The golden pelican (left) could not keep its golden status for very long. This trademark was filed in France for award services but faced an opposition by Pelikan, the famous brand for writing equipment.
Of course, the trademarks of Pelikan are well protected, amongst others for services in class 41. However, the use requirements applied on the trademark on which the opposition has been based and could limit the broad protection of Pelikan. The owner of Le Pelican d’Or was probably so impressed that it did not file any response and did not ask Pelikan to submit proof of use. Don’t argue with a pelican right?
Is a Pelican a Pelikan? Yes, according the French Trademarks Office. The most important element in both trademarks are the similar words Pelican / Pelikan. So, despite of some visual differences, a risk of association is present between the birds.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”