The OHIM has recently rendered a decision in a remarkable case between on one hand, New G of Mr. Baiga. and the other, hip hop brand Trukfit.
New G challenged the European trademark registration of Trukfit on the grounds of copyright infringement. The figure (left) in the car (above) was supposed to be designed by Baiga in 2005. And according to the French copyrigh law, the European trademark infringed this right.
This is already remarkable, that someone has designed not one, but two identical elements (without any relationship between the parties). But the case will become stranger and stranger. Baiga filed some sworn affidavits, among others by a house painter and a farm worker. These people confirm the use by Baiga. Moreover, the evidence of the earlier copyright consists of a letter posted in 2008 and now opened by a bailiff. The content of this letter contains a flyer with the logo (and other famous brands on it) and a loyalty card with the logo on it.
Trukfit states that Baiga is known for filings in bad faith, Baiga is a so-called serial filer. Also in this case he acts fraudulently. For example, the letter was dated in 2008 and included the loyalty card. But, on the back of the loyalty card, the card is showing a 2010 company address.
The OHIM rejects the whole cancellation action. The evidence is so weak that the office is amazed that Trukfit responded after all. The undertone is the probable bad faith of Baiga as the OHIM states that a false declaration is a criminal offense.
Of course, the bad faith and fraudulent documents are a shame, but the amateurism and incredibility makes the case noteworthy. For example, Mr. Baiga has designed more famous hip hop logos, such as the (well known) brand Taylor Gang or Die. Baiga states that he invented this brand at the age of 15. The inspiration came from the movie Topgun and cities Longwy and Rehon where he lived: Taylor stands for Turbo Action Yeah Longwy or Rehon. Of course.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”