STARS COFFEE

Western companies leaving Russia have opened the door for trademark hijackers. Many new brands look suspiciously similar to the logos of departed companies, but as the new trademark owners almost always argue, this is purely coincidental. They are not hesitant to fight similarity claims.

 

In March, Starbucks closed and sold 130 shops in Russia. Recently, a new owner reopened the shops under the new brand STAR COFFEE. The menu still consists of sandwiches and the customer’s names are likewise written on the coffee cups. This doesn’t sound at all familiar…


The question is how long these brands will last. They are still applications, for now. The Russian authorities should, in principle, refuse them due to the older registered (and still existing) well-known foreign brands.

trademarks



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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?