Not every sign is worthy of protection as a trademark. The crucial obstacle to registration is distinctive character.
1. Judgments on registrability
Not every sign is worthy of protection as a trademark. The crucial obstacle to registration is distinctive character. This is the qualification inherent to a sign to be regarded by the public as an indication of commercial origin, and thus being able to fulfil the essential function of a trademark, which consists of ensuring the identity of the origin of the designated goods and services. In particular, signs that are perceived by the public as merely descriptive with regard to the covered goods do not possess distinctive character.
In recent years, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (GTPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have adopted increasingly strict standards for the examination of suitability for registration; a trend that also continued in 2016, as a review of the judgments of last year shows:
1.1 Distinctive character of word marks
The German Federal Patent Court denied the distinctive character of the word mark “TASCHENGELD” for sugar products. As a synonym for coins, the term, in relation to the products claimed, would be suitable for describing the shape of the products.1 The consumer would understand the term as an indication that the goods marked by the sign are coin-shaped sugar products.
With corresponding justification, the German Federal Patent Court denied the registration of the sign “EMOJIS” for chocolate and pralines.2 The public would not understand the sign as an indication of commercial origin, but only as an indication of a quality, namely the shape of the products.
Regarding the English word sequence “CUP GUMS” the German Federal Patent Court confirmed the rejection of the sign for lack
of distinctiveness.3 Regardless of its English origin, the sequence would not be perceived as an indication of origin, but a mere indication, according to which the correspondingly marked goods were wine gums in a cup shape.
Moreover, for the combination “CHOCOLAT PLAISIR” the German Federal Patent Court denied its suitability for being perceived by the public as an indication of origin.4 Rather it would be a mere promotional praising of the correspondingly marked goods implying that these goods are made of chocolate and that their consumption is pleasurable and enjoyable.
According tothe opinion of the German Federal Patent Court, also the word sequence “THE EARL OF GREY” for tea lacks distinctive character.5 The alteration of the designation for ”Earl Grey” tea would not be altered to such an extent that the relevant public would not perceive it as a mere description of the taste of the correspondingly advertised goods.
Also for tea, registration of the terms “LEMON PEARL”6 or “PEACH PEARL”7, failed because, according to the opinion of the German Federal Patent Court, they simply refer to a tea to which lemon or peach flavor is added, and are accordingly suitable for describing the characteristics of the claimed goods with respect to their shape and taste.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO denied the distinctive character of the sign “WIENER RÖLLCHEN” for baked goods.8 The plea according to which, when looking at a pastry in rolled form marked with the sign “Wiener Röllchen”, an informed consumer would think of a “rolled up resident of the city of Vienna” instead of baked goods originating from the city of Vienna, as the applicant brought forward, could be ruled out.
The Free State of Bavaria, in contrast, received trademark protection for the sign “NEUSCHWANSTEIN”.9 Neither would the designation be classified as a geographical indication of origin nor would it lack a distinctive character in any other respect. The designation is an invented and original name, which describes the castle as a building and a museum site, and not as a place for the manufacturing of goods.
The Cancellation Division of the European Trade Mark Office declared the sign “EXXTRA DEEP” invalid for potato snacks because riffles are a well-known feature of the goods, and the term EXXTRA DEEP is interpreted by the relevant consumer as a description of the shape of the product with particularly deep riffles.10
Lidl failed before the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO in its attempt to protect the word mark “MINI BEARS” for goods of class 30.11 The consumer confronted with this sign would simply assume that the accordingly marked goods comprise confectionery products in the shape of small bears.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO also rejected the registration of the terms “KNUSPERHERZEN”12 and “CRISPY HEARTS”13 for being descriptive. Even with respect to word combinations, consisting of a new creation in meaning, the use of which having not yet been demonstrated, the stringing together of two descriptive terms usually leads to a merely descriptive overall expression.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO denied the distinctive character of the signs “BESTER PAPA”14, “BESTER OPA”15, “BESTE MAMA”16, “BESTE OMA”17 and “BESTE FREUNDIN”18 on the grounds that they would solely indicate that a correspondingly marked product qualifies as a gift and expression of family affection. In particular, the mere fact that a sign does not contain any information regarding the nature of the designated products cannot establish a distinctive character.
