Markenrechtsnovelle 2017 – Kostensenkung insbesondere für langfristige Marken

2017/09/01

Mit der Mitte 2017 erlassenen Novelle zu den Immaterialgütergesetzen, hat sich auch eine finanzielle Erleichterung für Markenanmelder sowie Markeninhaber ergeben.

 

Konkret bedeutet dies, dass für eine Standard-Neuanmeldung mit Ähnlichkeitsrecherche € 324,- (anstatt bisher € 372,-) zu bezahlen sind. Wird keine Ähnlichkeitsrecherche gewünscht, reduziert sich der Betrag um € 40,- auf € 284,-.

 

Um das Risiko potentieller Konflikte weiter einschränken zu können, empfiehlt es sich jedoch jedenfalls, eine Ähnlichkeitsrecherche anzufordern und auswerten zu lassen.

 

Die Erneuerungsgebühren wurden nunmehr einheitlich auf € 700,- festgelegt, unabhängig von der bisherigen Registrierungsdauer der Marke.

 

Die Markenrechtsexperten von PENDL MAIR Rechtsanwälte unterstützen Sie gerne auch bei diesbezüglichen markenrechtlichen Fragen.    


Markenrechtsnovelle 2017 – Gewährleistungsmarke

2017/08/16

Aufgrund der Markenrechtsnovelle 2017 ist es ab sofort möglich, neben der Individualmarke und Kollektivmarke auch eine Gewährleistungsmarke in Österreich – ab 01.09.2017 und ab 01.10.2017 auch auf EU-Ebene (Unionsgewährleistungsmarke) – eintragen zu lassen.

 

Eine Gewährleistungsmarke ist ein so bezeichnetes Kennzeichen, welches geeignet ist, die Waren oder Dienstleistungen, für die der Inhaber der Marke das Material, die Art und Weise der Herstellung der Waren oder der Erbringung der Dienstleistungen, die Qualität, Genauigkeit oder andere Eigenschaften (ausgenommen die geografische Herkunft) gewährleistet, von solchen zu unterscheiden, für die keine derartige Gewährleistung besteht.

 

Um eine gewisse Unabhängigkeit bei der Prüfung der Voraussetzungen für die Verwendung der Marke und bei der entsprechenden Kontrolle zu wahren, können Inhaber der Gewährleistungsmarke nur solche Personen sein, die keine gewerbliche Tätigkeit ausüben, welche die Lieferung von Waren oder Dienstleistungen umfasst, für die eine Gewährleistungsmarke besteht.    


Storage of dynamic IP addresses: ECJ emphasizes interest balancing

2016/11/08

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has dealt with the legal permissibility of the storage of dynamic IP addresses by judgment of October 19, 2016 (C-582/14, Patrick Breyer / Bundesrepublik Deutschland).


The question again dealt with was as to whether and under which circumstances dynamic IP addresses are personal data according to European data protection law. The Court's answer: From the perspective of the operator of the website, a dynamic IP address constitutes personal data when such operator has legal means which allow such operator to identify the visitor by the additional information provided by the internet access provider of the user.


In this context, the ECJ refers to the German legal situation according to which, in certain situations (for example cyberattacks), it is possible for the operator to turn to the authorities in order to obtain the relevant information from the internet access provider and to subsequently initiate the prosecution. As to the question under which circumstances such IP addresses may be stored, the ECJ has clarified that the defense against cyberattacks is a legitimate interest which can be the legal basis for legal data storage.


In addition, the ECJ clarifies that, without exceptions, in respect of any data processing there must always be a balancing of the interests or the basic rights or fundamental freedoms of the users against the interests of the data processor. Therefore, no purpose (in this case: the general functionality of the online medium) per se legitimates any data storage; however, all legitimate interests of the data processor must be taken into account during the respective legal assessment.


Thus, the permissibility of data processing must be judged in each case individually, which, according to the opinion of various voices, has increased legal uncertainty in the already complex field of data protection law.


Due to the considerable interest in the topic, PENDL MAIR Rechtsanwälte OG, together with Mr. Michael Abmayer (specialist for IT-Security) will give an impulse workshop under the title "General Data Protection Regulation New" at Vienna Bar Association on December 1, 2016.


