DJ Tonka

tonkaTonka is a famous toy brand offering scale models of cars, bulldozers, cranes, etc. Vintage Tonka cars, much like Dinky Toys, are worth a lot of money. Hasbro acquired Tonka in 1991.

What is the relation between Tonka and music? There is none. Aside from the opposition filed by Hasbro against the application of the trademark DJ TONKA in the European Union. DJ TONKA is a renowned German EDM (house) producer. This DJ filed the name for a number of services including entertainment and advertising.

TONKA is registered for toys several times, but these registrations cannot form a base against DJ TONKA: the products and services are too different. Hasbro also has some registrations of TONKA in other classes, but the use requirements apply and to proof use is often harsh.

Fortunately for Hasbro, there was one registration in Spain – for the classes 9, 16, 38, 41 and 42 – that was not subject to the use requirements. Enough to stop the registration of DJ TONKA in classes 41 and 42. No total victory, and thus no full removal of the trademark from the registry (probably the main purpose of Hasbro), but at least a good victory.

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Arnaud Bos

“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”



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