FRIDAY, 12 DECEMBER 2008
And yellow were the pages...
In 1963, following the international trends, Helsingin Puhelinyhdistys (HPY) began publishing a phone directory called “Keltaiset Sivut” (translation: Yellow Pages).
No trade mark applications were filed, but the idea caught on in other areas of
In the eighties, the time for a trade mark application was finally ripe, and HPY duly obtained a registration for the mark in 1989. The co-operation between various entities in relation to the publication of “Keltaiset Sivut” was based on various exceptional permits, which all came to an end on the 30th of September 2003.
At that point in time, the parties to the present case, Eniro (the rights follower of HPY and another local entity) and Fonecta (the rights follower of another entity effectively covering rest of the country), began negotiating about possible future co-operation. The negotiations turned out to be unsuccessful, and on the 17th of April 2004 Eniro terminated Fonecta’s right to use the trade mark.
The parties met at the Helsinki District Court with Fonecta requesting the court to confirm that:
Helsinki District Court confirmed that Fonecta had a right to the trade mark through establishment, but this was not nationwide. Rather, the establishment had happened in each of the localities where the different entities had used the mark between the years 1963 and 1985. (In Fonecta’s case
However, it does not follow from establishment that the mark would be in co-ownership. Rather, the matter whether co-ownership exists is in the realm of Contract Law. The court concluded that the contractual arrangements were such that co-ownership might exist, but due to Fonecta’s passivity in demanding the entry on the Register, it had lost the right to demand it at this late point in time.
Not pleased with the results, both parties appealed the case to the Helsinki Court of Appeal, which in its decision of 18th of March 2008 (S 06/607) maintained the District Court’s finding that Fonecta had a right to the trade mark through establishment in the above mentioned part of
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