Einblicke und Artikel

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

Black Friday als Marke?

"BLACK FRIDAY" ist ein beliebter Begriff im Handel für Angebotsaktionen. Er kann jedoch auch unter gewissen Umständen markenrechtlich relevant sein.
Dr. Gerald Mair
25. November 2021
Es gibt und gab verschiedene BLACK FRIDAY Marken, die Schutz in Österreich haben und hatten. Fraglich ist aber, ob eine solche eingetragene Marke tatsächlich verwendet werden kann, um die Verwendung von BLACK FRIDAY durch die Händler zu verbieten. Dabei ist aus rechtlicher Sicht grob gesagt entscheidend, ob das Zeichen BLACK FRIDAY als rein beschreibend/ohne Unterscheidungskraft für Rabattaktionen gesehen wird; oder doch als Hinweis auf ein konkretes Unternehmen verstanden wird. Mit der Entscheidung des OLG Wien vom 5.3.2019 wurde bestätigt, dass der Schutz der Internationalen Marke BLACK FRIDAY der Super Union Holdings Ltd. nicht auf Österreich erstreckt werden kann. Dem Zeichen BLACK FRIDAY wurde der Schutz in Österreich für alle beantragten Waren und Dienstleistungen in den Klassen 9, 35 und 41 wegen des beschreibenden Charakters des Zeichens BLACK FRIDAY durch das Österreichische Patentamt verweigert.

Das OLG Wien bestätigte eben diese Entscheidung und hielt fest, dass das Zeichen in Österreich nicht geschützt werden kann, weil es beschreibend sei bzw. keine Unterscheidungskraft aufweise. Im Zusammenhang mit den von der Antragstellerin beanspruchten Waren und Dienstleistungen kann zum Prioritätszeitpunkt nach der Lebenserfahrung ausgeschlossen werden, dass die beteiligten Verkehrskreise bei einer Verwendung der Bezeichnung Black Friday im Zusammenhang mit den einzelnen Waren oder Dienstleistungen einen Hinweis auf die betriebliche Herkunft der beanspruchten Waren oder Dienstleistungen sehen können. Zu beachten ist, dass sich die OLG Entscheidung nur auf bestimmte Waren und Dienstleistungen der Klassen 9, 35 und 41 bezieht, die bei der betroffenen Marke beantragt worden waren. Wir gehen jedoch davon aus, dass die Marke auch gelöscht bzw. zum Schutz nicht zugelassen worden wäre, wenn Schutz auch für andere Waren und Dienstleistungen beantragt worden wäre, die im Handel rund um den „Black Friday“ typischerweise angeboten werden.

Dieser Grundsatz des OLG kann grundsätzlich auch auf die zahlreichen in Österreich bereits registrierten Wortbildmarken der jüngeren Vergangenheit angewendet werden, die den Wortbestandteil BLACK FRIDAY aufweisen. Folgt man der Ansicht der Entscheidung des OLG, entfaltet der Wortbestanteil BLACK FRIDAY keinen Schutz, sondern schlussfolgernd nur die bildliche Darstellung des Zeichens. Diese Zeichen sind daher für vergleichbare Waren und Dienstleistungen mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit nur deshalb zugelassen worden, weil sie auch einen (unterscheidungskräftigen) Bildbestandteil aufweisen. Offen ist noch die Frage, inwieweit die in der ganzen Europäischen Union geschützte Marke BLACK FRIDAY EUTM Nr. 17994123, eingetragen für Weine; Alkoholische Getränke, ausgenommen Bier der Oenoforos AB Schutz entfaltet. Bei der Kennzeichnung und Bewerbung von Weinen, alkoholischer Getränke und anderen ähnlichen Waren ist wegen dieser Marke grundsätzlich Vorsicht geboten. Faktum ist, dass die Marke derzeit für die genannten Waren auf Unionsebene eingetragen ist. Ob dies zurecht erfolgte oder es dem Zeichen ebenfalls an der Unterscheidungskraft (Registrierbarkeit) mangelt, ist durch die Instanzen nicht geklärt worden.

Auf jeden Fall gibt es gute Argumente, die an der Schutzfähigkeit des Zeichens zum Anmeldungszeitpunkt zweifeln lässt. Hier könnte schlussendlich u.a. ein Löschungsverfahren für Klarheit sorgen. Dieses kann auch ohne konkreten Streitfall vorab angestrengt werden. Neben der eingangs erwähnten BLACK FRIDAY Marke, den zahlreichen Wortbildmarken und der Marke BLACK FRIDAY für Weine usw., gibt es auch noch eine angemeldete Unions(wort)marke BLACK FRIDAY der österreichischen BLACK FRIDAY GmbH. Unionsmarken entfalten grundsätzlich auch in Österreich Schutzwirkung. Diese Marke ist noch nicht registriert worden und es ist derzeit offen, ob das Zeichen schlussendlich für alle beantragten Waren und Dienstleistungen eingetragen werden wird.

