PEPSI prevents PAUPSY Concept store

In 2020 Paupsy opened its doors. Paupsy is a concept store which sells clothes, shoes and jewelry. The instance their trademark was applied for clothing and bags, PEPSI objected. Well-known brands such as PEPSI often register their trademarks not only for their core business, but also for other goods and services. The reason for this is to prevent other companies from catching on to the trademark's reputation, but also because these trademarks are often licensed to third parties to use.


Therefore, the PEPSI trademark is registered not only for soft drinks, but also for food, cosmetics, audio equipment, furniture, household products, stationery, jewelry, bags, clothing and textile products.

Following this reasoning, it is logical PEPSI would object to the trademark application. After all, the products are the same. But are the marks similar, seeing that minor differences in short marks are often enough ensure sufficient difference?

Yes, the authorities judged. The marks in question contain five versus six letters, but the letters P*PS* are in the same order. Therefore, the marks are deemed visually similar. This is also the case in terms of sound. Both marks consist of two syllables and both marks are pronounced the same way. The trademark application is therefore rejected.

Are you considering merchandising or licensing a trademark? Then apply for a trademark application for all relevant products.


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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?