Brief IP news

Кратки IP новини от България и чужбина - Brief IP news from Bulgaria and abroad1. Shop Art v Art. For more information here.

2. Does Your IP Strategy Need a Tune-Up? For more information here.

3. Svetlin Nakov: Bulgaria has a real chance to be “the Europe Silicon valley”. For more information here.


WIPO Translate on the scene

wipo-logoWIPO announced the launch of its new software for translation of patent documentation called WIPO Translate, you can find access here. For the time being this translator is covering only the main and most widespread languages in the world, we hope that more will be included in the future. Apart from this, according to WIPO, this software uses artificial intelligence because of which it is much more accurate and precise.

More information here.

Unitary character of EU trademark in case of claim for prohibition

indexThe European court ruled in case C‑223/15 Combit Software GmbH  v  Commit Business Solutions Ltd, which concerns the following:

 combit Software, a company governed by German law, is the proprietor of the German and EU word marks, combit, for goods and services in the computer industry. The company is engaged in, amongst other things, the development and marketing of software.

Commit Business Solutions, a company governed by Israeli law, sells software bearing the word sign ‘Commit’ in a number of countries through its website At the time of the facts in issue in the main proceedings, a German-language version of the company’s offers for sale was available and its software could be ordered for delivery to Germany.

As the proprietor of the combit trade marks, combit Software brought proceedings, pursuant to Article 97(2) of Regulation No 207/2009, against Commit Business Solutions before the Landgericht Düsseldorf (Regional Court, Düsseldorf, Germany). Principally, it sought, on the basis of its EU trade mark, an order that Commit Business Solutions refrain from using, in the European Union, the word sign ‘Commit’ for the software it was marketing. In the alternative, it requested, in reliance on its German trade mark, an order that Commit Business Solutions refrain from using that word sign in Germany.

The Landgericht Düsseldorf (Regional Court, Düsseldorf) dismissed combit Software’s principal claim but upheld its alternative claim.

Taking the view that the Landgericht Düsseldorf (Regional Court, Düsseldorf) should have ordered Commit Business Solutions to refrain from using the word sign ‘Commit’ throughout the European Union, combit Software brought an appeal before the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court, Düsseldorf, Germany).

That court considers that Commit Business Solutions’ use of the word sign ‘Commit’ gives rise, on the part of the average German-speaking consumer, to a likelihood of confusion with the trade mark combit.

It takes the view, however, that there is no likelihood of confusion on the part of the average English-speaking consumer. In its view, the latter can readily understand the conceptual difference between, on the one hand, the English verb ‘to commit’ and, on the other, the word ‘combit’, as ‘combit’ is made up of the letters ‘com’ for computer and ‘bit’ for ‘binary digit’. It considers that the phonetic similarity between ‘Commit’ and ‘combit’ is, from the perspective of the aforementioned English-speaking consumer, cancelled out by that conceptual difference.

The referring court concludes that there is a likelihood of confusion in the German-speaking Member States and that there is no such likelihood in the English-speaking Member States.

It is uncertain about the way in which the principle, laid down in Article 1(2) of Regulation No 207/2009, of the unitary character of the EU trade mark should be applied in such a situation, in particular so far as concerns the assessment of the likelihood of confusion and the prohibition order referred to in Article 102(1) of that regulation.

In those circumstances, the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court, Düsseldorf) decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following question to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling:

‘In the assessment of the likelihood of confusion of an EU word mark, what is the significance of a situation in which, from the perspective of the average consumer in some Member States, the phonetic similarity of the EU trade mark with another sign claimed to infringe that trade mark is cancelled out by a conceptual difference, whereas from the perspective of the average consumer in other Member States it is not?

(a) In assessing the likelihood of confusion, is the perspective of some Member States, of the other Member States, or that of a fictive EU average consumer decisive?

(b) If there is a likelihood of confusion only in some Member States, has the EU trade mark been infringed across the European Union, or must the Member States be differentiated individually?’

The Court’s decision:

Article 1(2), Article 9(1)(b) and Article 102(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 of 26 February 2009 on the European Union trade mark must be interpreted as meaning that, where an EU trade mark court finds that the use of a sign creates a likelihood of confusion with an EU trade mark in one part of the European Union whilst not creating such a likelihood in another part thereof, that court must conclude that there is an infringement of the exclusive right conferred by that trade mark and issue an order prohibiting the use in question for the entire area of the European Union with the exception of the part in respect of which there has been found to be no likelihood of confusion.

