Welcome to the new edition of the KPMG Intellectual Property newsletter on developments in the world of copyright, patents, trademarks, designs, domains and other Intellectual Property rights (“IPRs”).

Once again, we have collected a variety of interesting articles from all over the world. KPMG firms are proud of their global network of IP lawyers, enabling KPMG professionals to offer an international service to clients in this area.

Trade secrets often represent an important but also underestimated part of a company’s intangible IP assets. We will take a deep dive into this topic with a two-part series, with part I providing a comprehensive overview.

A central theme of this edition is copyright and we will deal with it from different perspectives. The development and improvement of artificial intelligence has major implications, not only for businesses, but also with regard to Intellectual Property. We highlight some questions regarding computer-generated art works.

Copyright is also very much affected by new laws and regulations which aim at improving the general IP framework. In this edition, we present some insights from Hungary and Vietnam.

Check out the contribution from Belgium regarding the Benelux Court of Justice’s ruling that the (word) mark "GOODBYE ” followed by a color lacked any distinctive character and was purely descriptive.

Discover the complete newsletter below.

“Goodbye” to your word mark

The Benelux Court of Justice ruled on 13 May 2022 that the (word) mark "GOODBYE ” followed by a color lacked any distinctive character and was purely descriptive. This is because the relevant public immediately and explicitly understands the intended purpose of the goods without the need for an additional explanation.

The dispute concerned the registration of the word mark "GOODBYE” followed by a color by a Luxembourg company, active in the cosmetics sector, and the counteraction by a German competitor via an application for a declaration of invalidity of that word mark at the Benelux Bureau for Intellectual Property.

The Benelux Bureau for Intellectual Property had initially ruled that the mark lacked any distinctive character and was merely descriptive. The Benelux Bureau substantiated this by saying that there are many cosmetic products on the market that use the word "GOODBYE" in connection with a negative characteristic, such as e.g. coloring of the teeth, coloring of nails or skin, etc.

Furthermore, the Bureau found that the relevant public purchasing a cosmetics product containing the word "GOODBYE" understands that these products will help against getting rid of something and consequently influence the consumer's purchase decision. Therefore, the mark was declared invalid by the Benelux Bureau.

> Read the full article here.