Apple Corps, the company owned by ex-Beatles Sir Paul McCartney en Ringo Starr, has been in a Legal battle over the registration of the word BEATLE for wheel chairs. The two remaining Beatles do not want their trademark THE BEATLES associated with electrical wheelchairs. The name BEATLE was merely registered to ride the coattail of the reputation of THE BEATLES. OHIM (the EU trademark authority) rejects this claim, stating that the products involved are too different for the consumer to make a link between the trademark. Music and entertainment on one hand and wheelchairs on the other are simply to dissimilar.

The European Court, in appeal, however, agrees with the Beatles. After 50 years THE BEATLES is still a trademark that has a youthful and positive image. A part of the target audience is familiar with the music and because of that the wheelchair manufacturer profits from The Beatles reputation. It is after all easier to sell the wheelchairs if they evoke a sense of freedom an joy that is often associated with The Beatles.


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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. Infringement or not?
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