European Community Trade-marks & Designs

Courtesy of Samsung

 

If you followed the headlines regarding the ongoing battles between Apple and Samsung this summer, you will have noticed that Apple succeeded in shutting down sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the EU, based on its allegation that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed Apple’s industrial design (See: Industrial Design in Canada & US). Samsung succeeded in limiting that court order. That is a battle over the design of the iPad (part of the appeal of Apple’s designs are that they are minimalist and functional, which raises the question of what exactly is protectable… but we’ll leave aside for the moment).

Designs and trademarks are both useful intellectual property tools to ward off competitors. Canadian companies can register their industrial designs in the EU, as well as their trademarks across the EU (through a Community Trade Mark or CTM). In the recent case of DHL Express France SAS v Chronopost SA, Case C-235/09, 12 April 2011, the EU Court of Justice ruled that injunctions to prevent infringement of a CTM can be enforced across the EU. The scope of an injunction against infringement of a CTM extends to all 27 countries of the European Union.

Related Reading: Apple’s worldwide court battles against Samsung: where they stand and what they mean 

For assistance with your international brand protection, including in the US and EU, contact us at Field Law

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