Free riding on a familiar layout

Not only the typography of Coca-Cola is world famous, also the white wave against a red background design has a high grade of recognition. These elements are naturally registered as trademarks. When a Chinese importer starts using a similarly shaped logo, Coca-Cola objects. It starts a cancellation procedure against the EU trade mark, regardless the fact that that mark was filed in black/white with the words PanPan. Nonetheless, the cancellation is successful.

The European authorities are of the opinion that although the trademarks are visually slightly similar but, because the wavy line is world-famous, the public will still it associate with the reputable Coca-Cola brand. But does the Chinese company also wrongfully benefit from the reputation of the Coca-Cola trademark? It does! Coca-Cola uses the logo in this format a lot, also in combination with other languages/scripts, like Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic etc. In addition, the Chinese holder effectively uses the trademark without PanPan and on an red background. Coca-Cola wins and the PanPan logo is canceled for soft drinks and similar products. (Source image: EUIPO)


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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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