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PURE - MENTOS

MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Both in First Instance (with the Benelux authorities) and in Appeal Mentos is the losing party. The similar part in the trademarks is the word PURE, which is deemed descriptive. The consumer will therefore assume that the word PURE describes one of the characteristics of the products, namely that the product is composed of pure ingredients without artificial additives. Because of this descriptiveness the word element has not distinctiveness and the other visual elements decide the overall impression on the consumer. The trademark DENTYNE PURE has the word DENTYNE as its most dominant element. This word is distinctive and does not occur in the trademarks from MENTOS. Furthermore, the total image of the trademark is very different from the MENTOS trademarks. The trademarks are therefore NOT similar. No Infingement
Verdict trademark: No infringement

Verdict: District Court The Hague, October 30, 2012, Case 200.108.611/01 »

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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?