Lawsuit between John McAfee and Intel

antivirus-for-computersWIPR  reports about a non-infringement trademark lawsuit initiated by John McAfee in New York. John McAfee is founder of the well-known antivirus software McAfee now owned by Intel. Recently John McAfee has become part of a tech company called MGT where he works as CEO. This company has plan to change its name to John McAfee Global Technologies and because of which they received a letter from Intel according to which such use is not appropriate in light of possible associations with the Intel’s registered trade mark McAfee.

John McAfee stated that such use can’t be prohibit because when he sold his business to Intel this didn’t include obligations not to use his own name for business purposes in future.

This is another case representing a conflict between trademark and family name. Recently Karen Millen has lost similar lawsuit in UK for its name.

A debate about pros and cons concerning software patents – Спор- за и против патентите за софтуер

Днес най-успешните компании в света са тези от IT сектора, които въпреки световната криза печелят нови и нови позиции на пазара.

Реално в момента ние живеем в свят на софтуерни революции, уникални нови IT продукти с уникално нови софтуерни програми се появяват всеки ден.

Това е и причината в момента патентите за софтуер да бъдат по-ценни от златото. Чрез тях компаниите печелят пазарни позиции, водят конкурентни войни и генерират огромни печалби.

Един въпрос обаче става все по широко обсъждан, а именно дали софтуерът заслужава патентна закрила.

Не всички законодателства в отделните държави по света дават възможност за получаването на такива патенти. Но американското законодателство позволява софтуерът да бъде защитаван с патент.

По-долу може да видите интересен диспут между Bob Zeidman президент на Zeidman Consulting и Edward A. Lee от Университета Бъркли. Те дебатират темата за плюсовете и минусите на тези патенти. Дали те ограничават развитието на технологиите или напротив дават стимул на компаниите да инвестират още повече пари и усилия в нови и нови технологии.

English version

Today the most successful companies in the world are those in the IT sector which despite the global crisis earn more and more new positions on the market.

Now we are actually living in a world of software revolutions in which unique new IT products with unique new software programs appear every day.

This is why software patents are more valuable than gold today. Through it companies gain market position,
lead competitive wars and generate huge profits.

One question, however, becomes more widely discussed, namely weather the software
deserves patent protection.

Not all laws in the world allow opportunities for such a protection. But U.S. law allows software to be protected by patent.

Below you can see an interesting dispute between Bob Zeidman president of Zeidman Consulting and Edward A. Lee from the University of Berkeley. They debated the topic of the pros and cons of these patents. Do they restrict the development of technologies or on the contrary provide incentives for companies to invest more money and efforts in new and emerging technologies.

Patent absurdities in the protection of software – Патентни абсурди при защитата на софтуера

В следващите две видеа се представя проблематиката относно защитата на софтуера чрез патенти и до какви абсурдни ситуации може да доведе това.
Подобни анализи са актуални в момента, тъй като технологичният сектор е на върха на вълната въпреки световната икономическа криза.
Големите софтуерни компании по света са в постоянни съдебни битки по между си, като използват механизмите на интелектуалната собственост за изграждане на различни стратегии, които да им помогнат да бъдат лидери на пазара.

English version

The next two videos presented issues concerning the protection of software through patents and what absurd situations can cause this.
Similar analysis are current at the time because the technology sector is at the top of the wave despite the global economic crisis.
Large software companies in the world are in constant legal battles among themselves using the mechanisms of intellectual property for the construction of various strategies to help them to be market leaders.

What do you think about software patents? – Какво мислите за патентите за софтуер?

Блогът Patentology публикува интересен въпросник относно това какво мислим за патентите закрилящи софтуера.
Въпросите са базови за материята в тази област на интелектуалната собственост. Всеки който се интересува от нея може да отговори на въпросникът тук.
През последните години с бурното развитие на високите технологии, темата за този вид патенти стана особено актуална. Към момента се заговори дори за софтуерни войни между основните играчи на пазара, които малко или много използват патентите за софтуер за да оказват влияние на конкуренцията.


Patentology blog published a interesting questionnaire on what we think about software patents.
The questions are basic to this matter in this area of intellectual property. Anyone who likes it can respond to the questionnaire here.
In recent years, a booming high-tech theme for this type of patent has become particularly relevant. At the time even started talking about software wars between major market players who more or less used software patents to affect competition.