The Spanish company Amigüitos pets & life defeats Nestlé in the battle for the trademark «THE ONLY ONE»
The multinational company Nestlé filed an opposition against a figurative trademark application filed by Amigüitos pets & life named ‘the only one’ ‘by Alpha spirit’ for veterinary and other animal food products, on the basis of its mark ‘ONE’, which is registered for animal food.
Both the Opposition Division and the Board of Appeal found that there was a likelihood of confusion, since, inter alia, the earlier mark was included in the contested sign playing an independent and dominant role.
The General Court, in its judgment of 19 December 2019, disagreed with that analysis. It considered that the Office erred in overlooking the elements ‘by aplha spirit’ which, due to their size and colour, generate significant differences in the consumer’s perception.
Furthermore, it is particularly noteworthy the fact that the Court points out that two marks including identical terms are not perceived, per se, in the same way. The Court concludes that this perception may vary when we refer to a mark composed solely of that term and another mark containing various elements. In that regard, the Court states that in this case the word ‘one’ is not perceived in the same way in both marks, indeed it contradicts the contested decision and confirms that the word ‘one’ does not play an independent role in the contested sign since it is perceived as an inseparable part of the expression ‘the only one’.
Furthermore, the Court also considers that Nestlé has failed in its attempt to prove the reputation of its mark.
The Court therefore orders the annulment of the decision that rejects the trademark of Amigüitos pets & life.
+info : Curia Europa
Amazon Technologies fails to register its trademark «RING» for home security devices in Europe.
The company Amazon Technologies offers under the trademark «RING» a wide range of home security devices such as video call rings, monitoring and alarm systems, etc.
The mark was applied for various electronic devices in class 9. Unfortunately, the application has not been successful for the most relevant products applied for, i.e. products related to home security systems such as doorbells, motion sensors or control equipment. EUIPO’s decision rejecting the mark has recently been confirmed by the General Court in its judgment of 19 December 2019.
The verbal element «ring», meaning in particular «to emit a clear resonating or vibrating sound», was considered to inform consumers immediately that the products in question, «bells, motion sensors, surveillance equipment, namely video monitors and video cameras», included a system enabling them to produce a clear resonating or vibrating sound.
In view of the descriptive character of the mark, the Court confirms that the sign cannot be registered because it does not possess the inherent distinctiveness required by the applicable legislation.
+info : Curia Europa
The ECJ confirms that Airbnb is an information society service provider.
On 24 January 2017, the French Association for the Defense of Professional Accommodation and Tourism brought an action against Airbnb Ireland UC, an Irish company which is part of the Airbnb group, on the grounds that the latter was carrying out an activity of intermediation and management of properties without being in possession of the professional card required by French law.
The question referred to the Court of Justice seeks to determine whether, in view of the activity carried out by Airbnb, it can be regarded that Airbnb provides specific real estate services or whether those services are, within the meaning of Directive 2000/31, specific ‘information society’ services.
The Court of Justice has ruled that the intermediary service provided by Airbnb is an ‘information society service’. First of all, the Court emphasizes that the service offered by Airbnb can be dissociated from the real estate transaction itself in so far as it is not only aimed at the immediate provision of accommodation, but rather, on the basis of a structured list of accommodation available on the electronic platform, at providing a tool to facilitate the conclusion of contracts.
Furthermore, the ECJ underlines the innovative nature of Airbnb’s service and recalls that, ‘the mere fact that Airbnb Ireland competes on the same market by offering its users, both landlords and tenants, an innovative service based on the particularities of an information society business does not justify the conclusion that that service is indispensable to the provision of the accommodation’.
This judgment is particularly relevant for Airbnb, since it dispels the doubts that have been raised in various countries of the euro zone since the company became well-known in the sector.
+info : Curia Europa
New experts counsel in intellectual property
The Chinese Patent and Trademark Office (CNIPA) has created the Chinese Overseas Intellectual Property Dispute Response Guidance Center for the resolution of intellectual property disputes, 75 lawyers have been chosen for this purpose, 35 of them are from the West and 5 are from Spain.
The work of Antonio Machado and other 180 authors who died in 1939 becomes public domain.
The Spanish National Library (Biblioteca Nacional de España) has made available a list of 181 authors who died in 1939, including Antonio Machado, whose works have fallen into the public domain. This means that anyone can access to their works freely and that their works can be published, reproduced and distributed publicly, in accordance with Intellectual Property law.
The creation of a new Spanish Copyright Office, ascribed to the Ministry of Culture and Sport, is announced.
Both the cultural program presented by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, in the Congress of the Deputies during the investiture debate, and the agreement reached between the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos Party, foresee the creation of a public Copyright Office, assigned to the Ministry of Culture and Sport, to optimize the management of rights and ensure the protection of intellectual property.