Parallel Imports – A timely reminder from the EU Trade Mark Court
The free movement of goods is a hot topic in the UK and businesses are wondering how they will be affected in any Brexit deal.
As a timely reminder the EU Trade Mark Court in Alicante has issued an injunction against a Spanish mobile phone distributor, Blablatel Mobile SL (Blabatel), based on the parallel importation of technology products from outside the European Economic Area.
Blablatel registered the trade marks XIAOMI MIUI MOBILE INTERNET and MI XIAOMI and advertised products with the XIAOMI trade mark on their website.
Xiaomi is a Chinese company that designs and produces mobile phones and electronic devices. Xiaomi owns EU trade mark registrations for the mark XIAOMI, MI and MIUI. Xiaomi was successful in cancelling the registered trade marks of Blablatel on the basis that they conflicted with the earlier rights of Xiaomi and had been applied for in bad faith.
In addition, Xiaomi, applied for and were granted an injunction to prevent the further import and sale of it’s products by Blablatel. The product’s in question were not intended for sale in the EEA and consequently, Xiaomi was able to rely on its registered EU trade mark rights to prevent the import and sale of the goods in the European Union.
This is a timely reminder to businesses to consider how their supply and sale of goods might be affected if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on the import and export of goods. If you would like to discuss how your business might be affected, then please get in touch.