The Court of First Instance decides on Community Trademark „WINNETOU“

In a decision of March 18, 2016 (T-501/13) the General Court has set aside and referred back a decision of the Appeal Board of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It was in dispute whether the community trademark WINNETOU has a descriptive character for all goods and services it was applied for, and consequently could not be registered. The Appeal Board found this to be the case for almost all goods and services and relied to a large extent on the reasoning of the German Federal Patent Court and Supreme Court decisions. The General Court, however, found that the EUIPO is obliged to take the German case law into account if it concerns the same trademark and partly identical goods and services. Nevertheless, the EUIPO must come to its own legal assessment and must not feel bound to the decisions of national courts.