One of the biggest and most popular festivals in the world Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (‘Coachella’) was postponed for October this year.
However, this wasn’t the only problem for the company organizer of the festival AEG Presents Ltd.
Recently, the European Office for intellectual property – trademarks and design (EUIPO) has revoked one of the AEG Presents’ European trademarks: ‘Coachella’ registered in classes 9, 16, 25, 35, and 41.
The reason was a request by a Spanish company that applied for an EU trademark ‘Coachella’ for wines. AEG Presents filed an opposition against this mark and the Spanish company initiated revocation procedure based on lack of genuine use on the EU territory.
AEG Presents submitted evidence for its trademark well-known status amongst the consumer in the EU and the sales of tickets.
However, the EUIPO revoked the ‘Coachella’ for all classes except the following services in class 41: Organisation, production and conducting of performing arts entertainments and festivals, such services provided on-line from a computer database or the Internet; performance of music, such services provided on-line from a computer database or the Internet; musical and visual entertainment provided on-line from a computer database or the Internet; providing digital music from the Internet.
This case serves as a good example of the complexity of proving a trademark genuine use in one territory when the products and services associated with the mark are offered mainly on another territory.
The Milan Court has ruled in the case 2539/2020, which concerns not authorized use of a photo for commercial purposes.
In the case at hand, the Italian fashion house Antonio Marras used the following photo, downloaded from the internet, for its Fall/Winter 2014-15 fashion collection:
A lawsuit followed in which the photographer claimed copyright infringement. In Italy, there are two main ways for the protection of photos. The first is the classic one based on the copyright law where, however, the work has to be original, created as a result of the author’s intellectual efforts. The second protection refers to ordinary, simple photos of the real-world without creative efforts in place.
According to the fashion house, there was no copyright infringement because the photo was quite simple and not original, produced without any creative efforts.
The court disagreed. Grounded its position on the European Court decision in the case Painer, C-145/10, the Italian court came to a conclusion the photo was original indeed. The arguments for this were the fact that the author chose carefully the time and the subject to take this photo. What’s more, he used technique and an angle which to invoke specific emotions in the viewers.
The court added that another backing argument for the originality of the picture was the fact that it had been registered in the US Copyright Office, which is possible only if the work is original.
EUIPO reports about some new e-services provided by The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). These services regard the option for online Change of Representative and Transfer of Rights for trademarks and for designs.
The above mentioned digital services will complement already existing such for Change of Name, Change of Address, Change of Name and Address, Renewal Trade Mark, Renewal Design, Opposition, and e-Filing Trade Mark/Design.
All of this is a result of the work carried out by the EUIPO and the national Patent Offices in the EU Member States under the European Cooperation Projects (ECP1).
Russia will allow registration of geographical indications after 27.07.2020. Until now this was possible only for the so-called appellations-of-origin which protection, however, has more requirements.
Now another type of geographical indications will be allowed for registration in the country with fewer requirements for protection.
For example, while in the case of appellations-of-origin all row-materials and production have to be done in the relevant geographical area, with the geographical indication it is enough at least one of the production phases to be in the geographical place.
The General Court of the European Union has ruled in case Case T‑352/19, Gamma-A SIA v Zivju pārstrādes uzņēmumu serviss SIA.
It concerns the following European design registered for class Class 9-3: ‘Packaging for foodstuffs’:
The packaging represents a container with a transparent lid.
Against this design an application for invalidity was filed based on lack of novelty and individual character. The reason for this was the following earlier design for similar packaging:
Initially the EUIPO dismissed the invalidity request stating that the food contained in the container is part of the deigns protection which makes both design dissimilar.
The Board of Appeal, however annulled this decision considering both design identical.
The General Court upheld this position. The fact that the contents of the packaging in which it is intended to be incorporated are visible does not extend the protection conferred on the contested design to those contents. The presence of visible foodstuffs inside the products merely provides a better illustration of the purpose of the design, namely as packaging for foodstuffs, as well as one of their components, specifically the transparent lid. The comparison of the overall impressions produced by the designs must relate solely to the elements actually protected . The protection conferred by the contested design relates to its appearance in that it is intended to be incorporated into packaging for foodstuffs having certain components with specific characteristics, namely a metal container that has a transparent lid with a translucent tab. The foodstuffs inside the container must not, therefore, be taken into consideration for the purpose of assessing the ‘overall impression’.
Based on this the registered design was invalidated successfully.
WIPO reports about the election of Mr. Daren Tang as the new Director General of the organisation. He will succeed Mr. Francis Gurry, who has served as WIPO’s Director General since October 1, 2008.
As it is well-known, there was a tension between the US and China about the candidates for this position. The US was completely against the China’s nomination including in the light of the trade conflict between both countries.
Mr. Daren Tang, as a former Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, was accepted as a good choice in that regard.
The German sportswear producer PUMA faced a challenge to register a trademark for “Puma Tokyo 2021” in the US.
The USPTO refused the application for this mark with the argument that it refers clearly to the Olympic Games and the United States Olympic Committee.
The application was filed on the same day as the announced rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympics. This can mislead consumers to think that there is a connection between Puma and the Olympic Games including the United States Olympic Committee.
Earlier this year other applications filed in the US by the German producer for “Puma Euro 2021” and “Puma Euro 2022” were turned down too.