1.2 Distinctive character of slogans
Also signs that are used as advertising keywords, quality labels or purchasing incentive (so-called “advertising slogans”) may serve as an indication of origin, and thus enjoy protection as a trademark. In principle, the same criteria as with other categories of signs apply to the evaluation of distinctive character. However, since the consumer pays a different level of attention to designations that primarily serve as advertising messages, it is necessary that they manifest components that, in addition to their advertising message, enable the consumer to remember the word sequence as an indication of origin. This is in particular given where the sign can not be reduced to a mere advertising message, but features a certain originality or conciseness, requires a measure of interpretation or triggers a thought process on the part of the relevant public.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO did not consider the slogan “FOOD THAT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF” to qualify for registration for prepared foods.19 Neither would the sequence be original, nor would it trigger a thought process, but it would rather merely inform the consumer that the quality of the correspondingly marked goods is so obvious that no further explanations are required for their promotion.
Also the slogan “EAT ME” has been considered void of distinctive character.20 Even if the consumer perceives the slogan as surprising, amusing or original, he would not perceive it as a trademark, that is, as a reference to a particular undertaking. Just as little do the figurative elements establish any distinctive character, as they are descriptive for the concerned goods (preserved fruits, fruit cakes).
1.3 Distinctive character of figurative marks
As compared to the earlier practice, according to which the registrability of a sign could be achieved solely by means of adding a figurative component, the authorities are nowadays very strict in the evaluation of distinctive character. As the selection of the following decisions shows, even unusual figurative elements are not capable of establishing distinctiveness:
The German Federal Patent Court classified the figurative sign “Unser BROT” as devoid of any distinctive character for baked goods.21 Where a word mark is graphically illustrated, the evaluation of distinctive character must take into account the sign in its entirety. In view of the dominant descriptive word element, the purely promotional design elements of the sign were not sufficient to be perceived by the public as an indication of origin in its entirety.
Also the figurative mark “TUTTI-FRUTTI” was found to be descriptive and non-distinctive.22 The term would merely inform the consumer that the correspondingly marked goods have the flavor of mixed fruit or contain mixed fruit. If the word element of a sign is descriptive, the figurative element must stand out or otherwise be able to distract the consumer’s attention from the purely descriptive statement, in order to create a lasting memory of the sign. This is the case when, in view of the figurative design, a measure of interpretation is required to understand the word element. The mere addition of colors to a descriptive word element is usually not sufficient to establish distinctive character.
The combination of the words “FINEST GOURMET” and the image of a plate with cutlery has been considered as void of distinctive character.23 The sign would be perceived as purely praising for goods of such quality that even meets the demands of the best gourmet. Moreover, the originality of the doubling “feinster Feinschmecker” was not able to convey distinctive character to the sign “FINEST GOURMET,” for which the understanding of the English-speaking consumer was decisive. Also the figurative element would lack any origin indicating content, but merely illustrates the statement of the word element.
With respect to the figurative mark “Genuss Natur” the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO has ruled that the mark consists of two non-distinctive word components, which are understood as a reference to pristine products that create enjoyment. As means of promotion, the sign merely confers an advertising statement for the claimed goods. The graphic design would not alter the content of the statement.24
The sign “Junior” does not qualify for registration for sweet and salty snacks.25 The consumer would understand the sign as an indication that the correspondingly marked goods comprise snacks for children. Even the graphic design would not establish distinctive character; rather, the rounded design of the block letters in different colors was considered to be especially tailored to children, thus underlining the purely descriptive reference.
Registration also was denied with respect to the sign “PurGenuss”.26 In a mere promotional manner, it would simply promise an extraordinary taste experience for organic food. The design in the shape of a green seal would only reinforce the promotion of the product’s sustainable nature.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO also considered the sign “ZUM wohl” as descriptive and non-distinctive.27 The simple graphic elements would not be able to distract the consumer’s attention from the pure promotional message conveyed by the descriptive words.
The addition of a graphic design to a purely descriptive word element may establish distinctive character only if the figurative component – instead of merely illustrating the word component – requires a measure of interpretation and thus distracts the consumer’s attention from the descriptive content.
