Three cars out

What do Bentley, Jaguar and Chevrolet have to do with each other? They are all car brands that have recently been subject to a trademark dispute in the EU.

Bentley filed an opposition with the EUIPO against the Bentley application for cafes and motels. Especially with existing names and words it can happen that a company wants to use the identical name for other products or services. In this case, however, the counterparty filed the logo of Bentley itself! Although this is a blatant infringement of Bentley’s trademark rights, Bentley must file an opposition and substantiate its rights. Since these are services that are not similar to the products and services for which Bentley is registered, Bentley relies on the reputation of its trademark. The reputation of Bentley must first be demonstrated. Through abundant and convincing evidence Bentley succeeds, the trademark is rejected.

How difficult it is to show your reputation reveals the opposition case of Chevrolet (against the identical brand Chevrolet for lenses and refrigerators). The EUIPO found that the evidence of Chevrolet’s reputation was too much focused on America. Therefore, the reputation in the EU was not sufficiently demonstrated and EUIPO did not found evidence that the Chevrolet trademark was reputed. The opposition is therefore unsuccessful against a large part of the products of the application.

Finally, Jaguar has filed an opposition against Jaguar Gym for, among other things, fitness equipment. Fortunately for Jaguar, Jaguar was able to invoke a trademark that was also registered for these products. That makes life a lot easier since the criterium is a likelihood of confusion. Now that the trademarks are similar and products identical, the EUIPO quickly comes to the conclusion that the opposition must be upheld.

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Arnaud Bos

“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”



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