Five things you need to know – Europe

Cyprus

The CJEU has set aside a General Court judgment that found that the collective mark HALLOUMI does not preclude the sign BBQLOUMI from being registered as an EU trademark for cheese made by a Bulgarian producer. The CJEU ruled that, where the earlier mark is a collective one, the likelihood of confusion must be understood to be the risk that the public may believe that the goods or services covered by the earlier trademark and those covered by the applied-for mark all originate from members of the association that owns the mark or from undertakings economically linked to those members or to that association. The case will now be sent back to the General Court.

Europe

In Sky v SkyKick (Case C 371/18), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held that a community or national trademark “cannot be declared wholly or partially invalid on the ground that terms used to designate the goods and services in respect of which that trademark was registered lack clarity and precision”. The court added that while “a trademark application made without any intention to use the trademark in relation to the goods and services covered by the registration constitutes bad faith”, this can only be established if there is objective evidence that the applicant intended to undermine the practices of third parties. The CJEU also ruled that if bad-faith grounds for invalidity do occur for certain goods or services registered, the application “constitutes bad faith only in so far as it relates to those goods or services”.

Europe

IP specialist Novagraaf and renewal, recordal and search company PAVIS have announced the launch of a new service provider offering, NovumIP. The two have pooled resources to create “a new IP service provider that combines the strengths of both businesses to the benefit of all clients”. At outset, the entity calls on a team of 380 IP specialists and is offering a combination of legal and consulting services (including strategy, prosecution and enforcement work), IP support (eg, on renewals, searching and recordals) and technology and management tools.

Slovenia

The plain packaging provisions of the Act on the Restriction on the Use of Tobacco and Related Products came into force on 1 January 2020. The rules specify the requirements with regard to the appearance of individual cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco packaging.

United Kingdom

Conservative Party MP Amanda Solloway has been confirmed as the new UK IP minister. She has been an MP since 2015 and prior to that owned an HR consultancy. In a letter affirming the appointment, Solloway asserted that “the United Kingdom is rightly recognised as having a world-leading IP environment”, and that she is “looking forward to working together [with UK IP Office CEO Tim Moss] over the months and years as we develop an exciting agenda for intellectual property”.

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