1.4 Distinctive character of marks consisting in a shape
The registration of 3D product shapes as trademarks remains difficult.
In principle, the same criteria as with other categories of signs apply to the evaluation of distinctive character. However, a three-dimensional sign consisting of the appearance of the product itself is not necessarily perceived by the consumer in the same manner as a word mark or figurative mark which is independent of the appearance of the product. Since, as a rule, the average consumer is not in the habit of making assumptions as to the origin of products on the basis of their shape or the shape of their packaging in the absence of any graphic or word element, only a mark which departs significantly from the norm or customs of the sector establishes a suitability for the distinction of origin.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO denied the distinctive character of a three-dimensional sign in the shape of a rabbit for butter, milk products, chocolate, sweets and pastries.28 Since the claimed goods were offered in a rabbit shape for seasonal reasons, the consumer would perceive the shape rather as an emotional association with Easter instead of an indication of origin.
The German Federal Patent Court considered the three-dimensional design of curved chopsticks with crumbles, to be non-distinctive for chocolate products.29 The consumer would not perceive the shape as an indication of origin because it does not deviate significantly from the norm or customs of corresponding designs of the sector of chocolate products.
The same applies to the 3-D trademark in the shape of a stick, which the Cancellation Division of the EUIPO has declared invalid for cookies and wafers.30 By contrast, with respect to the products of chocolate, wafers, cakes and bread, the sign was considered as entailing necessary distinctiveness.
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO attested a special form of ice cream as having distinctive character. The design of the ice cream in the shape of 12 regularly arranged individual spheres would be striking, essentially deviating from customary designs, and therefore suitable for being remembered by the consumer.31
Usually, consumers are not in the habit of making assumptions as to the origin of products on the basis of their shape or the shape of their packaging in the absence of any graphic or word element. A three-dimensional sign consisting of the appearance of the product itself is perceived differently by consumers as a word or figurative sign being independent of the appearance of the product. Thus, only shapes of products which deviate significantly from the norm or customs of the industry are suitable for acting as indications of origin.
2. Conflicts between trademarks
2.1 Likelihood of confusion of word marks
Unlike the EUIPO, the General Court of the European Union (GC) did not see a likelihood of confusion between the signs MERLIN’S KINDERWELT and the Italian trademark KINDER.32 The reason for this is that “Kinderwelt” is not the dominant element in the latter sign. Rather, the sign is also characterized by the prefixed word “Merlin”. It is noteworthy that both parties relied on older decisions that turned out in their favor. Thus, the GC had decided that TiMi KiNDERJOGHURT and “Kinder” were not similar.33 In another case, however, the Court had acknowledged a likelihood of confusion between “Kindertraum” and “Kinder”.34
The GC has recently confirmed that there is a likelihood of confusion between “NATURVAL” and “Natür-bal”.35 The reference that “Natür-bal” is directed only to Turks living in the European Union was not persuasive. The reason for this is that the likelihood of confusion cannot be evaluated on the basis of marketing strategies, which may change.
