Brief IP news

briefs_1131. New Webinar Series: IP as a Business Asset. For more information here.

2. General Court: No confusion between BEPOST and ePOST. For more information here.

3. ARIPO joins TMclass. For more information here.

Information from Intellectual Property Center at the UNWE. More information can be found here


“BLACK FRIDAY” cannot be a trademark in Germany

Screen-Shot-2015-11-26-at-12.32.55-PMMarques Class 46 reports about an interesting case in Germany which concerns a “BLACK FRIDAY” trademark registered by a Hing Kong company. Being the owner of this mark, the company aggressively started to enforce its rights sending cease-and-disease letters to many trade companies and retailers in the country.

This, in turn, created a serious disturbance among these companies, which had been using “BLACK FRIDAY” for promotion purposes for years.

Because of this, they initiated a cancellation proceeding before the Patent Office, claiming that “BLACK FRIDAY” is widely used and non-distinctive term.

The Patent Office concurred with them, based its conclusion on the various pieces of evidence which clearly show that “BLACK FRIDAY” had been used in Germany before the application date of the mark in promotions and advertisements. The term is perceived by German consumers as an exclusive offer for discount sales.

EUIPO announced an anti-counterfeiting blockchain competition

EUIPO announced the first-of-its-kind blockchain competition in Europe, which main goal is to find out new tools for flight against counterfeiting. The event will take place in Brussels for 4 days between 22 and 25 June 2018. The winners can take 100 000 Euro prize.

For more information here.

Originality of photos according to a French court


A Court in France ruled in a case regarding originality of copyright works. In the case at hand, a photographer took pictures of bathrooms and tried to sell them to a publisher. However, the negotiations failed. Nevertheless, the publisher published the photos and as a consequence, the photographer initiated a lawsuit. He lost the case because the court concluded that the aforementioned pictures are not original taking into consideration their topic. In the appeal, however, the court overruled this decision stating that originality of works of art doesn’t depend on the subject-matter but on the creative efforts put by the author in the process of their creation such as choosing photo’s lighting, framing, angle, highlighting of specific details, digital editing etc.

The publisher tried to vindicate its position claiming that he had the right to publish the photos based on the email correspondence with the photograph, but the Court dismissed this as insufficient, highlighting the need of a written and signed agreement for that purposes.

Source: JIPLP.

Translation of EUIPO’s decisions

efa932_09866f6df50c4dfdb21b701c8b7fb62e-mv2_d_2596_1838_s_2-2EUIPO reports about new service for translation of its decision regarding oppositions, cancelations, revocations etc. on European trademarks. Initially, only several languages are introduced, but others will follow in future.

The Office stresses that these translations are unofficial and have an only informative purpose.

For more information here.

The Japanese Patent Office refused “JUST DO IT” trademark


Masaki Mikami reports about an interesting news for a refusal of Nike’s application for a trademark “JUST DO IT” in Class 3. This application relies on the so-called defensive trademark, a concept in trademark law in Japan, according to which an owner of a trademark with reputation can file an application to unrelated goods and services.

Nike did that, however, The Japanese Patent Office refused the application due to lack of evidence whether this mark is well-known for the goods in class 25, on which it is based.

The Board of Appeal upheld this decision. Although the Board admitted a certain degree of reputation on the term “JUST DO IT”, there is no sufficient evidence which to show clearly that this sign serves as a trade origin for the goods in Class 25.

Cambodia joins the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin

shutterstock-391563562WIPO reports about the accession of Cambodia to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration.

According to the information, Cambodia will accept individual fees to cover its cost of substantive examination of each international registration.

More information here.