A recent trademark battle between Apple and Swatch has ended with success for the Swiss company.
The dispute at hand concerned a trademark application for ‘one more thing’ filed by Swatch.
Apple filed an opposition arguing that this phrase was well-known by consumers in relation to its products because it had been used in their launching.
The Australian Patent Office disagreed stating that according to the evidence Apple had used this phrase only once. This wasn’t enough to constitute real trade usage for the purpose of the trademark opposition procedure.
In addition, Swatch emphasized that the idea for this trademark was inspired by the “film noir” genre and in particular by the character of Colombo detective who regularly used this phrase in his investigations.
As it is well-known the EU is negotiating with Australia for a $100 billion trade deal similar to those signed with Canada and Japan.
In that regard, the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan expressed his concerns about the deal after the last meeting between the parties in Canberra.
As in all other deals, the EU expects all of its geographical indications to cover the other party’s territory after the deal, which aim to protect the European producers of traditional products.
The problem in the case of Australia, however, is that many local manufacturers have been using European geographical indications, such as Prosecco and Feta for free for decades. The EU insists that to be discontinued. On the other side, the Australian government tries to support its producers in an attempt to avoid eventual economic disturbance for them.
In most of the cases, such disputes end with a grace period after which the relevant producers have to seize the use of the protected geographical indications or in some cases at least to add the name of the country in front for a distinction.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Supreme Court in Austria ruled in a lawsuit that had been initiated by Davidoff against a trading company in the country which was selling original perfumes branded with trademarks Davidoff – word and combined. According to Davidoff this could lead to a consumer misleading that this company is part if its distributional channel, taking into account that the company put the trademarks on its website.
According to the court, however, there is no breach of law in the case at hand because the trademark use was only for information purposes and it is in accordance with the legislation on trademark exhaustion, in particular:
A mark shall not entitle the proprietor to prohibit its use in relation to goods which have been put on the market in the Community under that trade mark by the proprietor or with his consent.
Source: Taylor Wessing, Lexology.