最新二十篇文章公告:判決與法律命令之解析、契約與商業模式之範例
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目前分類:歐洲國家商標制度與商標證書 (16)

瀏覽方式: 標題列表 簡短摘要

Transfer v Change of name of EUTR

 

During the examination of a pending EU trademark as well as after the trademark has registered, the owner of a trademark may change for various reasons. Some trademarks owners transfer their ownership to a different entity (through assignment or inheritance, for example). In addition, some trademark owners can change their names while retaining ownership. Therefore, these are two different legal concepts, which must be distinguished between each other. As a result, the application for the change of name of a proprietor of an EUTM registration or an application for transfer are two separate proceedings.

 

In accordance to Article 48(2) of the EUTMR a transfer is an alteration substantially affecting the identity of a trademark as originally registered, which is the key to difference both concepts. The change of identity will determine if a change of name or a transfer takes place. In particular, there is no transfer is involved when a natural person changes their name following an official procedure for changing name, when a pseudonym is used instead of the civil name and if a natural person changes their name due to marriage, since in these cases the identity of the proprietor is not affected.

 

In case of corporations or legal persons, if there is no termination of the legal entity (for example in the event of a merger, where one company is completely absorbed by and another one and the first one ceases to exist) and no start-up, there is only a change in the formal corporate organisation and not in the actual identity itself. Therefore, it will never be considered as a transfer and it will have to be registered as a change of name. Normally, if the company registration number in the national register remains the same there is no transfer of the company.

 

Erroneous applications

When an application is made to record a change of name but the evidence shows that it is actually a transfer for a trademark or trademark application (and vice versa, if the application is made to record a transfer but what is involved is actually a change of name), the Office shall inform the applicant and invite him to file the right application. This communication sets a time limit of two months starting from the date of the notification and if the applicant does not agree or does not modify his request the application to record a change will be rejected. The party concerned may file an appeal against this decision.

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Transfer of ownership of a European Union trademarks

 

A European Union trademark (EUTR) may be transferred, which means that the ownership of the property of rights of the trademark or the application changes. This way, either the trademark or the application may be transferred from the current proprietor a new one. Transfer may refer to some (partial transfer) or all of the goods or services.

 

Registration

The transfer shall be entered in the Register and published upon request of one of the parties. Registering a transfer is not a condition for its validity, but if not registered by the Office, the entitlement to act remains with the original proprietor. According to article 17.8, all documents which require notification to the proprietor of the trademark shall be addressed to the person registered as a proprietor.  As a consequence, the new proprietor will not receive notifications from the Office, in particular, during inter partes proceedings or the notification of the renewal of the mark.

 

The transfer involves to aspects: (i) the validity of the transfer between the parties and (ii) the impact of a transfer on proceedings before the Office. This impact will only triggered after the Registration of the transfer.

 

The following are the different kinds of transfers:

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Part II. Article 8(1) EUTMR: Concept of likelihood of confusion

 

The notion of ‘likelihood of confusion’ fulfils a very significant role in the Community trademark System. According to Article 8(1)(b) EUTMR, in contrast to situations of double identity as seen in Part I, in cases of mere similarity between the signs and the goods or services, or identity of only one of these factors, an earlier trademark shall oppose the registration of a trademark under 8(1)(b), but only if there is a likelihood of confusion.

 

According to settled case-law, this concept refers mainly to two situations:

  1. when the public directly confuses both trademarks (mistakes one for the other);
  2. when the public makes a connection between both conflicting trademarks and assumes that the goods or services are from the same or economically linked undertakings. This is known as likelihood of association and it is included in the concept of likelihood of confusion.

 

As a general ideal, a trademark will be considered confusingly similar to a prior trademark if, when used for similar goods or services, so closely resembles the prior mark that there is a likelihood of consumers being misled as to the nature or origin of the goods or services. The distinguishing role of the trademark will not be functioning if the consumer is confused between the trademarks.  

The ECJ considered comprehensively this notion in Sabel v Puma.

First of all, the existence of a likelihood of confusion must be appreciated globally with regard to the way in in which the relevant public perceives the trademarks and goods or services, and always taking into account all factors relevant to the circumstances of the case, specially the interdependence of the degree of similarity of the trademarks and the similarity of the goods and services. A global appreciation is necessary, since an average consumer normally perceives a mark as a whole and does not proceed to analyse its various details.

 

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Part I. Article 8(1) EUTMR: Double identity and concept of identity.  

