Coin pocket Diesel valid positionmark

Diesel has a design for its jeans with a small pocket on top of the right front pocket, the so-called coin pocket. Diesel has applied a small diagonal stripe to this small pocket. Just as Levi's sees its red vertical tab as a trademark, Diesel uses this slanted strip as a vital part of its branding too. In order to protect the rights, it applies for a position mark.


The validity of this position mark is central to a conflict between Diesel and Calvin Klein. Calvin Klein argues that a simple stripe cannot be a trademark. The public sees this as banal decoration.

The Court disagrees. This is not a simple stripe, but a strip that is applied in a special place. Such a strip can often be found on all other jeans, but then horizontally at the top. Due to the diagonal placement, the consumer will see this as a identifying mark. The trademark is upheld for Diesel.

There is no question of infringement by Calvin Klein, because they (like the rest) use a horizontal stripe on their coin pocket. The marks are therefore not deemed visually similar.



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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?