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IP Law Galli | European Union | 27 Sep 2021

Brexit: implications for IP rights

In the aftermath of the 2016 referendum, it was immediately clear that Brexit would have a special relevance for intellectual property. Future cooperation on IP matters will therefore become important. Parties in the United Kingdom and the European Union will have to continue to talk to each other to seek shared solutions for problems that remain largely common.
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Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein | European Union | 23 Sep 2021

Will European Commission change its policy to allow binding MAPs?

According to the European Commission's drafts for reforming EU rules on vertical agreements, the entity may be prepared to change its policy and allow manufacturers to agree with distributors on binding minimum advertised prices (MAPs). Until now, the Commission has always classified MAPs as illegal vertical price agreements. This could change in June 2022 with the new Vertical Block......
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Grünecker | European Union | 20 Sep 2021

Anonymous oppositions to continue at EPO

Following the grant of a European patent, there is a window of nine months during which oppositions can be filed against a granted patent and the revocation of the patent can be requested. The current practice of the EPO allows an opposition to be validly filed by a "straw man" – that is, by an opponent filing the opposition not in their own interest, but in the interest of an anonymous third......
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Bryn Aarflot AS | European Union | 13 Sep 2021

How to speed up EPO procedures

The choice to speed up a procedure before the European Patent Office (EPO) is a strategic one, motivated by various factors. Shortening the duration of the procedure is particularly important for applicants involved in rapidly evolving technologies. This article discusses the options available to applicants wanting to expedite their applications through the EPO procedure.
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GRAF ISOLA Rechtsanwälte GmbH | European Union | 6 Sep 2021

General Court rules on registrability of sound mark submitted as audio file for first time

The General Court recently declared that the sound of a drinks can that is opened, followed by a short silence and a fizzing sound, cannot be registered as an EU trademark (EUTM) because of lack of distinctiveness. This first decision of the General Court on sound marks submitted in an audio format gives helpful guidelines for assessing the requirements regarding distinctiveness that sound......
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Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein | European Union | 2 Sep 2021

Green deal: European Commission shows zero tolerance for cartel conduct

The European Commission has clearly demonstrated its determination to meet the targets of the European Green Deal after imposing fines of €875 million on BMW and Volkswagen Group, which were found to have colluded to restrict the development of a technology that could reduce harmful emissions.
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Grünecker | European Union | 30 Aug 2021

General Court on 3D trademarks

The General Court recently rendered a decision on an application for registration of a 3D EU trademark. The General Court underlined that novelty and originality of a 3D trademark design are not relevant criteria with regard to the distinctive character of a trademark pursuant to article 7(1)(b) of the EU Trademark Regulation – what is important is whether a design includes a surprising......
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GEVERS | European Union | 23 Aug 2021

Seemingly obvious inventions might be patentable

When assessing patent applications, the European Patent Office uses the "problem-solution" approach, which is designed to avoid using hindsight and enables examiners and practitioners to determine whether an invention involves an inventive step. This approach comprises, among other things, the definition of an objective technical problem to be solved in view of the prior art.
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Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP | European Union | 20 Aug 2021

European Commission preliminary report on consumer IoT

The European Commission recently published its preliminary report as part of its inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things sector. The report confirms the rapid growth of this sector but also identifies potential concerns put forward by the respondents to the sector inquiry. The European Commission's findings will no doubt prove useful in shaping the European Union's proposed Digital......
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Grünecker | European Union, Germany | 16 Aug 2021

Lindt and famous gold bunny win again

For almost 20 years, the Lindt gold bunny has been occupying the German and European courts. Recently, Lindt sought to derive rights from a non-registered trademark for its golden colour acquired through use in Germany, which was confirmed by the Federal Court of Justice. This decision is remarkable because it is already difficult to establish the existence of a trademark acquired by use with......
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