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14 March 2003

WINNETOU mark not distinctive, rules court

The Federal Supreme Court has upheld the part-cancellation of the German registered trademark WINNETOU so that it no longer covers film production or publication and editing of books, magazines and printed matter. The court held that the mark was not sufficiently distinctive and therefore could not identify the origin of these services.

20 February 2003

Acronyms DKV and OKV are not confusing, rules court

The Federal Supreme Court has ruled that the marks DKV and OKV, both registered in relation to insurance companies, are not confusingly similar. This is the first time the court has ruled on the likelihood of confusion between acronyms used as trademarks since they became protectable under German law in 1995.

30 January 2003

German trademark law does not protect '@' symbol

The Federal Patent Court has held that a term containing the '@' symbol along with descriptive elements cannot be registered as a trademark under the German Trademark Act as it lacks distinctiveness.