Comparing apples to pears/ oranges - coat tail riding well known mark

Well-known trademarks have a broader protection against third parties that seek to take advantage of their reputation. How far does the protection reach?For many years, Apple has been one of the most valuable trademarks in the world. The brand is known for more the 35 years, as innovative and has a formidable reputation. The Apple logo is a distinctive sign that appears everywhere (for example on the iPhone and iPad). When Pear Technologies from China files for protection for a stylized pear to distinguish ICT software products, Apple files a complaint.

Eventually the Board of Appeal has to compare the apples to the pears and, perhaps to the surprise of some, the Board judges that the pear logo is an infringement.
The key factor is the proven reputation of the apple logo which is very well-known. Furthermore, both logo’s are stylized pieces of fruit resulting in a great conceptual resemblance. The consumer will associate both logo’s, because of the acquired distinctiveness of the Apple logo. The latter is known for its high quality products, so Pear would profit from its reputation. Therefore, the trademark application is refused.


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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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