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18 October 2017

German Federal Court rules on Google’s Image Search

The Federal Court of Justice has handed down a judgment of utmost importance for the exploitation of copyright on the Internet. The decision, which will become known and referred to under the name Thumbnail III, examined whether the display of preview images in search results constituted an act of making available a copyright work in the sense of the copyright law.

01 September 2017

Germany: Protection for apps remains problematic

Protection for unregistered marks still varies according to the sector. The Federal Supreme Court’s wetter.de decision demonstrates that requirements for distinctiveness are higher for mobile applications than other titles of works

27 April 2017

New rules on recovery of criminal proceeds affect enforcement of IP rights in Germany

The German Parliament recently passed new rules on measures for the recovery of criminal proceeds. The rules mean that the enforcement of financial claims against criminal offenders will be widely handled by public prosecution. While the new rules may facilitate access to compensation for private parties affected by crimes, IP rights holders fighting counterfeiters may often find civil enforcement more suitable.

29 March 2017

Trademark procedures and strategies: Germany

The following are enforceable in Germany: German trademarks, EU trademarks, German trademarks based on international registrations, names and non-registered trade designations. German trademarks are governed by the Trademark Act, which implements the EU Trademark Directive (89/104/EEC) and the Regulation on Trademark-Related Administrative Proceedings.

29 March 2017

Managing major projects in a trademark portfolio: creation, assignments and renewals

As responsibility for a company’s trademark portfolio is frequently placed in the hands of a small number of specialists who work to their limits on day-to-day issues, major projects such as creation, assignment and renewal often generate additional work that exceeds in-house capabilities.

06 February 2017

Federal Supreme Court: cease-and-desist orders include obligation to recall infringing products

In a landmark decision, the Federal Supreme Court has decided that a cease-and-desist order regarding the distribution and promotion of infringing products includes, in principle, the obligation to recall products that are already on the market. It is expected that this judgment will have enormous influence on the practice, in particular with regard to IP infringement cases.

01 January 2017

Germany: Counterfeiting, 3D printing and the third Industrial Revolution

While three-dimensional printing is being hailed as a game changer, rights holders must consider how to adapt their IP strategies to meet the challenges of this new technology

24 November 2016

Protecting and enforcing design rights: Germany

German registered designs are governed by the Design Act, which was recently renamed to reflect the fact that German registered designs are now officially called ‘designs’, rather than the previously used ‘aesthetical models’.

11 May 2016

Registrant to withdraw PANAMA PAPERS mark following lawsuit threat from investigative journalists

World Trademark Review has learned that the registrant behind a German trademark for the term THE PANAMA PAPERS has been threatened with legal action by the two journalists involved in the unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of law firm Mossack Fonseca. While the registrant has since agreed to withdraw the mark, he remains steadfast that he alone "was the only one who had seen the potential in the Panama Papers name".

27 April 2016

Reimbursement of costs in German opposition proceedings remains a problem

The basic rule in opposition proceedings is that each party bears its own costs and that cost reimbursement is possible only if equity requires it. A recent decision highlights the difficulties of getting costs reimbursed in opposition proceedings

12 April 2016

Trademark application filed for 'The Panama Papers'; applicant reveals ambitious plans

A Munich-based marketer has applied for a trademark in Germany for the term ‘The Panama Papers’, with plans to write a movie and sell merchandise related to the unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of law firm Mossack Fonseca. An IP expert tells us that if the application progresses to the opposition stage, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will need to rely on unregistered rights if it seeks to prevent its registration by a third party.

26 February 2016

wetter.de cannot stop wetter DE

In a January 28 2016 decision (I ZR 202/14) the Federal Supreme Court confirmed a decision of the Cologne Court of Appeal and rejected any claims based on the name of the weather app wetter.de against the use of wetter DE and wetter-DE by a competitor.

14 December 2015

European Union

The dawn of three-dimensional printing has been heralded as the next technological revolution, comparable to digitalisation or the invention of the steam engine. 3D printing will bring many changes to the ways in which products are manufactured. However, many more steps must be completed before this revolution takes place.

14 December 2015

Germany

Design law in Germany consists of the Designs Act, harmonised to a substantial degree with the EU Designs Directive (98/71/EC) and the EU Community Designs Regulation (6/2002), which protect registered and unregistered Community designs. German design registrations are administered by the designs unit of the German Patent and Trademark Office located in Jena, Germany; registered Community designs are administered by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market in Alicante, Spain.

02 November 2015

Federal Supreme Court considers banking secrecy following ECJ's Coty ruling

Following the ECJ’s ruling in Coty Germany GmbH v Stadtsparkasse Magdeburg earlier this year, the Federal Supreme Court has held that a bank must give information concerning the name and address of an account holder to a trademark owner in particular circumstances, and cannot invoke banking secrecy in order to avoid providing such information.