 

Article 8 of the European Union Trademark Regulation states the different grounds on which an opposition may be based. In other words, it enables the proprietor of an earlier trademark to oppose the registration of a later trademark application in a different range of situations. We will only concentrate on article 8(1), which states two different situations:

 

1. Upon opposition by the proprietor of an earlier trademark, the trademark applied for shall not be registered:

(a) if it is identical with the earlier trademark and the goods or services for which registration is applied for are identical with goods or services for which the earlier trademark is protected;

(b) if because of its identity with, or similarity to, the earlier trademark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services covered by the trademarks there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public in the territory in which the earlier trademark is protected; the likelihood of confusion includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trademark.

 

This way, (a) provides for oppositions based on exact identity, while (b), in contrast, is based on cases of mere similarity between the signs and goods/services, or also identity, but only if there is a likelihood of confusion.

 

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Grounds for opposition according to the European Union Trademark Regulation

Opposition is a legal proceeding in which a third party seeks to prevent a pending application for a trademark from being granted registration. This way, according to Article 8 EUTMR upon opposition by the proprietor of an earlier trade mark, the trade mark applied for shall not be registered. In case of the European Union trademarks, this procedure will take place before the EUIPO.

The grounds on which an opposition may be based are called relative grounds for refusal, which are found in Article 8 EUTMR, and are different to the absolute grounds for refusal from Article 7. The difference between these two kind of grounds is that relative grounds are inter partes proceedings, and concern earlier rights that take precedence over the EU trademark in accordance with the principle of priority. On the other hand, absolute grounds are examined ex-officio by the office during the registration procedure.

Therefore, the onus is on the earlier right owner to be observant and vigilant concerning the filing of applications by others.

The grounds on which an opposition may be made are set out in Article 8 EUTMR.

 

This article (1)(a) allows the proprietors of an identical or similar prior trademark registered for identical or similar goods or services to request opposition, when there is a likelihood of confusion. These “earlier trademarks” include (1)(b):

  • Community trademarks;
  • Trademarks registered in a EU member state;
  • International trademark registrations that have effect in an EU member state
  • Trademarks that are well known in a Member State in the sense of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention (which need not be registered).

The meaning of “earlier trademarks” refers to those having an earlier date (not hour or minute) of application.

An opposition filed on the basis of Article 8(1)(b) must demonstrate that there is likelihood a confusion between both trademarks, and it must be assessed globally, taking into consideration all factor relevant to the circumstances of the case.

 

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Article 7(1)(b) EUTMR: Distinctiveness as a requirement for trademark registration in the EU

 

According to article 4 European Union trademark regulation, to be capable of constituting a trademark, the subject matter of an application must satisfy three conditions: (I) it must be a sign; (II) it must be capable of being represented graphically, and (III) it must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.

When it comes to the third condition, article 7(1)(b) states that trademarks which are devoid of any distinctive character shall not be registered. This article refers to the distinctive character of a trademark with regard to specific goods or services.

  1. Word elements. Some words cannot convey distinctiveness to a sign if they are so frequently used that they have lost the capacity of distinguishing goods and services. For example, the word ECO (as denoting ecological) or Premium (as denoting best quality).
  2. Title of books. Trademarks consisting solely of a famous story or book may be non-distinctive under this article. For example, “Cinderella” could be a distinctive trademark for clothing, but not in relation to books or films, since this story has become so long established and well known that, according to EU case-law, it has ‘entered into the language’ and is not capable of being ascribed any meaning other than the particular story of “Cinderella”.
  3. Colours. When it comes to single colours per se, without any shape or contour, they are not normally inherently capable of distinguishing the goods of a particular undertaking. Furthermore, there is a limited number of colours, which actually means that a small number of trademark registrations could exhaust the entire range of colours available.
  4. Single letters. Under normal circumstances, single letters are not registrable, specially in cases of single letters represented in standard characters with no graphic modifications. For example, this trademark will be accepted due to the fact that it provides sufficient distinctiveness:

             The same is valid for numbers.

  1. Simple figurative elements. Such as circles, rectangles, lines or common pentagons are unable to convey any message that can be remembered by the consumers and will not be seen by them as a trademark. Example of refused trademarks:

 

 

 

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New European Trademark Regulation

 

March 2016 will see the biggest changes to trademark laws in the EU since the introduction of the Community trademark in 1996. Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and the Council amending the Community trademark regulation was published on December 24, 2015 in the Official Journal of the European Union and it will enter into force on March 23, 2016 (with a few exceptions for some provisions, which will on October 1, 2017). It marks the culmination of work that has been carried for seven years to reform the EU trademark system.

