Ferrari unsuccessful with unregistered community design

Mansory Design sells tuning kits. These allow the appearance of an "ordinary" Ferrari 488 GTB to be transformed into a particularly expensive Ferrari FXX-K model. The distinctive features of this FXX-K model are the V-shaped hood and front spoiler. Ferrari did not file a registered design application for this, but nevertheless wanted to stop these tuning kits and therefore invoked an unregistered community design.


In 2021, this issue came before the European Court. The Court stated that even a part of a total product can be qualified as an unregistered design. However, that part must be clearly recognizable from the first disclosure of the design. For example, by being clearly delimited by an outline, colors or special texture.

It's up to the local authority to judge this. And that's where things took a turn for Ferrari. The Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf rules that the part in question (the V-shape that overflows into the spoiler) is not clearly identifiable and delineated at all. Consequence: the claim (as we wrote earlier) does not hold up. If you want to claim a part of a design, simply apply for a design registration for it on time.


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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?