Neymar won a dispute about his name in EU

brazil-germany-1201762_960_720.jpgThe well-known Brazilian footballer Neymar has won a trademark dispute before the General Court of the European Union.

The case concerns a registered in 2012 European trademark NEYMAR in class 25  – Clothing, footwear, headgear, owned by Carlos Moreira.

The footballer filed a request for invalidation of this mark based on a claim that it is filed in bad faith.

The EUIPO invalidated the mark because of which Moreira appealed the decision.

The General Court confirmed the EUIPO conclusions that this sign has been filed in a bad faith.

According to the court, there were sufficient pieces of evidence that clearly showed the celebrity status of Neymar at the time when the application was filed. Because of his rising career, many football clubs have interest in him at that time. This generated serious media coverage.

In that regard, the Moreira’s claims that he didn’t know who Neymar was were dismissed.

Another negative point for Moreira was that at the moment when he filed an application for this trademark he did the same for another mark Iker Casillas which is the name of the former Real Madrid goalkeeper.

Source: WIPR.

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MLS and David Beckham attacked Inter Milan in The US

football-1406106_960_720.jpgThe US Major League Soccer (MLS) filed an opposition against a US trademark application for INTER owned by the Italian football club Inter Milan for classes 9, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, 41.

The main ground for this opposition was lack of distinctiveness and descriptiveness of the word INTER in relation to the football goods and services.

MLS started this proceeding because of its plans for the new Inter Miami football club, which will start playing in the league in 2020. The president and one of the shareholders in this club is David Beckham.

According to the trademark law in The US and around the world, the trademark owner has the right to use the mark, dispose of it and to prohibit third parties of using it.

In light of this, MLS considers the word INTER as not distinctive for the reason of which it has not to be monopolized by any sport club bearing in mind how many clubs use it such as Inter Turku, Inter Leipzig, Inter Baku, Inter de Grand-Goave, NK Inter Zapresic, Inter Moengotapoe, Inter de Luanda. Inter Club d’Escaldes, Inter Atlanta FC.

It is highly likely that this opposition will be successful but for goods and services which regard football as a sport. For those of the goods and services, however, where INTER has inherited distinctiveness, the trademark can be registered which at least will give some merchandising advantages to Inter Milan.

Most likely there will be negotiations between the clubs.

Source: SI.com.

Asics lost a lawsuit before the EU Court regarding its logo

sneaker-1024978_960_720The well-known Japan producer of  footwear and sports equipment Asics lost a lawsuit before the European Court regarding an opposition filed by the company against the following figurative European trademark for classes 18, 24 и 25:

download (1).pngAgainst this mark, Asics submitted the following earlier EU and Spanish marks in classes 18, 25 и 28:

download.pngThe EUIPO rejected the opposition considering the signs as not confusingly similar. The decision was appealed but the European court upheld it.

According to the to Court:

It should be noted that the mark applied for is composed of four thin straight black lines with a serrated outline. Two of those lines, placed in parallel, go upwards diagonally from left to right and cross, in their middle, two other shorter parallel lines, going downwards diagonally from left to right.

As regards the earlier marks, they are composed of four thick black lines. Two straight lines go downwards diagonally from left to right, while moving slightly apart from each other, and cross two converging curved lines which go upwards from left to right. The convergence and crossing of the straight lines and the curved lines give the earlier marks, which may be perceived as the letter ‘x’ superimposed on the letter ‘v’ or on the character ‘’, an impression of movement.

Thus, even if the consumer does not recall details such as the size or thickness of the lines, the overall impression between, on the one hand, thick lines and curves forming a letter ‘x’ superimposed on a character ‘’ and, on the other hand, thin straight lines that can be perceived as a character ‘#’ inclined backwards to 45 degrees is so different that the consumer will not make a connection between the signs at issue solely on the basis that they are both composed of parallel lines crossing two other longer lines.

In the light of the foregoing, the Board of Appeal found correctly that the overall impression given by the marks at issue was different, which leads to the conclusion that there is no visual similarity.

The Asics’ argument that the signs are similar even more when the way how Asics’ marks are used on some of their products is taken into account was dismissed because the only thing which is relevant for the comparison is the way how signs are registered.

The well-known status of the earlier marks was not be considered too because the Court found that marks weren’t similar enough.

The full text of the decision can be found here.

Sports Direct lost an opposition against Fitness Direct in UK

WIPR reports about a decision of the UK Patent Office regarding the following trademark applications in Class 28:

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Against these marks, an opposition was been filed by Sports Direct base on a family of earlier trademarks Sports Direct for the same Class of goods.

According to the UK IPO, there is no enough similarity between the respective trademarks which to create a confusion among the consumers. There is no visual similarity and only low level of phonetic similarity exists. What’s more, these marks have a low level of inhabitant distinctiveness due to the fact that Sports and Fitness are descriptive to the sports goods in class 28 and Direct associates with the access to them.

The IPO rejected the Sports Direct claims that the later mark can cause negative consequences for the company’s own brands and reputation because no pieces of evidence in that regard were been submitted or any other which to show a high level of reputation on the market.

More information here.

Sport broadcasts are out of copyright protection in Sweden but…

swedish-flag-640

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.