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 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?