The P of Pirelli

pirelli_logoThe logo of Pirelli is an iconic logo. Especially the P in this logo. Since the P is the dominant part in this logo, Pirelli also has registered the sole P.  A defensive smart move as the P alone is now protected.

But what if the P is always used in combination with the rest of the logo? Is the use of the whole PIRELLI mark sufficient to proof use of the P alone? Following the recent Levi’s judgment of the European Court of Justice, yes. As we now know that the requirement of use may be satisfied where a registered trade mark, which has become distinctive as a result of the use of another composite mark of which it constitutes one of the elements, is used only through that other composite mark. In other words, if the consumer recognizes the P as from Pirelli or the red tab as from Levi’s, the use in the whole mark will be seen as use of the stand alone mark as well. And this will probably the case with Pirelli.

With this P-registration Pirelli recently won an invalidation action in the European Union against the below trademark. Despite the remainder of the word in this logo and despite the fact that the mark was registered for amongst others bamboo products, the brand was revoked as it took unfair advantage on the reputation of Pirelli. That’s a remarkable strong P!


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Arnaud Bos

“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”



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