On 12 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Christian Louboutin’s red sole trademark was valid (Case C-163/16). The decision comes after years of litigation between Louboutin and Dutch footwear company Van Haren over the scope and validity of Louboutin’s trademark. Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU: Louboutin’s Red Sole Trademark Is Valid

Trade marks will not only be associated with the company they origin from, but might also be associated with certain quality or ethical standards. Certain associations are using their trade marks only to license it to producers who fulfill a certain standard. While some jurisdictions recognize such use of a trade mark as sufficient to maintain trademark protection, the European Union Trade Mark Regulation (EUTMR) does only mentioning the term “genuine use” of a trade mark. On 8 June 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has decided whether using a trade mark only to indicate certain quality or ethical standards can be seen as “genuine use”. Continue Reading Court of Justice of The EU Ruled on the Use of Trade Marks as Indication of Quality

On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that a trademark on the shape of the Rubik’s Cube—supposedly the world’s bestselling toy of all time—is invalid (Case C‑30/15 P). With its judgment, the Court, inter alia, annulled a 2009 decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that initially confirmed registration of the cube as an EU trademark.

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian architect Ernő Rubik. It was originally named “Magic Cube.” In 1980, the toy was renamed Rubik’s Cube and launched internationally. Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU: The Shape of the Rubik’s Cube Cannot Be Trademarked

On 15 September 2016 (C-484/14), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the operator of a shop, hotel or bar that offers free Wi-Fi to the public is not liable for copyright infringements committed by the network’s users. However, the operator may be required to password-protect its network in order to prevent—or cease—these infringements. Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU: Retailers Offering Free Wi-Fi Not Liable for Patrons’ Copyright Infringements

On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another web site does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain and acts without knowledge of the illegal publication. However, when the posting of a hyperlink is carried out for profit, it has to be presumed that the posting has occurred with the full knowledge of the protected nature of that work and the possible lack of consent from the copyright holder to publication on the linked web site. Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU: The Posting of a Hyperlink Can Infringe Copyright If Done for Financial Gain

On 16 June 2016, the General Court of the European Union rejected an opposition by Fútbol Club Barcelona to the wordmark “KULE” (T‑614/14). The opposition was based on an alleged infringement of the club’s Spanish wordmark “CULE,” the term culé being a Spanish variation of the Catalan word cul and used as a nickname for supporters of the club. Apparently, this is not the only negative experience Fútbol Club Barcelona has had with the General Court in recent years. In 2015, the General Court dismissed an action brought by the club seeking registration of the outline of its crest as a Community trademark (T-615/14). Continue Reading EU General Court: FC Barcelona Loses Dispute Over Its “CULE” Trademark

The EU Trademark Regulation (2015/2424/EU) (the “new Regulation”) amending the Community Trademark Regulation (the “old Regulation”) entered into force on 23 March 2016. Among other things, it brought about new rules concerning the transit of counterfeit trademark goods through the EU. Continue Reading The Transit of Goods Under the New EU Trademark Regulation

In a dispute between the operator of a public Wi-Fi network and Sony Music over the download of copyright-protected music via that network, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was asked to clarify whether and to what extent the operator of a shop, hotel or bar that offers free Wi-Fi to the public is liable for copyright infringements committed by the network’s users (C-484/14). Continue Reading CJEU Advocate General: Retailers Offering Free Wi-Fi Not Liable for Patrons’ Copyright Infringements

On 5 November 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that a copyright holder’s right to distribute its work to the public (Section 17 para. 1 of the German Copyright Act) includes the right to offer the original, or a copy, of a protected work to the public for sale. Thus, any unauthorized advertisement of the original or a copy of that work constitutes copyright infringement. Continue Reading Copyright Holder’s Exclusive Right to Distribute Work Includes Right to Advertise the Original or any Copy of that Work

On 30 September 2015, the General Court of the European Union (T-364/13) ruled that the caiman logo that Polish apparel company Mocek and Wenta sought to register with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) was similar enough to Lacoste’s iconic crocodile logo to cause confusion. Thus, the Court upheld the OHIM’s refusal to register the sign Continue Reading Lacoste Wins EU Trademark Fight Over its Crocodile Logo