In a short time sports brand Puma received three decisions in trademark matters.
The first was about the long struggle against parody brand Pudel in Germany (left). For Puma a thorn in its flesh. But now, the Bundesgerichtshof has ruled that the trademark Puma should prevail over the freedom of expression of the counterparty. An important victory.
Puma was however less fortunate in an opposition against a trademark application Puma for lathes in class 7. Although Puma has a trademark registration in class 7, its mark is only used for sportswear and bags, so OHIM disregarded class 7. OHIM compared the products and found no similarity between lathes and sportswear. Puma also invoked their reputation, but as we know this reputation must be proved in opposition proceedings. We have seen it before, this point is difficult to proof. Also, in this case the evidence filed was not sufficient to proof the reputation.
The last case is not about the logo or the name Puma but about the swoosh on the shoes. This swoosh has been registered by Puma several times as a trademark. Therefore, the brand filed an opposition against the logo below. The OHIM was however not impressed, they did not see any similarity between the signs. So, they rejected the opposition. Score 1-2.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”