Aus unserer Sicht könnte das Zeichen nur für Waren und Dienstleistungen, die mit der Rabattaktion BLACK FRIDAY in keinem Zusammenhang stehen und damit von den relevanten Verkehrskreisen nicht als Hinweis auf eine Rabattaktion gesehen werden, als Marke zugelassen werden. Zu beachten ist, dass eine Marke unter der Voraussetzung, dass sie später tatsächlich zugelassen wird, ihre Schutzwirkung bereits mit dem Anmeldetag entfaltet. Angesichts des späten Anmeldetages dieser Marke und der gestiegenen Bedeutung des Rabatttages BLACK FRIDAY in der Europäischen Union – auch in den Staaten in denen keine nationale Marke eingetragen war – ist anzunehmen, dass diese Marke für die relevanten Waren und Dienstleistungen im Handel wohl nicht zugelassen werden wird.

Gewissheit können hier allerdings erst die übergeordneten Instanzen, bis hinauf zum EuGH bringen. Derzeit ist eine Beschwerde in diesem Anmeldeverfahren anhängig, wobei wir vermuten, dass die Beschwerde deshalb eingebracht wurde, weil die Marke vom Amt der Europäischen Union für Geistiges Eigentum wegen der mangelnden Unterscheidungskraft vorläufig nicht zugelassen wurde. Achtsam sollte man jedenfalls sein, wenn das Zeichen BLACK FRIDAY grenzüberschreitend eingesetzt wird. Auch wenn es aus österreichischer Sicht gute Argumente gibt, weshalb das Zeichen BLACK FRIDAY zur Bewerbung im Handel als rein beschreibend einzustufen ist und grundsätzlich frei verwendet werden sollen darf, kann nicht ausgeschlossen werden, dass dies in anderen Jurisdiktionen/Ländern anders gesehen wird. Das ist insbesondere hinsichtlich des deutschen Marktes relevant. Hier hat das Bundespatentgericht entschieden – erst kürzlich (am 27. Mai 2021) durch den Bundesgerichtshof bestätigt – dass die Verwendung des Zeichens BLACK FRIDAY der Super Union Holdings Ltd. für einige Werbedienstleistungen und zur Benennung einer Rabattaktion und damit eine Dienstleistung des Groß- und Einzelhandels in den Bereichen Elektro und Elektronikwaren beschreibend sei und deshalb für diese Dienstleistung nicht geschützt werden kann. Darüber hinaus wurden jedoch einige andere Handelsdienstleistungen (zB Einzelhandel über das Internet in den Bereichen: Chemische Erzeugnisse, Anstrichmittel, Drogeriewaren, Kosmetikwaren und Haushaltswaren), (noch) als schützbar angesehen.

Begründet wurde die Entscheidung damit, dass das Zeichen im Zeitpunkt der Anmeldung in Deutschland in anderen Branchen noch nicht so bekannt war und es (theoretisch) nicht abzusehen war, dass es bekannt wird. Hoffnung für den deutschen Markt gibt allerdings eine Entscheidung des Landgericht Berlin vom April 2021. Hier wurde festgehalten, dass die Marke von den Markeninhabern für einen Großteil der Waren und Dienstleistungen nicht rechtserhaltend benutzt wurde, was zur Folge hatte, dass die Marke für diese Waren und Dienstleistungen gelöscht wurde. Diese Entscheidung ist allerdings noch nicht rechtskräftig. Es bleibt also abzuwarten, wie sich die Situation in Deutschland entwickelt und die Instanzen entscheiden werden, wobei derzeit noch Vorsicht geboten ist. Darüber hinaus kann nach Ansicht einzelner Autoren ein Abmahnschreiben in Deutschland Schadenersatz auslösen, wenn der Abmahnende sich auf einen Markenschutz beruft, der bereits in erster Instanz aufgehoben wurde und dies in der Folge von der letzten Instanz bestätigt wird. Vorbehaltlich genauerer Prüfung der deutschen Rechtslage ist es aus diesem Grund fraglich, ob in Deutschland heuer wieder eine Welle von Abmahnschreiben zu erwarten sind. Bei grenzüberschreitendem Handel ist generell darauf zu achten, welcher Markenschutz im anderen Land besteht und welche Waren und Dienstleistungen angeboten werden, um keine Markenverletzung zu riskieren.

