TRADE MARK LAW – GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS
Retroactive effect Regulation on geographical indications for spirit drinks regarding trade mark registrations
• Regulation No 110/2008 is applicable to the assessment of the validity of the registration of a trade mark containing a geographical indication protected by that regulation, where registration took place before the regulation entered into force.
Refusal or invalidation of trade marks containing protected geographical indications in case of commercial use in respect of comparable products, exploiting the reputation or misuse
Articles 23 and 16 of Regulation No 110/2008 must be interpreted as meaning that:
– the competent national authorities must, on the basis of Article 23(1) of Regulation No 110/2008, refuse or invalidate the registration of a mark which contains a protected geographical indication and which is not covered by the temporary derogation provided for in Article 23(2) of that regulation, where the use of that mark would lead to one of the situations referred to in Article 16 thereof;
– a situation such as that referred to in the second question referred for a preliminary ruling – that is to say, the registration of a mark containing a geographical indication, or a term corresponding to that indication and its translation, in respect of spirit drinks which do not meet the specifications set for that indication – falls within the situations referred to in Article 16(a) and (b) of Regulation No 110/2008, without prejudice to the possible application of other rules laid down in Article 16.