The German Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht), which is, inter alia, the court of appeal against trade mark decisions of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), has now published its annual report for 2007. The report is available on the Court's website and by clicking here.
This year's report is special in so far as it contains an English summary (starting at page 116). The report also gives a very interesting and comprehensive overview of significant trade mark cases decided by the Court in 2007 by presiding Judge Marianne Grabrucker (starting page 134).
Judge Grabrucker's report (in English) includes information on word marks, word marks in a foreign language, word marks consisting of a person’s name, the nullification of trade marks, on non-conventional trade marks, abstract colour marks (one-colour marks and colour-combination marks) and three-dimensional trade marks. The overview gives examples on when protection was and was not granted by the Court, gives information regarding the nullification of a three-dimensional trade mark, sets out how cases of collision based on LOC have been decided and gives an overview of cases that have been referred to the ECJ. In short: it is well worth a read.
Finally, as this member of Class 46 has previously been asked how a Patent Court could decide on trade mark matters, please find some basic background information on the German Federal Patent Court below:
Established in Munich in 1961, the Bundespatentgericht renders decisions on appeals against decisions of the sections and departments for patents, utility models, semiconductor topographies, trade marks and industrial design of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). It has also jurisdiction over actions regarding the declaration of nullity or withdrawal of German patents and such European Patents that are effective in the Federal Republic of Germany. Furthermore, the Court decides on actions concerning the grant of compulsory licenses. However, decisions concerning the infringement of industrial property rights (including trade marks) are exclusively dealt with by the German civil courts of general jurisdiction. Within the German court structure the Federal Patent Court has the status of an "Oberlandesgericht" (Court of Appeal) and is one of the largest federal courts in the Federal Republic of Germany. Court of further appeal is the German Federal Supreme Court of Justice.
Further information regarding the Court's jurisdiction and function can be found here
, where this information has been taken from.