Coca-Cola, who runs a remarkable campaign where the trademark on cans has been replaced by names and other words, has filed an opposition against the European application Cocori-cola.
Coca-Cola and Cocori-cola, you would think that Coca-Cola would win this opposition easily. Well, Coca-Cola has won but some effort was required.
The European trademark admits that the marks are visually, aurally and conceptually similar but simultaneously also finds that Coca refers to the cocaplant (and is rather descriptive) and Cola is generic and therefore not distinctive.
Of course, Coca-Cola argued that its trademark is a very famous trademark and that therefore the scope of protection is large. The European trademarks office agrees with this opinion after assessing the evidence of this reputation. As a risk of confusion is at hand, the office rejects the application.
Whether the applicant actually thought bringing Cocori-cola on the market we will sadly never know.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”