A sign that directly and immediately indicates a particular feature of a product cannot be used as a trademark. However, could a sign be designed to communicate something more by simply adding a graphic?
In practice, trade marks are often registered for a broad generic term of goods or services. However, in reality use may only apply to a single product or service covered by the generic term. Might a trade mark lose its commercial justification as a result and could it even be revoked?
After a user enters a trade mark into Google’s search engine, they are directed to a results list containing, among other things, an online marketplace on which third parties sell competing products. Does this programming of the online marketplace infringe the trade mark?
Sellers offer counterfeits on your employer’s platform. As a manager of this platform, can you be prosecuted for brand violation?
Are products bearing your brand being sold on the market without your knowledge as to their origin? Consider whether there might be criminal liability for the unauthorised import of branded goods; if unsure, seek specialist advice.
The ÖKO-TEST seal [ECO-TEST] is protected as an individual trade mark. One manufacturer used the seal without such a licence. The protection of individual trade marks has its limitations when it comes to test seals.
A variation of the famous protected Coca-Cola bottle was registered as a three-dimensional trade mark. Why was it possible for this shape of product be protected as a trade mark?
Is the import of counterfeit Hugo Boss shirts from Turkey still illegal if the Hugo Boss trade mark is camouflaged by a label bearing the name Mio Calvino on importation?
You’ve spotted a new sales opportunity for your company. However, in Germany trade mark rights pose an obstacle and so you approach your lawyer for advice on your intended solution. Does this course of action relieve you of your legal obligations, meaning that you can avoid prosecution for trade mark infringement? It is not that simple.
A particularly attractive opportunity, economically, in terms of trademark law is the registration of a trade mark for a product shape. This was precisely the basis of protection for the well-known Gardena hose syringes and their particular coloured shape. However, over the course of time Gardena had changed the colours of this trademarked product. Was that damaging?