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Black Friday for Super Union: Trademark Office wants to delete word mark, Black Friday ‘

The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) approves the cancellation requests for the word mark Black Friday. According to the DPMA, the mark lacks any distinctive character. Around 15 companies from the advertising and retail industry had sued for the deletion of the trademark, including Puma, PayPal, New Yorker and the cosmetics manufacturer Grassinger (Az. S 33/17). The brand is owned by the Chinese Super Union. The decision is not yet final.

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The term Black Friday originally comes from the USA and describes the offers and discounts on the Friday after the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. In Germany, too, the slogan has been used for a few years for a special sales day in autumn, especially in online retail.

The DPMA has linked 13 of the quorum deletion requests from the companies and has now decided to delete the Black Friday trademark. The distinctiveness is not enough to protect Black Friday as a brand, it is said. The Super Union can still lodge a complaint against the cancellation decision.

Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

The Chinese company Super Union took over the word mark Black Friday 2016. The brand was registered back in 2013, at that time by Klingenthal Südring. The area of ​​protection for which the trademark was registered is very extensive and applies to both goods and services in various industries. In 2016 Black Friday GmbH acted as a licensee of the brand.

Super Union subsequently issued warnings against a number of companies advertising Black Friday. Some, including companies that were not warned, then submitted requests for cancellation to the DPMA. These include Paypal, Puma and New Yorker, who oppose the monopoly of the term.

The companies justified the deletion requests with a need to keep the term free and a lack of distinctive character. In some applications it was also stated that the trademark application was in bad faith. However, the DPMA has not made a decision on this.

In parallel to the deletion requests, some companies are also taking preliminary injunction proceedings against the warnings from Super Union. For example Simon Gall, owner of the website Black-Friday.de. The EV proceedings are currently pending at the Düsseldorf Regional Court.

Representative of Designer Outlet OCI Wolfsburg
CMS Hasche Sigle (Berlin): Sylle Schreyer-Bestmann - known from the market

Representative Puma
Goehmann (Hanover): Dr MaximilianSchunke, Philip Trieb

PayPal representative
Hogan Lovells (Hamburg): Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh, Dr. Thomas Richter

Representative Grassinger
Arqis (Munich): Marcus Nothhelfer, Dr. Philipp Maier

Representative 6Minutes Media
HK2 (Berlin): Philip Koch, Nadja Marquard

McArthurGlen Service representative
Jonas (Cologne):Dr Martin Viefhues

Representative weaving means
Görg (Berlin)

Maximilian Schunke

Representative of ECE project management
Brandstock (Munich)

Representative of Speedy GmbH
Dr. Caspers Mock & Partner (Koblenz)

Representative Simon Gall
Habbel & Habbel (Münster): Peter Habbel - known from the market

Representative M2L Agency
BPM Legal (Munich)

Representative Tom Tailor - no mention

Representatives of New Yorkers - no mention

Representative Super Union
Hogertz (Berlin): Dr Alexander Hogertz, Dr. Mona Bandehzadeh; Associate: Dr. Vivian Roth

German Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Department 3.4
Leading Government Director Jörg Portmann

Background: With Arqis and Hogan Lovells, Grassinger and Paypal rely on trusted advisors. Both law firms have represented their clients in trademark and competition law for a long time.

It is likely that the previous brand owner Super Union, represented by name partner Hogertz, will file a complaint against the cancellation decision.

In addition to Habbel & Habbel, the representatives of Simon Gall, owner of the website black-friday.de, also include Krieger Mes & Graf v. der Groeben with partner Jens Künzel. Künzel is taking action for Gall in an EV procedure against Super Union that has not yet been decided. (Helena Hauser)

Note: We have updated the article from April 6, 2018 on April 10, 2018 and added the Klingenthal Südring company as the first owner of the word mark.