New access to national court decisions through eSearch Case Law

esearchclw-logoEUIPO informs about the new version of eSearch Case Law  which apart from the access to trademark and design law case decisions by EUIPO and the European court, now will give such access to national court decisions too. An important note that should be bear in mind is that these decisions will be on the relevant national language with only a summary in English.

More information can be found here.

Brief IP news

briefs_1131. The logo of the Bulgarian EU presidency unites three characters. For more information here.

2. Sony sued Fujifilm for patent infringement regarding a magnetic media. For more information here.

3. EC will allow wine producers from Croatia to use the name Terrano. For more information here.

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

Michelle Lee could remain as USPTO Director


WIPR reports about the fact that there is a strong possibility the current USPTO Director Michelle Lee to remain on her position including after the coming of Donald Trump as US President. Many people familiar with the issue consider that as positive outcome taking into account the fact that Lee, as former Google lawyer, has extensive knowledge on patent protection which is vital in times when USPTO tries to improve the quality of its services.

Magical trademarks – an EU General court decision

The General Court ruled in cases Cases T-565/15 and T-566/15, which concern an attempt for registration of a word mark MERLIN’S KINDERWELT and a figurative mark


for Class 41 “education and providing of training, entertainment and amusement games, sporting and cultural activities, providing children’s playgrounds and amusement parks, theatre productions, providing information on entertainment and education, entertainment or education club services, publication of books and text, other than publicity texts, correspondence courses, arranging and conducting conferences and seminars, organisation of exhibitions for cultural or educational purposes, organisation of shows, organisation of games and competitions (education or entertainment)“.

Against these marks an opposition was filed by the Italian company Ferrero based on earlier Italian trademarks KINDER for Classes 30 and 41.

In contrast with the Board of Appeal of EUIPO, the court considers the words MERLIN’S and KINDERWELT as non-descriptive and signs owing an average degree of distinctiveness. The main reason for that conclusion is that the relevant public in Italy will not perceive their  meaning which is created through their connection in one phrase.

In addition to that, according to the court, there are no dominant element in the later marks which as a whole are visually and phonetically dissimilar. Moreover there is no conceptional similarity due to the lack of meaning for the relevant public.

Source: Marquess Class 46.



Brief IP news

briefs_1131. The European Commission outlines next steps towards a European data economy. More information here.

2.  Nina Ricci and the importance of trademark reputation. More information here.

3. The Bulgarian company Chaos Group received a tech Oscar for its innovation V-Ray. More information here.

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

Using celebrities names as trademarks in China – not anymore

chinese-flag-640China’s Supreme People’s Court took a decision according to which names of celebrities in fields such as politics, economics, culture, sport and so on, cannot be used as trademarks.

According to Article 10 of the Trademark Law in China, using public figures’ names in trademarks falls under the category of “causing adverse influence.

Some analyzers consider that this decision was catalyzed by the recent law case in China where the famous former basketball player Michael Jordan won a battle against local Chinese company using his name without prior permission for that purpose.

The new legal interpretation will enter into force on 01.03.2017.

More information here.


Sport broadcasts are out of copyright protection in Sweden but…


The Swedish  Supreme Court ruled in a very interesting case regarding copyright protection of sport broadcasts.

In this case the Swedish company C More broadcasts hokey matches from the Swedish league through its website to every consumer with account and against the relevant payment. The broadcast happens through a link which is given to the consumer after payment though this link can be acquired by every technically knowledgeable persons.

The problem arose when another sites gave an opportunity to its users to publish such illegal links in its chats.

According to the court, the broadcasting of sport events cannot be perceived as subject to copyright protection due to the fact that there is no intellectual creation in this case, sport events exists regardless of the broadcasting which by itself can’t change them in any creative manner.

Nevertheless, the Court acknowledge that there is an infringement of the neighbouring rights on the replays which obviously are taken as an intellectual creation most probably because they are chosen carefully through intellectual efforts.

It is strange that the Court didn’t rule on the claims for infringement of different elements part of the broadcasts such as animations, logos and so on.

The conclusion here is that in every similar case of broadcast, all of its elements have to be taken into consideration so as an assessment to be made whether there is any copyright or related rights infringement or not.

Source: Eleonora Rosati for IPKat.