Trademark news

Gadovist vs Gadogita – use INN stem

The use of INN stems in trademarks has caused quite a stir. The World health Organization has issued a memo in 2011 on the use thereof. It is desirable that manufacturers do not base their trademark on INNs and that INNs are not used in trademarks. Because this is merely a recommendation, many countries did not include this in their legislation. The consequence of this is that manufacturers are trying to find the limit of what is allowed. Trademarks are often composed of an INN (or variation on it) in combination with another word that may refer to application, for example. The question is what the extent of trademark protection is for such names. » pharma

Little Blue Pill suggests Viagra

Through “The Natural Blue Pill" was offered for sale. Although nothing is said about the composition and no medical claims are made, the color blue and the accompanying text suggest that this is an alternative to the famous Viagra pill (the prescription drug and registered trademark). The question is, is this permissible? » pharma

Australia qualifies the use of INN stems in trademarks

The Australian trademark authorities refused the trademark ZELCIVOL of Boehringer Ingelheim in Class 5 for pharmaceutical preparations. This because of the fact that the trademark contains the INN stem OL.  According to section 43 of the Australian Trademark Act 1995 a trademark may be refused if it consists of an INN stem that causes confusion or will mislead with respect to the applied description of goods in class 5. Boehringer objects the decision. The Hearing Officer cancelled the decision of the trademark office and explained in which way INN stems are acceptable in trademark.  » pharma

Pharma- VIAGUARA a stimulating drink

A Polish company named Viaguara markets an energy drink named VIAGUARA. The energy drink is made of the Guarana fruit, which contains a high dosis of caffeine. The company files the application for VIAGUARA with the European trademark register. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer objects this application on the bais of their drug VIAGRA, which helps against erectile dysfunctions. After much deliberation the European Court decides that the trademarks are too similar. » pharma

Medicine shortages

Last year and this year we received information that certain drugs are difficult to obtain. It concerns for example drugs with the following active ingredients: Bleomycin (anticancer agent), Doxorubicin hydrochloride (anti-breast and ovarian cancer), Cytarabin (anti acute leukemia) Thiopental (anesthetic) and recently Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol-Epoetin beta (for symptomatic anemia in kidney disease). Main stream media only addresses production problems in U.S. manufacturing sites. In the Netherlands parliament questions have been raised whether these deficiencies are caused by parallel exports. This reason is still under debate. Therefore, I would like to put the following thesis why drugs are more often no longer available on the European market, and in particular in the Netherlands.   » pharma
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IP Knowledge Quiz Designs

The plaintiff specializes in online sales of children's bicycles. In safeguarding its rights, the company has registered the design of these bicycles under Community Design. Through a multiple design registration, the company secures the rights for 10 new versions of its children's bicycles simultaneously under Community Design. Subsequently, when the defendant introduces a similar bicycle, legal proceedings ensue. Among the various claims, the plaintiff alleges infringement of its design rights, which in turn is contested by the defendant. A design must possess novelty and individual character. The defendant states that the design lacks novelty, as elements of this design are already present in various existing bicycles. Essentially, the defendant's bicycles reproduce these elements, resulting in a lack of individual character. According to the defendant, the community designs are thus invalid. Even If the plaintiff's designs should be valid, the defendant argues that its bicycle deviates sufficiently. The defendant argues that the plaintiff has sought protection for more or less similar designs in the multiple design registration. Apparently, the plaintiff believes that these designs differ enough to create a different overall impression. The defendant's bicycles deviate just as much, thus creating a different overall impression (the so-called doctrine of equivalents argument). The question arises: are the plaintiff's bicycles valid designs despite comprising known aspects from various bicycles, or does the defendant's design exhibit sufficient deviation, thereby enabling the invocation of the doctrine of equivalents concerning the multiple design registration? The court determines that designers of children's bicycles enjoy considerable freedom in their designs. Consequently, if another bicycle lacks significant distinctions, it will quickly evoke a similar overall impression for the informed user, thereby lacking individual character. The comparison is drawn between the new design (the AMIGO bicycles from T.O.M.) and an older existing design (bicycle). To prove that a design is not new, you cannot, as Prijskiller (the defendant) asserts, mosaic together various elements. Therefore, as a defendant, you cannot argue that a design is not new because its characteristics are present in various different products (see also the judgment Karen Millen). If, as a designer, you combine different aspects from multiple designs for the first time into a new product, then this is simply a new and valid design. This is the case with the AMIGO bicycle. The design is upheld as valid. The AMIGO Magic bicycle features a unique tubular frame, rendering it novel. The bicycle is further distinguished by the name MAGIC, the chain guard design, and accessories such as a basket, handlebar streamers, and doll seat. Prijskiller contends that its frame shape differs (being thicker) and that the drawings are positioned differently. Additionally, Prijskiller highlights the distinct color scheme; however, TOM has registered the designs in line drawings, thus disregarding this element in the evaluation. Nevertheless, several similarities are apparent. Both bicycles exhibit an almost identical pattern of butterflies and flowers, positioned nearly identically on the frame. Furthermore, the name MAGIC is depicted in the same font and placement on the chain guard. Consequently, this bicycle fails to evoke a different overall impression for the informed user. The designer's extensive creative freedom in designing children's bicycles means that the differences highlighted by Prijskiller are minor and inconspicuous. Prijskiller's invocation of the doctrine of equivalents is likewise dismissed. The court opines that this case pertains to models concurrently deposited by T.O.M. This circumstance precludes the invocation of the "doctrine of equivalents" because, in compliance with the regulations regarding novelty, individual character, and the grace period, the various models cannot diminish each other's novelty or individual character, nor their scope of protection. In essence, in simultaneous (multiple) deposits, the "doctrine of equivalents" holds little significance. Consequently, these 2Cycle Magic bicycles fail to impart a different overall impression for the informed user. The designer's extensive freedom in designing children's bicycles and the minor differences highlighted by Prijskiller render the infringement claim upheld.