The patent of your product has expired. And the trade mark that protected its shape has been cancelled. But don’t give up. You may still be able to claim protection against counterfeiting.
You have trade marks in various countries of the European Union in your brand portfolio. And you would like to maintain the protection of these trade marks at low cost? A ruling of the European Union Court of Justice now provides the basis for all these options.
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.
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?
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.
The typical Wenger cross emblem that appears on the luggage of Wenger S.A. is very similar to the Swiss cross. However, Wenger’s luggage was manufactured in China rather than Switzerland. Did the Wenger cross unlawfully mislead German consumers as to the location of production?
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.