Portuguese company, Unicre-Cartao International De Credito, SA and its application for "unibanco" with a geometric logo element for services in classes 36 and 38.

Union opposed on the basis of German registrations of UniFLEXIO, UniZERO and UniVARIO, all in stylized form. It failed to file all its observations within the set term and OHIM rejected the late-filed observations. It also rejected the opposition for lack of evidence of a family of UNI-prefixed marks and of a likelihood of confusion.

The General Court agreed that the late-filed evidence could not be taken into account and that the admissible evidence did not prove the existence of a family of marks and therefore rejected the appeal.

Jeremy said...

@Chris: thanks so much -- not just for your really handy handles on these cases but for being public-spirited enough to do this for the benefit of the whole IP community.

Chris McLeod said...

Jeremy, it's my pleasure.

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