Fri, Apr. 21, 2006

Perfume Trademarks

HG - Washington.   According to Section 19 of the German Trademark Statute, Markengesetz, a trademark owner may demand information from any infringer of the trademark about the origin and distributor of the infringing goods. The Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bundesgerichtshof, decided in its Parfümtestkäufe decision of February 23, 2006, docket number 1 ZR 27/03, that this rule applies to goods shipped outside but distributed inside the European Union.

The plaintiff, a German perfume distributor with trademarks such as Joop and Jil Sander, had distributed goods outside the European Union, mainly in the Asian and U. S. markets. The defendant, another German distributor who maintained no business relationships with the plaintiff and thus was not permitted to use the trademarks purchased these goods, had sold and stored them in Germany.

The Court ruled that the defendant must reveal not only information about the activities giving rise to the infringement, but also about acts similar to such activities. In addition, the Court clarified that the plaintiff's claim to force the destruction of such goods if (a) the infringement cannot be corrected otherwise, and (b) the enforcement of this claim is not unreasonable, normally depends on the identification of the injuring party's degree of liability.


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