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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
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Christian Tenkhoff
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Bavaria beer ruling

The Court of Justice of the European Communities gave its ruling yesterday in Case C‑343/07,Bavaria NV and Bavaria Italia Srl v Bayerischer Brauerbund eV, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Corte d’appello di Torino (Italy). This reference was sparked off by a battle between the Bavarian brewers who enjoyed protected geographical indication (PGI) status for the term "Bayerisches Bier" and the Italian subsidiary of a Dutch brewer that had been using the BAVARIA trade mark for many decades.

The Bavarian brewers felt that the Dutch company was infringing its PGI rights, while the Dutch considered that the PGI had been improperly awarded. The Italian court asked a number of complex questions of the Court of Justice, which ruled in short that the PGI was valid but that the Dutch were entitled to carry on using their trade mark unless it could be shown that they had applied for it in bad faith. The case now goes back to the Corte d’appello di Torino, which must rule on the issues before it.

You can read the judgment and the Advocate General's Opinion in full here. The IPKat has commented on it here and there are reports in Times Online and the Financial Times. Dutch website De Telegraaf discusses it here, while Bilde.de mentions it here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 16.02
Tags: Bad faith, Conflict of PGI and trade mark, PGI,
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