Brief IP news

briefs_1131. Fact Sheet. Domain names and cybersquatting. For more information here.

2. EUIPO announces the second edition of the DesignEuropa Awards. For more information here.

3. A Decision Guide for Filing International Patent Applications for Multiple Inventions. For more information here.


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


A Black Friday trademark case in Germany

addtext_com_MDQ0MzQxMzUyMQOliver Löffel published an interesting article for Lexology which concerns a case for a Black Friday trademark registered in Germany by a Hong Kong company that licensed this mark to a Vienne based company.

In a nutshell, the later company started to threaten every other company that tries to use this expression in advertisement campaign related to the well-known US day for bargain-sales.

It is no surprise that in this case many cancellation actions were been initiated against the mark on absolute grounds – lack of distinctiveness and a term which have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade. The reason for this is the fact that this mark was registered in 2013 whereas the use of the expression in Germany started back to 2006 when Apple use Balck Friday for its promotional campaign.

More information here.

New electronic trademark registration service in Qatar

doha-2366127_960_720The Ministry of Economy and Commerce of Qatar announced the launching of its new electronic trademark registration service. Its main purpose is to improve the conditions for making business in the country adopting the best international practices in the field of intellectual property and in that way facilitating all entrepreneurs which operate in Qatar.

More information here.

An EPO proposal for patent registration fee reductions

onzo-patentThe European Patent Office has put forward a proposal to reduce the fees for registration of European patents.  The new proposals will reduce both the PCT search fee and the examination fee by EUR 100 each. For applicants using the EPO as ISA for search and examination and entering the European phase, the PCT fee proposals would result in a considerable fee reduction: a decrease of EUR 656.

In addition, there are proposals for fees reduction for SME’s and universities.

More information here.

Trademark enforcement in Benelux


LYDIAN published an interesting article for Lexology which discuss how you can enforce rights over a trademark in Benelux. The article covers the following:

  • Which courts are empowered to hear trademark disputes?
  • What actions can be taken against trademark infringement and what are the key features and requirements of each?
  • Who can file a trademark infringement action?
  • What is the usual timeframe for infringement actions?
  • What rules and procedures govern the issuance of injunctions to prevent imminent or further infringement?
  • What remedies are available to owners of infringed marks? Are punitive damages allowed?
  • What customs enforcement measures are available to halt the import or export of infringing goods?
  • What defenses are available to infringers?

More information here.

Google is not a generic term in the US


ARS Technica UK reports an interesting story from the US where the Supreme Court refused to review a petition which asserts that the term “google” is too generic and therefore cannot be a trademark anymore.

According to that petition, the word Google has been widely used as a term for searching on internet. Due to that fact, this trademark is no more eligible to serve as a trade source.

The Federal court ruled in that case last year considering that although Google is used as e term describing the process of searching on internet, it is still a valid trademark because Google offers other products too and the word is connected with different goods and services. What’s more, we have a generic term when the name has become an “exclusive descriptor” that makes it difficult for competitors to compete unless they use that name, which is not the case with Google.

More information here.