Have a break…perhaps they should!
Nestlé may have been successful in trade marking its slogan…but it appears the four-fingered chocolate bar is not distinctive enough to warrant protection of its shape.
The Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”), in a Judgment dated 25th July, upheld the General Court’s previous decision in 2016, wherein it annulled the earlier decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) which had erred in law when it found that the chocolate bar had acquired “distinctive character”. The CJEU held that a trade mark can only be protected as an EU trade mark if it can be demonstrated that it has acquired “distinctive character” across all EU member states. This high threshold may have implications on other EU trade marks that may be unable to provide evidence of “distinctive character” across all member states.
The matter will now return to the IPO, 16 years later, for a determination on whether to uphold its initial decision that the trade mark is valid.
It took years for Nestlé to register the slogan “Have a Break” as a trade mark, finally succeeding in 2006…is this a re-run?
There are no caps on the price of chocolate it appears as both Nestlé and Mondelēz have been ordered to pay their own legal bills.
The DBKAG & K (CJEU) decision: an opportunity for investment funds?
On 17 June 2021, the European Court decided the joint cases K (C-58/20) and DBKAG (C-59/20) regarding whether the supply of certain services constituted the “management of special investment funds”, benefiting from the VAT exemption enshrined in Article 135(1)(g) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC.
Raising the bar: UK Supreme Court clarifies the requirements for HMRC to issue Follower Notices
On 2 July 2021, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in R (on the application of Haworth) v HMRC  UKSC 25, finding unanimously in favour of the taxpayer and upholding the Court of Appeal’s decision to quash the follower notice issued to him.
The Danish Supreme Court decides the Fidelity case
The Fidelity case concerned claims brough by three undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) for the repayment of Danish withholding tax on dividends received from companies resident in Denmark between 2000 and 2009. The Supreme Court rejected the claims on the grounds that the Fidelity UCITS did not fulfil the conditions for the exemption provided by Danish law.
A yellow card for footballers and their agents……let’s bring in another match official
There has been long running tension between HMRC and the way that footballers and their agents are remunerated. As the Professional Footballers’ Association wade into the debate, Helen McGhee discusses the problems arising from agents’ fees and image rights.