 

We set below some of the most important features of the Regulation:

 

(1). First, trademark owners should familiarize themselves with some new terminology. From 23 March, the Office of Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) will become known as the European Union Intellectual Property Office. In addition, what we know as a Community Trademark (CTM)will become a European Union Trademark (EUTM).

 

(2) A very important change will be the fee structure, since it will change from a basic fee that covers up to three classes of goods and services to a “pay-per-class” system. This means that in practice, applicants will pay a lower fee if they only apply for one class. If the apply for two, it will be the same fee, and if they apply for three or more it will be a higher fee. Additionally, the fees payable for opposition, invalidity or revocation proceedings are all reduces as is the cost of filling an appeal.

 

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MD 摩爾多瓦 登記在先 ncv1-1MD 摩爾多瓦 登記在先 ncv1-2MD 摩爾多瓦 登記在先 ncv1-3MD 摩爾多瓦 登記在先 ncv1-4MD 摩爾多瓦 登記在先 ncv1-5MD 摩爾多瓦 登記在先 ncv1-6  


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AT 奧地利 登記在先 ncv1-1AT 奧地利 登記在先 ncv1-2AT 奧地利 登記在先 ncv1-3AT 奧地利 登記在先 ncv1-4AT 奧地利 登記在先 ncv1-5AT 奧地利 登記在先 ncv1-6  


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DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-1DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-2DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-3DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-4DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-5DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-6DE 德國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-7  


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FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-1FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-2FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-3FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-4FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-5FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-6FR 法國商標制度 登記在先 ncv1-7  


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UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-1UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-2UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-3UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-4UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-5UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-6UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-7UK 英國登記在先 ncv1-8    


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全球商標布局俄羅斯國際投資環境介紹

 

1、俄羅斯人口狀況

    俄羅斯人口約一億四千萬人 ,而俄羅斯土地面積約1,700萬平方公里。人口密度約每平方公里9人,是世界上人口最稀疏的國家之一。多數人口集中在都會地區。因地域廣袤且民族眾多,俄羅斯公民所使用的語言和方言超過100種,其中俄語為大約1億1千萬人的母語(約佔俄羅斯人口的79%)。蘇聯解體後,人口出現負成長,主因為生育率下降及大量移民至他國由於人口減少,目前俄羅斯勞動力短缺達到了1000萬,在一定程度上會拖累俄羅斯的經濟發展。其中遠東西伯利亞地區的石油天然氣木材等天然資源開發領域,勞動力短缺近50%。

 

2、俄羅斯經濟狀況

   1991年前蘇聯解體,俄羅斯宣佈主權獨立後,政局一直動盪不安,經濟改革一波三折;尤其1998年的一場盧布貶值金融風暴,俄羅斯國家財政瀕臨崩潰,經濟成長率呈現負4.9%的局面。一直到普丁主政以後,在他強勢推動新政下,俄羅斯的經濟才逐漸恢復穩定局面,2000年經濟成長創下10%的新高;雖然2001年經濟成長5.0%2002年又跌回4.3%,但相對於同一期間世界景氣的普遍衰退,整體而言仍格外亮麗。 

 

    總統普丁積極參與APEC亞太經濟整合進程2000年出席APEC 汶萊領袖高峰會議時,他發表了「俄羅斯:新東方前景」報告,強調俄羅斯將在歐洲、亞洲、北美洲間扮演跨境運輸的橋樑角色,以及願意與亞太國家作開發俄遠東區能源,以及推動科技、衛星發射等合作計劃。這正是俄羅斯新東方政策的戰略內涵此一有利形勢發展是台商前進俄羅斯市場是一大誘因,俄羅斯在航太、機械、生化、光電等高科技領域之基礎研究相當發達,台灣可挾著良好的市場行銷策略和工業設計技術前進俄羅斯建立自己的品牌。

 

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俄羅斯於1992年頒布了商標、服務商標及產品原產地商標法。最新修訂於2002年12月27日生效。

俄羅斯商標法係採註冊基於申請在先之原則。主管機關不於國內進行實質查核該申請商標是否在國內進行實際使用,只要申請人提出申請,並符合相關法律規定,即可享有商標權。

 

