The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has ruled on a trademark dispute between FIFA and the German sportswear producer PUMA.
The case concerns the following Swiss trademarks registered by the Puma for classes 18, 25, and 28: “PUMA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022” и “PUMA WORLD CUP 2022”.
FIFA as an organizer of the World Football Cup wasn’t impressed by these registrations and attacked them in an attempt to cancelation. The ground for this, however, wasn’t FIFA’s early registered marks for WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 and WORLD CUP 2022 but the misleading nature of the later marks. According to the World Football Federation, reading the marks, consumers can conclude that Puma is the title sponsor of the event which was not the case.
The Court agreed and upheld these arguments. The parts WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 and WORLD CUP 2022 have a direct and clear message that is associated with the World Football Cup because of which such misleading result is possible.
At the same time, the Court upheld PUMA’s counterclaims that FIFA’s earlier marks were descriptive and not distinctive, however, leaving the door open for proving acquired secondary distinctiveness.
Source: Kluwer Trademark Blog