Lindt was not able to enforce its trademark CHOCOLETTI against the application for COCOLATI. The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO took the weak distinctive character of the earlier sign as a reason to deny a likelihood of confusion.36
Similarly, a likelihood of confusion between AERO and “Air Cookies” was denied. In the trademark AERO, the consumer recognizes the reference to “air chocolate”, such that the sign only has a weak distinctive character. In the latter sign “Air Cookies”, “Air” is interpreted as a quality indication for air chocolate or airy cookies. Therefore, the terms “Air” and “Cookies” were considered to characterize the trademark to an equal extent. Solely comparing the component “Air” with AERO would therefore not be allowed. Indeed, the signs are conceptually similar based on their similar meanings. However, since this similarity is based on the fact that both signs describe different characteristics of air chocolate and “airy cookies” in various ways, the consumer pays very little attention to them.37
There is no likelihood of confusion between SEITENBACHER HAPPY FRUITS and Haribo’s trademark “Happy Fruttis.” The principles of the Thomson Life decision38 cannot be transferred to this case. On the contrary, the fundamental rule that the distinctive and dominant elements should be taken into account when evaluating the likelihood of confusion applies. Here, the latter sign is decisively characterized by SEITENBACHER. The similarity that is provoked by the weakly distinctive components of HAPPY FRUITS and “Happy Fruttis” is not sufficient to compensate for the differences that arise from the addition of the word SEITENBACHER.39
Ferrero was able to successfully enforce its trademark BUENO against the trademark GLUCOBUENO to the extent that the objection was directed against similar products. Ferrero also attempted to enforce its trademark against products that were not similar on the basis of a special familiarity with KINDER BUENO, but was however not successful in doing this because there was no evidence that the latter sign took advantage of the appreciation for KINDER BUENO.40
The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO found a likelihood of confusion between GUSTINO and GUSTELLO, primarily due to their closeness in sound.41
Primarily based on the difference in the word GOLD, the question of a likelihood of confusion between Lindt’s trademark GOLDBUNNY and the sign BUNNIES was denied.42 Even if the component GOLD is a promotional designation, it must not be completely neglected in the overall impression. The latter sign begins with the word GOLD, which is therefore particularly recognized by the public. In addition, the word GOLD is understood by the relevant public in Italy, Poland and Portugal, but the foreign word is not used as such in these countries.
2.2 Likelihood of confusion of complex trademarks
Trademarks that contain a figurative element in addition to a word component are designated as complex marks.
The GC has recently also affirmed a likelihood of confusion of the figurative marks “real,- QUALITY” and “REAL HANDCOOKED”.43 The reason for this is that the word “REAL” dominates both signs. Both times, this word element was written significantly larger than the respective additions “Quality” or “Handcooked.” Moreover, the word was placed at the beginning and thus would attract the consumer’s attention.
For the same reasons as set forth above, the GC did not see any likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark MERLIN’S KINDERWELT and the Italian trademark KINDER.44
The companies Perfetti Van Melle and Kraft Foods, now Intercontinental Great Brands, disputed the sign TRIDENT PURE. Against this sign, Perfetti raised objections based on an entire series of word and figurative marks, which feature the word components PURE WHITE, PURE FRESH, mentos PURE WHITE, mentos PURE FRESH or even just PURE. The GC ruled that there is no likelihood of confusion.45 Given the descriptive meaning of “pure” in the sense of “freshness, purity” and the prefixed position of TRIDENT, the sign TRIDENT PURE is predominantly characterized by the component TRIDENT. The GC also noted that chewing gum would be purchased primarily on sight, such that a visual likelihood of confusion is more important than an auditory likelihood of confusion. Accordingly, the differences in the trademarks were deemed to be sufficient to rule out a likelihood of confusion.
The trademark B!O of the discounter Penny was declared invalid due to a likelihood of confusion with the trademark “bo”. Even if the public were to pronounce the latter sign as “bio” on the basis of the exclamation mark, there would be a likelihood of confusion in sound and the written image.46
Once again it was found that the average Spanish consumer has only a small knowledge of English. He is not aware of the meaning of the English word “gummy”. For this reason, the “GUMMY” trademark for chewy sweets has a normal scope of protection. Cadbury was able to successfully enforce its trademark “Gummy” against the Mederer figurative mark “Gummi Bear-Rings.47
Given the low level of knowledge of English of the average Spanish consumer, a likelihood of confusion was also recognized between the figurative marks “Lindt PICK & MIX” and “PICK & MIX”. The meaning of “PICK & MIX” is not known in Spain, such that this expression is distinctive and forms the dominant element in the earlier Spanish trademark.48
The GC affirmed a likelihood of confusion between the following two images of dinosaurs:
The court argued that both trademarks presented a moving, friendly and happy-looking dinosaur. Therefore, there is a visual and conceptual likelihood of confusion.49 The court did not see any risk that a party could create a monopoly for a certain animal species by means of a trademark.
The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) confirmed a likelihood of confusion between the figurative marks “GOURMET BIO” and “BioGourmet.”50
The BGH attested a normal distinctive character to the older sign “BioGourmet”. Indeed, the word component “BioGourmet” is straightforward for basic food and commercial services. However, the graphic design consisting of green letters and an ellipsoidal border on a beige base would make up for this. A likelihood of confusion exists since the graphic elements of the marks are very similar.
