Red Bull attacked successfully a Portuguese trademark with a bull depiction

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.

Source: Paulo Monteverde or Joana Cunha Reis for Lexology.


Can PANDEMIA be a trademark in Portugal?

To what extent Pandemia can be contrary to morals, public policy and accepted principles of morality?

This is the question the Portuguese Patent Office has given answer to in a recent decision. The case concerns a trademark application for PANDEMIA for the following classes:

  • Class 32 – “barley wine [beer], fruit juice beverages, mineral water, seltzer water”; and
  • Class 33 – “white wine, grape wine, sparkling grape wine, red wine, alcoholic wines, table wines, sparkling wines, fortified wines, rose wines, cereal-based distilled alcoholic beverages, grain-based distilled alcoholic beverages, distilled beverages and spirits”.

The Patent Office refused to register this mark based on absolute grounds – contrary to morals, public policy and accepted principles of morality. The decision was appealed and upheld.

According to the Office the assessment whether the sign is contrary to this absolute ground depends on three elements: the meaning of the mark, the goods and services and their target consumers and the impact on the society as a result of the trademark use.

The Office considered that the meaning of PANDEMIA would be inevitably related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The goods mentioned in the applications are consumed by a large number of people.

When it comes to consumption of alcoholic beverages, in general, they are associated with entertainment, fun and relaxation. However, because of the association of the mark with the current pandemic, the meaning of the mark can be shocking for many people, especially those of them suffered the pandemic aftermath. From that point of vew the mark can be against the accepted principles of morality.

Source: BMA – Paulo Monteverde, Inês Rodrigues for Lexology.

Amendments to copyright legislation in Portugal

JIPLP reports about some amendments to the Private Copying Law in Portugal. The changes come into force after overcoming a presidential veto. 
Thus the legislation in Portugal updated the requirements for copying of works for private use and take into account various contemporary devices that can be used in this regard, all of this in view of the requirement to pay levy compensations.
More information can be found here.