European IP Bulletin, Issue 97

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In Depth


UK IPO Launches Consultation on Extension of Copyright Term for Sound Recordings
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has launched a public consultation on the UK Government’s proposed approach to the implementation of Directive 2011/77/EU (the Directive) within the United Kingdom. The purpose of the consultation is to obtain public opinion on the adoption of EU requirements concerning copyright protection for sound recordings and certain related rights.


UK IPO Publishes Responses to Consultation on Reform of UK Designs Legal Framework
The UK Intellectual Property Office (the UK IPO) has published responses to the Consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework. The responses were submitted by a range of interested parties including design focused small and medium sized enterprises and legal representatives. They were largely supportive of the UK Government’s proposals to simplify current legislation and harmonise UK and EU regimes, and to update and revise dispute resolution, enforcement and sanctions procedures.

General IP

New EU Counterfeit Goods Regulation
On 24 January 2013, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee of the European Parliament endorsed new Regulation 5129/2013/EC setting out customs procedures for goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (the new Regulation). The new Regulation, which is poised to replace the Counterfeit Goods Regulation 1383/2003/EC, forms part of a wider European intellectual property (IP) strategy. It will extend customs-enforcement measures to a number of IP rights that is larger than under the current regime and will provide for the uncontested destruction of small consignments of goods.

Changes to The European Quality Assurance Regime Enter Into Force
A number of changes to the European quality assurance regime, including Protected Geographic Indications (PGIs), Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSGs), have come into effect recently. These changes include the reduction of the period during which an application can be opposed and increased recognition of the role of producer groups.


Launch of EU/US Cooperative Patent Classification scheme
The European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have launched a global classification system for patent documents called the Cooperative Patent Classification scheme (CPC). The CPC has been developed to harmonise the patent granting processes of the two offices.

Final Form Unified Patent Court Agreement Published
The final version of the agreement on a Unified Patent Court and related statute (UPC Agreement) was published on 11 January 2013. It is anticipated that the UPC Agreement will be signed at a diplomatic conference in February 2013 and will then undergo the ratification process.

Passing Off

High Court of England and Wales Allows Survey Evidence in Greek Yoghurt Passing Off Case
In Fage UK Ltd and another v Chobani UK Ltd and another [2012] EWHC 3755 (Ch), the High Court of England and Wales allowed Chobani’s request to adduce survey evidence on consumer perceptions on the attributes of Greek yoghurt, finding that the evidence went to the heart of Fage’s passing off claim.

Trade Marks

EU General Court Upholds OHIM Decision Rejecting Community Trade Mark Application for ECODOOR for Household Appliances
In BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH v OHIM [2013] T-625/11 the EU General Court has upheld a decision of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), rejecting a Community trade mark (CTM) application for ECODOOR for various household appliances in Classes 7, 9 and 11 finding that the mark was descriptive of an essential characteristic of the goods applied for, namely, the ecological character of their doors.

“STEAM GLIDE” Trade Mark Held To Be Descriptive
The EU General Court has found “STEAM GLIDE”, a Community Trade Mark (CTM) for electric irons, to be descriptive. It held that there was a sufficiently direct and specific relationship between the expression and the goods in question to enable the public concerned to perceive immediately, without further thought, a description of the goods in question or one of those characteristics.