In line with the Thomson Life decision51, the EU Trade Mark Office affirmed a likelihood of confusion between the trademarks “HARIBO ORO” and “ORO.” In addition to the company name “Haribo”, the element “ORO” still has an independent distinctive role, and the public may therefore be led to believe that the products marked with the trademarks originate from economically-linked undertakings.52
The owner of the well-known trademark “Heidel” was unsuccessful in a dispute against the use of the trademark “Heidi”. The Regional Court of Hamburg declared that consumers associate “Heidi” with the well-known novel and cartoon character. This association prevents any likelihood of confusion with “Heidel.” In addition, greater attention for the public could be counted on, since the chocolate products in dispute are located in the higher price segment.53
2.3 Conflicts with shape marks
In a dispute between two trademarks, which consist of the image of the packaging of confectionery products, the earlier 3-D mark shows a package similar to a can for tennis balls with the inscription “TENNIS BALLS”, additional descriptive notes and the indication ZED. An objection was raised against this mark on the basis of a figurative mark that shows a tube packaging with the inscription “Tennis BALLS”. The “Fini” sign is attached to one of the sides of such package. The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO did not find a likelihood of confusion, although it acknowledged an auditory and conceptual similarity. This is because confectionery products, in particular chewing gum, are purchased on sight. However, due to the different shape of the product packaging and the different presentation, the chamber did not find any visual similarity.54
2.4. Similarity of goods
According to the view of the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO, sweet and salty snacks are to be classified as similar goods. In a specific case, “chocolate” on the one hand was opposed to salty snacks (such as chips and salt sticks) of class 30 and French fries, cheese and soybeans of class 29 on the other hand. They all were considered as foodstuffs in the shape of snacks being in competition with each other.55
The German Federal Patent Court has confirmed that the operation of a restaurant should be classified as similar to foodstuffs of classes 29 and 30. With respect to the goods of class 30, this applies in particular to “coffee, tea, cocoa, ice cream, fine pastries and confectionery”, which also includes “breads, flours and cereal preparations”. There is also a similarity with “sugar, rice, honey, salt, mustard, vinegar, sauces and spices”, since such goods are often marketed under the name of the restaurant. The situation is quite different with respect to goods of class 30 (tapioca, sago; malt syrup; yeast, baking soda and ice cream). The reason for this is that such products are regularly purchased in separate food markets, and not in restaurants. This argues against a similarity of products with the services of a restaurant.56
In view of the same flavorings and ingredients and the same production sites, “chocolate” is similar to “milk and milk products” (class 29) and “chocolate-based drinks” and “chocolate milk drinks” (class 30). This is because often chocolate chips are added to milk products, such as yogurt. Likewise, “candies” (class 30) are similar to “milk and milk products” (class 29). There are similarities in their composition, the (milk) taste (for example, milk chocolate sweets), matching consumer groups and similar retail locations.57
3. Proof of genuine use
A registered trademark grants an exclusive right to its holder. However, at the request of an opponent, the holder must prove that it has used its trademark during the last 5 years if its trademark has already been registered for 5 years.
A trademark may be used in a manner sufficient to preserve rights only by such actions that may be perceived by consumers as a reference to the commercial origin of the designated products. The evaluation of genuine use is based on all relevant circumstances of the individual case; in particular, the sector-specific features of the products concerned, location, duration and extent of use as well as the size of the business of the trademark owner. Mere symbolic acts without any commercial relevance, which are undertaken solely for the purpose of maintaining the trademark, are not sufficient.
The use of a sign in a form that deviates from the sign in its registered form also qualifies for use of the registered trademark to the extent that the deviations do not alter the distinctive character of the trademark and the consumer thus considers the registered form and the used form as being the same trademark.
