This week we saw an application of the trademark Draft Punk. This mark is filed in the United Kingdom for providing food and drink. Draft of course refers to beer, but the whole brand is a comic variation on the world famous band Daft Punk. Comic or not, humor is no excuse for trademark infringement. The chance that a judge is of the opinion that this trademark takes unfair advantage on the well-known brand, is rather high, especially if used commercially. Likewise, the trademark Pudel (wink to Puma) was eventually, after much litigation, found to be an infringement by the German court. And Heineken did not like the protestmark Keineken. So, comic trademarks are funny but quite dangerous, when the trademark is a nod to a famous brand.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”