Hema crocodile infringes on Lacoste after all

There is a sequel to the case concerning Hema’s underwear. The question was if crocodile decorated kids underwear constitutes an infringement on the Lacoste logo. At first, the court ruled it was not. The picture is purely meant as a decoration, the consumer does not see a trademark in it. In the appeal, the coin lands on the other side. Market surveys play a major part in both court cases.

Lacoste’s claim was initially rejected, partly because the market survey was too suggestive. The new survey has been carried out correctly. This one demonstrates that the consumer perceives the image as a trademark , namely Lacoste. Conclusion: A trademark infringement after all.

The ruling clearly shows the importance of registering ones logo separately (besides the name). Exactly to address this “decorative” use. And since it is an EU trademark, the court in The Hague immediately issues a ban for the entire European Union. (Source image: Abcor)


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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?