Red Bull won a dispute against a trademark with the depiction of a bull and one of the reasons for this result was the available reputation of the company’s trademarks.
Two individuals filed 2020 the following trademark application in Portugal for classes 25 and 41:
Against this application an opposition was filed by Red Bull based on the following several earlier marks for the same classes of goods and services:
Apart from this, the company claimed a proven reputation for these trademarks in Portugal.
The Patent Office dismissed the opposition despite the reputation of the Red Bull’s marks. The reason for this was the fact that the Office didn’t find similarities between the signs. The decision was appealed.
The Court overturned the Office decision, concluding that the mark applied for and the earlier sign was similar enough.
From one side, the word parts RED BULL and BULLS were similar from a phonetic, visual, and conceptual point of view.
From another side, the depictions of bulls were similar too, at least to a minimum degree. Taking into account the proven reputation of the Red Bulls’ marks, which gives stronger protection, the Court concluded that signs were similar and that the later mark could take advantage of the available reputation of the earlier marks.
This comes to show us that some attempts for circumventing the protection of reputable marks could be really risky and unsuccessful acts.