Wir empfehlen auf jeden Fall Abmahnungen nicht einfach hinzunehmen, sondern immer kritisch zu hinterfragen, wie diese begründet sind. Aus unserer Sicht, gibt es – abgesehen von den oben genannten Besonderheiten (zB grenzüberschreitende Verwendung, insb. Deutschland; Weinhandel; Handel mit alkoholischen Getränken; Verwendung für untypische Waren und Dienstleistungen; Bestand sehr alter BLACK FRIDAY Marken) für einige Waren und Dienstleistungen bereits entsprechende Rechtsprechung und darüber hinaus jedenfalls sehr gute Argumente, dass die Verwendung des Zeichens BLACK FRIDAY für die Ankündigung einer Rabattaktion in Österreich zulässig ist.
Dr. Gerald Mair

Nationale Marke, Unionsmarke - was ist der Unterschied?

Nationale Marken und Unionsmarken bieten, abgesehen vom Schutzgebiet, einen grundsätzlich ähnlichen Schutz. In der Praxis können sich jedoch Unterschiede ergeben.
Mag. Sebastian Feurstein
13. Oktober 2021
Neben rein nationalen Marken können in der EU auch europäische Marken (Unionsmarken) angemeldet werden. Beide Marken bieten, abgesehen vom Schutzgebiet, grundsätzlich einen ähnlichen Schutz. Im Einzelfall können sich in der Praxis jedoch Unterschiede ergeben.

An sich müssen bei einer Markenanmeldung zuerst zwei Hauptfragen geklärt werden: was wird als Marke geschützt; und für welche Waren und Dienstleistungen soll die Marke geschützt sein. Gerade aber, wenn man nicht nur in einem Land tätig ist, sollte man auch überlegen, in welchen Ländern man Schutz haben will.

Mit einer nationalen – zum Beispiel einer österreichischen – Marke hat man Schutz im jeweiligen Land und kann sich gegen Handlungen wehren, welche die Marke im jeweiligen Schutzland verletzen. Neben den klassischen Markenverletzungen wie dem Vertrieb unzulässig gekennzeichneter Produkte im jeweiligen Land kann man sich in der Regel auch gegen grenzüberschreitende Handlungen wie die Verwendung der geschützten Marke im Internet wehren, wenn damit auch der Markt des Schutzlandes angesprochen wird.

Wenn man aber in mehreren Ländern in der EU aktiv ist, wäre der Schutz in jedem einzelnen Land mit erhöhten Kosten sowie Aufwand verbunden, da hierbei jeweils eine andere nationale Behörde zuständig ist. Dieses Problem wird mit der Anmeldung einer Internationalen Marke für ausgewählte Länder oder der Anmeldung der Unionsmarke gelöst: Hierbei kann man vergleichsweise billig den Schutz für eine Marke in allen EU-Mitgliedsländern erwirken. Gerade wenn man in unterschiedlichen nationalen Märkten in der EU mit derselben Marke tätig ist, kann diese Lösung deutlich ökonomischer und zeitsparender sein als der Schutz für einzelne nationale Marken.

Der Schutz der Unionsmarke entspricht dabei im Wesentlichen dem Schutz der nationalen Marke in allen Mitgliedsstaaten, weswegen beide Markenarten in der Praxis auch gleich gehandhabt werden. Insbesondere kann man eine Unionsmarke verwenden, um gegen eine spätere nationale Marke eines Mitbewerbers vorzugehen – und umgekehrt. Zuständig sind hierbei in der Regel die Behörden des Landes, in dem man als Markeninhaber einen Nachteil erfahren hat.

Ein wichtiger Unterschied besteht jedoch bei Widerspruchsverfahren, bei denen man gegen eine Markenanmeldung vorgeht: Wenn man gegen eine nationale Marke vorgeht, ist hierfür das Patentamt des jeweiligen Landes – in Österreich etwa das österreichische Patentamt (ÖPA) – zuständig. Wenn man gegen eine Unionsmarke vorgeht, ist das Amt der Europäischen Union für geistiges Eigentum (EUIPO) zuständig. Somit kann es sein, dass auch ein Konflikt zwischen zwei österreichischen Unternehmen vor dem EUIPO ausgetragen werden muss, soweit es einen Widerspruch gegen eine Unionsmarke betrifft. Die beiden Ämter folgen bei ihrer Entscheidung im Widerspruchsverfahren denselben Prinzipien, dennoch gibt es teilweise Unterschiede in der Spruchpraxis. Grund dafür ist, dass die Entscheidungen der unterschiedlichen Patentämter nicht bindend füreinander sind. Das kann vor allem dann relevant sein, wenn es um die Frage geht, wie weit der Schutz einer Marke konkret geht. Hierbei handelt es sich nämlich um eine Rechtsfrage, die zu einem gewissen Ausmaß vom jeweils zuständigen Gericht geklärt werden muss. In der Vergangenheit gab es Fälle, wo die Frage, ob eine nationale Marke überhaupt Schutzwirkung entfaltet, von den nationalen Behörden und dem EUIPO gegenteilig beantwortet wurde.

