The Patent and Market Court recently decided that the trademark GLENETT could be registered, even though it included the element 'glen', which – according to the Scotch Whisky Association – was closely associated with the registered geographical indication (GI) Scotch Whisky. The Scotch Whisky Association had asserted that the trademark GLENETT would evoke an association between any products bearing the trademark and the GI in the minds of the relevant public.
The European Court of Justice recently rendered a preliminary ruling, in a case that originated in Sweden, on how to assess trademarks composed of colour motifs that are intended to be exclusively and systematically affixed to the goods used for the provision of the services for which protection was sought. The case is notable because it specifically concerns the assessment of position marks used for services and not the goods on which the actual position mark is to be affixed.
Trademark and company name holders must make actual use of a sign to keep exclusive rights to it. In a recent judgment, the Patent and Market Court of Appeal examined the actual use undertaken by both a parent company, which used the sign in its company name, and a subsidiary company, which used a different company name. This judgment is a welcome addition to the scarce case law relating to the actual use of company names.
In its first judgment of 2021, the Labour Court used a textbook case of misappropriation of trade secrets – where a previous employee had absconded with trade secrets and copyright-protected works that were subsequently used by his new competing venture – to clarify the method to be applied when calculating total damages under both legal regimes. It will be interesting to see how the courts interpret and apply this principle in future cases.
The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently handed down a judgment on the validity of a patent claiming a pharmaceutical invention and the availability of corrective measures with respect to goods manufactured in countries where the patentee's consent is unnecessary. The court's examination of the latter issue reveals that Sweden has failed to properly implement the EU Enforcement Directive with respect to corrective measures.