European Commission launches EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Successor of Safe Harbor enters into force

2016/07/12

On July 12, 2016, the European Commission adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield by "adequacy decision" replacing the Safe Harbor framework which was declared invalid through the ruling of the European Court of Justice on October 6, 2015.

 

This new framework is intended to protect the fundamental rights of anyone in the EU whose personal data is transferred to the United States as well as to bring legal clarity for businesses relying on transatlantic data transfers.

 

The EU-US Privacy Shield provides several instruments for more data protection, including stronger obligations on companies handling data, clear safeguards and transparency obligations on U.S. government access as well as effective protection of individual rights. To ensure the effectiveness of these new features, annual joint reviews by the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce will take place.

 

However, an initial assessment does suggest that this agreement, as previously Safe Harbor, may also not withstand an audit by the European Court of Justice as the improvements may not meet all requirements set out by the Court’s ruling.

 

The next steps include the publication of the framework for the Privacy Shield in the U.S. Federal Register whereupon the U.S. Department of Commerce will start operating the Privacy Shield. As of August 1, companies will be able to certify with the US Department of Commerce after making any necessary adjustments.


Trade secrets protection

2016/05/27

The Council of the EU adopted a directive setting out rules for the protection of trade secrets and confidential information of EU companies. The decision follows an agreement reached with the European Parliament on December 15, 2015.

The directive, which lays down common measures against the unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secrets, aims at ensuring a smooth functioning internal market.

It is also intended to have a deterrent effect against the illegal disclosure of trade secrets, without undermining fundamental rights and freedoms or the public interest, such as public safety, consumer protection, public health, environmental protection and mobility of workers.

The Legal 500: PENDL MAIR amongst the Leading Law Firms in Intellectual Property

2016/04/13

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

"The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) 2016" is now available and recommends PENDL MAIR as one of the leading Austrian law firms in Intellectual Property. This ranking acknowledges the expertise of our team and the position as an IP law boutique on an international level.

 

The Legal 500 EMEA 2016 on PENDL MAIR’s IP Team:

 

Pendl Mair Attorneys at Law’s ‘customer-oriented’ team is jointly headed by the ‘very experienced’ Rudolf Pendl and the ‘very attentive’ Gerald Mair, who both joined from Zeiner & Zeiner in 2014. The ‘extremely committed’ team handled voestalpine Edelstahl’s trade mark administration and frequently acts on copyright issues and patent infringements. Martin Walser is recommended.

 

For 28 years, the internationally renowned directory The Legal 500 has been recommending the leading legal advisors in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide. The IP ranking for Austria is available online at http://www.legal500.com/c/austria/intellectual-property.



Top Ranking for PENDL MAIR – JUVE Evaluates Austrian Law Firms in “Intellectual Property – Trademark and Unfair Competition Law”

2015/09/02

In its issue July/August 2015, the Austrian edition of the renowned German journal JUVE – Magazin für Wirtschaftsjuristen presents an evaluation of Austrian law firms in the field of "Intellectual Property Law".

In addition to that, the attorneys of PENDL MAIR have been ranked in JUVE’s HANDBOOK ON BUSINESS LAW FIRMS 2015/2016 amongst the leading lawyers in Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

 

JUVE places particular emphasis on the support of the international trademark and design strategies of very renowned clients, the high profile of the law firm for its extensive trademark application and administration practice, the commitment in patent law, the experience in copyright law and the good international networking.

 

JUVE researches and reports on trends in the German and Austrian lawyers’ market, in particular which law firms and in-house legal departments are setting the tone and who the leaders are in their respective fields.

 

The latest JUVE ranking is available here: http://www.juve.de/handbuch/at/2015/ranking/24450.


brass bands on the Internet

2015/09/01

In the current issue of the magazine "Blasmusik in Tirol" Gerald Mair informs about what traditional brass bands should consider in connection with their internet appearance.


Photographs as legal stumbling blocks for traditional brass bands

2015/06/18

In the current issue of the magazine "Blasmusik in Tirol" Martin J. Walser informs about how to also keep on time in copyright issues.


DATA PROTECTION - THE SLEEPING TIGER AWAKENS

2015/06/16

Yesterday, the Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on the general data protection regulation that establishes rules adapted to the digital era. The twin aims of this regulation are to enhance the level of personal data protection for individuals and to increase business opportunities in the Digital Single Market.

 

Now, the Council will begin negotiations with the European Parliament with a view to reaching overall agreement on new EU data protection rules.