Eine solche Diskrepanz ist inzwischen nicht mehr möglich, zeigt aber, dass hier teilweise unterschiedliche Standards angewandt werden. In der Praxis zählt somit nicht nur, dass man irgendeine Marke registriert hat. Wichtig ist auch, was für eine Art von Marke es ist, für welche Waren und Dienstleistungen sie gilt, sowie welche Behörden im Einzelfall bei einem allfälligen Konflikt zuständig sind. Gerne beraten wir Sie bei diesen und weiteren Fragen in einem persönlichen Gespräch.
Mag. Sebastian Feurstein, BA

Problematik Serienzeichen: Teilkopie erlaubt?

Oft werden geschützte marken gemeinsam mit anderen Zeichen verwendet. Eine kürzlich ergangene Entscheidung vom OGH gibt Anlass, sich mit sogenannten Serienzeichen auseinanderzusetzen.
Dr. Gerald Mair
8. September 2021
Oft werden geschützte Marken gemeinsam mit anderen Zeichen verwendet. Kürzlich wurde vom OGH bestätigt, dass Marken die zur Gänze in einer anderen Marke aufgehen, regelmäßig als verwechselbar ähnlich angesehen werden. Begründet wird das häufig damit, dass Verbraucher annehmen könnte, dass es sich um eine Variation der Ware handelt, die ursprünglich mit dem kopierten Teil gekennzeichnet wurde – es sich also um ein Serienzeichen handelt.

Konkret ging es bei der OGH Entscheidung 4 Ob 32/21s vom 21.5.2021 u.a. um die Frage, ob die nachfolgende österreichische Marke Nr. 293.410:

als ähnlich zur internationalen Marke Nr. 777429, die auch auf Österreich erstreckt ist:

anzusehen ist. In diesem Fall wäre ein Widerspruch gegen die jüngere Marke erfolgreich.

Neben der Frage der ernsthaften Verwendung behandelte der OGH auch die Frage, ob der Bildbestandteil der Marke gegenüber dem Wortbestandteil dermaßen in den Hintergrund rückt, dass keine Verwechslungsgefahr vorliegt. Das wurde vom OGH verneint: Zwischen der Widerspruchsmarke (Bildmarke) und der angegriffenen Marke bestehe Verwechslungsgefahr, weil das Bildelement in letzterer nicht in ausreichender Weise in den Hintergrund trete, sondern weil aus Sicht der Betrachter mit einer gewissen Wahrscheinlichkeit angenommen werde, die Ziffern-Buchstabenkombination sowie das kleinere Wort „IMMOGROUP“ seien eine zusätzliche Spezifikation einer Ware oder einer Dienstleistung, die von jenem Unternehmen stamme, das schon durch das abgebildete Säulendiagramm identifiziert werden könne. Im Übrigen seien Zeichen, die – wie die Widerspruchsmarken – nicht färbig eingetragen seien, in der Regel mit ähnlichen Zeichen in allen Farben verwechselbar.

Dieser Auffassung ist zuzustimmen, insbesondere mit dem Argument, dass viele Unternehmen ihre Zeichen als Haupt- und Nebenmarken - oft als Serienzeichen – verwenden. Das ist gerade bei Herstellern von Kraftfahrzeugen sehr beliebt, wobei die Marke des Unternehmens und die Marke der konkreten Fahrzeuglinie in Kombination verwendet werden. Allerdings wird nicht immer dieser Rechtsansicht so klar gefolgt; das liegt u.a. daran, dass es hier rechtliche Schwachstellen gibt. Es gibt im derzeitigen Markensystem keine Möglichkeit, Serienzeichen rechtssicher und kostengünstig schützen zu lassen. Das liegt zunächst am „Verwendungszwang“: Eine Marke muss immer so verwendet werden, wie sie eingetragen ist, um nicht Gefahr zu laufen, ab fünf Jahre nach Registrierung gelöscht zu werden. Eine ständige abweichende Verwendung im Vergleich zur Eintragung kann also zur Löschung der Marke führen. Wenn nun Serienzeichen verwendet werden – also Haupt- und Nebenzeichen gemeinsam – kann nicht eindeutig gesagt werden kann, ob das als Verwendung von zwei Einzelmarken; oder nur einem Kombinationszeichen gesehen wird. Die Grenzen sind hier schwierig zu ziehen, weshalb in der Regel immer alle Kombinationen und alle Einzelmarken geschützt werden müssen.

