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Tag Archives: CJEU

District Court of Hamburg: Swabian whisky not allowed to use the word “glen” in its name

Since 2013, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has tried to prohibit the Swabian whisky producer Waldhornbrennerei, which is based in Berglen near Stuttgart, from using the trade mark “Glen Buchenbach”. After the case was referred to the CJEU, the District Court of Hamburg [Landgericht – LG] ruled in favour of the Scottish association, stating that

DSM Watch: Navigating Article 13 of the Copyright Directive

On 13 February 2019 the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council finally agreed the text of the long-awaited draft Copyright Directive* (COM(2016)593) (“Directive“). The next step will be a vote in the EU Parliament on the agreed text on 26 March 2019. Ahead of that decisive vote, DSM Watch takes a deeper dive into

CJEU pokes holes in copyright protection for the taste of cheese

This week, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled that the taste of cheese does not enjoy any copyright protection (C-310/17). Although this preliminary ruling procedure from the Netherlands may sound bizarre, the effects of the decision should not be underestimated: for the first time, the CJEU had to make a direct statement on the

Advocate General rejects copyright infringement in German Afghanistan Papers case

Can the Federal Republic of Germany invoke a copyright on military status reports? This is the key question currently before the European Court of Justice (CJEU) (Case Ref. C-469/17). But before the Court submits a ruling on the case, presumably in early spring 2019, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar published his Opinion on 25 October 2018.

EU Copyright – Infringing the distribution right: AG includes warehousing of counterfeits

A Swedish preliminary ruling procedure is currently pending before the European Court of Justice (CJEU) and represents the latest in a run of rulings on the scope of the distribution right under Article 4 of the InfoSoc Directive. It focuses on the question of whether distribution can also be assumed if the infringing goods are

Provider liability: First YouTube, now “uploaded” – next case before the CJEU

Only two weeks ago, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) referred various questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerning the liability of the video platform YouTube. There, the court’s queries focused on who is actually responsible for unlawfully uploaded content – just the uploader himself or the service provider as

German Federal Court of Justice submits copyright dispute over YouTube to CJEU

This week, copyright is all over the place. After the European Parliament voted on proposed copyright reform in Europe last Wednesday (12 September 2018), the long-awaited decision of the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on the question to what extent video platforms such as YouTube carry out their own acts of use, i.e. a

CJEU: Castles, candy, candlesticks – no happy end at Neuschwanstein?

Court of Justice of the European Union, 6 September 2018, Case C-488/16 P BSGE v EUIPO/Freistaat Bayern King Ludwig II. of Bavaria was without a doubt an architectural visionary. During his reign in the second half of the 19th century, he initiated the construction of various impressive buildings all across his kingdom which now form

Italy: Parallel imports – When a name change is a game changer.

The Administrative Court of Lazio (“TAR Lazio”) decided with judgment No. 09050 of 3 July 2018 (but published only few days ago) that, as a rule, the parallel importer does not have a right to change the trademark affixed on the product purchased in the country of origin in order to use a different trademark

Europe: CJEU / GC roundup – H1 2018

Over the first half year, we have covered a number of high profile cases heard before the General Court (GC) and the European Court of Justice (CJEU). Here’s a quick roundup of the cases with a takeaway summary for each:   Preliminary ruling on designs which are solely dictated by technical functions “The court considered the

Can a taste be protected by copyright in Europe?

This is, in essence, the fundamental question that has been submitted to the CJEU in the case C-310/17 (Levola Hengelo v. Smile Foods). The opinion of Advocate General Wathelet (read it here, no English version yet) released on 25 July 2018 is that the taste of food (in this case of cheese) is not protectable

A second market for “used” e-books – CJEU will decide

Ever since the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in its highly regarded UsedSoft ruling declared the resale of “used” software admissible (dated 3 July 2012, C-128/11), the discussion has persistently centered around the question whether the idea of the so-called exhaustion, upon which UsedSoft is essentially based, could or should be extended to other digital

The red sole has not been kicked out!

The long-awaited Louboutin judgment has finally been delivered (here). The judgment is not only interesting on a substantive level, but also surrounded by a variety of procedural peculiarities: The oral hearing was re-opened (which happens very rarely!), and as a consequence, the Advocate General had to issue a second opinion. Lastly, the judgment was issued

UK & EU Focus on non-traditional trade marks and overcoming the hurdles

Since its inception, the harmonised national EU trade mark legislation – and later the EUTM system – has opted for a flexible approach to non-traditional trade marks. In principle “any sign” capable of indicating origin may constitute a trade mark, resulting in several non-traditional marks being registered. These include colours, shapes, sounds, smells, patterns, holograms,

Have Christian Louboutin’s exclusive rights to red soles really been “kicked out” as some reports claim?

The long-awaited Advocate General’s second opinion in Louboutin (C 163/16) was delivered in February. In a nutshell, Christian Louboutin sued Van Haren Schoenen BV for trade mark infringement in the Netherlands of its Benelux trade mark shown below: Following Van Haren’s counterclaim that the above trade mark was invalid, the Dutch national court referred the

CJEU on designs which are solely dictated by technical functions

On 8 March 2018, the CJEU issued a preliminary ruling in a case that had been referred by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany. The decision concerns Article 8 (1) of Regulation No 6/2002 which excludes the features of appearance of a product from protection which are solely dictated by its technical function. If all features

adidas victorious again in defending its rights to the Three Stripes

The General Court has once again upheld adidas’ oppositions against two copycat applications for two stripes positioned on a shoe. The two decisions issued on 1 March 2018 (in Cases T-629/16 and T-85/16) come as part of the long-standing trade mark dispute between adidas and Shoe Branding*. The cases involved Shoe Branding’s two applications for