//Forbes versus Forbes

Forbes versus Forbes

In trademark law, who comes first who serves first. This principle also applies to anyone who wants to use his own name (prename or surname) as a brand. It is not that because your name is Apple that you can use this name in commerce!

Take the recent example of Forbes. Alexander Forbes is the name of a South African company that provides financial services. The Alexander Forbes trademark was already registered in the European Union for, among other things, the publishing of printed matter (class 41).

Forbes is also the name of a famous American magazine, founded by B.C. Forbes. Forbes (from the magazine) has filed its FORBES trademark in the European Union in class 41.

That led to a clash in class 41. Because Alexander Forbes had earlier trademark rights, the request from Forbes (of the magazine) for most services in class 41 was refused, despite the fact that Forbes is named after B.C. Forbes. And even though that Forbes is a well-known magazine.

 

Arnaud Bos

“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”

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