Andererseits kann es vorkommen, dass man gegen ein fremdes, an sich ähnliches Zeichen nur dann vorgehen kann, wenn die Haupt- und Nebenmarke in Kombination geschützt wurde. Wenn nämlich das fremde Zeichen gerade nicht mehr als ähnlich zur Haupt- oder Nebenmarke vom relevanten Publikum gesehen wird, kann es sein, dass nur beim Schutz beider Einzelzeichen gemeinsam – also als Kombination – ein Markeneingriff bejaht wird. Um einen idealen Schutz zu bekommen, müsste man daher alle einzelnen Nebenmarken als auch alle Kombinationen zwischen der Hauptmarke und Nebenmarke schützen lassen. Der oben erwähnte Fall zeigt die Problematik insbesondere hinsichtlich der ernsthaften Verwendung auf. Dort wurde die „Drei Streifen“-Marke stets nur in Verbindung mit dem Wortbestandteil OVB verwendet:

Die Gegenseite argumentierte, dass eine solche Verwendung nicht ernsthaft ist, da die drei Streifen nicht alleine für sich verwendet wurden. „Gelöst“ wurde das Problem offenbar damit, dass sowohl das OLG als auch der OGH von einer ernsthaften Verwendung des grafischen Bestandteils (drei Streifen) ausgeht, auch wenn das Zeichen offenbar nicht in Alleinstellung verwendet wurde. Bisher galt ein Zeichen grundsätzlich nur als ernsthaft verwendet, wenn durch die unterschiedliche Verwendung die Unterscheidungskraft nicht beeinflusst wird (vgl. § 33a Abs 4 Z 1 MSchG).

Aus meiner Sicht ist das aber hier der Fall: Die Verwendung gemeinsam mit dem unterscheidungskräftigen Wortteil OVB ist ausreichend, um bei einer Gesamtbetrachtung die Unterscheidungskraft des Zeichens zu beeinflussen. Hier war die bisherige Rechtsprechung häufig sehr streng (vgl etwa OPMS vom 28.11.2007, Om 10/07 - Rothmans). Es könnte allerdings argumentiert werden, dass hier kein Kombinationszeichen verwendet wird, sondern es sich um zwei aus Sicht der Verkehrskreise selbständige Zeichen handelt. Das geht aus der OGH Entscheidung aber nicht hervor.

Auch wenn das Ergebnis der Entscheidung begrüßenswert ist, wird diese Problematik betreffend Serienzeichen dadurch nicht gelöst. Eine Klarstellung im Gesetz wäre wünschenswert.
Dr. Gerald Mair

Urheberrecht - Neue Entscheidung zu Fotos

Im Unternhemensalltag werden urheberrecchtliche Fälle vergleichsweise selten besprochen. Eine neue OGH-Entscheidung zeigt, was in solchen Fällen zu beachten ist.
Mag. Sebastian Feurstein
25. August 2021
URHEBERRECHT: FOTO-ENTSCHEIDUNG ERLEICHTERT UMGANG IM UNTERNEHMENSALLTAG

Fotos, Texte, Präsentationen – im Geschäftsalltag kommen urheberrechtliche Themen häufig vor. Vergleichsweise selten wird aber die Rechteeinräumung bei solchen Werken besprochen oder schriftlich festgehalten. Das kann zu bösen Überraschungen führen. Der Oberste Gerichtshof hat nun vor Kurzem in einem solchen Fall zugunsten des Auftraggebers entschieden.

Im konkreten Fall hatte ein Berufsfotograf für ein Unternehmen mehr als 15 Jahre lang Fotos angefertigt. Die Fotos wurden vom Unternehmen fast uneingeschränkt für verschiedene Zwecke und in der Regel ohne Urheberhinweis verwendet. Eine ausdrückliche Vereinbarung über die zulässige Nutzung gab es nicht. Als 2017 versucht wurde, die gelebte Geschäftsbeziehung zu verschriftlichen, scheiterten die Vertragsverhandlungen. Der Fotograf zog vor Gericht: Das Unternehmen solle die Fotos nur noch eingeschränkt verwenden dürfen, und müsse ihn als Urheber nennen. Dagegen wehrten sich die Beklagten erfolgreich in erster und zweiter Instanz. Nun hat der Oberste Gerichtshof die abweisenden Urteile bestätigt (OGH vom 20.04.2021, 4 Ob 215/20a).

