Coca Cola- Pepsi : The bottle neck

The shape of a product is usually one of the most recognizable aspects. Consumers usually recognize the product from a certain brand by its shape alone, and often do not even bother to read the label.  Despite this fact it is extremely difficult to register a shape mark in the Benelux. This was not always the case. Coca Cola, for example registered her elegantly shaped bottle as a shape mark many years ago.  

Not only does Coca Cola protect the secrets to her ingredients very well, virtually every aspect that concerns Coca Cola is well protected. This, of course, includes the shape of her bottles. When Pepsi introduced a new bottle in Australia Coca Cola was on high alert. Pepsi’s new bottle bore a striking resemblance to the bottle Coca Cola has been using since 1916.

A similar case once occurred in Holland. Coca Cola had just developed a new 1.5 liter bottle (and registered the shape as a trademark). After a few months Superunie introduced her new bottle for First Choice Cola, which had essentially the same form. Eventually Superunie caved under the pressure of a pending lawsuit and changed the shape of her bottles.


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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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