A nightmare for a well-known brand: someone applies for an almost identical trademark. This happened to New Balance. 3 people from Spain applied for the B New Balance logo (left) in the European Union for jewelry and alcoholic beverages. In addition to other pending cases against this application, New Balance also filed an invalidation action based on bad faith. This ground applies when someone knew that another person was entitled to a certain trademark, but this trademark was nevertheless requested by that person.
You would say that the bad faith of an applicant of such a logo is easy to prove. But no: the invalidity action is rejected. What matters most is that there is evidence of the knowledge of the applicant prior to the filing of the contested trademark. However, there was no contact between parties. The parties are also not active in the same market. The reputation of New Balance, which results in a certain knowledge with the applicant, has not been proven either according to EUIPO.
New Balance loses this case, but hopefully for New Balance there is more success in the other procedures.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”