Kellogg Company lost an opposition in The UK. The case concerns the trademark application for FRUIT LOOP filed by the local brewery Fuller for class 32 – Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter; non-alcoholic beers.
Against this mark, Kellogg invoked its rights over the early registered trademark with reputation FREET LOOPS for class 30 – Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and non-frozen confectionery; honey, treacle; yeast, bakingpowder; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices.
The opponent claims that it has reputation under the above mark in respect of “preparations made from cereals”. It claims that use of the mark in suit would take unfair advantage of its mark and use of it would ride upon the coat tails of the opponent’s reputation and marketing efforts which would provide an unfair advantage. Use of the mark in suit would also dilute the distinctiveness of its mark, and the association of the opponent’s product with use on alcoholic beverages is likely to cause detriment to its reputation.
The Patent Office disagreed dismissing the opposition. According to the Office, there was only a low level of similarity between both signs for dissimilar goods.
The key moment in the opposition was the claimed reputation of the earlier sign. According to the Office, it wasn’t proved sufficiently which to show that the mark had been used for a prolonged period in the UK in a way that consumers are aware for its high level of reputation.
Heineken Italy lost a trademark case T‑378/17 before the General Court of the EU, which concerns a company’s attempt to register the following EU trademark for classes 32 and 33:Against this application, an opposition was filed by the Spanish company La Zaragozana, SA based on an earlier Spanish trademark CERVISIA AMBAR for class 32 – beer.
Initially, the EUIPO upheld the opposition due to the similarity between the word parts of the marks in the presence of similar and identical goods.
The Board of Appeal, however, annulled this decision stating that the signs are not similar because the visual elements in the later mark create a difference. What’s more the word part in the mark applied for was barely legible.
The General Court revoked this decision accepting that both trademarks are confusingly similar. The reasons for this is that the word part in the later mark can be read by the consumers and the fact that visual elements cannot outweigh the word once in such an assessment.
The Brussels Court of Appeal has ruled in a case between Aldi and InBev, which concerns an accusation that Aldi infringed InBev’s rights over Jupiler trademark in a way contrary to fair commercial practices.
The Court, however, has concluded that there is no infringement at the case in hand because of the following:
- Both products are sold in different sales channels. In case of Buval, the beer is sold only in Aldi’s stores, whereas, in case of Jupiler, the product is sold everywhere with exception of Aldi’s stores. The Court did not find any post-sales confusion, which occurs at the point of consumption rather than purchase;
- The consumers have become used to the red, black and white colors in relation to various brewers;
- The consumers have become used to the use of shields and animals with regard to beer packaging by various brewers.
Source: CMS Belgium, Lexology.