BAVARIA fends off German attack

For over 10 years Dutch beer brewer BAVARIA has been entangled in legal issues with German beer manufacturers from the state of Bavaria. In 1994 the Association of Bavarian Beer Brewers issued a request with the European authorities to protect Bavarian Beer as a geographical indication. This would mean that the consumer would be ascertained that whenever he bought “Bavarian” beer, the beer would actually come from Bavaria.  

There are several protected geographical indications, the most famous being Parmesan Cheese and Champagne. But even the Netherlands has some geographically protected names, such as Gouda and Edammer. The grant for the geographical protection of Bavarian Beer was eventually issued in 2001.
In the meantime, BAVARIA, from Lieshout in the Netherlands, applied for trademark protection in Germany in 1995. Although the beer brand has been used since 1925. The question now  is, which right is the strongest?
The court eventually decided in favor of BAVARIA from the Netherlands. The reason for this being that with geographical indications the critical date is not the application date, but the date of acknowledgement, which in this case was 2001. Good news for Dutch BAVARIA beer and a wise lesson for all of us: In order to prevent this from happening it is advised to always immediately register your trademark in any countries in which you may use it.


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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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