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15 July 2005

TELETECH Community and national marks cannot coexist

The European Court of First Instance has upheld a decision of the OHIM cancelling in part the Community trademark TELETECH GLOBAL VENTURES. In its decision, the court clarified, among other things, the rights and duties of a Community trademark owner during a cancellation proceeding where the Community trademark owner claims to have earlier rights than those forming the basis of the cancellation action.

13 July 2005

Market will not be confused by CM marks

In CM Capital Markets Holding SA v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has upheld the OHIM Board of Appeal's ruling that the conflicting device marks CM and CAPITAL MARKETS CM were not likely to cause confusion. The court concluded that, based on the conceptual and visual differences between the marks as well as the fact that the target group of consumers was particularly attentive, there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks.

12 July 2005

SPA-FINDERS will not dilute famous water mark

In Spa Monopole, compagnie fermière de Spa SA/NV v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has dismissed an opposition to the registration of the Community trademark SPA-FINDERS. The court held that the mark did not dilute the well-known SPA mark used, among other things, for mineral water.

11 July 2005

Advocate General favours Greece in feta battle

Advocate General Colomer has advised the ECJ to rule against Denmark and Germany in their attempt to annul the regulation that added feta to the list of protected appellations of origin. Colomer opined that (i) 'feta' has not become a generic term to designate a certain type of cheese, and (ii) Danish and German producers called their products feta to ride on the reputation of the Greek product.

06 July 2005

RICA opponent rocked by Board of Appeal decision

In Compañia Roca-Radiadores SA v IRCA Industria Resistenze Corazzate e Affini SpA, the First Board of Appeal of the OHIM has upheld an opposition against the registration of RICA as a figurative Community trademark. The board held that the mark was likely to cause confusion with earlier Spanish ROCA trademark registrations for similar goods.

04 July 2005

Evidential basis for opposition clarified

In Lidl Stiftung & Co KG v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has provided some clear guidance as to the evidential basis required to show genuine use of an earlier mark by an opponent to a Community trademark application. The court held that the opponent, Lidl Stiftung & Co KG, had failed to support its affidavit evidence with more concrete forms of evidence.

29 June 2005

STAR TV application shot down by opposition

In Chum Ltd v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has upheld an opposition to the registration of the word mark STAR TV as a Community trademark. The court found the mark visually and conceptually similar to the earlier international figurative mark STAR TV and held that the services to which the marks apply were in part identical, in part similar.

28 June 2005

MUNICHFINANCIALSERVICES is descriptive, affirms CFI

In Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has dismissed an appeal from Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG, which sought to register MUNICHFINANCIALSERVICES as a Community trademark for financial services. Unsurprisingly, the court agreed with the OHIM that the mark was descriptive of the services concerned and, as such, not registrable.

27 June 2005

OHIM clarifies definition of 'design'

The Designs Department of the OHIM has published Examination Practice Note 2/2005, which clarifies the definition of 'design' under the Council Regulation on Community Designs. Among other things, the notice sets out elements that are not considered designs in accordance with Community law and the OHIM's practice.

20 June 2005

GRUPO SADA likely to be confused with SADIA mark

In Grupo Sada pa SA v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has upheld a decision to refuse the registration of the figurative mark GRUPO SADA as a Community trademark. The court held that there was a likelihood of confusion with the prior Spanish national registration for the figurative mark SADIA.

14 June 2005

No confusion between CALYPSO and CALPICO

In Krüger GmbH & Co KG v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has rejected the claim that the mark CALPICO for non-alcoholic preparations for beverages was confusingly similar to the earlier mark CALYPSO. The court found that visual, phonetic and conceptual differences between the marks precluded any likelihood of confusion, even though there was considerable similarity between the goods concerned.

09 June 2005

Hypothetical capacity to imitate should not be considered, court rules

The European Court of First Instance has reversed a ruling of confusing similarity between the figurative mark FABER and the word mark NABER. The court held that, when assessing the similarities between a figurative mark and an earlier word mark, it is incorrect to justify a finding of confusion by conferring upon the word mark a hypothetical future capacity to imitate the particular form of the figurative mark.

03 June 2005

National law considerations cleared up in ATOMIC BLITZ Case

In Atomic Austria GmbH v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has overturned the OHIM's decision to dismiss an opposition to the registration of ATOMIC BLITZ. In doing so, the court clarified the way in which the OHIM should consider relevant aspects of national law, noting that the OHIM must not assume certain aspects while disregarding others.

02 June 2005

Intersnack's RIFFELS mark RUFFLES PepsiCo's feathers

In PepsiCo Inc v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has upheld a decision to refuse the registration of RUFFLES as a Community trademark for potato snacks on the grounds that it was confusingly similar to the German national mark RIFFELS for similar goods. Among other things, the court held that PepsiCo Inc could not simply rely on proof of the existence of an earlier German national registration for the RUFFLES mark without further evidence.

01 June 2005

PAN & CO applicant's restitutio in integrum claim is not a success

In Success-Marketing Unternehmensberatungsgesellschaft mbH v OHIM, the European Court of First Instance has issued a decision rejecting an application for restitutio in integrum and has clarified the conditions governing the notification of decisions and communications from the OHIM.