Petit Bateau is known for its children’s clothes. A classic item is the yellow rain coat.
Petit Bateau recently opposed the trademark BABIDU with a boat, filed for clothing as well. We have seen these kind of cases already: the mere conceptual similarity of trademarks is often not enough to establish a similarity in the overall impression of the marks.
Also in this case, EUIPO rules that visually, there is a low degree of similarity, besides the conceptual similarity that exists between the marks. However, clever enough, Petit Bateau based its opposition also on the reputation of its mark. EUIPO finds that “the depiction of a sailing boat would create an association in the mind of the relevant public in the situation where there is a clear link between the contested mark and the earlier reputed trademark. A new trademark with the abovementioned structure would benefit unduly from the established reputation of the opponent’s mark when used for the contested goods and services owing to the pre-existing and reputed trademark, which is reputed for ready-made clothing for children. This may lead to an unacceptable situation in which the applicant is allowed to take a ‘free ride’ on the investment of the opponent in promoting and building up goodwill for its mark, as it may stimulate the success of the applicant’s goods and services to an extent which is disproportionately high in comparison with the size of its promotional investment.”
Good news for Petit Bateau who successfully bans the trademark BABIDA. A good victory as frankly, the similarity between the trademarks was not that high.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”