Ganz grundsätzlich gilt im Zivilrecht, dass auch ohne ausdrückliche Vereinbarung vertragliche Beziehungen mit Rechten und Pflichten entstehen können („stillschweigend“ oder „konkludent“). Der Vertragsinhalt bestimmt sich dann vorrangig nach dem, was von beiden Seiten gewollt (aber nicht ausgesprochen) war. Wenn beide Seiten bei einzelnen (Neben-)Punkten überhaupt keine Vorstellung hatten, was sie wollen, oder diese Vorstellungen voneinander abweichen, können n manchen Fällen rechtliche Auffangregeln zur Anwendung kommen. Wenn es diese nicht gibt, zählt in der Regel, was durchschnittliche, vernünftige Vertragspartner vereinbart hätten.

Im Urheberrecht gibt es für den Fall, dass der Umfang der Rechteeinräumung nicht ausdrücklich vereinbart worden ist, zwei wichtige Sonderregeln: Einerseits ist, wie der OGH in seiner Entscheidung noch einmal betont, eine Rechteeinräumung grundsätzlich mit dem Zweck begrenzt, für den das Werk ursprünglich eingeräumt wurde. Andererseits ist nach dem Gesetz in einigen Fällen (z.B. bei Bearbeitungen) im Zweifel davon auszugehen, dass der Urheber eher weniger als mehr Rechte eingeräumt hat bzw. einräumen wollte.

Das führt in der Praxis dazu, dass ein Unternehmer bei solchen nicht ausdrücklich geregelten urheberrechtlichen Verträgen plötzlich erkennen muss, dass er für eine gewünschte Nutzung nicht die notwendigen Rechte hat. Das kann insbesondere dann der Fall sein, wenn er das jeweilige Werk ursprünglich für einen bestimmten Zweck erworben hat (z.B. unternehmensinterne Verwendung) und nun für einen anderen Zweck (z.B. Verwendung in Marketingunterlagen) verwenden will.

Im obigen Fall konnte das Unternehmen die Gerichte jedoch davon überzeugen, dass es eine ausreichende konkludente Vereinbarung zwischen dem Fotografen und dem Unternehmen für die Verwendung gab. Dabei hat das Gericht folgende Punkte als wesentlich erachtet:

- von Anfang an hat das Unternehmen klar gemacht, dass die Fotos auch Dritten zur Verfügung gestellt werden sollen;

- der Fotograf hatte sich nie gegen einer Veröffentlichung seiner Fotos gewehrt;

- der Fotograf hat auch die Vorgabe befolgt, die von ihm hergestellten Fotos nur mit Zustimmung des Unternehmens an Dritte weiterzugeben;

- der Fotograf hat auch fast nie den Wunsch geäußert, namentlich genannt zu werden;

- die Rechnung des Fotografen enthielt den Vermerk „Copyrights-Verwendungsrecht uneingeschränkt außer Plakate“, und eine Verwendung für Plakate, Messewände, Roll-Up-Citylight uä fand tatsächlich nicht statt.

Damit sah der OGH eine ausreichende Grundlage für die rechtliche Beurteilung der Vorinstanzen, dass das Unternehmen ein fast uneingeschränktes Werknutzungsrecht an den Fotos hat. Diese Entscheidung ist begrüßenswert, da sie für Unternehmen, die regelmäßig ohne besondere Vereinbarung im urheberrechtlichen Kontext arbeiten, mehr Sicherheit schafft. Gleichzeitig wird aber auch klargestellt, dass bereits kleine Punkte wie der Vermerk auf der Rechnung oder die klare Kommunikation, dass ein Werk uneingeschränkt verwendet wird, helfen können, um das Risiko einer nachträglichen Einschränkung der Verwendung zu verhindern.
Mag. Sebastian Feurstein, BA

3D-Marke oder Geschmacksmuster?

Produktformen können als Marken und (auch) als Geschmacksmuster eingetragen werden. Dabei sind jedoch einige Unterschiede zu beachten.
Mag. Valeria Miozzo
11. August 2021
Schutzfähigkeit des äußeren Erscheinungsbildes eines Produkts: 3D-Marke oder Geschmacksmuster?

