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News article25 February 2020Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

The Beatles against fake merch / Oracle vs. Google / Jägermeister's successful Swiss trade mark registration

It’s already the last week of February and here we are bringing you the latest IP news.


The Beatles against fake merch

Back in 1968, Apple Corps was founded to oversee the Beatles' creative and business interests. This company and Subafilms Ltd (owner of all rights related to “Yellow Submarine”) filed a trade mark infringement complaint against the defendants because of the unauthorized use of “Yellow Submarine, “The Beatles” and “Beatles” on merch that ranged from carpets and sweaters to cell phone cases. Here, the Courts of Florida sided with the claimant granting them an award of $ 77 million for the sale of fake merchandising.


Oracle vs. Google

Although this case mainly affects the US and their interpretation of Software and copyright, it will definitely be in everybody’s interest to know how the Supreme Court will qualify APIs (application programming interface). The case has been going on for 10 years now and will define the future of Software development so stay tuned.


Jägermeister's successful Swiss trade mark registration

Once you read our next Factsheet on trade marks you will know that there is a thing called “absolute grounds of opposition” that are filed by the IP Office in charge of examining the application. That is what the Swiss Federal Institute of IP did when Jägermeister applied for registration. Why? Because (I hope that you have noticed that if, somehow, you enjoy this liquor) the logo is made of a stag and… a cross, which could offend the Christian community. The question went all the way to the Swiss Courts where the judges sided with the German brand considering that the intensive use of the logo had “weakened its religious character” which makes it highly unlikely for the Christian community to be offended. Indeed, although the story behind the logo stems from a Christian tale (the tale of Saint Hubertus), as of today, the average consumer associates it clearly with the alcohol and not with the revelation. The company is now free to use its logo in Switzerland for all promotional activities and in all its products.


That is all for this week. Until next week, stay safe!


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    Publication date
    25 February 2020
    Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises