Reputable trademarks and oppositions

Reputable trademarks have a wider scope of protection than regular marks. Judges take this into account in procedures, so they will more easily conclude that a reputable trademark is infringed. During new trademark applications, holders of earlier marks may object, if they believe that the new application is similar to their earlier mark.

An opposition procedure is a rapid procedure to prevent a similar mark from being registered. The downside is that owners of reputable trademarks in many countries (also in the Benelux countries) cannot invoke their trademark’s reputation in an opposition procedure. Because of this sometimes trademark applications are being registered that ideally never should have reached that stage. A good example is the registration of a new logo for tea and coffee machines in Switzerland.

Coca Cola launched an opposition to stop the registration process. The products are similar (coffee and soft drinks are alternatives), so it comes to match or logos. Coca-Cola insisted on the reputation of its logo. Because this ground in opposition proceedings does not exist, it cannot be taken into account. The trademark office therefore finds no violation.

trademarks



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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. Infringement or not?
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