Wie Dr. Rudolf Pendl im letzten Artikel erörtert hat, hat das Gericht der Europäischen Union kürzlich festgestellt, dass die Form einer bestimmten Lippenstifthülle von Guerlain markenrechtlich schutzfähig ist. In bestimmten Fällen kann die Form einer Ware jedoch (auch) als Geschmacksmuster schutzfähig sein.

Sowohl der Marken- als auch der Geschmacksmusterschutz sind sogenannte registrierbare Rechte, die dazu beitragen können, das geistige Eigentum eines Unternehmens zu sichern. Es gibt jedoch einige wesentliche Unterschiede zwischen beiden Schutzrechten: Die Hauptfunktion einer Marke besteht darin, den Verbrauchern zu ermöglichen, die Waren oder Dienstleistungen eines Unternehmens von denen anderer Unternehmen zu unterscheiden.

Eine wesentliche Voraussetzung für ihre Eintragungsfähigkeit ist daher ihre Unterscheidungskraft. Dies gilt nicht nur für “klassische” Marken, die aus Buchstaben oder Bildelementen bestehen, sondern auch für Marken, die aus einer bestimmten Form oder Verpackung einer Ware bestehen. Solche Formen und Verpackungen sind schutzfähig, wenn sie es den Kunden ermöglichen, die Waren oder Dienstleistungen mit einzelnen Unternehmen in Verbindung zu bringen. Geschmacksmuster müssen dagegen nicht unterscheidungskräftig, sondern neu sein und eine bestimmte Eigenart aufweisen, d. h. sie dürfen nicht mit früheren Geschmacksmustern identisch sein und einen anderen Gesamteindruck erwecken als Geschmacksmuster, die der Öffentlichkeit bereits zugänglich gemacht wurden.

Diese unterschiedlichen Anforderungen an die Schutzfähigkeit der Marke und des Geschmacksmusters liegen im Rechtschutzziel begründet. Während die Marke u.a. dazu dient, für Kunden die Zuordnung der Herkunft einer Ware oder Dienstleistung aus einem Unternehmen zu ermöglichen, liegt der Fokus beim Geschmacksmuster in erster Linie auf dem Schutz der unternehmerischen Investition für die Entwicklung einer neuen Form. Beide Schutzrechte unterscheiden sich auch in den unterschiedlichen Schutzfristen. Während Marken für 10 Jahre eingetragen werden und unbegrenzt verlängert werden können, können Geschmacksmuster für 5 Jahre eingetragen werden, die bis zu maximal 25 Jahren verlängert werden. Trotz des zeitlich begrenzten Schutzes bietet das Geschmacksmusterrecht jedoch mehrere Vorteile gegenüber dreidimensionalen Marken. Erstens kann es schwierig sein, eine dreidimensionale Marke eintragen zu lassen. Im Gegensatz dazu ist das Eintragungsverfahren für Geschmacksmusterrechte relativ schnell.

Daher eignen sich Geschmacksmuster besonders für den Schutz von Produktlinien, die sich zeitlich schnell ändern und einen begrenzten Lebenszyklus haben (z. B. Modeprodukte, die nur für die Dauer einer Saison hergestellt und vermarktet werden). Darüber hinaus bietet das EU-Recht auch Schutz für nicht eingetragene Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmuster, die ein solches Geschmacksmuster in begrenztem Umfang (nur gegen Nachahmung) für einen Zeitraum von höchstens drei Jahren ab dem Zeitpunkt schützen, an dem es der Öffentlichkeit in der EU erstmals zugänglich gemacht wurde. Nicht eingetragene Marken sind dagegen in der Regel nur dann geschützt, wenn sie als bei den beteiligten Verkehrskreisen ausreichend bekannt sind, was im Allgemeinen eher die Ausnahme ist. Ein nicht eingetragenes Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmuster kann sogar in ein eingetragenes Geschmacksmusterrecht umgewandelt werden, wenn die Anmeldung innerhalb von 12 Monaten erfolgt, nachdem das Erzeugnis, in das das Geschmacksmuster aufgenommen wurde, der Öffentlichkeit in der EU erstmals zugänglich gemacht wurde.

