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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
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
MONDAY, 22 JULY 2013
Specsavers: here's the CJEU ruling
The Court of Justice has now given its ruling in Case C‑252/12, Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd and others v Asda Stores Ltd, on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Court of Appeal for England and Wales. 
In short, the Court ruled as follows: 

1.  ‘Genuine use’ exists where a figurative mark is used only in conjunction with a word mark which is superimposed over it, and the combination of those two marks is also registered as a trade mark, if the differences between the form in which that trade mark is used and that in which it was registered do not change the distinctive character of that trade mark as registered.

2. Where a trade mark is not registered in colour, but the proprietor has used it extensively in a particular colour or combination of colours with the result that it has become associated in the mind of a significant portion of the public with that colour or combination of colours, the colour or colours which a third party uses in order to represent a sign alleged to infringe that trade mark are relevant in the global assessment of the likelihood of confusion or unfair advantage under that provision.

3. The fact that the third party making use of a sign which allegedly infringes the registered trade mark is itself associated, in the mind of a significant portion of the public, with the colour or particular combination of colours which it uses for the representation of that sign is relevant to the global assessment of the likelihood of confusion and unfair advantage for the purposes of that provision.

This decision contained no surprises and, unlike most rulings on trade mark cases in recent times, the Court felt able to reach its decision without the assistance of an Opinion from the Attorney General.
Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 16.41
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