The amount of festivals in Europe is rapidly growing. Especially the electronic music festivals. Like good trademark protection for the name of bands and DJs, this also applies to festival names.
Tomorrowland is one of the biggest European festivals. This festival has protected its trademark in the European Union. Fortunately, because a German company filed the logo Tomorrow for the services of a club.
Tomorrowland files an opposition based on confusion and the free-riding of their trademark. The reputation of the festival is shown by numerous and detailed evidence. Although this is often a hurdle, the evidence is convincing and EUIPO acknowledges the reputation.
But the reputation is only one of the conditions, a link between the marks is an other. In order to assess the link the Office has to examine, amongst others, the similarity, the strength of the marks and the nature of the products. As both marks are destined for the entertainment services, there is a clear connection according to the EUIPO. Finally, the ultimate question is whether the applicant takes unfair advantage. Yes, says EUIPO: “an association with or at least a reminder of the earlier mark when encountering the contested sign (a link) will naturally transfer some of the opponent’s image and positive attributions to the contested sign for which the applicant has not made the proportional marketing or business efforts.”
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”