Daher sind Geschmacksmuster für Unternehmen besonders nützlich, um zunächst den Erfolg des Produkts auf dem Markt zu bewerten, bevor sie entscheiden, ob sie eine Eintragung vornehmen wollen oder nicht. Marken und Geschmacksmuster erfüllen also unterschiedliche Bedürfnisse und werden auf der Grundlage unterschiedlicher Anforderungen erteilt. Wenn also die Eintragung einer dreidimensionalen Marke vom Amt abgelehnt wird, bedeutet dies nicht, dass die Form des Produkts nicht als Geschmacksmuster geschützt werden kann. Im Gegensatz zu Markenanmeldung wird bei der Anmeldung des Geschmacksmusters auch nicht vom Amt automatisch geprüft, ob das Geschmacksmuster neu ist oder Eigenart hat, sondern erst auf Antrag eines Dritten. Dadurch bietet ein Geschmacksmuster schnelleren Schutz; aber auch mehr rechtliche Unsicherheit, falls ein Mitbewerber das Geschmacksmuster angreift.

Im Fall des Lippenstifts von Guerlain war die Form des Produkts bereits seit 2008 als Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmuster geschützt, was dazu beitrug, Wettbewerber daran zu hindern, das einzigartige Design nachzuahmen. In dem Markenverfahren zehn Jahre später wurde die Anmeldung zuerst zurückgewiesen, am Ende jedoch wurde das Lippenstiftetui vom Gericht der Europäischen Union als unterscheidungskräftig angesehen und als Marke zugelassen.

Dies zeigt, dass der geschickte Einsatz von Geschmacksmuster- und Markenschutz dazu beitragen kann, die Investitionen eines Unternehmens in Produkte mit einem innovativen Erscheinungsbild zu schützen. Da beide Schutzformen kumulativ sind (die eine schließt die andere nicht aus), sollten bei Produkten mit einer besonders innovativen oder unterscheidungskräftigen Form, die sich für den Inhaber als wertvoller Vermögenswert erweisen könnte, immer beide Schutzrechte in Betracht gezogen werden.
Dott. ssa Mag. Valeria Miozzo

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos

THE NEW PENDL MAIR WEBSITE

Starting May 2022 PENDL MAIR will be represented by a new website. This is a big step for PENDL MAIR Attorneys at Law. Who will visit it? Who will not visit it? There is a lot to talk about. Lets review it in this Article.
Andor Sipos
12.04.2022
Generally, two main questions must first be clarified when filing a trademark application: what is to be protected as a trademark; and for which goods and services is the trademark to be protected. However, especially if a business is not only active in one country, they should also consider in which countries they want to have protection. With a national trademark - for example, an Austrian trademark - you have protection in the respective country and can defend yourself against actions that infringe the trademark in the respective country of protection. In addition to classic trademark infringements such as the distribution of illegally marked products in the respective country, one can usually also defend oneself against cross-border actions such as the use of the protected trademark on the internet, if this also addresses the market of the country of protection.

However, if one is active in several countries in the EU, protection in each individual country would involve increased costs and effort, since a different national authority is competent in each case. This problem is solved by applying for an international trademark for selected countries or by applying for an EU trademark: Here, protection for a trademark can be obtained comparatively cheaply in all EU member states. Especially if you are active in different national markets in the EU with the same trademark, this solution can be much more economical and time-saving than protection for individual national trademarks. The protection of the EU trademark essentially corresponds to the protection of the national trademark in all member states, which is why both types of trademarks are handled in the same way in practice.

In particular, an EU trademark can be used to take action against a subsequent national trademark of a competitor - and vice versa. As a rule, the competent authorities are those of the country in which the trademark proprietor has suffered any damage. However, there is an important difference in opposition proceedings against a trademark application: If you oppose a national trademark, the patent office of the respective country - in Austria, for example, the Austrian Patent Office (APO) - is responsible. If you take action against an EU trademark, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible. Thus, a conflict between two Austrian companies may also have to be settled before the EUIPO, as far as an opposition against an EU trademark is concerned. The two offices follow the same principles in their decisions in opposition proceedings, but there are sometimes differences in their decision-making practice.

The reason for this is that the decisions of the different patent offices are not binding on each other. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to the question of how far the protection of a trademark actually goes. This is a legal question that must be clarified to a certain extent by the respective competent court. In the past, there have been cases where the question of whether a national trademark has any protective effect at all was answered in the opposite way by the national authorities and the EUIPO. Such a discrepancy is now no longer possible, but it shows that different standards are sometimes applied here. In practice, therefore, it is not only the fact that one has registered a trademark that counts. It is also important what kind of trademark it is, for which goods and services it applies, as well as which authorities are responsible in the individual case of a possible conflict. We are happy to advise you on these and other questions in a personal meeting.
Andor Sipos
PENDL MAIR Rechtsanwälte

Annagasse 8-10
1010 Vienna, Austria

T: +4315129448
F: +431512944833

office@pm-law.at