For Facebook, it is important to counteract any dilution of its trademarks. This generally means that it opposes any trademark consisting of FACE or BOOK. Like the trademark LIFEBOOK, filed in the European Union for a.o. entertainment.
Facebook filed an opposition based on the reputation of its trademark. Facebook had to file evidence of this reputation and succeeds: more than 200 different evidence of this fame are being filed including newspaper articles, website publications, figures, reports, website extracts, surveys, etc. Some evidence relates to a CD-ROM with many more items.
The EUIPO soon came to the conclusion that the brand FACEBOOK is reputed. However, still there must be a link between the signs. Moreover, the challenged application must be detrimental to the distinctive character or taking unfair advantage of the reputation of FACEBOOK.
A link between the trademarks starts with a certain similarity between the signs. And that is the case, according to the EUIPO. Both trademarks include the word BOOK and the color blue also matches. This creates a visual similarity. In view of the similar services, consumers will link the signs, according to the EUIPO. Finally, the EUIPO finds that it is likely that dilution can occur. The opposition is upheld.
In short, look out with any trademarks including a Face or Book-element!
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”