Disney Enterprises had to accept the cancellation of various trademarks in the shape of images of its world-famous comic heroes
and Donald Duck61
based on non-use. As evidence of use, Disney had submitted, in particular, declarations by its own employees, to which the Office usually gives less weight than to physical evidence (packaging, labels) or to evidence from independent persons. The Office also judged the submitted sales lists as insufficient, as they did not show that the products were equipped with the trademark. In any event, the Office considered the sale of up to 250 items over a period of five years as an insufficient measure to obtain market shares in the commercial sector concerned. To the extent that Disney submitted photographs of products in which the characters were depicted in various designs deviating from the registered trademark
the Cancellation Division did not consider this use to be sufficient to preserve rights, since the deviations were considered to influence the distinctive character of the registered trademark. Eventhough the characters were recognizable, the figures were depicted in poses that strongly deviate from the registered form. For the evaluation of use sufficient to preserve rights it is not important whether the signs are similar or whether the consumer would associate the correspondingly marked goods with the same business, but solely whether the consumer perceives both signs as the same sign.
Eventhough use was made of a product design that was slightly altered in terms of visual features, the Cancellation Division of the EUIPO ruled that use sufficient to preserve rights of the 3-D sign Bonne Maman was proven.62 Among the elements of the sign – the patterned lid, the container and the lettering “Bonne Maman” – the Office considered the word element as the dominant element. The Office judged the differences in the size and number of the grooves on the container surface along with the number and size of the lines of the Vichy pattern of the lid, which depend on the size of the product package, as non-substantial. To the extent that, with regard to certain products (compote), the container features a slightly modified silhouette and label shape, any altering influence of the overall impression was ruled out in view of the consistently dominant word element “Bonne Maman”.
However, the Office denied the proof of the use of certain types of products, such as for dried or preserved fruit, on the grounds that the mere fact that the jam contained pieces of oranges or other preserved fruit as an ingredient did not show that the trademark had been used for such products.
In contrast, the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO judged the use of the 3D mark in the form of the packaging “Mini O2”, in view of the submitted verifications of use, as not proven. The Board found that the trademark was dominated by three elements, namely (1) the color combination (white - yellow - blue), (2) the private label “Gullon” on a red band and (3) the word element “Mini O2.” Such three elements were greatly modified within the framework of the used form:
The only unchanged elements – the shape of packaging and the image of 7 cookies – were not distinctive, such that, in the present case not only weak elements had been left out or added; rather, dominant elements had been changed.
As insufficient use of the registered figurative mark the Board of Appeal considered a use according to the following presentation:
The manner in which the sign was used was considered to be different from the registered form of the sign to such an extent that its distinctive character was influenced. The imprint of the name LABEYRIE, placed on the sign, would devalue the trademark into a purely decorative element of the packaging. The elements of the figurative mark (square form, blue background, arrangement of small golden fish) would not be of any distinctive character, either indendently or in combination, such that, by addition of the distinctive word element, the sign loses its suitability to be perceived as an indication of origin.63
1 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 11/26/2015, 25 W (pat) 20/13 – TASCHENGELD.
2 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 9/13/.2016, 24 W (pat) 565/16 – EMOJIS.
3 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 8/9/2016, 24 W (pat) 43/16 – CUP GUMS.
4 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 7/5/2016, 24 W (pat) 510/16 – CHOCOLAT PLAISIR.
5 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 5/10/2016, 25 W (pat) 89/14 – THE EARL OF GREY.
6 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 11/26/2015, 25 W (pat) 510/15 – LEMON PEARL.
7 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 11/26/2015, 25 W (pat) 509/15 – PEACH PEARL.
8 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 9/2/2016, R 1946/2015-5 – WIENER RÖLLCHEN.
9 General Court of the European Union (GC), Judgment dated 7/5/2016, T-167/15 – NEUSCHWANSTEIN.
10 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 2/11/2016 – Nr.10075 C – EXXTRA DEEP.
11 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 11/22/2015, R 2963/2014-5 – MINI BEARS.
12 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 11/26/2015, R 2004/2014-4 – KNUSPER HERZEN.
13 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 12/3/2015, R 2003/2014-4 – CRISPY HEARTS.
14 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 5/26/2016, R 94/2016-4 – BESTER PAPA.
15 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 5/26/2016, R 92/2016-4 – BESTER OPA.
16 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 5/13/2016, R 95/2016-4 – BESTE MAMA.
17 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 5/13/2016, R 91/2016-4 – BESTE OMA.
18 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 5/26/2016, R 96/2014-4 – BESTE FREUNDIN.
