Trade marks are often re-filed. The new brand maintains trade mark protection without the obligation to prove use of it for a period of five years. The General Court of the European Union has now thrown this practice of re-filing into doubt in some circumstances.
A caterer had the idea of registering ‘grill meister’ [‘grill master’] as a brand for his barbecue and beer products, as well as for his catering. He gave his brand a simple design and as a special feature the registered trademark symbol ®. However, the caterer was very surprised when the Federal Court of Justice certified his trade mark as not only being unable to be protected, but also deceptive.
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.
You are a managing director in Germany and are provided with information about a business set up by one of your departments. You assume your management responsibility in relation to the project. Could you become liable to prosecution, should the business be used to commit trade mark infringement? The following copyright case is an example of the legal situation in German trade mark law.
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.
Do not jeopardise your brand by using it incorrectly on the packaging.
Sellers offer counterfeits on your employer's platform. As a manager of this platform, can you be prosecuted for brand violation?
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?
You might consider using Google Ads for your Internet shop. But a project such as this needs to be thought through carefully.
Under what conditions can simple figurative signs be protected as trade marks? Even 12,000 pages of evidence of use were insufficient to prove the registrability of an additional adidas three-stripe mark in this important case.