|Re-tail service? Not|
for Maxie the Manx
‘Class 35: Services in the retail and wholesale trade, particularly the bringing together, for the benefit of others, of a variety of services enabling customers conveniently to purchase those services, particularly services provided by retail stores, wholesale outlets, through mail order catalogues or by means of electronic media, for example websites or television shopping programmes, in relation to the following services: in Class 35: Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions; in Class 36: Issue of vouchers or tokens of value; in Class 39: Travel arrangement; in Class 41: Entertainment; in Class 45: Personal and social services intended to meet the needs of individuals.’In September 2012 the DPMA rejected the application so far as it was submitted for services in Class 35 since, under Paragraph 20(1) of the German trade mark law ('MarkenV') was not satisfied, since the services which Netto listed in its application could not, in the DPMA's opinion, be clearly distinguished from other services in either their substance or scope. Netto appealed to the Bundespatentgericht, which decided to stay the proceedings and refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling:
‘(1) Is Article 2 of [Directive 2008/95] to be interpreted as meaning that a service within the meaning of this provision also encompasses retail trade in services?
(2) If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative:
Is Article 2 of the directive to be interpreted as meaning that the content of the services offered by the retailer must be specified in as much detail as the goods that a retailer markets?
(a) Does it suffice for the purposes of specification of the services if (i) just the field of services in general or general heading,is indicated?
(ii) just the class(es) or
(iii) each specific individual service
(b) Do these indications then take part in determining the date of filing or is it possible, where general headings or classes are stated, to make substitutions or additions?
(3) If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative:Yesterday the CJEU ruled as follows:
Is Article 2 ... to be interpreted as meaning that the scope of trade mark protection afforded to retail services extends even to services provided by the retailer itself?’
1. Services rendered by an economic operator which consist in bringing together services so that the consumer can conveniently compare and purchase them may come within the concept of ‘services’ referred to in Article 2 of Directive 2008/95 .... [but then, again, they may not. The important thing is that they're not barred from being 'services']It seems to this Kat that if the words "other economic operators", referred to in the ruling, mean "other shops and their customers", they generally have a pretty good idea of which services Netto -- or any other shop -- intends to bring together. The big
2. Directive 2008/95 must be interpreted as imposing a requirement that an application for registration of a trade mark with respect to a service which consists in bringing together services must be formulated with sufficient clarity and precision so as to allow the competent authorities and other economic operators to know which services the applicant intends to bring together.
Service with a smile here
Speediest service here