Commercial & Dispute Resolution (Intellectual Property) - Review

    June 2009

    Caselaw - E-Ship runs aground

    In Enercon GmbH v OHIM (Case T-81/08, 29 April 2009), the CFI has upheld the decision of OHIM's First Board of Appeal in which the latter had held that the word mark "E-Ship" was descriptive in relation to goods and services relating broadly to electrical aquatic transportation.

    Background

    In April 2006, Enercon GmbH (Enercon) applied for the registration of "E-Ship" as a Community trade mark for goods in classes 7, 9, 12 and 39. In December 2006, the examiner rejected the application in its entirety based on Articles 7(1)(b), (c) and 7(2), namely lack of distinctiveness, descriptiveness and non-registrability in one part of the Community.

    In February 2007, Enercon appealed to the Board of Appeal which dismissed the appeal on the grounds that "E-Ship" indicated the kind, quality and intended purpose of the goods and services for which registration had been sought and as a result was descriptive. In addition, it held that in the absence of any graphic element the aforesaid mark was also devoid of distinctive character.

    In May 2008, international law firm Hammonds became a limited liability partnership. Hammonds LLP and its affiliated undertakings has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester in the UK, and in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, Madrid, Munich and Paris.