一、國際組織

(一)巴黎公約;

(二)馬德里協定;

(三)尼斯協定;

(四)商標註冊條約;

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2011126日,俄羅斯總統梅德維傑夫(Dmitry Medvedev)簽署了聯邦憲法第4-FKZ號法案,該法案將俄羅斯審判體系擴充了一個新部門:智慧財產權法院(the Intellectual Property Rights Court)。該法案明確規定俄羅斯智慧財產權法院必須於201321日前成立,並且設立在州立商業仲裁法院(state Arbitrazh courts)之下,作為審理智慧財產權相關爭議之專業法庭。

 

俄羅斯州立商業仲裁法院目前之審判權範圍包括企業組織或個人獨資企業所發生之商業爭議案件,這些案件中也包括了有關於商標、專利以及其他智慧財產權之爭議。基本上,俄羅斯的州立商業仲裁法院類似於美國的聯邦地方法院(federal district court),而俄羅斯的普通法院(courts of ordinary jurisdiction)則大致上類同於美國的州法院(state courts)

 

根據法案之規定,新成立之智慧財產權法院將會審理下面幾種類型之案件:

(1)   法規或聯邦行政機關之處分行為有影響於智慧財產權申請人權益之案件,智慧財產權的範圍則包括了專利權、商標權、以及商業機密等等。

(2)   關於智慧財產權利之賦予或撤銷的案件,例如:

  1. 對於聯邦反壟斷法院(Federal Antimonopoly Service)對於企業標識之不當使用導致不公平競爭之判決所提起之上訴;
  2. 專利所有權人爭議之裁決;
  3. 對於發明專利、新型專利、新式樣專利之撤銷,或者對於商標權、產地標示權利之賦予。
  4. 基於未使用(non-use)之商標撤銷判決。

 

俄羅斯的法律圈以及智慧財產從業人員基本上都對於智慧財產權法院之成立樂見其成,一般皆認為專業的智慧財產權法官擁有更全面及專精的學識可以妥適地審理相較於一般商業案件更為複雜之智慧財產權爭議案件。但是因為目前俄羅斯實際上相當欠缺此種在智慧財產領域學有專精之法官,因此智慧財產權法院是否真的能如期於2013年到位還有待觀察。

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義大利一間名叫「Global Track Warehouse Europe GmbH」的公司(下稱GTW公司)為生產挖土機橡膠履帶之公司,並且在其橡膠履帶上印有「R TRACK」作為商品標誌。不過,另一間叫做「E.P.D. Italia S.r.l.」的公司(下稱EPD公司)則指控GTW販售該橡膠履帶之行為已侵犯其早已於2010114日向義大利商標局註冊之商標「R TRACK」,並且向義大利波隆那地區智慧財產法院聲請發禁制令,禁止GTW公司繼續販售該項侵權商品。

 

GTW公司在法院審理中主張,EPD公司雖就該商標先取得註冊,然其商標註冊係基於惡意而不應受到法律之保護,故請求智慧財產法院駁回其禁制令聲請。GTW公司指出,EPD公司之代表人直至20091211日為止仍為GTW公司之代理商及獨家經銷商,因此EPD公司早已知悉GTW公司有推出「R TRACK」系列商品之計畫。GTW公司主張EPD公司就其禁制令聲請有故意隱瞞重要相關事實之惡意,故請求智慧財產法院應駁回其聲請。

 

經過法院之調查,發現GTW公司早在200911月時就已向其代理商及經銷商揭露有關於「R TRACK」系列產品之計畫,且亦已於相同時期在德國及澳洲提出「R TRACK」之商標申請案。基於此事實,智慧財產法院認為EPD公司之代表人的確利用了基於與GTW公司之經銷關係而獲得「R TRACK」之資訊,並藉此資訊取得了義大利的商標註冊。

 

智慧財產法院指出,義大利商標法(Italian Industrial Property Code)有關於「惡意註冊」之規定,其立法精神在於提供先使用商標之人「期待權之保護(anticipatory protection)」,使其合法先使用商標之權益不致遭知悉其使用商標之事實且故意為阻擋其商標申請而搶先提出申請案之第三人所損害,此種第三人尤指因為特殊信賴關係而知悉先使用商標事實之人,例如代理商或經銷商。

 

基於上述事實及法律上之理由,智慧財產法院認為EPD公司所提出之禁制令聲請係基於「惡意之商標註冊」,因此駁回了其聲請。

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