Market Insight

Updates from an international team of correspondents who report on recent developments in trademark law and practice in their home jurisdictions, as well as strategic issues and those relating to brand protection, portfolio management and value creation.

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18 NOVEMBER 2021

Supreme Court sheds light on influencer advertising ahead of new Unfair Competition Act

The German Federal Supreme Court has handed down three parallel decisions on social-media influencers using their Instagram pages to advertise third-party products. The decisions are likely to be applicable even after issue-related amendments to the Unfair Competition Act come into force in May 2022.

07 OCTOBER 2021

GENGHIS KHAN decision highlights importance of industry peculiarities to unregistered company rights


Oktoberfest – how a local festival became a world-famous brand

While this year’s Oktoberfest has again been cancelled due to the still ongoing global pandemic, we take a deep dive into how it is managed from a trademark perspective, including the protection of beer as a protected geographical indication.


Appeals court rejects Steiff’s claims of infringement on bear mark

An appeals court has upheld that a German toy brand, Steiff, did not have its famous bear mark infringed upon by competitors, as the alleged infringing goods did not “use [the bear] as a trademark” – evidence of alleged reputation provided by the plaintiff was rejected as insufficient.

12 AUGUST 2021

Gold for the win – Supreme Court upholds protection for Lindt bunny

Recent supreme court decision confirming Lindt’s non-registered trademark rights in Germany for its gold bunny paves the way for enforcement against third-party infringements.

22 JULY 2021

RETROLYMPICS: a trademark under fire

A trademark originally rejected by the German PTO and opposed by the International Olympic Committee is currently before the German Federal Patent Court. In-depth analysis explores why the case has been so difficult and what can be learnt.

08 JULY 2021

Business savvy or abuse of rights – knowing whether well-known trademarks are up for the taking

The Regional Court of Munich has ruled that a German trademark registration that is identical to a Ferrero/Nestlé mark covering similar goods for Butterfinger chocolate bars outside Germany was not filed in bad faith – opening the door for applicants to copy well-known marks.

10 JUNE 2021

WATER FRSH and CDY MLN – can ‘disemvoweling’ help to overcome descriptiveness or non-distinctiveness objections?

A recent German Federal Patent Court judgment shines a light on the new trend of omitting vowels from registered words – and whether this could help to avoid objections of descriptiveness or non-distinctiveness.

27 MAY 2021

A reminder of the ugg-ly effects of cross-border shipping under German trademark law

A recent decision of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt serves as a reminder of the potential for owners of German trademarks to effectively enforce their rights against online infringers abroad.

06 MAY 2021

New rules for proof of use in Germany – what brand owners need to know

A German Federal Supreme Court decision has overturned German case law on proof of use in order to align with EU trademark law. While the changes may be favourable for German trademark owners, third parties may have to reassess their strategy.

22 APRIL 2021

German Supreme Court applies CJEU DOCERAM judgment for the first time

In a case involving the alleged infringement of a registered Community design, the German Supreme Court has referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union’s DOCERAM v Ceramtec decision for the first time, signalling a shift in how the courts assess design infringement.

01 APRIL 2021

A little story about Easter bunnies: how EU and German courts have responded to Easter-related marks over the years

With Easter around the corner, we take a closer look at the unconventional background of Easter-related marks, including the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute over the colour gold in relation to Lindt chocolate bunnies.

25 MARCH 2021

Coty v Amazon continues: latest decision highlights the right to inspection under German Trademark Law

A case involving a third-party retailer using Amazon Marketplace to sell infringing goods has underlined the importance of inspecting products stored on behalf of others, as despite being neither the infringer nor a participant in the infringement, Amazon may have breached its duty of care by failing to enquire as to the origin of the goods.

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