Reputable Benelux trademark - TUC forbids packaging

General Biscuits (LU) has been producing biscuits since the sixties under the brand TUC crackers. Through intensive use TUC became a reputable trademark and General Biscuits the market leader. In order to protect its rights, TUC not only registered the logo on the pack, but also some details of the packaging including the typical yellow background with the logo in blue and white.  

TUC competitor Hoppe also produces cookies and introduces them under its own brand APERO.
The court says that there is trademark infringement and referred to the earlier ruling by the European Court in Carbonell-La Espanola. Most importantly, this time is the visual similarity. The visual impact caused the way General Biscuits uses different colour indications on the packaging played a key role. The yellow background, white letters, the blue square, red accents and the cookies on each other. Although the words APERO and TUC are not similar, the overall visual impression is the same and that is decisive.
This is especially important for products found in supermarkets, as consumers are guided by the visual impact and may thus inadvertently pick the wrong box. This will invariably lead to confusion. Result: ban, recall, sales information to determine damages. It is expected that this ruling will have major implications for the packaging of private label products, which are often the style and colours of brands take over.

 

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