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Davide F. Schiavetti, Esq., Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC, USA
First published on

Color marks: how to prove acquired distinctiveness?

Davide F. Schiavetti, Esq., Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC, USA, First published on www.lexology.comThis year, one of America’s favorite cereals saw its hopes to register its yellow box as a trademark crushed under the weight of the burden to prove acquired distinctiveness. Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co. is probably one of the landmark decisions with respect to the interpretation of the language in Section 1127 of the Lanham Act that includes colors within the spectrum of registrable trademarks. In this decision, the Supreme Court reasoned that the wording “symbol” or “device” in the Act can encompass colors because human beings can use  read more

Gillian Dennis, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, United Kingdom
First published on Squire Patton Bogg’s Global IP and Technology Law Blog (

Scope of protection of existing trade marks unaffected ...

Gillian Dennis, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, United Kingdom, First published on Squire Patton Bogg’s Global IP and Technology Law Blog ( European Court of Justice (CJEU) has confirmed that its 2012 landmark ruling in IP Translator does not have retrospective effect. The case concerned an application by Ms Isabel Del Rio Rodríguez to register “CACTUS OF PEACE” and “CACTUS DE LA PAZ” as EU trade marks. Cactus SA opposed the application based on its earlier EU trade mark registrations for the word mark “CACTUS” (registered in 2002) and a figurative mark also incorporating the word “CACTUS” (registered in 2001). The opposition would only succeed if  read more

Authors: Anne Wendroth and Josephine Liholm, SMD Group, Germany
Verifier: Dr. Gesa Simon, Andörfer Rechtsanwälte, Germany
First published in ECTA Bulletin October 2017

Can you show the money?

Authors: Anne Wendroth and Josephine Liholm, SMD Group, Germany, Verifier: Dr. Gesa Simon, Andörfer Rechtsanwälte, Germany, First published in ECTA Bulletin October 2017Do you enjoy getting in touch with your networks at ECTA conferences, getting to know where they spent holidays and how the family is? We certainly do. Do you enjoy talking about money with your relations? We do neither. Attending splendid events such as ECTA for us has two strands: incentive and encumbrance.
The following phone conversation from the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’ (1996) might illustrate why meeting relations can be a challenge:
TIDWELL (football player): I like you, you're nice to my wife, I will stay with you, that's what I'm doing for you, but here's what you're gonna do for me. You listening?
JERRY (his agent): Mmm. Hmm.
TIDWELL: It's a very personal, very important thing. It's a family motto. So I want to share it with
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Frouke Hekker, Novagraaf Nederland BV, The Netherlands
First published on

Combination of descriptive terms eligible for trademark...

Frouke Hekker, Novagraaf Nederland BV, The Netherlands, First published on www.novagraaf.comTrademark applications frequently fail due to lack of distinctiveness. However, it is possible to overcome this barrier to registration for marks combining descriptive and/or non-distinctive elements, if the sign as a whole creates an overall distinctive impression. An example of this can be seen in the recent decision on the EUTM application for the word/device mark ‘ECOSILVER’. A brand name or logo must fulfil certain criteria in order to be registrable as a trademark. In particular, it must have ‘distinctive’ character in order to enable the relevant  read more

Özlem Fütman, OFO VENTURA, Turkey
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Updated Guideline on Non-Use as a Defense is Published ...

Özlem Fütman, OFO VENTURA, TurkeyAs many of you know, Turkey has a New IP Law no 6769 since 10th January 2017. Under the New IP Law, an applicant can request their opponent(s) to prove serious and genuine use of their mark in Turkey in the last five years or submit justified reasons for non-use, if the opponent's mark had passed the five-year use term on the filing/priority date of the opposed mark. If this use cannot be proven, then the opposition would be dismissed as far as the argument based on the opponent's earlier registered mark is  read more

Jonathan Hyman, Knobbe Martens,USA
Nicole R. Townes, Knobbe Martens,USA
First published on

General Mills Finds Out That Yellow Is Not “Magically D...

Jonathan Hyman, Knobbe Martens,USA, Nicole R. Townes, Knobbe Martens,USA, First published on www.knobbe.comYears after the Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent battle over red soled shoes, trademark protection for color continues to be a hot topic. On August 22, 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) held that General Mills was not entitled to a trademark registration for its yellow Cheerios’ box. This case is a good lesson for fashion brands to understand what evidence they will need to obtain a federal registration for a color mark.
General Mills applied to register the mark in connection with “toroidal-shaped, oat-based breakfast cereal.” Because color can never be inherently distinctive, a brand owner applying for trademark protection for a color must show that the color has acquired distinctiveness, meaning consumers have come to recognize it as a source indicator for that brand. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Samara Bros., 529 U.S. 205, 212 (2000). In other words, when a consumer sees a yellow cereal box, the consumer immediately associates General Mills as the source of the cereal. Some classic examples of color marks are
 read more

Denise Mirandah, Mirandah Asia, Singapore
Sharifah Alsri, Mirandah Asia, Singapore
First published on

Myanmar Presents New Trademark Bill

Denise Mirandah, Mirandah Asia, Singapore, Sharifah Alsri, Mirandah Asia, Singapore, First published on www.mirandah.comMyanmar has yet to produce its own specific legislation on trademarks. As a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the nation is expected to deliver its IP laws in the near future to provide protection for trademarks, copyright, patents, and other intellectual property.
From August 8-10, 2017, the draft of Myanmar’s Trade Mark Law has recently been published in newspapers for public comment. The bill is now being reviewed by the concerned Draft Law Committee of the Parliament – its approval is expected by the end of this year. When the Trade Mark Law comes into force, Myanmar’s IP regime may finally become a smooth and formal system of registration for IP rights. This article serves to provide an overview of the existing system of trademark registration procedures, and the proposed new Trademark Bill.
In the absence of any statutory rights, there are no formal laws of what is deemed registrable other than the definitions of trademarks provided in the Penal Code of Myanmar and the Private Industrial
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Ofo Ventura, together with its litigation arm Futman Law Firm, is a full service IP boutique in Turkey. The Firm was founded 15 years ago and has 10 professionals, both agents and lawyers. The Team is led by Ozlem Futman, Founding Partner, who has 22 years of experience in the industry. We have correspondence offices in Ankara and in Northern Part of Cyprus.

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