 

Main elements of the agreement:

  • Easier access of persons to their data.
  • More detailed information about what happens to a person’s personal data once such a person decides to share it: Data controllers must be more transparent about how personal data is handled, for example by informing individuals about their privacy policy in clear and plain language.
  • A right to erasure of personal data and "to be forgotten", enabling anyone, for example, to require that a service provider removes, without delay, personal data collected when that individual was a child.
  • A right to portability enabling easier transmission of personal data from one service provider, for instance a social network, to another. This will also increase competition among service providers.
  • Limits to the use of 'profiling', i.e. automated processing of personal data to assess personal aspects, such as performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences etc.

GOOD NEWS FOR COMPANIES

 

To reduce costs and provide legal certainty, in important transnational cases where several national supervisory authorities are involved, a single supervisory decision will be taken. This one-stop-shop mechanism will allow a company with subsidiaries in several member states to limit its contacts to the data protection authority in the member state where it is established.

 

In order to reduce compliance costs, data controllers can, on the basis of an assessment of the risk involved in their processing of personal data, define risk levels and put in place measures in line with those levels.

 

FINALLY, THE BAD NEWS FOR COMPANIES

Where data protection rules are not respected, data controllers face fines of up to € 1 million or 2% of their global annual turnover.

 

Martin J. Walser


Brass band music and copyright law

2015/06/08

On June 5, 2015, the Congress of the Austrian "Brass Band Music Union" (Österreichischer Blasmusikverband) took place in Innsbruck. Gerald Mair, attorney at law, presented a variety of legal topics to the interested participants – as always based on practical cases – and pointed out risks related to copyright law.

 

Further pictures are available on our Facebook page.


Legally adequate advertising

2015/05/29

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, we had a presentation on the topic "Advertising in compliance with the law" at the Vienna Bar Association, together with Mr. Sascha Ladurner, a media expert from Quickdraw Media.

Further pictures of this exclusive event are available on our Facebook page.


EU COMMISSION’S DRAFT FOR A "DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET STRATEGY" LEAKED

2015/05/05

On May 6, 2015, the EU Commission should release its strategy for the so called "Digital Single Market". However, copies of the draft have been leaked in the meantime.

 

Apparently, the EU Commission envisages to ensure that the Digital Single Market is in fact "single", following the trends of the digital world. According to the leaked documents, the European Union intents to create "a Digital Single Market as an area where the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured and where citizens and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition" helping to "restore Europe as a world leader in information and communications technology, with all the tools and skills required to succeed in the global digital economy."

The upcoming developments remain demanding and exciting. More will follow in a little while.


No Trademark Protection for Simple Advertising Slogans

2015/04/24

For the first time since the dissolution of the Austrian Supreme Patent and Trademark Senate, the Austrian Supreme Court ruled that an advertising slogan lacks distinctive character and thus eligibility for registration as a trademark, if the text of such a slogan is purely descriptive and/or only consists of common advertising messages.

 

The Austrian Supreme Court decided that the average consumer understands "SELEKTIV/LINE" as "selective" or "selected assortment" or "selection" and thus a trademark would not be recognized. The fact that such terms are English expressions does not change the assessment that the sign is not eligible for registration as a trademark, since the relevant public understands the English language, the Austrian Supreme Court concluded.

 

However, word/figurative marks with a text component that is not distinctive are usually registered based on their respective figurative element. On the other hand, this is – like in the present application procedure – not the case if the sign shows very simple geometric forms only and consists of no special color combinations.

 

Prior to the registration of a sign, it is advisable to assess a potential trademark regarding its eligibility for registration professionally. In particular, the use of advertising slogans repeatedly results in objections of the Patent Office. A good and comprehensive trademark strategy helps to avoid unnecessary costs and potential risks.

 

Gerald Mair


Legal risks of Internet Appearances

2014/10/28

The presentation on “Optimizing Search Engines and Internet Law” held on October 23rd 2015 was a huge success.


At the beginning, Gerold Kumpfhuber, CEO of appsystems, informed about interesting issues concerning the topic SEO.


In the second presentation, Gerald Mair and Martin J. Walser, attorneys at law, dealt with the Internet Law. The audience was informed about the risks using the Internet and certain misbeliefs have been addressed.

Pictures are available on our Facebook page.