New legal issues for Balenciaga. The fashion house owned by continues to make people argue about the choice to take inspiration from 'pop' consumer products for their creations. After the luxury versions of the Ikea bag, Balenciaga, who is headed by designer Demna Gvasalia proposed this time a pine-shaped key ring that seems inspired by the famous Arbre Magique car perfumes . The Balenciaga key ring is on sale at 195 euros in light blue, pink, green and black and is made of soft calf leather, while the car perfume costs around two euros.

Car-Freshner Corporation and Julius Sämann Ltd, owner of the Arbre Magique products, has thus decided to sue the Kiering for not asking permission to use the famous colored pine, as they did other brands by starting a cooperation.

The famous stylized tree has already been adopted by other companies producing goods different from perfume diffusers, including Anya Hindmarch, but always in agreement with the right holders.

The Panther goes to Court.

By order n. 46868 filed in the Court on 13 November 2014, the Second Criminal Chamber of the Italian Supreme Court decided, to remit the examination of United Penal Sections on the following question: "if the introduction on the market of serial morphological toys, not bearing any brand, constituents the unlawful reproduction of articles protected by trademark is an offense according to Articles 473 and 474, or in art. 517

of the criminal code".

The case arose from the introduction into Italian territory of a batch of 21,822 puppets depicting a counterfeited

MGM "Pink Panther".

On the merits, the Territorial Court observed that the puppets seized strongly resemble the character "Pink Panther", which are a specific registered trademark and, therefore, as such, subject to trademark protection.

The Court is expected to rule in the next two months.

Is Rubik's Cube a Trademark?

According to the judgment of 25 November 2014 (Case T-450/09) of the Court of Justice of the European Union, "the registration of the shape of the Rubik's Cube as a EU trademark is valid. The graphical representation of the cube does not involve a technical solution that prevents it to be protected as a trademark. "

The ruling solves a dispute arose as a result a registration request in front of the the application filed  in 1996, by Seven Towns a British company that manages the intellectual property rights related to the "Rubik's Cube" - for the registration as a Community trade mark of the three-dimensional shape of the cube to "puzzle in three dimensions.

In 1999 Seven Towns registered the famous cubes as a European trade mark. In 2006 Simba Toy, a German company that manufactures toys, filed for declaration of invalidity of the trademark.

According to the Court, the thick black lines that are part of that structure and appearing on the representations of the cube drawing a grid within them do not make any reference to a rotation capacity of the individual elements of the cube and, therefore, are not a technical function.

Indeed, the ability of rotation of the vertical and horizontal bands of the Rubik's cube is not derived from or black lines nor the grid structure, but by an internal mechanism of the cube that is invisible on its graphical representations. Consequently, the registration of the shape of the Rubik's Cube as a EU trademark can not be denied on the ground that it incorporates a technical function.

The Court also notes that the mark in question does not entitle the owner to prevent third parties to market all kinds of puzzles in three dimensions with a capacity of rotation, since the monopoly of commercialization of the owner is limited to the puzzle three dimensions having the shape of a cube whose faces are posted grid structure.

Finally, the Court considers that the cubic structure grid stand considerably from the representations of other puzzles in three dimensions on the market. This structure is therefore equipped with a distinctive character that enables consumers to identify the producer of the goods for which the mark is registered.

The ruling can now be appealed before the Court of Justice within two months of its service.