Longines is a famous brand for watches with a distinctive logo: a logo presenting wings. Exclusivity is for brands for watches very important. For that reason, Longines was not pleased with a European trademark application for the logo below, also including watches.
Longines filed an opposition and based the opposition on confusion and put forward that its logo had an enhanced distinctive character due to its reputation. Moreover, the opposition was based on article 8(5) EUTMR: the contested trademark would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of the earlier trademark.
Longines had to proof the reputation of its logo which is often a difficult task, even for brands that are apparently are well-known. The evidence filed by Longines showed the complete logo of Longines, thus LONGINES with the logo and not the logo alone. Therefore, EUIPO could not establish a reputation of the logo alone and rejects this claim.
It even becomes worse for Longines as EUIPO rules that both logo’s are not similar: the differences between the logo’s dominate. The opposition is rejected and while it is plausible that this contested logo creates a certain dilution, acting against this dilution is quite difficult.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”