19 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 11/25/2015, R 1817/2015-4 – FOOD THAT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
20 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 11/12/2015, R 979/2015-5 – EAT ME (FIG.).
21 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 7/19/2016, 24 W (pat) 520/16 – UNSER BROT.
22 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 8/1/2016 – Nr.10414 C – TUTTI FRUTTI.
23 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 7/21/2016, R 1355/2015-5 – FINEST GOURMET (FIG.).
24 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 6/17/2016, R 2404/2015-4 – GENUSS NATUR.
25 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 12/15/2015, R 1804/2015-4 – JUNIOR.
26 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 12/11/2015, R 1191/2015-5 – PurGenuss BIO BACKKUNST.
27 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 2/23/2016, R 1982/2015-1 – ZUM wohl (fig.).
28 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 7/18/2016, R 515/2016-4 - DARSTELLUNG HASEN (3D).
29 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated April 22, 2016, 25 W (pat) 8/09 – DARSTELLUNG Weinranke (3D).
30 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 12/17/2015, Nr.9944 C - DARSTELLUNG STICK (3D).
31 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 3/29/2016, R 590/2015-4 – DARSTELLUNG SPEISEEIS (3D).
32 GC, T-565/15, Judgment dated 9/20/2016 - MERLIN’S KINDERWELT.
33 GC, T-140/08, Judgment dated 10/14/2009 - TiMi KiNDERJOGHURT.
34 GC, T-580/10, Judgment dated 5/16/2012 – Kindertraum.
35 GC, Judgment dated 5/3/2015, T-503/15 – Natür-bal.
36 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 4/12/20016, R 1806/2015-4 – COCOLATI.
37 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 1/18/20016, R 577/2015-1 – Air Cookies.
38 ECJ, Judgment dated 10/6/2005, C-120/04 – Thomson Life.
39 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 1/28/2016, R 1556/2015-1 – SEITENBACHER HAPPY FRUITS.
40 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 8/30/2016, R 1349/2015-4 – GLUCOBUENO.
41 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 1/11/2016, R 1141/2015-1 – GUSTINO.
42 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 1/22/2016, R 922/2015-2 – BUNNIES.
43 GC, Judgment dated 2/24/2016, T-816/14 – REAL HANDCOOKED.
44 GC T-566/15, Judgment dated 9/20/2016 - MERLIN’S KINDERWELT.
45 GC, Judgment dated 12/16/2015, T-491/13 – TRIDENT PURE.
46 GC, Judgment dated 2/18/2016, T-364/14 – bo.
47 GC, Judgment dated 2/26/2016, T-210/14 – Gummi Bear-Rings.
48 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 2/1/2016, R 2677/2014-4 – Lindt PICK & MIX.
49 GC, Judgment dated 4/26/2016, T-21/15 – Image of a dinosaur.
50 BGH, Decision dated1/14/2016, I ZB 56/14 – GOURMET BIO.
51 ECJ, Judgment dated 10/6/2005, C-120/04 – Thomson Life.
52 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 1/28/2016, 9803 C – HARIBO ORO.
53 Regional Court of Hamburg, Judgment dated 12/11/2015, 327 O 519/14 – Heidi.
54 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 12/212015, R 874/2015-04 – TENNIS BALLS.
55 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 1/22/2016, R 922/2015-2 – BUNNIES.
56 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 6/28/2016, 28 W (pat) 111/12 – K&K.
57 Federal Patent Court, Decision dated 2/24/2016, 25 W (pat) 31/13 – Chocomella.
58 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 7/25/2016, Nr.10 336 C – PLUTO.
59 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 7/25/2016, Nr.10 337 C – MICKEY MOUSE.
60 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 7/25/2016, Nr.10 344 C – MINNIE MOUSE.
61 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 7/25/2016, Nr.10 345 C – DONALD DUCK.
62 EUIPO Cancellation Division, Decision dated 3/142016, Nr.10 467 C – BONNE MAMAN.
63 EUIPO Board of Appeal, Decision dated 10/15/2015 – R 2693/2014-1 – REPRESENTATION DE SEMIS DE POISSONS DORÉS SUR FOND BLEU (fig.)