Latest news

« »

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Trade marks: reference to the Court of Justice relating to continuing use of VM's trade mark in advertising for former authorised repairer

A trade marks case of interest to the motor industry is being referred to what the Intellectual Property Office website calls, not entirely inaccurately but could do better, the Court of Justice of the European Union. (The link is to the relevant page on the IPO website, which is now inconveniently part of the colossus.) The reference comes from a court in Hungary, the Fővárosi Törvényszék (which apparently means "municipal court"), and the case, C-179/15, involves Daimler. What is the reference about? The IPO says:
 "A request for a preliminary ruling in a case which concerns the unauthorised use of online advertisements as confirmation of an official commercial relationship beyond the termination of the parties contracted period, where the advert was not placed on the internet by the person featuring in it and the person featured took steps to remove it."
According to a Dutch government website,, which is inviting people to suggest an intervention, but in greater detail than the IPO is, Együd Garage was a Mercedes repairer until 31 March 2012. Advertisements (both in print and on the Internet, it seems, but Google Translate has struggled a bit with the Dutch and I am hardly qualified to second-guess it - I will try to find a suitably qualified friend to help) indicated that the garage was still a member of the Daimler franchise, but the information was published (including being placed on the Internet) by third parties. The garage had asked them to remove or change the adverts, but evidently without success. It seems that the operator of a website where the information was found said that they had taken over someone else's business and the offending ad was included, which is hardly a convincing excuse. It seems pretty clear that had the garage run the ads it would have infringed Daimler's marks, but is it an infringement by the garage if the ads are under the control of a third party? One would hope that the garage would not be held liable, especially if it has tried hard to put matters right. (Hat tip to the Class 46 blog and the IPKat for telling me about the reference: if you want to comment to the IPO, urging the UK to intervene in the case, you must contact them by 15 June. Instructions are at the far end, as it were, of the link above.)

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment